Virtual Event: Kristin Henning
The Rage of Innocence:
How America Criminalizes Black Youth
in conversation with PREMAL DHARIA
September 28, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and the Institute to End Mass Incarceration welcome KRISTIN HENNING—director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at the Georgetown University Law Center—for a discussion of her latest book, The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth. She will be joined in conversation by the Institute's executive director, PREMAL DHARIA.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The Rage of Innocence on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Rage of Innocence
Drawing upon twenty-five years of experience representing Black youth in Washington, D.C.’s juvenile courts, Kristin Henning confronts America’s irrational, manufactured fears of these young people and makes a powerfully compelling case that the crisis in racist American policing begins with its relationship to Black children.
Henning explains how discriminatory and aggressive policing has socialized a generation of Black teenagers to fear, resent, and resist the police, and she details the long-term consequences of racism that they experience at the hands of the police and their vigilante surrogates. She makes clear that unlike White youth, who are afforded the freedom to test boundaries, experiment with sex and drugs, and figure out who they are and who they want to be, Black youth are seen as a threat to White America and are denied healthy adolescent development. She examines the criminalization of Black adolescent play and sexuality, and of Black fashion, hair, and music. She limns the effects of police presence in schools and the depth of police-induced trauma in Black adolescents.
Especially in the wake of the recent unprecedented, worldwide outrage at racial injustice and inequality, The Rage of Innocence is an essential book for our moment.
Praise for The Rage of Innocence
“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
In every aspect of our work, we seek to help empower those directly impacted by mass incarceration to bring about its end—through organizing and action, innovation of new ideas, and rigorous research and analysis. To learn more about our work, visit www.endmassincarceration.org/our-mission.
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