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A Review of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in The Age of Colorblindness, a Book by Michelle Alexander

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The New Jim Crow Book Report

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” was written in by Michelle Alexander and was published on January 5, 2010. Michelle Alexander is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and graduated from Vanderbilt University. Michelle Alexander directed the Civil Rights Clinic in Stanford Law School and has a degree from Stanford Law School as well. Racism has always been a heavy subject, but in her first book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the age of Colorblindness” she argues racial discrimination and government policies that go back to when the Jim Crow Laws were in full effect. What the Jim Crow laws where the racial segregation between the whites and blacks in the southern United States, which separated whites to be with whites and black to be with black. In her book, she mostly concentrates on the mass incarceration of African American men.

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In the book “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” the book argues a lot about the mass incarceration in America. The main argument in the book is how in the system of racial control it is starting to be similar to the Jim Crow laws, even though that law was cut long ago. It talks about how some black men can’t vote because of their status as a felon. It’s called the new Jim Crow because that’s exactly what it is, history seems to be repeating itself and although the Jim Crow laws have ended, the way African Americans have been treated it’s basically making a comeback, therefore the new Jim Crow , it’s another way to explain mass incarceration . I don’t agree with the New Jim Crow and the segregation but I do agree with what Michelle Alexander has to say.

The time span of the book goes from the 19th century till now. But mostly focuses on the 20th and 21st century, due to the profiling and the brutality that many African Americans go through. The book talks how the media portrayals on the criminal justice system seemed misleading. Those arrested for drugs in the media shows them get nicely arrested the most they get is parole. But the way the book portrays it seems harsh and that’s the reality of it. Alexander talks about how the Supreme Court has helped the drug war through rulings and gives them the right to search.

The book states that the only guilty people that are seen and heard are the people of color, and it’s difficult for the innocent people for color to push back against the injustices of the law. The author often brings talks about the 20th century but compares it to modern times and the 19th century as well. The history of race in America in the book moves from slavery to the Civil War to the reconstruction to the Jim Crow laws to the Civil Rights Movement. The book includes how mass incarceration is the main thing to the New Jim Crow and how black people have a lack in any real rights.

Michelle Alexander mainly talks about the south, that’s where most the book takes place. This book. In the book Alexander states the word “colorblindness’ and that means that there is a problem with the system. The Old and New Jim Crow aren’t the same but have many similarities. These issues are everywhere, but mainly concentrated in the southern states. She makes sure to clarify that both Jim Crows have several differences but the differences still include white resentment, colorblind language and laws. The differences are the lack of outrage and activism being spread.

This book is considered important because it talks about real issues in the United States, how the new Jim Crow has a mass denial and ignorance of many Americans. It’s so controversial because this is just one view from one person, many people have their own views on things and not everyone is going to agree with this book. Mass incarceration sure does exist for many colored people and will always exist if there isn’t enough awareness.

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In conclusion, Michelle Alexanders book has educated and showed awareness to many people. Her message has been set which is although Jim Crow and slavery has stopped there is still racism, injustice with colored people and mass incarceration. She wants real change to happen and have equality with all. Racial profiling still exist and people are still so rude and mean to colored people that change isn’t a matter of a want but a need. The racism in the justice system is not right and this book is living proof on why.

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A Review of the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a Book by Michelle Alexander. (2019, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from
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A Review of the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a Book by Michelle Alexander. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 Jun. 2023].
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