A landmark history of black women's imprisonment in the South, this book recovers stories of the captivity and punishment of black women to demonstrate how the system of incarceration was crucial to organizing the logics of gender and race, and constructing Jim Crow modernity.
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No Mercy Here is a brilliant account of black women and imprisonment. Haley's interdisciplinary breadth has enabled her to produce a history of the carceral system that defines the constituents of Jim Crow modernity, detailing the primacy of gender and sexual violence as techniques of racial terror, capitalist production, and historical dispossession. In its painstaking explication of the emergence of a modern racial order in which black life remains in peril, this groundbreaking text is certain to transform our understanding of the afterlife of slavery.Saidiya Hartman, author of Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route
Sarah Haley's compelling study of black women's quotidian encounters with post-slavery systems of punishment generates original insights regarding the role of gendered carcerality in the persistence of racial violence today. No Mercy Here also reveals a long line of resistance—an unacknowledged dimension of the Black Radical Tradition—from minor disruptions and acts of sabotage to poetic ruptures in the expressive culture of the blues.Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz