S04 E30: Policing African Americans: From Slave Patrols to Police Depts (Ret. P.C. Ralph Godbee, Jr)

The history of policing African Americans has had a disproportionate impact on African American communities from the colonial period to today. Back in the day, there were more non-murder-related capital punishment crimes for African Americans than there were for Caucasian Americans.

From the first Africans of Virginia to Emancipation in 1865, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement to today – Donya and Brian can trace the generation of inherited trauma their ancestors and their ancestral families have endured during the entirety of their existence in the United States.

Slave catchers, slave patrols, and what we think of as modern policing have contributed to that inherited and experienced trauma.

Ret. P.C. Ralph Godbee, Jr joined the show to talk about the history of policing black and brown bodies in the U.S. from the time of the slave patrols to the modern police of today.

Ralph draws upon his 25 years of active service in the Detroit Police Department, as well as his numerous connections with police associations, to discuss how black and brown bodies are policed, the trauma that influences black and brown communities in the U.S. when it comes to police interactions – and we closed the show with thoughts about how the current situation can be improved.

We couldn’t cover everything that we would have liked to in the hour – so there will be a Part 2 on Saturday, 26 June 2021 at 4pm EST on https://www.facebook.com/genealogyadventuresusa/videos.

Part of the second conversation will center on how diversity training needs to be re-imagined. This means moving away from a failed attempt at creating “colorblindness” to an understanding and appreciation of the cultural differences inherent in the numerous populations and cultures within the U.S. And how a reimagined approach to diversity training would serve modern police departments as well.

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Whether you’re new to genealogy, don’t have the time to pursue your own research, or have a stubborn brick wall you just can’t break through: you can hire one of our experienced research team who will happily work with you to achieve your genealogy research goals. As the first Black-owned genealogy research company, our African American genealogists excel at African American genealogy! As African Americans with caucasian ancestors – our genealogists are just as experienced in researching European-descended American ancestry.

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One thought on “S04 E30: Policing African Americans: From Slave Patrols to Police Depts (Ret. P.C. Ralph Godbee, Jr)

  1. Below you will find links to the images we used at the top of the show.

    1st image: “Slave Patrols” book cover:

    “Slave Patrols” by Susan Hadden is available to buy via

    2nd image: Colonial Beginnings and Experiments

    3rd image: South Carolina

    4th image: Virginia

    5th image: Slave Patrol organization and operational overview

    6th image: The Appointment Process: Oaths and Warrants

    7th image: Patrol Personnel

    8th image: Legal Protection for Slave Patrols

    9th image: The Charleston Mercury (South Carolina, 1830): Militia Law & Slave Patrols

    10th image: Voice of Sumpter (Alabama, 1836) Slave Patrol Ordinance

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