Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Professor Anna Terwiel


This thesis attempts to re-think the way lawmakers, policy makers, and everyday Chicagoans look at and talk about gun violence in Chicago. I attempt to do this by taking a historical approach where Chicago's history of housing and police discrimination against its black communities is outlined. In doing this, I seek to show that many of the factors that are driving violence in the city's black neighborhoods - such as legal cynicism and concentrated inequalities - were created by this discriminatory past. Urban gun violence in Chicago is heavily concentrated in and driven by its black neighborhoods. After taking a history approach, we will see there is a reason for this: racial discrimination. A new anti-racist perspective of Chicago's violence will follow which, I argue, makes us see black gun violence perpetrators as more than just criminals but victims of an unequal racial divide created by a racist past. The public policy solutions that follow from this new perspective - specifically anti-violence programs - will be discussed.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.