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Men of MobtownPolicing Baltimore in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation$
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Adam Malka

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636290

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636290.001.0001

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Protecting the Household

Protecting the Household

(p.123) Chapter Four Protecting the Household
Men of Mobtown

Adam Malka

University of North Carolina Press

Antebellum racial policing also extended to the household, as Chapter 4 demonstrates. Police reform was implemented in the name of property, and in a patriarchal world, households often counted as male property. Thus the new policemen were supposed to protect good householders. And they often did. But free black households fit into this system uncomfortably. Beliefs in black household disorder, and subsequent police regulations targeted at black families, combined with the prohibition of black testimony against white people both to undermine black men’s household autonomy and heighten white male power over black households. When a white person entered a black home, there was not much a policeman could do, even if he wanted to. As a result, free black Baltimoreans’ home lives were uniquely susceptible to white violence. Once again, policemen confirmed the disparity.

Keywords:   Racial policing, Property, Patriarchy, Policemen, Householders, White violence, Black households, Black men, Household autonomy, White male power

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