The violent black male: Conceptions of race in criminological theories

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Violent crime has been a major problem in African-American communities for many years. Indeed, Uniform Crime Report (arrest) data indicate that African-American males have had significantly higher homicide rates than white males since at least 1930 (Reiss and Roth, 1993). Moreover, these differences have proven to be lasting, as recent arrest statistics indicate that African Americans, who make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, account for 57 percent of all homicide arrests (FBI, 1998; Harris and Shaw, 2000). And while the level of racial disproportionality is more modest for aggravated assaults, blacks still account for as many as 37 percent of aggravated assault arrests (FBI, 1998). Indeed, when blacks and whites are compared in terms of rates per 100,000, African Americans have homicide rates that are 8.8 times as high as those of whites and aggravated assault rates that are 3.9 times as high as white rates (FBI, 1998; Harris and Shaw, 2000). Yet, violent crime rates do not simply vary by race. They also vary by the size and population density of a community. Hence, when violent crime rates are compared across cities, suburbs, and rural areas, large cities tend to have higher violent crime rates per capita than smaller cities, suburbs, or rural areas (Reiss and Roth, 1993). This has led a number of researchers to analyze the impact of race and urban residence simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationViolent Crime
Subtitle of host publicationAssessing Race and Ethnic Differences
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780511499456
ISBN (Print)0521622972, 9780521622974
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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