In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination - employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service - are suddenly legal.
©2012 Michelle Alexander (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
Every teen and adult in America should read this book. You will never look at the war on drugs in the same way again. The data showing that mass incarceration is a way to enforce a permanent racial underclass is overwhelming. But a new inclusive humanism that breaks these bonds gives hope if we are willing to do the tough work that needs to be done. All of us.
This book is a must read for every one who may be concerned with race relations in America. It was an eye opener for me. This book is not preachy and flows very well because her claims were back by A LOT of well done research. I plan to buy a hard copy of the book to reread.
If you've been meaning to read this book, download this audiobook now.
I read this as part of Mark Zuckerberg's Year of Books and I'm glad I did. The topic and details are infuriating, but the writing is clear, well-organized and compelling, and the narrator kept me engaged. Everyone should read this book.
Overall conclusion. This book is not easy to accept because it pushes a hard reality. That America has found a way institutionalize the oppression of some people. This is not a black vs white thing, it is no longer a civil rights thing, it is a human rights thing. If we want to be the leader of the free world we have to address the issues raised in these pages. It's hard to read and believe.
Two good things about the book
1) it was supported by data. The author did not rely heavily on emotional stories (although there are some), rather the author laid out the facts.
2) the author made some bold claims and then broke them down into their pieces making it easy to digest.
Two negative things.
1) the book length, it seemed to get long winded at times. I'm not usually a fan of abridged books but this one could use some trimming.
2) the emotional stories, while some were great examples...some seemed to be placed for an emotional response more then a exclamation point to the narrative.
wow. NJC is an eye opening experience taking a very non partisan approach to the subject of mass incarceration, the aledged war on drugs and the relationship between poor whites and blacks and the struggle with elite whites.
This book needs to be read by every person. It's filled with facts from front to back. Many of them will be upsetting and unsettling to you. The New Jim Crow is not a myth, it's reality.
As a white woman, I have a long history of seeking friendships with "colorful" people... Early childhood memories include Willetta (a black girlfriend) & Kenji (a boy who moved to our apartment complex knowing not one word of English). In my early dating years, I fell in love with Bert, a classmate, who was among the few black teens who arrived by bus at our newly integrated school. Even though my grandparents were racist, my mother never shared this fact & I was surprised when (years later) my grandmother disowned me because I was dating another black man. 35 years & 2 children later, we are still married. Upon reading this book, my eyes have been opened wider. It convinces me that we have a long, journey ahead. I am so thankful for the vision and wisdom of those in the early Civil Rights Movement -and- equally in awe of the incisive work of Michelle Alexander. I have just finished a class, taught by a prominent black woman at our church- who recommended this book. We have much to do in our shared work as educators.
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