Monday, July 24, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - My Choice Review

This new review might interest some colleagues:




A publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries 
A division of the American Library Association 
Editorial Offices: 575 Main Street, Suite 300, Middletown, CT 06457-3445 
Phone: (860) 347-6933 
Fax: (860) 704-0465
September 2017 Vol. 55 No. 1

Lynne Rienner Publishers

The following review will appear in the September 2017 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only until our publication date of 01 September 2017 

Roots of African American violence: ethnocentrism, cultural diversity, and racism, by Darnell F. Hawkins et al. L. Rienner, 2017. 267p bibl index ISBN 9781626376052, $75.00.

The authors attempt a theorization of "group divergence" in crime as a product of "ethnocentrism" in group identities and "socio-emotional affinities." They identify discriminatory law enforcement as a major cause of lack of trust by African Americans regarding the criminal justice system, resulting in a supposed preference for violent means of settling disputes. By using Uniform Crime Reporting rates of arrest to measure the rates of offending, the authors contradict themselves on the relevance of discriminatory law enforcement. Consistently misspelling the name Du Bois, the authors apparently misunderstood his emphasis that African Americans are not more violent than others, even though they are arrested more often. Their own statistics show that the vast majority of homicides involve European Americans as arrested suspects and victims. Ignoring the Black Lives Matter movement, the authors also neglect the war on drugs, which may be fueling the violence in urban areas. They also ignore the blowback effects of US foreign wars and the retention of the death penalty, which may explain the consistently higher rates of homicide in the US compared to abolitionist, less-warlike industrialized countries. "Black ethnocentrism" sounds like a pathological perspective that blames the victimized.

--B. Agozino, Virginia Tech

Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.

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