Police Brutality in Communities of Color

AHA Session 235
Coordinating Council for Women in History 14
Saturday, January 5, 2019: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Continental B (Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level)
Mark Crowley, Wuhan University

Session Abstract

For generations, police have served as a tangible symbol of power structure oppression for communities of color. Police brutality remains a topic of central importance to our society. Racial profiling and police practices like “stop and frisk” remain controversial and continue to prompt dialogue and criticism from the public. In the past five years the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore and Milwaukee have erupted in protest and civil disturbances as a result of the killing of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement. This panel seeks to put police brutality in a historical context by exploring the effects of police practices on communities of color throughout the twentieth century. Panel topics include racial profiling, youth culture, race riots, and working-class resistance. Geographically, panelists explore three particular cities - Tulsa, Milwaukee and Los Angeles. Although addressing different cities and topics, each paper is weaved together by the overarching theme of police brutality. This panel asks the questions: What role have police played in race riots? How have communities resisted police brutality? How and why have youth historically been profiled by police? This panel not only seeks to place police brutality in historical context, but also hopes to create a dialogue that helps to shape policing policies and promote better police-community relations. The session promises to be thought-provoking, engaging, and informing for its attendants.
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