Nov 21, 2019 in Research

Black Codes and Broken Windows by Stewart Gary

This paper gives a rhetorical analysis of Black Codes and Broken Windows: the Legacy of Racial Hegemony in Anti-Gang Civil Injunctions. This is an article written by Stewart Gary and published in 1998 in the Yale Journal of Law. The rhetorical analysis focuses on the use of voice by this author. As an academic piece, Gary was obliged to explore the use of different sources. Since the article is tackling an issue of legal concern, it was incumbent upon him to explore a variety of sources in his analysis.


In this article, Gary writes a well - researched paper. He uses a variety of voices, which make his work valid, authentic, and authoritative. The Yale Law Journal is highly professional. Meaning, the articles presented here should be based on extensive research, which can be relied on to provide information for the different kinds of readers addressed. The following are some of the voices used.


A footnote refers to the additional information that is printed at the bottom of the page, indicating the source of the information. The use of this technology is quite recommended in academic writings. In this way, it can be easier to distinguish a scholarly work from a non -scholarly one. It indicates that the author is not plagiarizing any work, which had been done before on the same topic. Its use is essential in showing that the writer has uplifted a direct quote from another writer. However, it does not need the use of in-text citation. The writer gives a number of the quote then gives details about the book at the bottom of the respective page in which it is found. Besides, it is a common feature in law. A lawyer who cannot quote is not a competent one. It indicates that the writer is a researcher who acknowledges the work of others. Gary extensively uses footnotes in his article.

Gary used many footnotes in his work. For instance, on page 2249, he used the footnotes from a series of writers. These are articles, which he had quoted on this page. They include Robert A. Destro, Torense R. Boga and Christopher S. Yoo. The references made from the articles written by these scholars were used to shed more light on this topic. Hence, it becomes sound and relevant to the context of law. For instance, while discussing about the increasing number of murders and mayhems in America in the recent past, Gary uses Boga’s ideas to justify the extent to which this has wreaked a lot of havoc on innocent Americans.

In his own words, Boga says that murder has made ‘these residents afraid for their safety in public spaces.’ This is sensible because it enables the reader to have a clear picture of whatever is happening in the American community. Many people are now threatened because they cannot be sure of when they can be attacked by gangs who often terrorize people with ill motives. Such an explanation can be quite genuine if it is supported by other written documents. The use of his quote is significant in this article. It gives it authority and enables the author of this article to have a background upon which he can base his argument. It offers a baseline for his work. If he did not use this voice, it would be so difficult to give a proof to his claim. While the readers accept that it is genuine, it is essential for him to prove that he relied on other sources. A good research involves documentary analysis. Meaning, the writer goes an extra mile to incorporate the contributions of other people in his work.

Historical Narrative

This is a clear feature in Gary’s writings. As a law report, no one can appreciate that this journal is worth reading in case it does not give any reference to the decisions, which had been made before. Hence, Gary decides to allude to various rulings made in the court of law in the past. It is clearly evident in the article since Gary uses it every now and then. It is a brilliant scholarly idea, which enables him to justify his claims.

For instance, on page 2249, Gary refers to McCleskey v. Kemp, a case, which had been decided upon in the past. However, it provides important information, which can support the measures to be taken by the law enforcement agencies in dealing with criminal gangs. As Gary quotes, Justice William Brennan while giving a ruling on this case, said, ‘We remain imprisoned in the past as long as we deny its influence in the present.’ This is a clear indication of the fact that gang injunction has become an emotive issue which affects so many people. It should not be ignored because it can be too detrimental to the society as it has been before.

The use of court decision is quite relevant in this article. It shows the magnitude of this case. Since it is an issue of concern, it is important to state the contribution of the government in dealing with it. Since judiciary is a very important agent, which is responsible for enforcing law, its past decisions have to be categorically stated. They can be used to give direction on what should be done in order to provide an ultimate solution to this menace.


As already highlighted, the article was written by Gary Stewart. Meaning, he is the main source of voice in the entire piece. Although he keeps on alluding to documents, historical narratives, criticism and other scholarly texts, he still remains an enormous force in the article. Throughout the article, he uses his own ideas to give more explanations on this topic. He explains how the judicial system has made tremendous effort in dealing with the menace, which has been wreaking havoc on many Americans for a very long time.

In his own analysis, Gary critiques the way racism has proved to be a formidable force in gang injunctions. For instance, on page 2251, he talks about the efforts taken by the government in protecting the innocent citizens who have been vulnerable to the gangs. In his own words, he says, ‘In response to these terrifying situations, many state and local governments have adopted new criminal and civil approaches designed to abate the existence of gangs.’ Meaning, he can rely on his own research to come up with such assertions before supplementing them with secondary sources.

The ideas of the author form the integral part of his writing. Although it is recommended to rely on external sources, the article should be dominated by his work. After all, it is his and, in case of any future reference, he will be the one to be quoted.

Conclusively, it is evident that Black Codes and Broken Windows: the Legacy of Racial Hegemony in Anti-Gang Civil Injunctions is a scholarly article. The research done by the author is presented in his own point of view. He comes out as a significant voice throughout the article. Moreover, it is boosted by the way he opts to carry out documentary analysis, footnotes, and historical sources. Law articles should be considered properly written if they incorporate these elements and constitute an integral part of the given article.

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