MLK and the Legacy of Black Civic Engagement Event – January 17th, 2020

mlk banner“The Civil Rights Act… was not a product of charity of white America for a supine black America, nor was it the result of [their] enlightened leadership. This legislation was written in the streets.”

In March 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., made this comment about the groundbreaking Civil Rights Act of 1964, often described as the crowning achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. We must remember that Black activists organized an interracial “coalition of conscience” to create laws for a more equitable society.

Today, this legacy of Black civic engagement is strong in Phoenix. Channel Powe, Balsz School Board President, will share stories of local activism. J.t. Roane, Assistant Professor in African and African American Studies at Arizona State, will deliver a keynote address on environmental activism in the Black community. Rashaad Thomas, father, USAF veteran, poet, and essayist, will provide poetic musings for to help us reflect on our past, present, and future.

Join us this Friday, January 17, 2020 from 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm at the University Club of Phoenix, 39 E Monte Vista Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, for this thought provoking, free event. Everyone is welcome! Complimentary appetizers and a cash bar is available. Please R.S.V.P. at 602-254-5408 or

Spring Presentations

This week, I will be bringing a little desert heat to New England: on Thursday, I will be presenting “The Colored Metropolis: Race, Housing, and Metropolitan Development,” at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Race + Ethnicity in America. This talk will explore the shifting praxis of residential segregation in metropolitan Phoenix in the late 20th Century. Then, on Friday, I will be presenting my revised manuscript introduction, tentatively titled, “Annexation, Activism, and the Ascendance of Metropolitan Phoenix,” at Boston University’s Initiative on Cities Urban Inequality Workshop. Springtime is for sharing new research! Click on the links or for more information.


Newberry Scholarly Seminars

I am delighted to be presenting a draft chapter from my unpublished manuscript, tentatively titled, Ashes and Dust: Settler Colonialism and the Ascendance of Metropolitan Phoenix, later this month in Chicago, IL. The presentation will begin at 3pm on Friday, November 30. at the Newberry Library. Much thanks to the Labor History and History of Capitalism Workshops, along with D. Bradford Hunt, for hosting me. Please email me if you’d like a pre-circulated copy of the paper.

Labor_CAPS Nov 30, 2018 Pratcher flyer

Howard University Lecture


I have the great honor of returning to my alma mater, Howard University, on Wednesday, April 11, to deliver a talk entitled, “Searching for my People: Racial Integration and the Black Diaspora in the American Southwest.” The lecture will be held in the Browsing Room of Founders Library at noon. I hope to see friends, family, and fellow alums!


Planning Future Cities

I had the great fortune of attending Monmouth University to discuss the development of a new course reader, Planning Future Cities, I recently co-edited in conjunction with Walter Greason.  We had a discussion with faculty on textbook pedagogy over lunch before engaging business majors on the value of planning history in an Honors class. All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and I hope that I have an opportunity to continue to lecture laypeople on the role planning history can play in their professional lives. Many thanks to Walter for inviting me to join him in this project. There will be more publications coming soon!