The New Press just donated 150 copies of the excellent book The New Jim Crow to us to be sent to North Carolina prisoners. This comes right on the heels of NCPLS successfully challenging the ban by the North Carolina Dept. of Corrections on The New Jim Crow as a violation of the First Amendment. This donation is a huge help for us at the Prison Books Collective and the populations we send books to. There is a great need inside prisons to understand the roots and nature of the prison-industrial complex. We want to publicly thank The New Press for publishing this important book and making it available to NC prisoners.
We at the Prison Books Collective are excited to put this book into the hands of prisoners. We will continue to provide resources like this and others to help enable prisoners to self-educate, self-organize, and challenge the roots of their conditions. If you’re able, please consider helping us by becoming a monthly sustainer of our work or making a one-time donation. Your generosity not only feeds our work, it is a part of it. Pooling resources is resistance in action.
About the book:
The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West, and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
As the United States celebrates its “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of black men in major urban areas are under correctional control or saddled with criminal records for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an extraordinary percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights— including the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits. Today, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt.
Alexander shows that, 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, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.