Drawing from voluminous prison and arrest records, trial transcripts, personal letters and documents, and investigative reports, Flowe opens up new ways of understanding the black struggle for freedom in the twentieth century. By uncovering the relationship between the fight for civil rights, black constructions of masculinity, and lawlessness, he offers a stirring account of how working-class black men employed extralegal methods to address racial injustice.
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An incisive blend of tenderness and candor, Uncontrollable Blackness charts black men's crimes and exploits in late nineteenth-century New York City. Using court records, prison files, and an array of investigative reports, Douglas J. Flowe forwards an evocative study of race, masculinity, and violence that is critical to addressing the legacy of African American men entangled in the U.S. legal system.Kali Nicole Gross, author of Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love
Flowe has written an innovative, provocative, and important study of African American life that reconfigures the way we think about and understand black masculinity, crime, and the carceral state in the early twentieth century.Cheryl D. Hicks, author of Talk With You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York
This impressive, well-written book brings a fresh perspective to the history of working-class black men, providing intriguing narratives of personal and collective projects of survival in the face of unemployment, racial violence, residential discrimination, and other challenges associated with urban migration.LaShawn D. Harris, author of Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy