Legacies of Racial Violence: Clarifying and Addressing the Presence of the Past

AuthorHedwig Lee,David Cunningham,Geoff Ward
Date01 March 2021
Published date01 March 2021
Subject MatterIntroduction
8 ANNALS, AAPSS, 694, March 2021
DOI: 10.1177/00027162211022712
Legacies of
Racial Violence:
Clarifying and
Addressing the
Presence of the
1022712ANN The Annals Of The American AcademyLegacies Of Racial Violence
Scholars increasingly agree that histories of racial vio-
lence relate to contemporary patterns of conflict and
inequality, and growing interest exists among civic lead-
ers in reckoning with these legacies today. This volume
examines the contributions and limitations of scientific
research on legacies of racial violence and suggests
implications for policy, practice, and other forms of
intervention aimed at redress.
Keywords: race; violence; lynching; historical trauma;
inequality; transformative justice
growing body of social science research
consistently establishes that histories of
racialized violence in the United States relate
to contemporary conflict and inequity. An ini-
tial wave of multivariate analyses demonstrated
that lynching and other forms of historical
violence significantly predicts patterns of
homicide, policing, sentencing, white suprem-
acist mobilization, and other contemporary
outcomes (Messner, Baller, and Zevenbergen
2005; King, Messner, and Baller 2009; Jacobs,
Carmichael, and Kent 2005; Cunningham
and Phillips 2007). Subsequent studies have
introduced methodological innovations, engaged
broader histories of racial violence, and otherwise
David Cunningham is a professor and chair of sociol-
ogy at Washington University in St. Louis.
Hedwig Lee is a professor of sociology and codirector of
the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity
at Washington University in St. Louis.
Geoff Ward is a professor of African and African
American studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
NOTE: All three authors contributed equally to this
work and are listed alphabetically. We would like to
thank Tom Kecskemethy and Emily Wood Babson for
their support, vision, and editing acumen as this vol-
ume was conceived and assembled. We also acknowl-
edge Washington University’s Weidenbaum Center for
the resources and support they provided to this project.
Correspondence: david.cunningham@wustl.edu

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