No topic has been discussed at greater length or with more vigor than the racial confrontations of the 1960s. Events of these years left behind hundreds dead; thousands injured and arrested, property damage beyond toll, and a population both outraged and conscience stricken. Researchers have offered a variety of explanations for this largely urban violence. Although many Americans reacted as if the violence was a new phenomenon, it was not. Racial Violence in the United States places the events of the 1960s into historical perspective. The book includes accounts of racial violence from different periods in American history, showing these disturbing events in their historical context and providing suggestive analyses of their social, psychological, and political causes and implications.
Grimshaw includes reports and studies of racial violence from the slave insurrections of the seventeenth century to urban disturbances of the 1960s. The result is more than a descriptive record. Its contents not only demonstrate the historical nature of the problem but also provide a review of major theoretical points of view. The volume defines patterns in past and present disturbances, isolates empirical generalizations, and samples the substantial body of literature that has attempted to explain this ultimate form ofsocial conflict. It includes selections on the characteristics of rioters, on the ecology of riots, and on the role of law in urban violence, as well as theoretical interpretations developed by psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and other observers. The resulting volume will help interested readers better understand the violence that accompanied the attempts of black Americans to gain for themselves full equality.