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.

The Terrible Beauty of the Slum

  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 . . .
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