Cover image for "Law never here" : a social history of African American responses to issues of crime and justice
"Law never here" : a social history of African American responses to issues of crime and justice
Bailey, Frankie Y.
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Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxi, 236 pages ; 24 cm
Of natural rights and social death -- The slave community -- Free Blacks and slavery -- The trials of war and reconstruction -- Life in the city -- The era of Wilson and Griffith -- The Harlem Renaissance -- From Scottsboro to Chicago -- Wartime -- Of wars, prisons, politics, and race theory -- In the streets of L.A.
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E185.86 .B25 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Shared racial and cultural experiences and the collective memory of those experiences play important roles in determining the responses of African Americans to issues of crime and violence. By examining American history through the prism of African American experience, this volume provides a framework for understanding contemporary issues regarding crime and justice, including the much-discussed gap between how blacks and whites perceive the fairness of the criminal justice system. Following a thesis offered by W.E.B. Du Bois with regard to African American responses to oppression, the authors argue that responses by African Americans to issues of crime and justice have taken three main forms--resistance, accommodation, and self-determination. These responses are related to efforts by African Americans to carve out social and psychological space for themselves and to find their place in America.

Author Notes

Frankie Y. Bailey is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, State University of New York
Alice P. Green is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Bailey (criminal justice, SUNY-Albany) and Green (founder and executive director of the Center for Law and Justice) have produced a book that fills a gap in the continuing and often painful debate over race, crime, and justice in the US. In 14 chapters, supplemented with a unique and valuable bibliographical essay and a general bibliography, the authors take the reader through a historical, social, and legal landscape enmeshed in a race-crime-justice subtext. Beginning with a look at the law and institutional apparatus of chattel slavery in the antebellum South, the narrative proceeds through the Civil War era, Reconstruction, the late 19th century, and into the 20th century. Throughout, the authors keep the reader's mind fixed on the plight of African Americans in their multigenerational quests to bring civil, criminal, and social justice into the service of the black community. The 20th-century traumas of Scottsboro, WW I and II, the civil rights era, the Vietnam experience, and the late-20th century's sociolegal constructs of race, class, and gender are all told with readable prose and scholarly precision. A valuable piece of work that is long overdue. All levels. J. C. Watkins Jr. University of Alabama

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
1 Of Natural Rights and Social Deathp. 1
2 The Slave Communityp. 15
3 Free Blacks and Slaveryp. 31
4 The Trials of War and Reconstructionp. 45
5 Lest We Forgetp. 61
6 Life in the Cityp. 75
7 The Era of Wilson and Griffithp. 87
8 The Harlem Renaissance: A Cultural War against Oppressionp. 101
9 From Scottsboro to Chicagop. 111
10 Wartimep. 123
11 "To Secure These Rights"p. 133
12 "Ain't Afraid of Your Jails"p. 143
13 Of Wars, Prisons, Politics, and Race Theoryp. 155
14 In the Streets of L.A.p. 171
Conclusionsp. 181
Bibliographical Essayp. 189
Bibliographyp. 197
Indexp. 225