The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration Essay

1890 Words Oct 23rd, 2016 8 Pages
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was written by civil rights litigator, legal scholar and author. The book discusses the history of race and mass incarceration in the United States specific to African American man. Alexander argues, “We have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it” (pg. 2), there has been a rebirth of a caste system in the form of mass incarceration since the years of slavery, Jim Crow laws and black codes. This book focuses on the increase of mass incarceration within the last few years. Alexander compares the old Jim Crow to mass incarceration by stating “mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race” (pg. 13). Incarceration is used as a tool to not rehabilitate the individual, but rather used to oppress and keep men of color as the status quo.
Michelle Alexander (2010) introduces the book discussing a young, African American man, who cannot vote. “Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy” (pg.1). A quick glance at Jarvious’s family history, his great-great grandfather was a slave, his great-grandfather and grandfather were threatened by the Ku Klux Klan and his father…

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