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Roots of African American Violence: Ethnocentrism, Cultural Diversity, and Racism

Darnell F. Hawkins, Jerome B. McKean, Norman A. White, and Christine Martin
Roots of African American Violence: Ethnocentrism, Cultural Diversity, and Racism
ISBN: 978-1-62637-605-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-643-4
2017/267 pages/LC: 2016049418
"The authors powerfully illustrate that current thinking on race and crime misses a larger part of the story, which is the tremendous heterogeneity in the black experience and its consequences for crime." —Noah Painter-Davis, Contemporary Sociology

"It is a welcome breath of fresh air to read a theoretically grounded treatise that tackles the thorny issue of race and crime."—James Unnever, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice Books

"An exciting and illuminating book that moves us closer to a more complete understanding of the acute levels of violence in the African American community."—Shaun L. Gabbidon, Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg


What explains the well-documented racial disparities in rates of homicide and other acts of criminal violence in the United States?

Critically confronting the conventional narratives that purport to answer this question, the authors of Roots of African American Violence offer an alternative framework—one that acknowledges the often hidden cultural diversity and within-race ethnocentrism that exists in black communities. Their provocative work, drawing insights from criminology, criminal justice, anthropology, and sociology, is a seminal step in efforts to understand the intersection of race and violence.


Darnell F. Hawkins is professor emeritus of criminal justice, sociology, and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jerome B. McKean is associate professor emeritus of criminology and criminal justice at Ball State University.The late Norman A. White was associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Saint Louis University. Christine Martin is an independent scholar based in Chicago.


  • Exploring the Roots of African American Violence.
  • Looking Back, Moving Forward: Theories of Race and Crime.
  • Toward a Theory of African American Violence.
  • Science, Ideology, and the Study of Ethnocentrism.
  • On the Conceptual Roots of Ethnocentrism.
  • Boxed In: Ethnocentrism and Urban Violence.
  • Old Guards and Newcomers: Ethnocentric White America.
  • Melting Pot Blues: Ethnocentric Black America.
  • A Tale of Two Cities: Race and Homicide in Chicago and St. Louis.
  • Public Policy to Prevent Violence.