Saidiya Hartman is the author of Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route and Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. Her new book, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, is forthcoming from Norton.
You can find her in the group of beautiful thugs and too-fast girls congregating on the corner and humming the latest rag, or lingering in front of Wanamaker’s and gazing lustfully at a pair of fine shoes displayed like . . .