Inventing Black-On-Black Violence: Discourse, Space, and Representation

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This book explores the societal construction of "black-on-black violence"--Referring to the 1980s when acts of aggression among African American perpetrators and victims increased. Massive job losses, debased identities, and rampant physical decay made American blacks seem ripe for explosive behavior. Many people blamed black lifestyle, values, and culture. David Wilson shows how America imbued a process of violence with race and accepted it as one of the country's most vexing ills during the Reagan era and afterward. Based on statistics, ethnographies, anecdotal accounts, and national reportage, these findings are hard to dispute.

Wilson tells of prominent conservative and liberal writers, reporters, and politicians who collectively nurtured this issue, then parlayed it into "truth" in the public mind. Mixing memoirs, critical geographic studies, and race theory, the book shows how vulnerable groups of society can become pawns in an acute process of racial demonization and how, in America, this behavior allowed blacks to be marginalized.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationSyracuse, NY
PublisherSyracuse University Press
Number of pages168
ISBN (Print)0815630808, 9780815630807
StatePublished - 2005

Publication series

NameSpace, place, and society


  • Violence
  • Inner cities
  • Fear of crime
  • Crime and race
  • African American youth
  • African Americans in mass media
  • Discourse analysis
  • Crime in mass media


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