webinar register page

NYSL Public Program - ’Momma, momma hide your child. The cops are shooting as if they’re wild’: Race, Police Violence, and Perceptions of Criminality in early 1970s New York City
In July 1974, some 15 months after 10-year-old year old Clifford Glover was gunned down on the streets of Jamaica, Queens, New York City by Police Officer Thomas Shea, Charles E. Carter wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Amsterdam News. Emotional, frustrated, and angry, Carter declared it “was open season on New York Blacks.” It appears, however, that it took some time for Carter to arrive at this conclusion. He compared himself to a “black rip van winkle” who had awoken to the reality that years of “singing we shall overcome” and “trusting in the love of white people” had been so tragically misplaced. Perhaps unwittingly, Carter identified himself as a “law abiding” black man “who had never been in any kind of trouble” in some last-ditch attempt to prove, or demonstrate, to those very same “white people” that he was a reasonable member of the Black community. Yet, grudgingly Carter arrived at the conclusion promulgated by Elijah Muhammed that “The Black man is a foreigner in the United States of America.” Carter opined that all hope for any form of integration, or reconciliation, was at this moment lost. “I expect and want nothing from American white people,” Carter declared, because the Shea case makes it clear to policemen to “shoot them (blacks) in their cribs.”
The murder of 11-year-old Ricky Bodden and 10-year-old Clifford Glover in 1972 and 1973 respectively, aroused anger and fear that white New York City police officers were literally gunning down Black children in cold blood, or as Carter claimed, “shooting them in their cribs.” Egregious as these killings appeared to Black residents, the subsequent acquittals of the white police officers only stoked their outrage. The New York Times editorial page claimed that “the fear engendered by such neighborhoods seems to be at the heart of such cases.”

May 13, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Webinar is over, you cannot register now. If you have any questions, please contact Webinar host: Office of Cultural Education.