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Black Rage in New Orleans, 1941-2005

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Abstract:

Professor Moore's presentation will trace the shocking history of police corruption in the Crescent City from World War II to Hurricane Katrina and the concurrent rise of a large and energized black opposition to it. In New Orleans, crime, drug abuse, and murder were commonplace, and an underpaid, inadequately staffed, and poorly trained police force frequently resorted to brutality against African Americans. Endemic corruption among police officers increased as the city’s crime rate soared, generating anger and frustration among New Orleans’s black community. Rather than remain passive, African Americans in the city formed antibrutality organizations, staged marches, held sit-ins, waged boycotts, vocalized their concerns at city council meetings, and demanded equitable treatment.

Moore's presentation will explore a staggering array of NOPD abuses—police homicides, sexual violence against women, racial profiling, and complicity in drug deals, prostitution rings, burglaries, protection schemes, and gun smuggling—and the increasingly vociferous calls for reform by the city’s black community. Documenting the police harassment of civil rights workers in the 1950s and 1960s, Moore then examines the aggressive policing techniques of the 1970s, and the attempts of Ernest “Dutch” Morial—the first black mayor of New Orleans—to reform the force in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Even when the department hired more African American officers as part of that reform effort, the corruption and brutality continued unabated in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Dramatic changes in departmental leadership, together with aid from federal grants, finally helped professionalize the force and achieved long-sought improvements within the New Orleans Police Department. Community policing practices, increased training, better pay, and a raft of other reform measures for a time seemed to signal real change in the department. Unfortunately, the NOPD’s ineffectiveness compromised its ability to handle the greatest natural disaster in American history, suggesting that the fruits of reform may have been more temporary than lasting.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436125_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Purnell, Brian., Bradley, Stefan. and Weems, Jr., Robert. "Black Rage in New Orleans, 1941-2005" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436125_index.html>

APA Citation:

Purnell, B. , Bradley, S. M. and Weems, Jr., R. E. "Black Rage in New Orleans, 1941-2005" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436125_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Professor Moore's presentation will trace the shocking history of police corruption in the Crescent City from World War II to Hurricane Katrina and the concurrent rise of a large and energized black opposition to it. In New Orleans, crime, drug abuse, and murder were commonplace, and an underpaid, inadequately staffed, and poorly trained police force frequently resorted to brutality against African Americans. Endemic corruption among police officers increased as the city’s crime rate soared, generating anger and frustration among New Orleans’s black community. Rather than remain passive, African Americans in the city formed antibrutality organizations, staged marches, held sit-ins, waged boycotts, vocalized their concerns at city council meetings, and demanded equitable treatment.

Moore's presentation will explore a staggering array of NOPD abuses—police homicides, sexual violence against women, racial profiling, and complicity in drug deals, prostitution rings, burglaries, protection schemes, and gun smuggling—and the increasingly vociferous calls for reform by the city’s black community. Documenting the police harassment of civil rights workers in the 1950s and 1960s, Moore then examines the aggressive policing techniques of the 1970s, and the attempts of Ernest “Dutch” Morial—the first black mayor of New Orleans—to reform the force in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Even when the department hired more African American officers as part of that reform effort, the corruption and brutality continued unabated in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Dramatic changes in departmental leadership, together with aid from federal grants, finally helped professionalize the force and achieved long-sought improvements within the New Orleans Police Department. Community policing practices, increased training, better pay, and a raft of other reform measures for a time seemed to signal real change in the department. Unfortunately, the NOPD’s ineffectiveness compromised its ability to handle the greatest natural disaster in American history, suggesting that the fruits of reform may have been more temporary than lasting.


Similar Titles:
Black Cultural Capital in post-Katrina New Orleans

Long Rides and Dead Ends: Black Freedom Struggles and Performative Architectures of Anti-Blackness in New Orleans

King Kong Ain’t Got Nothing on Me: Black Masculinity, Anti-Intellectualism, and Rage


 
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