"Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from Birmingham Jail, which was written in April 16, 1963, is a passionate letter that addresses and responds to the issue and criticism that a group of white clergymen had thrown at him and his pro- black American organization about his and his organization's non- violent demonstrative actions against racial prejudice and injustice among black Americans in Birmingham.
Jim Crow laws were laws created to strengthen racism and segregation. It was a white person’s desperate attempt to maintain a sort of superiority over black people. Nowadays it might seem impossible for laws promoting racism and segregation to exist, but they do. Concealed by inconspicuous phrasing there are still laws to this day that allow blacks and other minorities to be taken advantage of solely based on their race. The book written by Michelle Alexander titled The New Jim Crow outlines the major problems associated with the American judicial system, mainly the War on Drugs. Alexander brings to light many issues that primarily affect blacks and other minorities from this she derives that America has a new set of Jim Crow Laws. Given the
Mass incarceration in the United States has been a very prominent and distinct feature of our criminal justice system. The rates of which this system imprisons is very unequal when compared to other countries in the world, as well as when compared to other races within the United States itself. Mass incarceration does alter the lives of those who are within its prison system, and also those who are related to those individuals whether it be through blood or bond. These effects can extend to disrupting one’s life to the point where they can’t vote, go to school, hold a job, or deprive them of other rights, and affect others whereby they may be more likely to experience negative life events, be deprived of resources, and/or be more
Michelle Alexander’s use of “Jim Crow” is a viable and useful analogy to describe the current American criminal justice system and mass incarceration. I believe our criminal justice system does not truly define justice or fairness. Also, I agree on the fact that while old “Jim Crow” laws may be dead; the current justice system serves many of the same purposes of those laws. Today, mass incarceration is the biggest issue in our criminal justice system, for mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is a book by Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar. The book discusses race-related issues specific to African-American males and mass incarceration in the United States. Michelle Alexander (2010) argues that despite the old Jim Crow is death, does not necessarily means the end of racial caste (p.21). In her book “The New Jim Crow”, Alexander describes a set of practices and social discourses that serve to maintain African American people controlled by institutions. In this book her analyses is centered in examining the mass incarceration phenomenon in recent years. Comparing Jim Crow with mass incarceration she points out that mass incarceration is a network of laws, policies, customs and institutions that works together –almost invisible– to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined by race, African American (p. 178 -190).
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Mr. King was a man of honor and respect even in the troubling situations of serving jail time. People who were supposed to support him questioned his actions, Dr. King still stood by what he believed in. In Birmingham, Alabama Dr. King hoped that the white religious leaders will come to his aid but instead found reluctance and opposition. In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King, Jr. refutes his critics claims through the use of passionate tones, metaphors, and allusions.
King, Martin L. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]." Letter to Fellow Clergymen. 16
Today, more African American adults are under correctional control than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began (Alexander 180). Throughout history, there have been multiple racial caste systems in the United States. In her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander defines a “racial caste” as “a racial group locked into an inferior position by law and custom” (12). Alexander argues that both Jim Crow and slavery functioned as racial caste systems, and that our current system of mass incarceration functions as a similar caste system, which she labels “The New Jim Crow”. There is now a silent Jim Crow in our nation. Mass incarceration today serves the same function as did slavery before the Civil War and Jim Crow laws after the Civil War - to uphold a racial caste system.
King, Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. "Letter From A Birmingham Jail." Letter to The Clergymen. 16 Apr. 1963. American Identities. N.p.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2005. N. pag. Print
“The New Jim Crow” is an article by Michelle Alexander, published by the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. Michelle is a professor at the Ohio State Moritz college of criminal law as well as a civil rights advocate. Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law is part of the world’s top education system, is accredited by the American Bar Association, and is a long-time member of the American Law association. The goal of “The New Jim Crow” is to inform the public about the issues of race in our country, especially our legal system. The article is written in plain English, so the common person can fully understand it, but it also remains very professional. Throughout the article, Alexander provides factual information about racial issues in our country. She relates them back to the Jim Crow era and explains how the large social problem affects individual lives of people of color all over the country. By doing this, Alexander appeals to the reader’s ethos, logos, and pathos, forming a persuasive essay that shifts the understanding and opinions of all readers.
Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New
King, Martin Luther Jr. “Letter from the Birmingham jail.” Why We Can't Wait 1963: 77-100.