Black Women and the Carceral State – Gabriel Winant / Dissent

black women 2Sometime around 1910 in rural Georgia, a woman named Emma Wimms shot and killed a man named Raymond High. Wimms had confronted High about his abuse of her daughter, with whom he was involved. According to trial records, High had beaten the younger Wimms “severely.” When challenged by the mother, he came at her with a razor. She put him in the ground. But Wimms was black and this was Jim Crow Georgia. So there was only one place where an act of defense like hers led: the state prison farm at Milledgeville. Wimms became one of the thousands of women working on the chain gang in the “New South.”

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