Review: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Collection of thoughts on the book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad. I tweeted using the hashtag #coblackness.

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  1. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
    The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
  2. Web page at the publisher, Harvard University Press
  3. Use Worldcat.org to find the book in a library near you.
  4. I've quoted extensively from the last 200 pages of the book. For some reason, I did not quote much from the first 100 pages. Looking back, I guess I assumed that the scientific racism of northern whites and the Victorian-moralizing of reformist blacks covered in those pages seemed so dated that it would have little relevance to explaining contemporary conditions. Yet a major theme in the book is the continuity of white practices towards blacks with the variance in whites' justifications for those practices. Thankfully, black Americans, in general, discarded accommodationist, reformist rhetoric, even when combined with critical observations of the harmful effects of white supremacy on blacks, for activist demands for equality regardless of "Negro criminality" and rejection of racial explanations for inequality.
  5. Coincidentally, an Augusta, GA columnist wrote Today’s Chicago More Dangerous for Blacks Than the “Lynching South,” which, to me, continues the white American tradition of using black crime as an excuse to do nothing about racial inequality in the United States. So I wish all those who respond with "black on black crime" to every demand for justice in the wake of extrajudicial killings of blacks, whether by police or white vigilantes, would read this book.
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