K. Nyerere Ture` is a practicing urban ethnographer and an educator, who currently holds a Yale University Postdoctoral Associate position in the Urban Ethnography Project. Ture` earned a BA in African/African American Studies and Criminal Justice at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and a MA in Applied Anthropology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He successfully defended his dissertation Fall 2016 in the Department of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC, with a focus on the urban ethnography of race, public housing and inequality. In between undergraduate and graduate school, he engaged in a folk ethnography project of law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county and state level believing that as an aspiring criminologist, he could offer a more informed perspective and pedagogy on the American criminal justice industry. Through his folk ethnographic undertaking, he was certified in basic law enforcement and as a city police officer and sheriff deputy through three Atlanta metropolitan area law enforcement agencies. As a former police office, he provides invaluable insight in wide range of police practices and the licensing of law enforcement agencies to socially control communities and people of color (referred in his writing as non-western inferior others). In particular, he is interested in the ethnographic encounters of law enforcement with stigmatized, urban and African Americans.
Building on his undergraduate and master level graduate research focus that explored the relationship between community crime and urban development, Ture's dissertation research examines the lived experiences of African American public housing residents, a stigmatized urban population, caught in the throes of an urban renewal project that demonstrates the continued perpetuation of structural violence against marginal statuses. In this research, crime was used as the justification for wholesale urban displacement and redevelopment. Urban planners along with local police agencies intervened to carry along a new urbanism agenda through a municipal project, namely New Communities.
The particular site of Ture’s doctoral research (research completed in spring 2013) is one of the most historical African American neighborhoods within Washington, DC (WDC) and the largest and most ill-reputed public housing community in the nation’s capital. This public housing community is called Barry Farm Public Dwellings by city officials and outsiders, but referred locally and affectionately as the “Farms” and it is located east of the Anacostia River (EoR) - a river that forms an expansive separation between the WDC’s majority African American communities from their more affluent and privileged counterparts on the mainland. The Farms' community serves as a metaphor for the continued devalued treatment of people of color in the United States of America (US) and represents a punitive mechanism within the US broader repertoire, techniques, institutions and coercive policies and practices of state violence.
KTure Institute Founder & Resident Scholar
Double click here to access Ture's Curriculum Vitae.