Levin College of Law

Katheryn Russell-Brown

Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law
Professor of Law
Director, Race and Crime Center for Justice


Criminal Law  • Race & Crime  • Sociology of Law  • 


Katheryn Russell-Brown is the Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law and Director of the Race and Crime Center for Justice at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law. She was director of the UF Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations (CSRRR) for eighteen years. Professor Russell-Brown received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, her law degree from the University of California, Hastings and her Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Maryland.

Prior to joining the University of Florida law faculty in 2003, Professor Russell-Brown taught in the Criminology and Criminal Justice department at the University of Maryland for 11 years.  She has been a visiting law professor at American University and the City University of New York (CUNY).  She has been a lecturer at Howard University and her first teaching position was at Alabama State University.

Professor Russell-Brown teaches, researches, and writes on issues of race and crime and the sociology of law.  Her article, “The Constitutionality of Jury Override in Alabama Death Penalty Cases,” was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Harris v. Alabama (1995).

In 2009, Professor Russell-Brown was awarded a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship.  Her project focused on ways to integrate criminal justice issues into the elementary education curriculum.

Professor Russell-Brown’s books include Criminal Law  (SAGE, 2015) an undergraduate textbook, The Color of Crime, 2d edition (New York University Press, 2009), Protecting Our Own: Race, Crime and African Americans, Rowman and Littlefield (2006), and Underground Codes: Race, Crime, and Related Fires (New York University Press, 2004).  Her first children’s book is Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, a picture book biography (Lee & Low, 2014).


Ph.D., University of Maryland
J.D., University of California – Hastings
B.A., University of California – Berkeley

Teaching and Scholarship

Race and Crime, Sociology of Law, Criminal Law


  • Criminal Law
  • Race, Crime, and the Law



  • The Color of Crime, 3d Ed. (New York University Press 2021)
  • Criminal Law (SAGE Publications, 2015)
  • The Color of Crime, 2d Ed. (New York University Press, 2009)
  • Protecting Our Own: Race, Crime and African Americans (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006)
  • Underground Codes: Race, Crime, and Related Fires (New York University Press, 2004)
  • Petit Apartheid in the US Criminal Justice System: The Dark Figure of Racism (edited with Dragon
  • Milovanovic) (Carolina Academic Press, 2001)

Law Review & Social Science Publications

  • The Soul Savers: A 21st Century Homage to Derrick Bell’s Space Traders or Should Black People Leave America?, 26 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE AND LAW 49 (2021).
  • Black Lives Matter in Criminology? Let’s Prove It, 11 RACE & JUSTICE 328 (2021).
  • The Dog Walker, the Birdwatcher and Racial Voice: The Manifest Need to Punish Racial Hoaxes, 31 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA JOURNAL OF LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY 1 (2020)
  • Critical Black Protectionism, Black Lives Matter and Social Media: Building a Bridge to Social Justice (2017) HOWARD LAW JOURNAL, Vol. 67:367.
  • Body Cameras, Police Violence, and Racial Credibility (2016) FLORIDA LAW REVIEW FORUM, Vol. 67:207.
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on Race and Policing, (2007) JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY & PUBLIC POLICY, Vol. 6(1):1-181.
  • Black Protectionism as a Civil Rights Strategy (2005) BUFFALO LAW REVIEW, Vol. 53:1-64.
  • Racial Profiling: A Status Report of the Legal, Legislative and Empirical Literature (2001) RUTGERS RACE & THE LAW REVIEW, Vol. 3:61-81.
  • Driving While Black: Corollary Phenonmena and Collateral Consequences (1999), BOSTON COLLEGE LAW REVIEW, Vol 40: 717-731.
  • Affirmative (Re)Action: Anything but Race (1996) AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, Vol. 45: 803-810.
  • The Racial Hoax as Crime: The Law as Affirmation (1996), INDIANA LAW JOURNAL, Vol. 71: 593-621.
  • Thinking, Talking and Teaching on Race: Derrick Bell’s Space Traders (1996) JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE EDUCATION, Vol. 7: 113-119.
  • A Critical View from the Inside: An Application of Critical Legal Studies to Criminal Law (1994) JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY, Vol. 85: 222-240.
  • The Constitutionality of Jury Override in Alabama Death Penalty Cases (1994). ALABAMA LAW REVIEW, Vol. 46: 5-45 (LEAD ARTICLE)
  • The Racial Inequality Hypothesis: A Critical Look at the Research and Offer of an Alternative Hypothesis (1994) LAW AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR, Vol. 18: 305-317.
  • The Argument for Studying Crime and Race (1993) JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE EDUCATION, Vol. 4: 273-289 (co-author G. LaFree).
  • The Development of a Black Criminology and the Role of the Black Criminologist (1992) JUSTICE QUARTERLY, Vol. 9: 667-683.

Book Chapters

  • Black Criminology in the 21st Century (2019) in BUILDING A BLACK CRIMINOLOGY: RACE, THEORY and CRIME 101-123 (J. Unnever, S. Gabbidon & C. Chouhy, eds.) (Routledge)
  • Making Implicit Bias Explicit: Black Men and the Police (2017) in POLICING THE BLACK MAN: ARREST, PROSECUTION, and IMPRISONMENT 135-160 (A. Davis, ed.). Pantheon.
  • Go Ahead and Shoot, the Law Might Have Your Back: Race, Implicit Bias, and Justice in Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law in DEADLY INJUSTICE: TRAYVON MARTIN, RACE, and THE CRIMINAL SYSTEM (D. Johnson, et al., eds.). New York University Press [2015]
  • The Myth of Black Crime in DEMYSTIFYING CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (2d ed.) (Robert M. Bohm and Jeffrey T. Walker, eds.) (Roxbury Press, 2012)
  • While Visions of Deviance Danced in Their Heads in AFTER THE STORM: BLACK INTELLECTUALS EXPLORE THE MEANING OF HURRICANE KATRINA (David Troutt, ed.) The New Press (2006)
  • The Myth of Race and Crime (2005). DEMYSTIFYING CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (R. Bohm & J. Walker, eds.) Roxbury.
  • Racing Crime: Definitions and Dilemmas (2001) in WHAT IS CRIME? (S. Henry & M. Lanier, eds.) Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Racial Hoaxes: Applied Critical Race Theory (2000) in OF CRIME AND CRIMINALITY: THE USE OF THEORY IN EVERYDAY LIFE (S. Simpson, ed.). Pine Forge.
  • What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue?: Police Violence and the Black Community (2000) in POLICE BRUTALITY (J. Nelson, ed.). W.W. Norton.
  • Critical Race Theory and Social Justice (1998) in SOCIAL JUSTICE/CRIMINAL JUSTICE: THE MATURATION OF CRITICAL THEORY IN LAW, CRIME AND DEVIANCE (B. Arrigo, ed.). Wadsworth Press.
  • Reality Bites: Black Protectionism, White Denial and O.J. (1996) in REPRESENTING O.J.: MURDER, CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MASS CULTURE (G. Barak, ed.). Harrow and Heston.