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 trial of Colin Ferguson, perpetrator of the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting. 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 perception of society's racist discrimination against Black people.[1] 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.

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