Transforming the Systemic Humiliation of Crime and Justice: Reawakening Black Consciousness

  • Tony Gaskew


Kwame Ture provided one of the most profound insights into the historic dilemma facing the Black American consciousness when he wrote: “From the time Black people were introduced into this country, their condition has fostered human indignity and the denial of respect. Born into this society today, Black people begin to doubt themselves, their worth as human beings. Self-respect becomes almost impossible” (Ture, Kwame, and Charles Hamilton, Black power: The politics of liberation; Vintage Books, New York, p. 29, 1967). You see, today a police officer can walk into any maternity ward in America and, with an almost statistical certainty, place handcuffs on one out of every three nameless newborn Black American male infants. The socially constructed narratives labeled as crime and justice have been intentionally created to systemically humiliate the essence of Blackness since the birth of America, with the primary mode of dominance always falling within the realm of White Supremacy. The 400-year state-sponsored psychosis of White spaces is superior and Black spaces are inferior has had a crippling impact on Black consciousness, with no greater method of delivery of its direct and structural violence than the criminal justice system. The institutions of policing, courts, and corrections epitomize all of the psychosocial intangibles of chattel enslavement, embracing the poisons of fear, anger, and ignorance to traumatize Black life, Black culture, and Black potential. The skewed narrative of crime and justice has stripped away the essence of dignity, respect, and cultural legacy for far too many Black American men.

With trillions of dollars dependent on the subjugation of Blackness though White modes of domination, the greed behind the business of crime and justice will never release its cultural hold on the revolving door of nearly one million Black bodies it cycles in and out of its socially constructed system of humiliation without a fight. Therefore, the cultural war must be brought to them. In this chapter, using an autoethnographic methodology, I will offer an applied framework to heal and awaken a new Black consciousness, one that is rooted in the premises of truth, awareness, connectivity, fearlessness, and action, in order to free its native sons from the psychosis of shame, self-segregation, and transgenerational trauma.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Gaskew
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Pittsburgh (Bradford)BradfordUSA

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