The History Of The Black Police Force And Court In The City Of Miami

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Arts (D.A.)




Prior to and during World War II the Black Communities of Miami suffered from a vast "crime wave". This crime wave had been created by the White police ignoring the needs of the Black Community, especially within a downtown area known as "Overtown". Honest Black citizens bitterly complained that they could not walk the streets in daylight without fear of some form of molestation. This situation was further exacerbated by the wartime training of troops in nearby areas. These troops quickly became prime targets of the criminal elements. In essence, crime was increasing in the Black Communities which were without police protection.The Black residents simultaneously grew to fear the White police officer whose reputation became one of casual brutality. Concerned citizens protested and support grew for a segregated police force. Ultimately, a Black Police Precinct, a Black Judge, and a Black Court were funded and the "crime wave" quickly disappeared.It is the purpose of this research to examine the history of the development of those unique organizations that were created in response to the needs of the Black Community, and how institutions of segregation became effective tools for the integration of the Criminal Justice System.


History, Black; History, United States

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