Maya Singhal is an anthropologist studying crime and mutual aid in African and Chinese diasporic populations. Their work also deals more broadly with race, capitalism, racial capitalism, and intergenerational conflicts. Their current book project is an ethnographic and historical study of African American and Chinese American self-defence and community defence in New York City and the history of extralegal neighbourhood protection (such as gangs, neighbourhood patrols, and associations) that informs these present-day safety efforts. Singhal received a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University, MAs from the University of Chicago and New York University, and a BA from New York University.
I was leaving New York City’s Chinatown one day after fieldwork when a friend pointed to a subway entrance off Canal Street. ‘You’re writing about Black and Chinese stuff, right? This is a perfect example,’ they said as we descended into the station. ‘These Black men hold the emergency exit open for the Chinese aunties, […]