This book is written with specific premises. First, that criminal justice policy in general and the relationship between criminal justice and race specifically cannot be understood outside of the study of American history in general and the legal, constitutional, and political history of American specifically. Second, this book approaches the question of race and criminal justice with an interdisciplinary approach putting together American history, constitutional history, legal history, and political history in a chronological format along with research from social psychology, sociology, and constitutional law together to provide a perspective on why Black Americans have always been disproportionately incarcerated within the criminal justice system. Lastly, one of the issues in addressing the disproportionate incarceration of Black Americans is the willful ignorance of many to consider how the history of the criminal justice system as a tool of social control has negatively affected them. American criminal justice is an institution that is the result of American history and policies.