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African American Organized Crime: A Social History

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813524450
ISBN-10: 0813524458
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813524458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813524450
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BL Wilson on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book that would give me reason to murder a main character occupying the pages of my crime novel. The murder took place in the Harlem of 1930s so I needed know what kind of murders were typical back then. Schatzberg and Kelly's history of African American organized crime answered my questions. It provided crime stats from 1900's to 1930's. Reading their book, I discovered pimping, numbers, real estate and smuggling liquor into speakeasies could be a dangerous and sometimes deadly business.

Don't think when you buy this book, you'll be reading a bunch of dry stats because you won't. The authors allowed us to peek into the world of crime. For example, I learned the Black vice industry and the Chinese vice industry of the 1920s were managed differently.

Black vice consisted of streetwalkers and pimps who settled quarrels with fights. Pimps relied on their reps as ruthless men to settle disputes. This caused an increase in the homicide rate but no gang wars. Streetwalkers and their friends often robbed their customers with some of the robberies turning into murders.

In contrast, Chinese vice relied on syndicated brothels, who resolved severe business rivalries with gang wars. Chinatowns had low homicide rates but often erupted into gang warfare but had no record of street robberies. The implication being, unorganized crime in the Black community increased the homicide rate but brought no gang wars with it; while the opposite was true in the Chinese community with the syndication of prostitution leading to gang wars but little or no petty street crime.

Schatzberg and Kelly turn their microscopes on illegal numbers next...
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. C. Fusco on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book presents more than just historical facts and statistics. It provides insight and perspective into the social and economic factors that contributed to the evolution of black organized crime in America. This is a really good primary resource for students of sociology and criminal justice, and can also be an interesting read for non-students.
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