African Americans today face a systemic crisis of mass underemployment, mass imprisonment, and mass disfranchisement. This comprehensive reader makes clear to students the mutual constitution of these three crises.
NEW SERIES ANNOUNCEMENT
Critical Black Studies
Series Editor: Manning Marable
The Critical Black Studies Series features readers and anthologies examining challenging topics within the contemporary black experience–in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and across the African Diaspora. Under the general editorial supervision of Manning Marable, the readers in the series are designed both for college and university course adoption, as well as for general readers and researchers. The Critical Black Studies Series seeks to provoke intellectual debate and exchange over the most critical issues confronting the political, socioeconomic and cultural reality of black life in the United States and beyond.
Manning Marable is Professor of History and Political Science and Director, Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University.
Keesha Middlemass is assistant professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.
Ian Steinberg is a graduate student at Columbia University
“In the midst of astounding educational, economic, and professional advancement for millions of African Americans, there has been an equally astounding growth in the number of incarcerated and otherwise “criminalized” blacks in this country. This collection of essays draws on scholarship and experience, and from the academy and the streets, to explore the historical and political roots of this infuriating and agonizing trend. This book arms the community of scholars, law enforcement, and activists with the information we need to work our way out of this mess.” –Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
“Through a stimulating variety of writings, from scholarly analysis to literary expression to personal testimony, Racializing Justice offers a searing picture of the major social crisis of our time—mass and disproportionate imprisonment, and its effects not just on African-Americans but on all Americans. It reveals this crisis not as an array of unintended, reactive effects, but as a set of governmental policies that are either deliberate about or or recklessly indifferent toward their heartbreaking consequences. From parentless children to smashed hopes for economic improvement to de facto life sentences of civic disenfranchisement, contemporary American incarceration policies inflict wounds that far overwhelm the short-term public safety gains they supposedly accomplish. And these writings collectively and passionately argue that these polices and consequences are suspiciously consistent with a multi-centuries’ American history of the entanglement of criminal justice institutions and racial inequality.”
–Robert Weisberg, Edwin E. Huddleson, Jr. Professor of Law, Stanford University
“This volume brings together a wide range of scholarship tackling the problem of racialized criminal justice. In its breadth and depth, this text provides valuable insight to students and practitioners as we try to make sense of the institutional relationships between the criminal justice system, education, health care, employment, and housing. Indeed, the scope of the problems presented in this volume suggests that thinking of these as primarily criminal justice issues obscures a much larger set of problems that implicates a much larger set of issues. We cannot make sense of the explosion in the criminal justice system without considering race and how other institutions, such as education, must be linked to criminal justice. We are experiencing a racialized definition, a sorting process that does bode well for society or democracy. What we see is a complex interweave of forces which mutually reinforce each other in a bounded web of causation. I hope that these essays will help stimulate a much broader, and much needed, discussion about race and criminal justice in American society.” –John A. Powell, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio State University
Introduction: Incarcerating the American Dream: the New Racial Domain, Criminal Justice, and the Prison Industrial Complex–Manning Marable * PART I: THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE NEW RACIAL DOMAIN * Reconstructing Race and Crime: The Radical Tradition Revisited–Tony Platt * The Condemnation of Little B–Elaine Brown * The Rockefeller Drug Laws–Robert Gangi * Racism and Capital Punishment–George Kendall * In Defense of Mumia–Leonard Weinglass * Living While Black–Charles Ogletree * PART II: WOMEN, VIOLENCE, AND INCARCERATION * The Impact of the Prison Industrial Complex on African-American Women–Natalie J. Sokoloff * Toward a Black Feminist Liberation Agenda: Race, Gender, and Violence–Kristen Clarke * The Female Bogeyman: Political Implications of Criminalizing Black Women–Julia Jordan-Zachary * A bad Relationship: Violence in the Lives of Incarcerated Black Women–Nikki Jones * PART III: RACISM, LAW, AND PUBLIC POLICY * Reassessing Race Specificity in American Law and Public Policy–Lorenzo Morris * “Tell the Court I Love My [Indian] Wife:” Interrogating Race and Self-Identity in Loving v. Virginia—Arica L. Coleman * Resistance, Redemption, and Transformation: African-American Prisoners Living with the HIV/AIDS Virus–Laura T. Fishman * PART IV: FIRST PERSON: INSIDE U.S. PRISONS * “A True Democracy:” Talking with Eddie Ellis–Blanca Vazquez * From Object to Subject: Jazz Hayden–Russell Rickford * Political Prisoners and Black Radicalism–Safiya Bukharl * Political Riddles: Bitten, Seduced, and Fooled–Alejo Dao’ud * A Victim to Passion–Robert Sanchez * What Does the Ghetto Mean?–Robert Sanchez * Manipulator under Manipulation Shh: Mums–Geoff Ward * PART V: VOTING RIGHTS AND DISENFRANCHISEMENT * Felon Voting Rights and the Disenfranchisement of African-Americans–Christopher Uggen, Jeff Manza & Angela Behrans * Jim Crow Is Alive and Well in the 21st Century: Felony Disenfranchisement and the Silencing of the African-American Voice–Ryan Scott King * The Policy of Disfranchisement–Keesha Middlemass * PART VI: CHALLENGING THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX * State of Emergency–Angela Y. Davis * From Punishment to Rehabilitation: Empowering African-American Youths–Monique Williams & Isis Sapp-Grant * Crime Prevention in the African-American Community: Lessons from the Nation of Islam–Shaun L. Gabiddon * Wesley Robert Wells and the Civil Rights Congress Campaign–Theodore Hamm * Prepared to Govern Justly–Van Jones