Skidmore’s Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding will be sponsoring a lecture presented by legal scholar and civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander on Wednesday, Oct. 22nd in Zankel. Alexander will give a talk entitled “The New Jim Crow,” which will most likely sample some of the material covered in her first book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness–in which she claims that “”[w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
Published in 2010, The New Jim Crow received rave reviews and went on to win a slew of awards. Benjamin Todd Jealous of the NAACP wrote that the book “offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration, its roots to Jim Crow, our modern caste system, and what must be done to eliminate it. This book is a call to action.” Plus Cornel West called it the “secular bible for a new social movement in early twenty-first-century America,” so it doesn’t get much more badass than that.
Alexander, who currently hold a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at OSU, has spent many years in the legal system advocating for justice in cases of gender and race discrimination. She’s worked at the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU, the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford, and in both the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals.
As you can tell, this woman is pretty fucking incredible, seems like a very good speaker, and will no doubt have some very interesting things to say on an issue that has been at the focal point of the media and our cultural consciousness. Alexander writes in The New Jim Crow that “the future of the black community…may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society.”