Black on Black Homicide: The Story of the Crime Wave of the Late 1980s and Early 1990s
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a rapid increase in the level of violent crime in the U.S. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2005a). By the early 1990s, however, crime leveled off and began to show regular decreases; by the late 1990s, we saw this nation’s lowest rates of violence since roughly the mid-1960s (Blumstein 2000). The violence problem was centered in large urban places. In major American cities, an increase in the gun-related murder rate led to the overall increase in violence. In fact, murder committed with firearms was the only crime category of homicide that drastically increased during this period. Within the category of firearm homicides, juvenile and youthful black males were overwhelmingly responsible for committing the gun murders in urban centers that led to the spike in the violence rate. The evidence substantiating these statements is laid out in this paper.
Keywords: Crime, Violence, Homicide, Urban, Race, Guns
Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, Suffolk University