“Like Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness or Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, Policing the Black Man insightfully shows us why the encounter between black men and even black boys with the criminal justice system is, and long has been historically, fraught, reflecting larger social and economic relations between white and black Americans. The essays collected here by Angela Davis effectively demonstrate how the painful history of racial injustice in America informs a black male’s experience of virtually every aspect of our system of justice, from arrest, through prosecution and sentencing, to incarceration. This book is essential reading for all of us who love the concept of justice in America, and seek for its practical applications to live up to its theoretical ideals.”
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
“Policing the Black Man is a social-political mitzvah. With statistics in one hand and true beating heart in the other these writers deconstruct the monolith of racism and the conscious and unconscious deadly intent of the powers that be.”
"Rigorous and chilling. This collection from leading academics and lawyers is profoundly unsettling but also fiercely illuminating. For all those working to see truth, reconciliation, and justice prevail in America, this collection is an essential and timely provocation."
—Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8)
“This essential anthology explains the deep American history of the alarming and unconscionable racial disparities in policing, prosecution, and mass incarceration. From the Black Codes to capital punishment, specific policies and propaganda have licensed serially violent overreactions to the mere sight and shape of black boys and men. Yet this volume contains hope in its elucidation of the structural bases of such dangerous bias. In decoding how such a tragedy came to be, the essays in this collection just might lead to the kind of understanding so necessary for the health and safety of all citizens, for trust in the institutions of law enforcement, and for the rehabilitation of justice itself.”
—Patricia Williams, MacArthur Fellow and John L. Dohr Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
"Angela J. Davis powerfully shows the American police and justice system are heavily biased against non-white Americans. Policing the Black Man is an indictment of American justice system and police. It is one of the best books on racism in America. This should put every American to shame."
—The Washington Book Review
"Lucid perspectives on how and why the United States criminal justice system often victimizes black males . . . An absorbing anthology, scholarly yet approachable."
About the Author
Angela J. Davis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is Professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law and author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor.