James Unnever and Shaun L. Gabbidon

A Theory of African American Offending

Race, Racism, and Crime

Routledge 2011

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in LawNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network September 15, 2011 Vershawn Young

Is comedian and cultural critic Bill Cosby right–that black youth suffer from a cultural pathology that leads them to commit more crimes than their...

Is comedian and cultural critic Bill Cosby right–that black youth suffer from a cultural pathology that leads them to commit more crimes than their white counterparts? Is the remedy to the high rate of offending by African American men the “shape up or get shipped out” perspective? Is there more to African American offending than poor parenting or lousy schools? James D. Unnever is the co-author (with Shaun L. Gabbidon) of the new book A Theory of African American Offending: Race, Racism, and Crime (Routledge, 2011). This book builds on the assertion of sociologist and cultural critic W. E. B. Du Bois that theories of African American life, culture, and especially crime must deal with the unique circumstances and worldview of black people living in America. Unnever and Gabbidon take this assertion seriously as they develop a theory that the reading public in general and criminologists and lawyers specifically, indeed all associated with the criminal justice system, should read.

I’ve recommended this book to colleagues at the collegiate level in African American Studies, as well as to junior high and high school teachers working in predominantly African American schools. This book is a must read!

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