Kalfani Ture, Ph.D.

Kalfani Ture's picture
Postdoctoral Associate
Areas of Interest/Research: 
Race, Place & Urban Crime; Law Enforcement & Urban Community Relations; Police Encounters of African American and Latino Males; Gentrification and Urban Redevelopment; Race and Ethnic Relations; Social Theory; and Ethnographic Methods & Urban Ethnography
204 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511

K. Nyerere Ture´ is a practicing urban ethnographer, who currently holds a Postdoctoral Associate position here 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. Additionally, he holds a doctorate of philosophy degree from American University in Washington, D.C., with a focus on race, place, urban crime and urban ethnography. In between undergraduate and graduate school, he engaged in an informal participatory project of law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county and state level believing that as an aspiring ethnographer of crime and place, he could offer a more informed perspective and pedagogy on the American criminal justice system and racialize communities. As a result of his folk ethnographic undertaking, he was certified in basic law enforcement and sheriff deputy through a Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training academy (Fulton County). He enjoyed a short tenure as a practicing police officer and jailer and with this professional experience, he provides invaluable insights into the wide range of police practices as well as a unique perspective on the licensing of law enforcement agencies to police and socially control communities and people of color (referred in his writing as non-western inferior others). Currently, he is interested in exploring the ethnographic encounters of law enforcement toward stigmatized and urban 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 citizens and the racialization of crime. In this research crime was used as one important justification for urban displacement and redevelopment of public housing into private market based rental units. Urban planners, architects, economic developers, policy wonks along with local police agencies collaborated to carry forward a new urbanist agenda.