The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

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New Press, 2010 - Social Science - 290 pages
As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them.
In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community - and all of us - to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

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User Review  - jordanjones - LibraryThing

This is a powerful book on how the criminal "justice" system and which crimes we decide to punish has effectively created a new Jim Crow, where many African Americans serve years of incarceration ... Read full review

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User Review  - Acdtrux - LibraryThing

This has a lot of good statistics and the author argues her case convincingly. It was particularly interesting for me to see how (intentionally) vague rules can be used as a political tool in America, in this case to allow unconscious racial biases to be brought to the forefront. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University and holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Formerly the director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Project in Northern California, Alexander served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Cornel West is the Class of 1943 University Professor, emeritus, at Princeton University and is currently Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary.

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