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The Rage of Innocence by Kristin Henning
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The Rage of Innocence

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The Rage of Innocence by Kristin Henning
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Sep 28, 2021 | ISBN 9780593456309 | 943 Minutes

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    Feb 07, 2023 | ISBN 9780593080900

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    Sep 28, 2021 | ISBN 9781524748906

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  • Sep 28, 2021 | ISBN 9780593456309

    943 Minutes

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The Rage of Innocence is reminiscent of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and James Forman Jr.’s Locking Up Our Own . . .  A serious and thoughtful book about a subject of great importance, and it deserves to be widely read . . . Henning believes in the redemptive power of storytelling. It’s storytelling that can make people understand the racial inequities of the legal system, and it’s storytelling that can restore the humanity this system has cruelly stripped from its victims.”
New York Times Book Review

“We’ve long needed a great book on race and the juvenile legal system. Thanks to Kris Henning, we have it. Deeply researched and passionately argued, The Rage of Innocence details how we criminalize Black children—and explains how we can stop.” 
—James Forman, Jr., J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, Yale Law School, and Pulitzer-prize winning author of Locking Up Our Own

“Henning’s vividly told stories, meticulous research, and trenchant analysis teach us just how widespread the pernicious mistreatment of children of color in contemporary America is—not just on the streets, but in our schools, courts, and social institutions. The Rage of Innocence is much, much more than a compelling and timely indictment of our justice system. It is a deeply disturbing look at what it means to grow up as a Black child in a society that fears, vilifies, and demonizes young people simply because of the color of their skin.”
—Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Temple University, and former director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice.

“A vivid and enraging account of how Black children don’t get to be children in the eyes of police, politicians, and sometimes their own teachers. Henning, a star defense attorney and law professor, tells stories—in and out of school—of how the new Jim Crow targets Black boys and girls and tears apart families. Lucid analysis from a brilliant scholar at the top of her game, The Rage of Innocence blesses readers with common sense solutions that provide hope that we can do better for our children and our democracy.”  
—Paul Butler, Albert Brick Professor in Law, Georgetown University, and author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men

“Georgetown law professor Henning draws on high-profile cases, sociological research, and her experiences representing defendants in D.C.’s juvenile courts to document the institutional mechanisms that criminalize the normal adolescent behavior of Black youth . . . Copiously documented and passionately argued, [The Rage of Innocence] is a powerful and persuasive call for change.” 
—Publishers Weekly, *starred review*
“It offers both a tribute to the humanity of Black children and a searing portrait of what we lose every time we shuttle another Black child into the pipeline.”
Washington Post

“Henning’s incisive book is highly recommended for readers interested in sociology, African American studies, criminal justice reform, and activism.”
Library Journal

Table Of Contents

Introduction: Molotov Cocktail or Science Experiment? vii
1. American Adolescence in Black and White 3
2. Toy Guns, Cell Phones, and Parties: Criminalizing Black Adolescent Play 25
3. Hoodies, Headwraps, and Hip-Hop: Criminalizing Black Adolescent Culture 48
4. Raising “Brutes” and “Jezebels”: Criminalizing Black Adolescent Sexuality 81
5. Policing Identity: The Politics of Adolescence and Black Identity Development 106
6. Cops in School 122
7. Contempt of Cop 147
8. Policing by Proxy 173
9. Policing as Trauma 204
10. The Dehumanization of Black Youth: When the Children Aren’t Children Anymore 236
11. Things Fall Apart: Black Families in an Era of Mass Incarceration 266
12. #BlackBoyJoy and #BlackGirlMagic: Adolescent Resilience and Systems Reform 298

Acknowledgments 345
Notes 349
Index 465

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