Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Bertin M. Louis Jr.

Committee Members

Graciela S. Cabana, Joshua Inwood


Urban renewal programs that applied large-scale removal of community urban space and structures, have a long history of differential impact to its community members. These effects persist. Furthermore, current redevelopment projects continue to negatively adjust the landscapes for African Americans. Most research on these impacts tends to focus on the economic failure of downtown, or the displacement of community structures, such as businesses, homes, and churches. Less is studied on the human experience before and after the change. Based on an ethno-historical account of three African American communities in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, this thesis examines the memories of the landscape before and after urban renewal from the perspective of former residents of The Bottom, Mountain View, and Morningside communities. By adding the combined concepts of racialization, spatialities and mobilities, this study provides a more complete understanding of racialized space that is lived. I argue that this memory provides insights for contemporary debates in urban planning and illuminates the invisible racialization of lived space.

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