Law Never Here: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice

Synopsis

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.