Beginning with slavery and concluding with the present, Clarke describes how the combined effects of state-sanctioned mob violence and the discriminatory administration of ârace-blindâ criminal and contract labor laws terrorized and immobilized the black population in the post-emancipation South. In this fashion an agricultural system, based on debt peonage and convict labor, quickly replaced slavery and remained the back-bone of the region's economy well into the twentieth century.
Quoting the actual words of victims and witnessesÃ¢â¬â¢from former slaves to âgangstaâ rappersÃ¢â¬â¢Clarke documents the erosion of black confidence in American criminal justice. In so doing, he also traces the evolution, across many generations, of a black subculture of violence, in which disputes are settled personally, and without recourse to the legal system. That subculture, the author concludes, accounts for historically high rates of black-on-black violence which now threatens to destroy the black inner city from within. The Lineaments of Wrath puts America's race issues into a completely original historical perspective. Those in the fields of political science, sociology, history, psychology, public policy, race relations, and law will find Clarke's work of profound importance.
Although racism in America has changed since the 1950s and 1960s from a blatant and violent White racist America to a less violent and more subtle White racist America, racism still severely hampers the ability of most Blacks to develop and be free. The continuing racist context in which Blacks live requires that they organize and use effective group power, or Black Power, to help themselves. One obstacle to Black achievement is the use of intelligence tests, which are wholly unscientific and represent a manifestation of subtle White racism. A challenge to the writing on race in this country, this work focuses on the victims and not the perpetrators.