November 18, 2021
7:00 – 9:00 PM Central Time
2.0 CEs available
Members with CE Certificate $25
Non-Members with CE Certificate $35
Early Career Professionals with CE Certificate $10
Community Members / Students without CE Certificate $10
Fanon Fund (Black / Indigenous Participants) Free
Presented by Anthony R. Hinton and Elizabeth Kita. Mr. Hinton served 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he did not commit.
Abstract: In his book about his experience of (barely) surviving a “legal lynching” in the form of 30 years on Death Row for a crime that police, detectives, prosecutors, experts, and judges all knew he did not commit, Anthony Ray Hinton lays bare the cruelty that is the (in)justice system in the United States. Our willingness to enact violence on Black people, brown people, poor people and people who are traumatized should make us curious. As a symptom of our collective condition, the death penalty, life sentences and other forms of punishment invite us to explore the psychic and social conditions that give rise to them, and the cost of that to people who are targeted – like Mr. Hinton – but also to us – the collective that allows it. In this paper, Beth Kita will use psychoanalytic ideas to explore our investment in creating a system that serves a very different function than its purported purpose, our maintenance of a system that relies upon what abolitionist Mariame Kaba, “death making institutions,” and how all of us might feel implicated enough to need bang the bars.
Anthony Ray Hinton is an American activist, writer, and author who was wrongly convicted of the 1985 murders of two fast food restaurant managers in Birmingham, Alabama. Hinton was sentenced to death and held on the state’s death row for 28 years, and was later released in 2015.
In 2015 the Supreme Court unanimously overturned his conviction on appeal, after which the state dropped all charges against him. The court was unable to affirm the forensic evidence of a gun, which was the only evidence in the first trial. After being released, Hinton wrote and published a memoir: The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (2018) which was an Oprah Book Club choice in 2018. Today Mr. Hinton is the Community Educator for the Equal Justice Initiative and speaks internationally on criminal justice reform.
Elizabeth (Beth) Kita is a clinical social worker in public/private practice in San Francisco, California. In her private practice, she works primarily with people contending with the effects of complex posttraumatic stress and vicarious traumatization; her work in a public clinic is with people who are returning to the community following lengthy periods of incarceration. She obtained her MSW from UC Berkeley and her PhD from Smith College, School for Social Work. In addition to her clinical work, Beth teaches in the MSW program at UC Berkeley, and is the Co-Chair of the Coalition for Clinical Social Work at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. She thinks, writes, presents and consults on the intersections of race/racism, trauma, violence, incarceration and psychodynamic social work praxis in the United States.
1. Identify the ways in which projection and projective identification maintain racism, both personal and structural, in the United States.
2. Describe how mass incarceration is a phenomenon that transcends crime and punishment.
3. Use psychoanalytic concepts to describe violence, punishment, power, and repair.
Cullors, P. (2018). Abolition and reparations: Histories of resistance, transformative justice, and accountability. Harvard Law Review, 132, 1684 – 1694.
Hinton, A. R., & Hardin, L. L. (2018). The sun does shine: How I found life and freedom on Death Row. St. Martin’s Press.
Kita, E. (2019). “They hate me now but where was everyone when I needed them?”: Mass incarceration, projective identification, and social work praxis. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 26 (1), 25-49.
Layton, L. (2009). Who’s responsible? Our mutual implication in each other’s suffering. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(2), 105-120.
Parker, R. (2019). Slavery in the white psyche. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 26 (1), 84-103.
Stevenson, B. (2019). Slavery gave America a fear of black people and a taste for violent punishment. Both still define our criminal-justice system. The New York Times, 1619.
White, K. P. (2002). Surviving hating and being hated: Some personal thoughts about racism from a psychoanalytic perspective. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 38(3), 401-422.
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