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Running Head: CRIME IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY

Crime in the Black Community: A Review of the Literature Ayana Isis Gay Hampton University

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Abstract Crimes in the black community happen at an alarming rate. Most urban impoverished areas have a surplus of African Americans in them. Examples of these communities include Watts and Compton in Los Angeles as well as Harlem in New York City. This Literature Review will discuss the factors that attribute to crimes in the black community as well as dispel myths. Statistical data has been collected to help show relation between crimes in the black community and what people believe is the catalyst.

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Crime in the Black Community: A Review of the Literature

Crime in the Black Community are offenses that take place in predominately African-

American populated neighborhood. Areas known as Black Communities are areas in New York,

Chicago and Baltimore. Some of these crimes are domestic violence, gang violence, gun

violence and drug trade. Gang Violence includes mob activity, robberies and gang shout-outs.

Gun violence including possession of a firearm without proper paper work. Drug trade refers to

the possession of a controlled substance as well as many times the intent to sell a controlled

substance.

Gang violence and gun violence in the black community happens because of tension,

vengeance and unsettled disputes. The drug trade in black communities is a result of addiction,

poverty, as well as greed or a dream of moving to a better area. Throughout this literature review

many different viewpoints and facts will be given in order to better understand this topic. More

specifically the review will discuss the types of crimes, causes, and affects of crimes. These

issues plague the black community but to further understand these problems we must first figure

out the answers to these four questions listed below:

  • 1. What type of crimes occur the most in black communities and why?

  • 2. Does gentrification make crime go up or down?

  • 3. Why are crimes in the black communities such a controversial topic today?

  • 4. What can be done or has been done to prevent crimes in the black community? The following review will provide information on the awareness of crimes within Black Communities being an on going issue. The review will also speak on crimes are affecting the Black Community as a whole. What type of crimes occur the most in black communities and why?

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Crimes in the black community 5 When studying crimes in the Black community you must be

When studying crimes in the Black community you must be able to detect and understand

the type of crimes committed most within the community itself.

According to the survey I have taken using survey monkey, I have found that most people

believe that gun violence is the most occurring crime in black communities. I have also

discovered that people believe gang violence is the second most occurring crime. The margin for

the two types is very slim. Together they trump all of the other crimes. Based on my survey I

found that people believe males commit most of the crimes within the lack of the community.

The type of crime committed by a person can be triggered by many things. For instance, a young

male growing up in a low income household is more likely to sell drugs, join a gang and commit

crimes. Males are believed to also commit more of the crimes because they are known for

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showing more aggression. According to the United States Department of Justice,” Men commit

more acts of violence than women. The U.S. Department of Justice sponsored a National Crime

Victimization Study in 2007. This evaluation found that 75.6 percent of all offenders were male

and only 20.1 percent were female. In the remaining cases, the victim wasn't able to identify the

gender of the offender. According to these results, men commit violent crimes more than three

times as often as women.”

Does gentrification make crime go up or down?

Gentrification has consistently and continuously spread in black communities over the recent

years. The term gentrification is defined as the process of renewal and rebuilding the influx of

middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.

Many black communities experience gentrification. According to the article, Does Gentrification

Lower your Crime: A Look at Granger-Causality in Washington D.C “. There was a study done

in Washington D.C trying to figure out whether gentrification makes crime rates go up or down.

There have been numerous theories saying that gentrification can make crimes go up and down.

According to McDonald, in “(1986) talks about five potential reasons why crime rates drop with

gentrification and four potential reasons why they might rise, along with one reason why it might

stay stagnate. The reasons they might drop are as follows: (1) affluent neighborhoods have, on

average, less crime than impoverished neighborhoods, (2) revitalization at the hands of the new

residents can “pull up” instead of “push out” the former residents, (3) new residents are more

cognizant of the crime problem and establish initiatives to combat crime, for example, the

neighborhood watch, (4) affluent residents usually have more political influence which leads to

more funding devoted to the police department. the displacement of the poor residents can lead

to the individuals responsible for committing the crimes to be displaced. McDonald (1986) also

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gives several reasons why gentrification might not lead to a decrease in crime: (1) when

individuals are displaced, they may only be displaced to adjacent blocks or neighborhoods which

hardly prevents them from committing crime in their old neighborhood, especially with an influx

of attractive targets, (2) if gentrification is drawn out over a long period of time, there will be a

very apparent income-gap between residents which suggests an increase in violent crime, (3)

gentrification in ‘cohesive ethnic neighborhoods’ rather than ‘disorganized ghetto

neighborhoods’ may lead to the breakdown of natural order in the communities, (4) gentrification

can cause community conflicts which, on some occasions, results in criminal activity, and (5) it

may not have any effect at all. Most of these theorized effects occur at the onset of

gentrification.” As time goes on, it appears that the end-result of a fully gentrified neighborhood

will have lower crime rates.

These reasons explain some of the results in the data that was collected for this literature review.

Crimes in the black community 7 gives several reasons why gentrification might not lead to a

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According to the poll, 60% of the people surveyed believe that gentrification attributes to crimes

in black communities. This makes gentrification a big factor on the crimes in the clack

communities.

Why are crimes in the black communities such a controversial topic today?

Crimes in the black communities are such a controversial topic today because the black

community have expressed anger and up roar on many issues with in the black community itself.

Some issues are police brutality, gun violence, gang violence, racial discrimination and the stop

and frisk policies. The topic of crimes in the black community relate to other issues black

communities face directly. Crimes are controversial due to the drastically growing offenses in the

recent years. There also has been a lot of anger and expression on how black people feel the

justice system treat them in response to crimes. This topic is also so controversial blacks are seen

in a negative way when it comes to the criminal justice system. Many people don’t feel protected

by the law in place. They feel as though the justice system works against them. The topic is so

controversial social media and headlines are projected so everyone is aware of this issue.

Unfortunately, many of crimes that occur in the black community are black on black crimes. This

is problematic because black people should be uplifting one another instead of killing and

bringing each other down. In the survey I had distributed,60% of people believe most of the

crimes are black on black crimes while 20 % said they don’t believe most crimes within the

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black community are black on black crimes. The rest were unsure.

Crimes in the black community 9 black community are black on black crimes. The rest were

What can be done or has been done to prevent crimes in the black community?

In order to prevent crimes in the black community many changes and efforts must be made.

Some of the efforts that have been made is built up organizations, programs and other resources

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offered with in the black community to stop blacks from committing crime. The organization

Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black

life. This is an example of a way we can prevent less crimes by making an awareness of why

blacks are important in this world. An example of a website is preventcrime.com. The goal of

this website is to expand the scope and services of the National Conference on Preventing Crime

in the Black Community. It is designed to foster collaboration, communication and action among

practitioners by sharing innovative ideas, research and study of crime, causative factors and

prevention strategies unique to the Black community. It will profile national initiatives and

community strategies that have been successful in reducing violence and other inappropriate

behavior. Special attention is directed toward positive approaches to the problems associated

with juvenile crime. Resources for training, development and enhancement of crime prevention

initiatives are included. Other ways one can prevent crimes is educating our youth and getting

them involve with activities to prevent them from getting into criminal activity.

Conclusion

Crimes in the Black Community is an on-going issue within the Black Community itself.

Through out this literature review, it is evident the crimes will always be present but can become

under more control. The Black community must make more efforts in preventing criminal

activity. Based on my survey and results found we are able to further understand the dynamic of

crimes in black community looks like.