CHOICE review (Feb 2022)

In this updated edition of Policing Black Bodies, Hattery (Univ. of Delaware) and Smith (emer., Wake Forest Univ.) respond to the changing environment of criminal justice in the US. Four years after the book’s initial publication, the authors revisit the theme in light of renewed interest in the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick, the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and a growing awareness of the systemic injustices transgender and disabled people face, making an already important book more current. The research and analysis are based on two theoretical threads: intersectionality and a theory of color-blind racism. The first considers how marginalized people experience and exist within “multiple systems of exploitation and oppression.” A lesbian of color, for example, is simultaneously stigmatized by her sexuality, her gender, and her ethnicity or race, thus considered thrice deviant. The notion of color-blind racism argues that even “white people with very low levels of individual racism continue to participate in a racist system despite their best efforts not to do so.” Through these lenses, the authors examine such topics as the school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, and the policing of disenfranchised and marginalized people’s bodies.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.