Adultification Bias Against Black Justice-Involved Children

The troubling relationship between race and the decision to try in juvenile court or waive to the adult system supports the idea that our society values childhood differently for children of different races. The implication is that white children are more childlike and innocent, while Black children cannot afford to be children. While the devaluation of Black childhood is a phenomenon that began much earlier in U.S. history than the juvenile court and has its own set of implications for African Americans more broadly, it is interesting to trace the effects of adultification on Black youth involved in the justice system specifically. Doing so reveals crucial shortcomings of the juvenile justice system stemming from the differential and subjective application of the social class “child” to children of different races. This paper seeks to shed light on the detrimental effects of adultification, defined as “adults’ generalized perception of Black [children] as more adult” than white children (Epstein et al. 2017: 17), on Black justice-involved youth. In particular, this paper will focus on the relationship between the adultification of Black youth and the disproportionate use of the waiver system against them.

Hashtag Feminism Research Proposal

The research proposed herein aims to better understand the extent to which and how feminists who occupy spaces at the intersection of two or more marginalized identities use hashtag feminism. Specifically, the research aims to respond to the following question: do intersectional feminist women participate in hashtag feminism at higher rates than they participate in more traditional feminist activities, such as marching? The structure of the question allows us to compare intersectional feminist women’s experiences across two forms of feminist activity rather than comparing intersectional feminist women to their white cisgender counterparts, which would run counter to the theoretical underpinnings of the intersectional perspective (Shields 2008). The research proposed seeks to gain a better understanding of the way that intersectional feminists use hashtag feminism—is it replacing traditional spaces for them, is it complementing traditional spaces for them, is it subsumed by traditional spaces for them, or is the relationship between hashtag feminism and more traditional feminist activism something more complex and difficult to express for intersectional feminists?

Review of “Locking Up Our Own” by James Forman Jr.

Locking Up Our Own presents a history of black involvement in criminal justice politics and policy. It begins by relating the detrimental effects of the War on Drugs on African American communities and asking, “Why would black people ever have supported the drug war?” (18). This is the point of departure from which Forman Jr. goes back in American history to the establishment of the first major cohort of black mayors and other elected officials in the 1960s and their role in the mass incarceration of black people. Again, Forman Jr. argues that this role was not undertaken with the intent of subjugating African Americans in the justice system for generations to come. Instead, black mayors and elected officials played this role because they had little other recourse, if any, in their efforts to curb crime in the face of extreme violence and drug use. A major reason for this is that root-cause solutions (the establishment of a job market in which African Americans are fairly considered for employment, for example) were not considered pragmatic responses to crime because they did not attack crime rates directly. At the same time, the heroin, cocaine, and gun violence epidemics that began shaking America’s cities in the 1960s made it a moral imperative to act swiftly and effectively.

Hashtag Feminism Literature Review

Drawing on these and other studies and articles produced in the last decade, I argue that hashtag feminism provides a new avenue to speak out and speak up against sexual violence that is especially valuable to marginalized individuals who may not have had their voices heard in the past. At the same time, however, there can be unanticipated consequences for those who participate in hashtag feminism that range from relatively harmless to seriously damaging to feminists and survivors of sexual violence.
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