America the Beautiful and Violent: Black Youth and Neighborhood Trauma in Chicago

America the Beautiful and Violent: Black Youth and Neighborhood Trauma in Chicago

Widespread media narratives portray an epidemic of neighborhood violence in urban areas--often ignoring the structural explanations advanced by community organizers fighting violence and activists such as those in the Movement for Black Lives. In this book, Dexter R. Voisin provides a compelling and social-justice-oriented analysis of current trends in neighborhood violence in light of the historical and structural factors that have reproduced entrenched patterns of racial and economic inequality.

America the Beautiful and Violent is built around the powerful voices and insights of black youth in Chicago and their parents and communities. Voisin interweaves their narratives with data, research findings, and historical accounts that provide context for their experiences. He highlights the broad historical, political, economic, and racial factors that shape the construction, concentration, and narratives of violence in black neighborhoods. Voisin explores these forces and the violence they produce; the behavioral health consequences of repeated exposures to neighborhood violence; and the ways youth, families, and communities cope with such traumas. America the Beautiful and Violent offers a set of practice and policy recommendations to address the patchwork inequality that leads to concentrated violence and to support children and adolescents struggling with the precarious conditions and threat of violence in their daily lives.

Publication Date: 
August 6, 2019

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