This site features a publication that was developed as part of an exhibition titled Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the U.S. which opened in October 2012 at the African American Cultural Center (University of Illinois at Chicago).

Black/Inside considers how a system of criminalizing and imprisoning Black men and women in the United States has been sustained from colonial times to the present. The exhibition illustrates the historical roots of black incarceration and provides insights into how the U.S. became a Prison Nation, detaining & incarcerating over 2.3 million people.

Laura Scott’s story figures prominently in the exhibition as an example of the experiences of black women prisoners in the early 20th century. Unfortunately, the stories of 19th and early 20th century women prisoners have until relatively recently been neglected and largely invisible.

It is my sincere hope that everyone who reads this publication and/or visits the exhibition will leave with more knowledge about the impacts of incarceration and will also be motivated to address our current epidemic of mass incarceration.

Special thanks to my friend Micah Bazant for designing the publication and to everyone who provided feedback and support throughout my research & writing process.

Thank you for taking time to read the publication and I hope that the site provides additional context and color to Laura Scott’s story. If you have any questions, please address them to me at: blackinside2012@gmail.com.

In peace and solidarity,

Mariame Kaba