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Law and Social Change Preparations
Spring 2004

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Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: February 26, 2004

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Site Teaching Modules CRMJ 352: Law and Social Change
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.

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Week 7: Week of February 29, 2004

    Topic: African Americans and Prophetic Criticism

    Preparatory Readings:

    • Arrigo. Social Justice, Criminal Justice - Chapter 4.
    • Mann and Zatz. Images of Color, Images of Crime -- Chapters 3 and 8.
    • Guest Lecturer: Dr. Edward Latessa

    Lecture related links:

    Concepts/individuals to be covered:

    • what "is" and what "ought" to be
    • Richard Quinney
    • capitalist justice
    • prophetic justice
    • African American stereotypes

    Discussion Questions:

    1. What is prophetic criticism? (Arrigo, p. 89, Q.1).

    2. What role do individuals assume in creating and sustaining prophetic justice? (Arrigo, p. 89, Q.7).

    3. In the previous edition, Mann & Zatz state: "... It is striking that all of the authors in this section share a common ideological thread: the unwarranted stigmatization of African Americans, especially African American males, through the use of assumptions about urban violence (although a majority of the inner-city African Americans are nonviolent) and drug involvement (although the majority of African Americans do not use drugs)," (p. 74). Why do these "unwarranted stigmatizations" persist?

    4. Based on Chapters 3 & 8 in Mann & Zatz, what is the solution to alleviating racist stereotyping? Why.

    Suggested Creative Measures:

    • In the Quinney chapter, Arrigo asks: "What role does contemporary capitalism assume in creating and sustaining the form of justice in our society today?"
    • Beyond examples discussed in class, historically trace an example of "prophetic justice"?
    • Read one of the recommended books listed below on African Americans. Email me a brief book review.
    • Examine how stereotypes and the stereotyping of the African American. How and why have such stereotypes changed from the past to present day?
    • Trace either prime time television or movie images of African Americans from past to present.
    • Examine the legal case of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. or other African American leaders.
    • Trace the historical and contemporary origins of "DWB" (driving while black).
    • Explore some of the strategies used by African Americans (i.e., integrationism, separatism).

    Recommended Readings:

    • Derrick Bell. Faces at the Bottom of the Well.

    • Derrick Bell. Race, Racism and American Law.

    • Randall Kennedy. Race, Crime and the Law . (If you have not read it for my "Race, Crime, Law" class)

    • Marc Mauer. Race to Incarcerate

    • David Cole. No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Justice System.

    • Jerome Miller. Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice System.

    • The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

    • Walter Dean Myers. The Dream Bearer.

    • Robert Blauner. Still the Big New: Racial Oppression in America.

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