Coming Soon!
The Presumption
Race and Injustice in the United States
by D. Marvin Jones
November 2023, 206pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6771-2
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6772-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The rate of fatal police shootings in the United States is much higher for Black Americans than for any other ethnicity.

This powerful book on racism in the United States argues that a threatening narrative originating in slavery continues to link Black people to inferiority, dangerousness, and crime, causing them to be presumed guilty by society and U.S. legal systems.

Why are Black people stopped, arrested, and shot by police at such a high rate? Why are they portrayed in the media as gangbangers and urban thugs? D. Marvin Jones writes that the problem of race lies in the way Blackness has been inextricably knotted together in our culture with presumptions. In the era of segregation this was a presumption of inferiority, but in our era, it is primarily a presumption of dangerousness or criminality.

In chapters on slavery, urban spaces, the drug war, media portrayals, and white spaces, he shows how the presumption of guilt continues to shape the treatment of Black people in the United States. Arguing that this presumption is not simply a matter of hate on the part of individuals, but instead a social process linked to a widely shared racial ideology, The Presumption points out the continuation of racial caste in the U.S. as a crisis for democracy and provides a blueprint for a kind of second Reconstruction.


  • Centers on timely topics including racism, the criminal justice system, and the representation of people of color
  • Written by one of the nation’s foremost scholars on civil rights issues
  • Considers the role of individuals and institutions in perpetuating prejudice and discrimination
D. Marvin Jones is professor of law at the University of Miami, where he has taught constitutional law and criminal procedure for more than 20 years. He has published numerous articles in leading law journals, including those of Georgetown, the University of Michigan, and Vanderbilt University. His published work includes Praeger's Dangerous Spaces: Beyond the Racial Profile; Fear of a Hip-Hop Planet: America's New Dilemma; and Race, Sex, and Suspicion: The Myth of the Black Male. He received the James Thomas prize from Yale University, recognizing him as one the nation's foremost scholars on civil rights issues.
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