Some other reviews make the claim that this is the book that everyone should read if they care about anti-racism. And I think this is about half-true. More than anything, those people need to read a lot of George Lipsitz and especially his book The Possessive Investment in Whiteness because that’s the book that really explains in detail what you need to know about how this country created the very structures of society through whiteness.
This book relies on that understanding to explore its question. The title of this book is a double-entendre. Specifically, it’s about how racism embodies spaces and how spaces are built with full entanglement in spaces. He refers a few times to the “racialization of space” and the “spacialization of race” and thinking through the ways these two inverse idea/processes work really help to make this book. In the last year or so we’ve thought more about both elements. How protests made of mostly white people are not deemed dangerous or how there are “good” and “bad” neighborhoods etc etc .
The reason I say that this book is not for everyone interested in the topic is because the last part of the book where he looks are sites of resistance gets a little wonky, in terms of cultural studies and theory, whereas the opening several section are more clear explorations of concrete situations. The book spends a lot of time in the last section analyzing art, literature, film, and music and makes a lot of really careful and interesting considerations about how these virtual spaces help to create real-life spaces of resistance. It’s an amazing analysis, but it’s also clearly for a more specific audience.