Douglas Flowe, Assistant Professor of History, received the 2021 Littleton-Griswold for his book, Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York (Univ. of North Carolina Press). His work has been published in the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of African American History, and others, and he has recently appeared in a variety of media formats to address police violence and mass incarceration, including CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
Flowe’s first book, Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), analyzes black crime within the prism of masculine identity, migration, the varied uses of urban public space, and racialized supervision. With this in mind, the book registers illegality as a response to the authoritative gaze of white progressives, civic leaders, and police, and to the restrictions of joblessness, violence, and discrimination.
The Littleton-Griswold Prize is an annual award for the best book in any subject on the history of American law and society, broadly defined. In 1961, the Littleton-Griswold Fund Committee created the prize for studies in the legal history of the American colonies and of the United States prior to 1900. The prize was not awarded, however, until 1966, and was abolished the following year. In 1985, the Council revived the prize and expanded the scope to cover all of American history.