Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Criminalizing African American Movement: Khalil Muhammad on Facing our Racial Past

In the extended video clip below (approx. 22 minutes), Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad talks with Bill Moyers about the legacy of "Black criminality" in the American imagination, and the use of this evolving cultural identifier as a justification for enhanced policing of African American behavior and movement in communities across this nation.

In his analysis, Dr. Muhammad traces the history of laws 'restricting the movement and mobility' of African Americans in public spaces, from the Black Codes and vagrancy laws of the 1860's, to the more recent (formal) stop and frisk policies in such cities as New York City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, among others.

Of particular note is the huge amount of discretion all of these laws have provided law enforcement officials to continue this sort of close scrutiny and harassment of African Americans, all along in the name of public safety.

From the Description...

Bill and Khalil Gibran Muhammad, head of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author of The Condemnation of Blackness, discuss the importance of confronting the contradictions of America’s past to better understand the present.

Muhammad describes the New York City Police Department's "Stop and Frisk" program as "an old and enduring form of surveillance and racial control"


Khalil Muhammad on Facing Our Racial Past from on Vimeo.


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