Click here to read: about the author: Michelle Alexander
Above: (short lecture) The Future of Race in America: Michelle Alexander at TEDxColumbus
to read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: The Massive Incarceration System in the Age of Colorblindness is no longer available for free, but it is still a must read book. So go to your local public library and check it out.
About the above interview:
After civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander published her book The New Jim Crow in 2010 on our dehumanizing system of incarceration, she ignited a national conversation about justice in America and sparked a movement. In her book, Alexander explores how the war on drugs, “get-tough” sentencing policies and racism has created a caste system similar to that of our segregationist past.
Since then, Alexander has traveled the country to meet advocates and everyday Americans working to end mass incarceration in America — home to 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, despite representing only five percent of the world’s population.
She tells Bill Moyers that she has seen a grassroots movement brewing in communities across the country, “There are enormous victories that are being achieved precisely because the people whom we have written off and viewed as disposable are reclaiming their voice, standing up, speaking out, organizing even as they struggle to survive.”
About the above lecture: Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow, at Union Theological Seminary:
At New York’s Union Theological Seminary Wednesday evening, legal scholar and civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander, author of the best selling The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, spoke to a capacity crowd and invited everyone there “to explore the meaning of race and justice at a particularly critical moment in our nation’s history, a time when it seems as though we may be once again at a fork in the road.”
She began, “A nation founded with lofty ideals of freedom and equality but extending those ideals to wealthy white men only is the founding paradox of our nation to this day… Even now, as a black man sits in the Oval Office. For years now I have been obsessed with this paradox — not its theoretical existence but its concrete manifestation in the brutal system of mass incarceration, a penal system unlike anything the world has ever seen.”
Alexander described a society in which one third of black American men spend time behind bars, a figure that jumps to 60 percent for those without a high school diploma. They experience “legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives… Once branded a criminal or felon you are ushered into a parallel social universe in which the basic civil and human rights that apply to others no longer apply to you.”
Alexander’s appearance, hosted by Union’s Institute for Women, Religion and Globalization was the Fifth Annual Judith Davidson Moyers Women of Spirit Lecture, a public forum to discuss the most pressing global issues faced by present day women leaders of faith — issues including environmental justice, poverty, war and women’s education.
~Judith Davidson Moyers is CEO of Public Affairs Television.