Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Dr. Zoe Spencer and Anthony Jackson discuss state sponsored violence and police brutality against communities of color, and the theory of “post traumatic slave master syndrome.”


Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, welcomed both Dr. Zoe Spencer and Anthony Jackson on the podcast to further discuss their ideas and research presented at the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS) Conference in Montréal, Quebec.

Currently teaching at Virginia State University, Dr. Spencer describes herself as “a Black woman activist and scholar from the projects of Washington D.C.”, who has dedicated her life to transformative action. At the ABS conference, she discussed black women’s resistance in a presentation called, “Sassy Mouths, Unfettered Spirits, and the Familiar Policing of Black Women’s Resistance.” Her presentation also introduced the theory of Post Traumatic Slave Master Syndrome. Dr. Spencer explains the theory occurs “when a black woman’s resistance prompts a violent and aggressive response from state actors who are predominately white males, who have been conditioned and cultured by police departments who have a history of lynching, to discriminate against people of color.

Jackson is a scholar-activist, and graduate student at Howard University working towards building unity between academia and the streets for a transformative working class movement. Jackson and Dr. Spencer presented, “Screaming Genocide: A Theoretical Analysis of State Violence, Mass Incarceration, & The Declining Significance of Black Labor.” In this presentation, Jackson discussed state sanctioned violence, police brutality against black and brown people, and the decline in the need for Black labor. These topics were based on research he conducted to complete his thesis, “The Crisis of Black Labor in Relation to State Policy and Practice in the United States from 1960 – 2015: A Historical Materialist Analysis,” that provided a critical analysis of the root cause of increased police discrimination and violence against communities of color. “Police are agents of the state that carry out the ruling class agenda. If the agenda is created to protect and serve the leaders of the state, the police will follow this rule. Police are here to protect and serve, but who are they protecting and serving?

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To learn more about their research, review the following article: