On October 20th 2020, IAHR had the honor of interviewing Professor Laurence Ralph, the author of "The Torture Letters." For more than fifty years, police officers who vowed to protect and serve have instead beaten, electrocuted, suffocated, and raped hundreds---perhaps---thousands of Chicago residents. In The Torture Letters, Laurence Ralph chronicles this history, the burgeoning activist movement against police violence, and the American public's complicity in perpetuating torture at home and abroad. Writing meditations on racism in the form of letters, Prof. Ralph offers a collection of open letters written to protestors, victims, students, and others.
Through these questioning, engaging letters, Prof. Ralph bears witness to the violence that began in Chicago's Area Two and follows the city's networks of torture to the War on Terror. Along the way, he amplifies the voices of torture's victims who are still with us and lends a voice to those long dead. The Torture Letters is an indictment of police violence and a fierce challenge to all Americans to demand an end to the systems that support it. (From the book's jacket with a few additions). Laurence Ralph is professor of anthropology at Princeton University. He is the author of Renegade Dreams: Living with Injury in Gangland Chicago, published by the University of Chicago Press.
Watch the interview below now!