'Driving While Black' as 'Living While Black'

22 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2021

Date Written: August 10, 2021


Black people have long faced obstacles when attempting to access the freedom of mobility represented by the “open road.” The phenomenon of “Driving While Black” is a manifestation of those obstacles. This Essay posits that the restriction of Black freedom through the racialization of space is the common thread that ties “Driving While Black” to the broader phenomenon of “Living While Black.” It examines “Driving While Black” through a lens of spatial structural racism enforced by state-sanctioned police violence in the guise of the pretextual traffic stop and concludes that banning such policing practices is the remedy for “Driving While Black.”

Keywords: driving while black, liiving while black, racism, mobility, driving, police, open road, traffic stops, policing, racial territoriality, racialization of space

Suggested Citation

Jefferson-Jones, Jamila, 'Driving While Black' as 'Living While Black' (August 10, 2021). Iowa Law Review, Vol. 106, No. 2281, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3902657

Jamila Jefferson-Jones (Contact Author)

Wayne State University Law School ( email )

471 Palmer
Detroit, MI 48202
United States

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