Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2017

OCLC FAST subject heading

Civil rights


Black women have a very specific history with the state and law enforcement that is not replicated among other women’s communities, and it is that unique situation that is the focus of this Article. Part I of this Article explores the historical roots of Black women’s interaction with the state. Part II of this Article is broken into two sections. The first will cover police killings of Black women. The second part of the section will explore the conditions under which Black women are physically assaulted by the police. Part III of the Article seeks to highlight when the police rape and sexually assault Black women. Part IV begins with police violence within the home. The second section in Part IV will focus on violence that occurs when the police respond to Black women who complain of abuse at the hands of an intimate partner. The plight of Black women who defend themselves from the batterers and are prosecuted for murder will close out Part IV. Part V explains why it matters specifically to Black women that their trauma be acknowledged. Secondly, I explore why mainstream anti-violence groups and other feminists organizations should be concerned about what is happening to Black women specifically. Finally, the Article concludes by highlighting why moving the discussion of violence against Black women from the dusty corners of isolation closer to the center of policy planning, drafting of legislation, and political brainstorming matters to both Black women and to the larger feminist and anti-violence communities.