Essay The New Jim Crow By Michelle Alexander

Essay The New Jim Crow By Michelle Alexander

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The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander examines the systemic oppression of African-Americans in The United States of America. Alexander, a civil rights lawyer by trade and former director for the racial injustice division within the ACLU.1 She is a highly accomplished writer and public speaker who scrutinizes the racial disparity amongst US citizens.

First with the mass abductions and then the enslavement of Africans, to the rights won and loss after Civil War, to the Jim Crow era laws put into place by segregationists, to the Justice system today in America. In the era of Obama, and the belief that with the election of the first African-American president, so came with it the end of racism.

Alexander uses historical facts to illustrate African-American persecution. She most notably focuses on the War on Drugs and the policies enacted to imprison African-Americans. The New Jim Crow also highlights the loss of public assistance from the government after being release from prison. Effectively rendering ex-felons as she puts it members of new caste systems in which they are second-class citizens.

Alexander writes from a knowing place, and she states that she has not written this book in a way that it can be easily digestible to the general public, she has an


specific audience in mind, to whom she is speaking to; those who want to be informed of the invisible persecution of African-Americans in today’s society.


Alexander piques the question, “is there prevalent unbalances to the way African-American are treated by the justice system in America?” Statistics show there are huge disparity to the arrests and convictions of individuals by race. The seemingly obligatory imprisonment of Af...


... middle of paper ...


...is found that when employment is available to ex-felons, it decreases the percentage of them reoffending.

One of the most valued features in America is the ability to vote, to politicize your voice but ex-felons are not allowed to vote-no vote, no voice. Without a political voice, the freedom or lack thereof for ex-felons becomes a postscript to many politicians. The loss of so many rights and without a voice causes many to reoffend. It should not a revelation when that happens, you can only push an individual so far until you force them off a cliff.


From the shackles of slave collars to the bonds of handcuffs, African-American are bound by a governmental rules and guidelines made to entrap, as Alexander states to “box” them in. For every advancement toward equality, a policy is legislated to stop the African-American rise up in the ranks of society.

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