Police Torture and the African American Struggle for Civil Rights in the 1930s and 1940s South
This chapter studies two high-profile cases in which police officers used torture to extract confessions from black criminal suspects. In these cases, African Americans, aided by prominent white allies and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), appealed to the courts to protest acts of torture, contest forced confessions, and challenge legal discrimination. The chapter places these protests within the context of the “long Civil Rights movement” to illuminate the tensions between the demands of white supremacy and the demands of a “color-blind” law characteristic of the modern bureaucratic state.
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