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Keywords:

  • Violence;
  • vengeance;
  • conflict management

This paper examines the relationship between race and violent crime by directly modeling the racial gap in homicide offending for large central cities for 1990. We evaluate the role of black-white differences in aspects of both disadvantage and resources in explaining which places have wider racial disparities in lethal violence. The results show that where residential segregation is higher, and where whites' levels of homeownership, median income, college graduation, and professional workers exceed those for blacks to a greater degree, African Americans have much higher levels of homicide offending than whites. Based on these results, we conclude that the racial homicide gap is better explained by the greater resources that exist among whites than by the higher levels of disadvantage among blacks.