Sep 01

Black Women and the Criminal Justice System


How do we make sense of the increasing menace of racial terror in America? Is there a pattern to this racial violence? What is the history of this criminalization of Black women?  Why is there no mercy for Black women in the criminal justice system?  And how have Black women challenged these injustices in the criminal justice system?

Join the conversation with Sarah Haley, Keisha Blain, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor as they explain the role of race and gender not only in punishment but also in the Making of Jim Crow Modernity. They will explain why race and gender matter for understanding violence, degradation and mass incarceration then and now as well as the ways Black women have resisted these unjust systems.


  • Keisha Blain

    University of Pittsburgh

    Dr. Blain is a historian of the 20th century United States with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research interests include black internationalism, radical politics, and global feminisms. She completed a PhD in History from Princeton University in 2014. She is the editor-in-chief of The North Star and an Assistant Professor of History at The University of Pittsburgh.

    Blain is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). The book uncovers the crucial role women played in building black nationalist and internationalist protest movements in the United States and other parts of the African Diaspora from the early twentieth century to the 1950s. She is the co-editor of several books, including New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018) and To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019). Blain is the current president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).

  • Sarah Haley


    Dr. Haley is Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her PhD and M.A in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Haley's book, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity was published by The University of North Carolina Press in 2016.

  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Princeton University

    Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes and speaks on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality in the United States. She is the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, which won the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book in 2016. She is also the editor of How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, which won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ nonfiction in 2018. Her third book, Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s, is forthcoming from University of North Carolina Press.

    Taylor is a widely sought public speaker and writer. In 2016, she was named one that one hundred most influential African Americans in the United States by The Root. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, Paris Review, Guardian, The Nation, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Jacobin, and beyond.

    Taylor received her PhD in African American Studies at Northwestern University in 2013. She is assistant professor in the department of African American Studies at Princeton University.



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