There are an average of 11,600 gun murders a year in the U.S.—the equivalent of a Vietnam War every five years. Homicide is the leading cause of death for Black males (and the second leading cause for Latino males) between the ages of 15 and 34. The resources below outline some proven strategies that can dramatically reduce these numbers.
Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in America (David Kennedy) is a book written by one of the architects of Operation Ceasefire and tells the story of how it dramatically decreased homicides in Boston and other cities.
National Network for Safe Communities. 2013. Group Violence Intervention: An Implementation Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. https://nnscommunities.org/old-site-files/Group_Violence_Intervention_-_An_Implementation_Guide.pdf This is a comprehensive guide that provides detailed information about the Ceasefire strategy and how it can be implemented.
“How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives” (Lois Becket, ProPublica, Nov 2015) https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-gun-control-debate-ignores-black-lives This article profiles Rev. Michael McBride and others who have been struggling to get federal support for proven strategies that can dramatically reduce homicides in predominantly black and low-income communities.
The Interrupters is a full-length documentary that dramatically depicts the work of street outreach workers in Chicago who put their lives on the line to prevent homicides. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/interrupters/
Statistics on Gun Violence: https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-by-the-numbers/
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world and holds more African Americans under correctional supervision than were enslaved in 1850. These resources provide insight into how and why this has occurred.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander) is a must-read book for understanding the issue of mass incarceration and its effects on African Americans.
The House I Live In is a powerful documentary about the Drug War and mass incarceration in the U.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBDvxy5qQY
Policing the Police is a Frontline documentary about the Newark Police Department and the efforts to reign in abusive policing practices in the U.S. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/policing-the-police/
Gideon’s Army is a documentary about the under-funded and under-resourced public defenders whose job it is to provide the poor with fair legal representation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fOkjgKz9Zg
The Central Park Five is a documentary about the case of five Black and Latino teenagers in New York who were unjustly convicted of raping a white woman and who spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before their convictions were overturned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUfwUgRwKq4