No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity

No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity

by Sarah Haley

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Overview

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries imprisoned black women faced wrenching forms of gendered racial terror and heinous structures of economic exploitation. Subjugated as convict laborers and forced to serve additional time as domestic workers before they were allowed their freedom, black women faced a pitiless system of violence, terror, and debasement. Drawing upon black feminist criticism and a diverse array of archival materials, Sarah Haley uncovers imprisoned women's brutalization in local, county, and state convict labor systems, while also illuminating the prisoners' acts of resistance and sabotage, challenging ideologies of racial capitalism and patriarchy and offering alternative conceptions of social and political life.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469627601
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/17/2016
Series: Justice, Power, and Politics
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 1,008,556
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Sarah Haley is assistant professor of gender studies and African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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

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