"I Can't Breath": Race, Police, and the Suffocation of American Democracy
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The role of violence when it comes to the black experience in the United States is foundational. If one looks at recent studies of slavery, such as Sven Becketts Empire of Cotton and Edward Baptists the Half was never told, much of early American economic and political history has been predicated upon violence against black bodies. This project aims to trace the historical roots of violence vis--vis black bodies, and identify its modern manifestations. Through three case studies of racialised murders (Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown), the thesis will attempt to illustrate the political, economic and social context behind the killings, and explore larger questions of what these deaths represent in terms of how institutions like the criminal justice system operate when it comes to people of color.