Policing and music are rarely thought together in mainstream criminological literature, despite the insights that their relationship offers on how and why policing emerged as an instrument for suppressing musical expression throughout the African diaspora, from the era of colonial slavery to the present day. This chapter traces the origins of British policing to its colonial roots, by demonstrating how colonial militias were formed to police the music of the enslaved as a sign of rebellion, insurrection and disorder. Drawing on Afro-diasporic music –as an indicative case study– policing and racism will be contextualised as concurrent, constitutive and dependent on each other; exposing the historical mission and function of policing as a force of racial violence. By rethinking police racism through Afro-diasporic music(s), this chapter encourages a (Southern) decolonial approach to police scholarship – to reintroduce the police as guardians of a social and political order that is marked by racial hierarchies, whose roots lie in the imperial ideology that created racism, “race” and policing.
|Title of host publication||Southern and Postcolonial Perspectives on Policing, Security and Social Order|
|Editors||Peter Squires, Roxana Cavalcanti, Zoha Waseem|
|Publisher||Bristol University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 18 May 2023|