Womens Magazine

Black Women and the Carceral State

Today  hear a recent talk by Professor Sarah Haley about her new groundbreaking book “No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity.” Drawing upon black feminist criticism and a diverse array of archival materials, Sarah Haley uncovers how black women were imprisoned and brutalized in the late 19th century and early 20th century through local, county, and state convict labor systems, while also illuminating the prisoners’ acts of resistance and sabotage, challenging ideologies of racial capitalism and patriarchy. A landmark history of black women’s imprisonment in the South, “No Mercy Here” recovers stories of the captivity and punishment of black women to demonstrate how the system of incarceration was crucial to organizing gender and race, and constructing Jim Crow modernity. This talk was sponsored by U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Race & Gender. Sarah Haley is assistant professor of gender studies and African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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