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Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  62 reviews
A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the BlackLivesMatter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation's most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars. Contributing authors include Bryan Stevenson (Director of the Equal Justice Institute, NYU Law Professor, and author of New ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Pantheon
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Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
For me, it has only been in this age of smart phone video and body cams that I became fully aware of the extent and the depth of questionable police reactions to black men as suspects. This collection of essays shines a light on racism and criminal justice in the USA.

Within the past decade, there are now a host of black boys and men whose names have a public familiarity since their deaths (mostly shot by white men). These tragic few (who are recognized by name) are reminders that there are
Sarah Ames-Foley
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
NOTE:I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This in no way impacts my review.

Policing the Black Manis a collection of essays detailing both the history of racism in the United States' criminal justice system and the issues we face today. These essays were written by various criminal justice experts. The essays are strongly connected to modern issues, discussing recent killings of black men by police and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The essays are laid out in a
Karen Ashmore
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
At first I thought this was written by THE Angela Davis but I looked at the author's photo on the book jacket and realized it was a different Angela Davis. Nonetheless, this collection of essays was an interesting read although nothing I had not read before. But I am well read on this topic. Because these are essays by different authors, the quality of prose varied and some tended to be data laden, which is good if research is what you are looking for.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is a book that should be read by all. This is a detailed, essay formatted book on racism. This book covers many different basis such from the past to the present. What I truly enjoyed about the book was the statistics and facts to back up what had been written. I did learn some new things. With the climate of the world today, I wish everyone would read this book. The insight is magnificent. I will be buying this book for family and friends. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher ...more
Donna Davis
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in civil and human rights
A hard look at the American penal system--from cops, to court, to prison--is past due, and within this scholarly but crystal-clear series of essays, the broken justice system that still rules unequally over all inside USA borders is viewed under a bright light. Isn’t it about time? Thank you to Doubleday and Net Galley for the DRC. It’s for sale, and anyone with an interest in seeing change should read it. Caucasian readers that still can’t figure out why so many African-Americans are so upset ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Gus for sending me an advance copy! I feel like such an insider. Sorry for the review I'm about to leave...

Maybe it's because I'm already pretty immersed in this area of work, but this book had very little to offer in terms of any new or interesting insights or analysis, and it suffered from a severe lack of imagination. As always in an essay collection there are highlights and lowlights but really the only highlight of this book was Bryan Stevenson's piece tracing how capital
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Policing the Black Man by Angela J. Davis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.

A series of article-length discussions on profiling bias, controlled plea bargaining, wrongful prosecution, police attacking and targeting, crimes against black men as unconvicted, an overall disproportionate prison population, lynching (i.e. history, there being an absence of a formal crime, victim, or criminality, but definitely the presence of an allegation), low levels of accountability, illegal
This book is a collection of eleven essays about the injustice when it comes to the criminal justice system and African Americans.
Overall I rated this book four stars out of five. This was a very persuasive, informative book on the unfairness in how African Americans are treated in this country. This book was extremely well written and well researched. It brought all the facts to the forefront. And the astonishing facts you will read about in this book are difficult to ignore. My favorite
Chuy Ruiz
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
A collection of essays and speeches. Definitely informative, though disheartening at the lack of progress in this area in our society.
2.5 stars, rather. I admit, it was my fault that I mistook Angela J. Davis (the law professor, editor, and author of some essays) for Angela Y. Davis (the famous, brilliant Black liberation activist, writer, scholar, and many other things.) When I saw the title I just made the assumption that it was the latter Angela Davis and that the book would be full of essays about prison abolition, the problems with authoritarianism and the police, solutions for Black liberation, and so on. What I got ...more
Barbara Nutting
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A comprehensive look at the plight of blacks in America since the first landing of white men. What a black (no pun intended) eye on the face of this country. It shows, through facts, that the treatment of African Americans by the white race is equal to Hitler’s treatment of the Jews - only here it still exists. Case in point is the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Bigotry and prejudice are still alive and well in the US with no end in sight. ...more
Alisha Bennett
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
Like so many books that are a collection of writings by various authors; this suffered from repetition and unevenness. There are some germs of good ideas to reshape the justice system (which is sorely in need of an overhaul for everyone's sake) but there is also a good deal of words bandied about with no concrete actions proposed. For example, the final chapter suggests that the system have the twin goals of justice and do we do that exactly....and beyond sounding ...more
João Martins
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are many claims in activist and media circles about racial disparities in policing, sentencing, convicting, serving, etc. Certainly there is a lot of anecdotal evidence for such phenomena. This book is a collection of essays that analyze, document and explain these phenomena in a more academic tone, with references and statistics.

It isn't the most exciting read, but it is an important one if we are to remain grounded in reality, and want to implement policies (some of which are suggested
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
Important, but a long slog unless you are interested in the problem and repetitive even then because of the different authors bringing up some of the same individual shootings again in their own essays.

What galls me is that it all seems so freaking obvious and yet the idiot bigots are still out there spreading their lies and vile crap. Policing, prosecutors, and sentencing all need to be color blind and until we get there, all will suffer, especially the black male.
Wil C. Fry
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

4.6 : In eleven essays, written by academics but accessible to laypersons, this book lays out the case that the U.S.’s criminal justice system is (and always has been) a system of injustice for black men. The citations are meticulous, with dozens (hundreds, in some cases) of sources listed at the end of each chapter, along with explanatory end notes. I would recommend it to anyone — except perhaps those already deeply familiar with the issues.

