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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay offers a concise overview of black women’s experiences with early criminal justice, beginning with the colonial period and ending in the early twentieth century. It also identifies aspects of the historiography on black women and crime that merit greater scholarly attention. Historians have examined race and violence, particularly interracial violence, but should also explore intraracial violence in relation to gender, crime, and criminal justice. In an attempt to address some of these gaps, this chapter provides an overview of the incarceration of black women in the United States and explores intraracial intimate partner violence through a late nineteenth-century Philadelphia case. In doing so, it especially examines the conduct and motives of the black woman at the center of the crime.

Keywords: black women, crime, criminal justice, race, gender, violence

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