Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James P. Mayes
The fundamental contradiction in American sociopolitical and economic history is race. Race theory has been used to perpetuate a caste system in America. An integral postulate of this theory asserts that there is a direct correlation between African American identity and criminal behavior. This entry presents a brief historical look at the issue of race and crime as it relates to African Americans, examines some of the erroneous and pejorative opinions on African American identity, and reviews African American experience and the historical evolution of African American identity. The entry concludes with a discussion of African Americans as perpetrators and victims of crime and contemporary views of African American criminology. There are two primary considerations in any discussion of African Americans and crime: (1) African American identity and (2) the depiction of African Americans as criminals and as victims. Historic racial attitudes in the United States have characterized African Americans ...