Since one can always find a flaw, I’ll say I thought

Gabe Aderhold
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book is a collection of academic essays and dialogues about people of color and our criminal justice system (from police encounters to prisons). All the essays are well worth the read, containing easily digestible but important information about systemic racism in our society. Because each essay is written by a different author, the book doesn’t “flow” amazingly, but it doesn’t detract from the quality content each author provides. Overall, good book and important read.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Policing the Black Man", edited by Angela Davis, is an anthology of essays by various scholars, lawyers, and activists dealing with racial disparity in the criminal justice system. While not all essays are equally digestible on first read, still people interested in a deeper understanding and underlying concerns of the "Black Lives Matter" movement should find the book worthwhile.

The essays are:
1. A Presumption of Guilt, by Bryan Stevenson
2. The Endurance of Racial Disparity in the Criminal
Lisa Houlihan
BR2018-14: A book of social science.

Meticulous research and relentless rage.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
Policing the Black Man is a detailed guide to how institution racism affects every aspect of the criminal justice system. It’s a compilation of essays, written by different authors, that includes topics such as the police shootings of unarmed black men, the prosecution of both black men in general and in police officers involved in shootings, the grand jury process, and the regular criminal trial sentencing process.

I learned so much from this book. Prior to reading this, I had mostly considered
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm really glad that I read this collection however I will admit that I feel that The New Jim Crow managed to convey most of the material in this book already. Nevertheless this book like The New Jim Crow is required reading for anyone and everyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge about the racial disparity that exists in the justice system of the United States.

Each of these essays digs into a different problem at heart in the justice system, explaining through real-life cases or
Andy Oram
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
To understand the tensions dividing America, we have to understand the intersection of race and crime. This book is a superb entry point to this crucial exploration. The authors do not suffer from a knee-jerk assumption that people who identify as white are racist, or that everyone involved in the criminal justice system are dedicated to persecuting black people. The essays are admirably balanced, looking at both racism and at other unfortunate factors--economic and cultural exclusion--that make ...more
Lisa Miller
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of essays written by different authors, many of whom are lawyers or law professors. Some of the essays very much have the feel of reading a college paper, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just a little stilted and formulaic at times. I learned quite a bit. I had to struggle with the constant invective, but I knew it was going to be there just from the title. I read the book because I think it's good to get perspective from the people in the heart of a movement. I am not ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This would be rated higher by me if I hadn't already read The New Jim Crow, which covers much of the same ground. As it is, these essays, while well-written and researched, didn't bring much new to the table.
Turntup Twice
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
As a black woman in America, this book offered me nothing that I don't live, feel and witness every day. I was looking for something enlightening that assuaged my doubts in America. Oh well.
Patrick Buchholz
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be surprisingly nuanced, and I think the authors did an excellent job of creating and introductory work about the ideas behind racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

There are a few excellent sections that discuss the ins-and-outs of specific parts of the justice system and how they can contribute to racial disparity. One essay focuses on prosecutors at length, for instance, and why they fail to indict officers, or how they might influence grand juries, and what can be
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book that delves into the history that has lead to the mass incarceration of African American men and what has lead to the Black Lives Matter movement, because of the continuous killing of unarmed African American men for no reason. This book is great for all to read because it looks at the conscious and unconscious reasons for the steady incline of the mass incarceration rate of African American men and for the disparaging treatment for which they receive throughout the ...more
Leo Walsh
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting compilation of essays by sociologists, criminologists and legal experts on the history of American's over-policing people of color. From slavery to Jim Crow, lynchings and the Black Codes through today's mass incarceration, these essays paint a picture of abuse. However, they also point to a way out.

This book works for me, a white man. I want a just country free of violent crime. But when we have policies that treat a black stoner who's hurting no one like Scarface, an armed crack
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I enjoyed most was the way the authors drew connections between past and present legal cases and delved into legal socialism, or the the way prejudices in the legal system infiltrate social circles and inspire certain behaviors and mindsets. In particular, I liked how the authors traced historical laws against nonblack POC such as Asian Americans as the foundation for present racial-based laws pointing to consistent inability of the US judicial system to correct its racial predilections. ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I learned SO much from this collection of essays. I generally prefer memoirs over essays of this style, and I don't always absorb statistics and numbers easily. Some essays were easier to understand/listen to than others. I'm so glad I pushed through to the end. This book revealed so many realities about inequalities in our justice system that I thought I knew, but didn't actually understand to the extent that I do after this book.

I would recommend this book to every American-- especially to
Abby Suzanne
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Policing the Black Man, by Angela Davis, is a quick, informative read on the many, many ways race matters in our justice system. The book covers disproportionate policing and arrest, prosecutorial discretion and judicial discretion, and how the effects of race build and lead to disproportionate involvements and negative outcomes for Black men. I think my favorite thing about this book is how readable it is. Though the book is written by some academics, the book is approachable, informative and ...more
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Angela J. Davis, professor of law at AU's Washington College of Law, is an expert in criminal law and procedure with a specific focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system. Davis previously served as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, where she began as a staff attorney representing indigent juveniles and adults. She also served as executive director of the ...more