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African American Criminological Thought

Helen Taylor Greene, Shaun L. Gabbidon, Julius Debro

Publication Year: 2000

Examines African American contributions, both historical and contemporary, to criminological thought. 'This landmark book presents the contributions of African Americans past and present to understanding crime, criminological theory, and the administration of justice. The authors devote individual chapters to African American pioneers Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W. E. B. Du Bois, E. Franklin Frazier, and Monroe N. Work, and contemporary scholars Lee P. Brown, Daniel Georges-Abeyie, Darnell F. Hawkins, Coramae Richey Mann, William Julius Wilson, and Vernetta D. Young. Included for each individual are a biography, information on their contributions to criminological thought, and a list of selected references. A wide range of issues are covered such as lynching, the convict lease system, homicide, female crime and delinquency, terrorism, community policing, the black ethnic monolith paradigm, and explanations of criminality.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page

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pp. vii

List of Tables and Figures

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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xii

In our teaching of criminology and criminal justice, we have neglected the works of African American writers who have contributed to our understanding of crime and delinquency in our communities. We have not utilized the scholarly works of...

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pp. xiii

As with most endeavors, nothing is accomplished without the aid of someone. This is also the case with this work. First we would like to thank Christine Worden, Zina....

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pp. xv-xvii

This volume originated out of a meeting between authors at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual meeting held in Chicago, Illinois, in 1994. During their conversation, both authors expressed...

Part I: Historical Scholars

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pp. 1

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pp. 3-6

One hundred years ago, African Americans were struggling with adverse social, economic, and political conditions. Following Reconstruction, they experienced severe oppression that included Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and disenfranchisement. More often than not, they were viewed as both inferior and criminal. When the University of Chicago established the first department of sociology in the country...

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1. Ida B. Wells-Barnett

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pp. 9-18

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an antilynching and civil rights activist at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. In spite of her national and international reputation and membership in the Negro elite of Chicago, her contributions have been sorely neglected until very recently. This was due, at least in part, to the masculinity of the civil rights movement. Furthermore...

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2. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

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pp. 21-43

Of the African American scholars profiled in the historical era, W. E. B. Du Bois represents one who may be considered a “pioneer.” In the case of Du Bois, along with his pioneering contributions to criminology/criminal justice, the label pioneer is also applicable to his contributions in other areas, including history, race relations, sociology, and civil rights activism (Broderick, 1974). While his primary criminological contributions span a five-year period (1899–1904), they nonetheless...

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3. Monroe Nathan Work

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pp. 45-56

Monroe Work, described by McMurray (1985) as a pioneer African American sociologist, lived during a time of widespread acceptance of racial doctrines supporting white supremacy and black inferiority. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a few African Americans, including Work, were admitted to (white) undergraduate and graduate programs, but they were rarely accepted as scholars or hired...

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4. E. Franklin Frazier

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pp. 59-72

E. Franklin Frazier was a pioneer in African American studies and sociology. He was an outspoken scholar, militant, and race man and was viewed as an “improper” Negro for his time.1 He purposely chose to be a scholar and not a leader in an effort to devote his time and energy to intellectual achievements. According to Drake (1967), Frazier viewed his scholarly work as a contribution to shattering...

Part II: Contemporary Scholars

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pp. 73

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pp. 75-81

We begin the contemporary perspectives with the decade of the 1960s. Over the last thirty-five years African Americans became even more heavily involved in the study of crime and the criminal justice system. This was a direct result of increased educational opportunities and the desegregation of colleges and universities. Of equal importance were the civil rights movement and the black power movement. These two movements further instigated the interest of African Americans...

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5. Coramae Richey Mann

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pp. 83-96

A latecomer to the world of academe at the age of forty-five, Coramae Richey Mann has made up for her late start with tremendous scholarly productivity. Over the past twenty plus years, Mann has been a consistent contributor to the criminology/criminal justice literature in primarily three areas: female crime and delinquency, violence, and minorities and crime. Because of her significant efforts in these areas, she is generally viewed as one of the leading African...

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6. William Julius Wilson

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pp. 99-113

A product of extremely humble beginnings, William Julius Wilson has risen to the apex of the academic establishment. Many consider Wilson, a sociologist, one of the preeminent scholars of the last quarter of the twentieth century. His most significant works focus on race, class, and specifically the underclass or the truly disadvantaged (those persons remaining in the depths of poverty within the...

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7. Lee Patrick Brown

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pp. 115-127

In December 1997, the Honorable Lee P. Brown was elected mayor of Houston, Texas. His election as Mayor is historic for many reasons. First, he is Houston’s first African American mayor. Second, this is the first time he has been elected to a public office. Third, his educational background and experience are in law enforcement and criminal justice. Prior to his election, Mayor Brown...

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8. Darnell Felix Hawkins

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pp. 129-147

Darnell Felix Hawkins represents an individual whose scholarship, like that of others in this volume, has been devoted to the study of African Americans and the criminal justice system. Much of his work has specifically focused on analyses of issues such as violence (particularly black-on-black homicide), theoretical criminology, the over-representation of African Americans in the criminal justice system, and ethnicity and crime. Hawkins has also sought to assist in the creation...

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9. Daniel E. Georges-Abeyie

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pp. 149-161

Daniel E. Georges-Abeyie is a professor in the Administration of Justice Department and associate dean for international studies at Arizona State University West in Phoenix, Arizona. He has made outstanding contributions to both criminological thought and the administration of justice during the past two decades. As a result of his interdisciplinary research on a wide range of topics, including arson, bombings, the geography of crime, ghetto formation and maintenance...

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10. Vernetta Denise Young

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pp. 163-174

One of the first African American women to receive a doctorate in criminology or criminal justice, Vernetta Young has produced several important publications in the areas of black female criminality, the historical development of juvenile institutions, and African American contributions to criminology and criminal justice. Her 1980 publication, “Women, Race, and Crime,” is a classic response to the liberation hypothesis, which has been one of the most controversial theories...

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pp. 175-181

Throughout this book we have presented the contributions of each scholar to criminological thought. Here we will focus more specifically on their influence within criminology and criminal justice. While the individuals included in this book and their works are known to some, their influence on the discipline has never been studied and is very difficult to assess without additional research. We do know they have influenced each other as well as others studying...

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About the Authors

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pp. 183

Helen Taylor Greene is an associate professor and graduate program co-director in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She completed her Ph.D. at the Department of Criminology...

Name Index

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pp. 185-188

Subject Index

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pp. 189-192

E-ISBN-13: 9780791491997
E-ISBN-10: 0791491994
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791446959
Print-ISBN-10: 0791446956

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 10 b/w photographs
Publication Year: 2000