“The Care and Feeding of Power Structures”: Reconceptualizing Geospatial Intelligence through the Countermapping Efforts of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Joshua F.J. Inwood, Derek H. Alderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article advances three interrelated arguments. First, by focusing on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) Research Department, an undertheorized chapter in the civil rights movement, we advance an expressly spatialized understanding of the African American freedom struggle. Second, by focusing on an SNCC-produced pamphlet titled The Care and Feeding of Power Structures, we advance a larger historical geography of geospatial agency and countermapping of racial capital within black civil rights struggles. SNCC’s research praxis, which we argue constitutes a radical geospatial intelligence project, recognizes that geographical methods, information, and analytical insights are not just the purview of experts but are a set of political tools and processes deployed by a wide range of groups. Our article develops a deeper understanding of the rich spatial practices underlying black geographies and the role of geospatial intelligence in a democratic society outside the military–industrial–academic complex. Key Words: black geographies, civil rights, countermapping, geospatial intelligence, SNCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-723
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2020

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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