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Colloquia: Black Women & Police Brutality - 1980s
Friday, 16 Feb 2018
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
303 International Center
Center for Gender in Global Context
Event Details:

GenCen 2018 Colloquia Series presents "Black Women & Police Brutality during the 1980s" with Professor LaShawn Harris.

On October 29, 1984, New York Police Department (NYPD) brutally shot and killed sixty-six-year-old grandmother Eleanor Gray Bumpurs in her public housing apartment. Her death, symbolizing a powerful parable about systematic police violence against African Americans and Hispanics, was and continues to be one New York City's most recognized yet understudied police brutality cases of the 1980s. This presentation recovers the personal life of Bumpurs from historical obscurity, moving beyond her tragic death and departing from historical and disability and legal studies that primarily focus on her killing and 1987 trial of the police officer accused of shooting her.

LaShawn Harris is an Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. She is the author of Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy (University of Illinois Press, 2016). In 2017, Sex Workers, Psychics, & Numbers Runners was awarded two book prizes: The Organization of American Historians (OAH) Darlene Clark Hine Award for the best book in African American women's and gender history, and the Labor and Working-Class History (LAWCHA) and Cornell IRL School's Philip Taft Labor Prize for the best book on working-class history. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Urban History, and African American History Intellectual Society's (AAHIS) online blog Black Perspectives. Her current research focuses on police brutality in New York City during the 1980s.