Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis joins the dialogue in political philosophy about the potential necessity for residential integration of poor urban Black people in the U.S. into whiter neighborhoods to correct for injustices (historical and contemporary). Specifically, this thesis examines the disagreement between Tommie Shelby and Elizabeth Anderson over whether residential integration based on race is a requirement of justice. I contribute to their debate by grounding it in the lived experience of Black people, as filtered through a racially sensitive phenomenological framework. I do this by remembering and calling forth the voice of bell hooks, who was forced to shoulder the cost of school integration efforts as a child. I use Sara Ahmed’s phenomenological account of whiteness to illustrate that the costs of integration which bell hooks faced decades ago remain relevant and have important implications for any contemporary residential integration efforts.