Black Resistance/White Law

Black Resistance/White Law

A History of Constitutional Racism in America

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140232981
  • 336 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


How the government has used the Constitution to deny black Americans their legal rights

From the arrival of the first twenty slaves in Jamestown to the Howard Beach Incident of 1986, Yusef Hawkins, and Rodney King, federal law enforcement has pleaded lack of authority against white violence while endorsing surveillance of black rebels and using “constitutional” military force against them. In this groundbreaking study, constitutional scholar Mary Frances Berry analyzes the reasons why millions of African Americans whose lives have improved enormously, both socially and economically, are still at risk of police abuse and largely unprotected from bias crimes.


“Once you’ve read this book, your understanding of race relations and your vision of America will be changed forever.”—Don Edwards, former U.S. Representative 

Black Resistance/White Law offers an opportunity to revisit a historical experience that the successes of the civil rights movement of the past fifty years have allowed many of us to forget.”—Chicago Tribune