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"This Powerful Book Demands Our Fierce Attention."

Toni Morrison



Angela J. Davis is a Professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Defense:  Theory and Practice.  Professor Davis has been a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University Law School .   She has served on the adjunct faculty at George Washington, Georgetown, and Harvard Law Schools.  Professor Davis’ other books include Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press, 2007, Trial Stories (with Professor Michael E. Tigar) (Foundation Press, 2007), Criminal Law (with Professor Katheryn Russell-Brown) (Sage Publications, 2015) and the 7th edition of Basic Criminal Procedure (with Professors Stephen Saltzburg and Daniel Capra) (Thomson West, 2017). Her other publications include articles and book chapters on prosecutorial discretion and racism in the criminal justice system.  Professor Davis received the Washington College of Law’s Pauline Ruyle Moore award for scholarly contribution in the area of public law in 2000 and 2009, the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment in 2002, the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2009, and the American University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2015.  Professor Davis’ book Arbitrary Justice won the Association of American Publishers 2007 Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Award for Excellence in the Law and Legal Studies Division. She was awarded a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship in 2004 and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Sentencing Project and the Southern Center for Human Rights. Professor Davis served as the Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition from 1994 - 1995.  From 1991 - 1994, she was the Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (“PDS”).  She also served as the Deputy Director from 1988 – 1991 and as a staff attorney at PDS from 1982 – 1988.  Professor Davis is a former law clerk of the Honorable Theodore R. Newman of the District of Columbia.



“Somewhere among the anger, mourning and malice that Policing the Black Man documents lies the pursuit of justice. This powerful book demands our fierce attention.”


“Policing the Black Man is a social-political mitzvah. With statistics in one hand and true beating heart in the other these writers deconstruct the monolith of racism and the conscious and unconscious deadly intent of the powers that be.”


“This powerful collection of essays explores how racial injustice informs the black male experience, beginning in childhood with discrimination and racial profiling. Davis, a professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, has assembled 12 essays by notable legal scholars and criminal justice experts, including Bryan Stevenson (author of Just Mercy and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative) and Sherrilyn Ifill (president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund). Together, they make a hard-hitting argument for a broad definition of the word “policing” to reflect the reality of how the justice system treats black males from childhood through adulthood, and too frequently into incarceration.”


“The essays collected here by Angela Davis effectively demonstrate how the  painful history of racial injustice in America informs a black male’s experience of virtually every aspect of our system of justice, from arrest, through prosecution and sentencing, to incarceration.  This book is essential reading for all of us who love the concept of justice in America, and seek for its practical applications to live up to its theoretical ideals.”


"Rigorous and chilling. This collection from leading academics and lawyers is profoundly unsettling but also fiercely illuminating. For all those working to see truth, reconciliation, and justice prevail in America, this collection is an essential and timely provocation."


“The political justice system polices black men at every step of the process,” asserts Davis (Arbitrary Justice), a professor of law at American University and editor of this eye-opening assemblage of essays on racism in the American criminal justice system. The various perspectives of the contributors—all specialists in criminal law and justice—offer a kaleidoscopic view of each step. . . . The culmination is relentlessly informative and disturbing.”


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