This essay seeks to expand the genre of black literary urbanism by examining Frank London Brown’s Trumbull Park (1959) and Jasmon Drain’s Stateway’s Garden (2020) as literary bookends of public housing history in the United States. The essay argues that public housing fiction is an understudied subgenre of the black urban narrative that, when surveyed for its historical context, phenomenological perspectives, and diverse literary style, widens literary urbanism’s representation of the structure of feeling within and regarding the built environment of urban space. In addition, this piece works through Elizabeth Alexander’s construct of “the black interior” to explore the ways in which public housing residents might valorize their environs apart from sociological and racialized discourses. Thinking through public housing fiction as an extension of the black urban narrative helps to demystify the nuances of urban spatiality and the range of socioeconomics that propel modern cities.

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