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[TW: discussion of rape culture, lynching] When it comes to violence, it is important to remember that the police, the military, and the criminal justice system play an important role in punishing certain forms of violence while ignoring others. Through the policies themselves and differential enforcement of policies, state institutions shape what counts as violence. In this way, state policies link individual acts of violence to the more routine, systemic violence that reflects social inequalities of race, class, and gender.

To illustrate this historically, lynchings of African American men can be seen as the random acts of unruly mobs; yet, the failure to arrest, prosecute, and convict those who did the lynching is a powerful testament to public endorsement of these seemingly individual acts of violence. Likewise, rape appears to be a private act, but it occurs as part of a generalized climate that condones violence against women. Yet race, class, and gender have shaped the very definition of rape and the treatment afforded rape survivors and their rapists. In ‘Rape, Racism, and the Law,’ Jennifer Wriggins examines how the legal system’s treatment of rape has disproportionately targeted Black men for punishment and made Black women especially vulnerable by denying their sexual subordination. Although violence may be experienced individually, it occurs in specific organizational and institutional contexts shaped by race, class, and gender.

Margaret L. Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins, “The Structure of Social Institutions” (via wretchedoftheearth)
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Ordered that Charlotte is emancipated.

gonebut:

State of North Carolina

New Hanover County

Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions,

March Term 1805

Upon the petition of Ann Quince & James Walker, Sen’r for the emancipation of a female slave named Charlotte. Ordered that the said Charlotte is emancipated…

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I have known them about forty years.

gonebut:

This is to certify that Negrow Lucy Delilah Betsey & Mary are the daughters of Betsey Thompson which I have known her and mother Sally for about fourty years to be free dated September 28th 1830  /s/ Lovey Sawyer

Slave Records, Perquimans County Records,…

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