The Rage of Innocence

The Rage of Innocence by Kristin Henning

How America Criminalizes Black Youth (Book Review)


The hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite went viral on Twitter a few years ago, which highlighted self reported stories of white people committing crimes as kids but not being held accountable the way so much of Black adolescents are. In answer to why the societal difference in treatment Henning simply states: “we don’t see Black children as children.”

“If police won’t change — the lawmakers have a responsibility to make them change — both by decriminalizing normal adolescent behaviors and by writing laws that set limits on what police can and cannot do with children. Police arrest children for ‘disturbing schools’ and ‘disrupting class’ because the law says they can. Police put eight-and nine-year-old Black children in handcuffs because we don’t tell them not to.”

Within the book, Henning continues to remind us of the extraordinary resilience of Black youth growing up in the society we live in. And our duty to work to attempt to change society so that Black youth do not have to continue to experience racism the way they do today. I recommend this book very much, and I am so grateful to have been able to read it and share it.

Photo Credit: Teruko Richardson (Pictured: Author and Lawyer Kristen Henning)



midwestern librarian, writer, activist

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