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The New Jim Crow Reviews

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander

4.40 out of 5

7 reviews

Imprint: The New Press
Publisher: The New Press
Publication date: 16 Jan 2012
ISBN: 9781595586438

In a bold and innovative argument, a rising legal star shows readers how the mass incarceration of a disproportionate number of black men amounts to a devastating system of racial control. This is a terrifying reality that exists in the UK as much as in the US. Despite the triumphant dismantling of the Jim Crow laws, the system that once forced African-Americans into a segregated second-class citizenship still haunts. The US criminal justice system still unfairly targets black men and deprives an entire segment of the population of their basic rights.

5 stars out of 5
Aleesha Badkar
17 Jun 2020

"If you are on a self-educating mission, then this is a great place to start..."

Civil rights lawyer and activist Michelle looks at the mass incarceration of Black men in the USA during a when racial discrimination has simply changed its face, rather than been abolished.

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
Arielle Tchiprout
3 Jun 2020

"expertly outlines the anti-Black racial bias of the country’s legal system"

A disproportionate percentage of the US prison population is comprised of African-American men, and in this book Alexander explains how different legal factors have combined to mean that African-Americans are more likely to be targeted by police, and to receive long jail sentences. Named after the laws that enforced racial segregation in the southern US until the 1960s, The New Jim Crow expertly outlines the anti-Black racial bias of the country’s legal system.

4 stars out of 5
Rana Foroohar
3 Jun 2020

"a key reason that Black Lives Matter has focused so much energy on the criminal justice system"

This book is a key reason that Black Lives Matter has focused so much energy on the criminal justice system. Legal scholar Michelle Alexander looks at the similarities between the mass incarceration of African-American males in the US, and the “Jim Crow” laws that enforced racial segregation following the civil war. While this segregation technically ended after the civil rights movement, Alexander argues that America’s “war on drugs”, and the way in which it has disproportionately and unfairly penalised African-Americans relative to whites, has created a new form of legal systemic oppression.

4 stars out of 5
Lizz Schumer
3 Jun 2020

"helped inspire the Marshall Project's creation"

This seminal text on how the criminal justice system just perpetuates racial division has been cited in judicial decisions, won numerous awards, helped inspire the Marshall Project's creation, and appeared on many reading lists. If you haven't read it, add it to yours. 

4 stars out of 5
Erica Wagner
3 Jun 2020

"ground-breaking book"

Alexander is an American civil rights lawyer and legal scholar; in her ground-breaking book she analyses the rebirth of a race-based caste in the United States: millions of Americans are locked behind bars and relegated to second-class citizenship by the criminal justice system. Devastating.

4 stars out of 5
31 May 2020

"brilliant"

Civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander reflects on the many ways in which this loophole has been exploited – tracing how and why the number of prisoners in America rose from roughly 350,000 to more than 2 million between the 1970s and 2010. Her central thesis: that the so-called war on drugs launched by President Reagan ultimately “emerged as a stunningly comprehensive and well-designed system of racialised social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow”

5 stars out of 5
23 Jul 2019

"this distressing book offers important lessons for all societies that claim colour-blindness but enact policies that scapegoat marginalised groups"

Her clear-eyed assessment, published in the UK almost a decade after it first stunned America, is an indictment of a society that, since the 1980s, has been complicit in the explosion of its prison population from around 300,000 to more than 2 million. Drug convictions have largely fuelled the increase, and an extraordinary number of those new felons have been black. ...Notwithstanding improvements to the US judicial system, this distressing book offers important lessons for all societies that claim colour-blindness but enact policies that scapegoat marginalised groups. Colour-blindness leads to denial, believes Alexander; better to strive for colour-consciousness.