The association of people of African descent with notions of criminality is nothing new. However, the analysis of internalized self-hatred and racism as the roots of urban criminality, how notions of anti-blackness function within the collective white imagination, and the specific impacts of these dynamics on real-world policy debates have been undertheorized.
“Fear of a Black Planet” employs historical analysis, African-centered theory, and experiences in real-world policy advocacy in Maryland to argue that society-wide notions of anti-blackness, fear of Black sovereignty, and a failure to recognize people of African descent as fully human create the context for the consistent criminalization of Black life. This environment makes “tough on crime” drug/criminal justice policies appear logical and creates blindness to the limitations of dominant liberal, public health, and white non-profit “solutions” to crime.
“Fear of a Black Planet” explains how Black institutions, utilizing the cultural resources of African people, create real solutions to crime and violence in the Black community and counter media propaganda around innate Black criminality and inferiority.
This project attempts to reframe the harms of drug criminalization. Influenced by African-Centered Research Methodologies, we engaged in a literature review and qualitative research of the communal impacts of drug decriminalization in Maryland, with a specific focus on Baltimore.
An essay that contains our most comprehensive critique of the human/social service sector in Baltimore and how it perpetuates the system of white supremacy. Our hope is to provoke conversation that can stretch the human/social service sector beyond the white supremacist institutional arrangement that defines it.
To better uncloak Maryland’s legislators and their histories in public service, we chose a report card as the best vehicle to focus our thorough, research-driven analysis into a succinct, accessible format. LBS’s report card measures a legislator’s aptitude and effectiveness along specific criteria and through our unique racial justice lens.
2018 Accountability Report
2017 Accountability Report
2016 Year in Review
2015 Year in Review