Black rage (law)
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In the USA, black rage refers to a purported psychological phenomenon and innovative defense proposed, but not used, for the 1994 Colin Ferguson mass murder trial. Ferguson's lawyers (Eric Nnanabu) argued that he should not be held criminally liable, for actions which broke the law, because he was overcome with rage by his perceived society's racist discrimination against Black people.  Ferguson rejected the advice of his lawyer and represented himself, arguing instead that he was completely innocent; he was found guilty and imprisoned.
Black rage was first proposed by psychologists William Henry Grier and Price Cobbs in their 1968 book Black Rage (ISBN 1-57910-349-9). Grier and Cobbs argue that Black people living in a racist, white supremacist society are psychologically damaged by the effects of racist oppression. They argue that this damage causes black people to act abnormally in certain situations.
Colloquially, black rage can simply mean an outburst of a Black person when he feels his existence is threatened because of his race.
- On an episode of the legal drama Law & Order, an African-American stockbroker (Courtney B. Vance) cites black rage as his defense when he is charged with murdering his mentor. However, in that case, it is demonstrated that the defendant actually committed the murder to cover up a massive securities fraud.
- The term Black rage is referenced in the movie Chasing Amy, where an African-American character in the movie begins shouting the term after a diatribe about a perceived lack of Black characters in science fiction, pulls out a (fake) gun and shoots (blanks) at his white audience.
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