The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Book - 2010
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Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control--relegating millions to a permanent second-class status--even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos , "explosive" by Kirkus , and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald , The New Jim Crow is a must-read for all people of conscience.
Publisher: New York : New Press, 2010.
ISBN: 9781595581037
Characteristics: xi, 290 p. ;,24 cm.


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Jul 15, 2017

Wow. This book blew me away and helped me to better appreciate the racial challenges we are facing while educating me about important civil right's history I did not know.
Not only does author Michelle Alexander write with coherence and clarity, but she makes the material into a page turner, without exaggeration or hyperbole. The facts presented disturbingly connect the dots and substantiate her thesis that the war on drugs, in effect has created an underclass of Americans, who can be legally discriminated against in housing, employment, educational opportunities and exercise of basic citizenship rights that the rest of us take for granted. And oh -- the victims just happen to be the same people that we can no longer legally discriminate via the old Jim Crow laws --- but simply by catching them with a small amount of pot -- and no other evidence of wrong doing, they can permanently be part of an underclass composed almost entirely of people of color. The war on drugs has not only been a colossal failure it is The New Jim Crow!
This would be a FABULOUS choice for a book club too, so much to think about and discuss.

Jan 18, 2017

One of the most important books I have read in the last decade. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Oct 22, 2015

Perhaps the most important thing this book does is break down the differences between the racial hostility and open bigotry that most Americans recognize as racism, and the quieter, more insidious forms of racial bias that are now that primary form of discrimination faced by American minorities. Alexander demonstrates how Supreme Court decisions that eviscerate the 4th Amendment and narrowly interpret the 14th Amendment have allowed a racially unequal criminal justice system to flourish since the War on Drugs began in the 1980s.

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Sep 26, 2015

For a variety of reasons (including prior employment and volunteer work) I already knew most of the pieces of what Alexander writes about. But she puts those pieces together in a way I hadn't entirely considered before--i.e. War on Drugs = a way of keeping black and brown people down without whites having to talk about race in a "post racial" age. She writes very dispassionately, in order to not antagonize white readers, but you get her point. I did put it down several times, as she got repetitive, but am glad I persevered. She doesn't really provide a definitive answer to the problems, but she sure nails the problems. Now it's up to the country that incarcerates a higher percentage of its citizens than any other developed country in the world to finally start talking and find those solutions, together.

Jul 08, 2015

I returned this book on the 7th in the drop box

May 31, 2015

A commenter wrote: // What really shocked me about this book is how strongly it made me feel about the flaws in our criminal justice system. \\ Again and again it must be stated - - these ARE NOT flaws, it is by design. The major ISM above all other 'isms, is capitalism! The major investor in private prisons is the Vanguard Group, while the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, was involved financially with Prison Realty!
The Vanguard Group is one of the Big Four investment firms invested in the majority of major corporations in America [and Europe]: BlackRock, Vanguard Group, State Street and FRM LLC [Fidelity]. BlackRock was spun off from the Blackstone Group, which was originally founded with Rockefeller family money.

May 30, 2015

This book is hopefully just the beginning of a conversation that America needs to have with itself. If you liked this book, a great followup book would be Howard Zinn's "People's History Of The United States". The most shocking thing about this book for me was where my mind automatically went as I was reading it. I consider myself a hardcore liberal and yet still found myself going into the predictable places as I read it! Definitely a worthwhile read-I learned so much I never would have otherwise-even though I live in a very diverse neighborhood. Highly recommended!

May 09, 2015

One of the most intriguing books I have ever read. I had no idea what people face after they are released. "The New Jim Crow" will grip you and challenge you to reconsider your idea of mass incarceration.

Nov 17, 2014

This book should be required reading for everyone. As a white woman, this brought so many things to light for me, things that never would have even occurred to me because of my privilege, aka my skin color. The only thing is that I don't recommend reading this before bed; it made me very angry and sleep was chased off.

Jul 06, 2013

A must read book about the targeting of Black Americans specifically, and poor people in general, for the profit of the latest segment of American multinational privatization, the US prison system! Corrections Corporation of America, Prison Realty, and on and on and on, big bucks and bigger bucks with evermore incarceration.

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Oct 22, 2015

“Claims that mass incarceration is analogous to Jim Crow will fall on deaf ears and alienate potential allies if advocates fail to make clear that the claim is not meant to suggest or imply that supporters of the current system are racist in the way Americans have come to understand that term. Race plays a major role—indeed a defining role—in the current system but not because of what is commonly understood as old-fashioned, hostile bigotry.”


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