Quote Of The Day

“As he ran my papers, I was reminded of the armed white men, dubbed ‘pattie rollers’ by African Americans, who were deployed throughout the South to patrol and prevent slave rebellions. These patrols, which white men in the South were required to serve in, operated exclusively at night, traveling on horseback from plantation to plantation, harassing black people, looking for contraband (weapons, liquor, books, etc.) that might indicate a plan to flee. Pattie rollers were instructed to lash viciously any enslaved African without a written pass. In North Carolina, a law ordered pattie rollers to whip on the spot any “loose, disorderly, or suspected person” found among enslaved Africans. It was from these pattie rollers, funded by local taxes, that many modern policing concepts were derived. For example, pattie rollers, like modern police, referred to patrollers’ designated areas of operation as ‘beats.’” -M.K. Asante

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