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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Criminalization of Black Angeleno Women: Institutionalized Racism and Sexism in Los Angeles, 1928-1938

  • Author(s): Boyd, Kaitlin Therese
  • Advisor(s): Stevenson, Brenda E.
  • et al.

"The Criminalization of Black Angeleno Women" illuminates what happened in early 20th century Los Angeles when African American women, particularly working poor females, came into contact with the Los Angeles Police Department, the court system and the local, mainstream media. Individually, but especially collaboratively, these institutions lead to the overrepresentation of Black, statistically and in the public mind, in the local sex trade. Essentially, this thesis traces the biases of the criminal justice system that labeled Black women as criminals and prostitutes in Los Angeles. The study focuses on the years 1928 to 1938 in Los Angeles, but has broad implications of a national phenomenon that was longstanding.

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