Body as Weapon
The black brute of the 1890s is all grown up! The stereotype of the animalistic, ignorant, and rage-filled Black man is typically called a “black thug” these days. In the modern-day characterization, he is impulsive, easily provoked, and remorseless. He is also likely to be armed, heavily, with guns -- or his body itself is a weapon. Though the sentiment is commonplace and one can hear “thug” spilling from Black and white lips alike, nowhere is the myth of black-body-as-weapon clearer than in the apologia and testimonies offered up by white police officers justifying their hyper-rapid escalation to deadly force against the perceived supernatural threat of black bodies.
Hover over or click on the images below for their captions.