“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”, by Michelle Alexander

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Michelle Alexander (1967 – )
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010)

DOWNLOAD E-BOOK AT LIBRARY GENESIS (LIBGEN.ORG): MOBI or EPUB


1“Highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.” — From Publishers Weekly

“With imprisonment now the principal instrument of our social policy directed toward poorly educated black men, Michelle Alexander argues convincingly that the huge racial disparity of punishment in America is not the mere result of neutral state action. She sees the rise of mass incarceration as opening up a new front in the historic struggle for racial justice. And, she’s right. If you care about justice in America, you need to read this book!” —Glenn C. Loury, economist at Brown University and author of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality and Race, Incarceration and American Values

“For every century there is a crisis in our democracy, the response to which defines how future generations view those who were alive at the time. In the 18th century it was the transatlantic slave trade, in the 19th century it was slavery, in the 20th century it was Jim Crow. Today it is mass incarceration. Alexander’s 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.” —Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP

Rock on:

Michelle Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture, in honor of the late George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African American professors at the University of Chicago.

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Watch also:

Cornel West interviewed by Avi Lewis @ Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines (25 min)

Justice is Love in Public

He was the first African-American to get a PhD in philosophy at Princeton.

He went on to write more than 20 books, receive more than 20 honourary degrees, to teach at Harvard and Yale, and hold classes at universities from Paris to Addis Abeba.

With his latest hip hop CD he was named “MTV’s artist of the week”, and he has provided futuristic philosophical commentary on all three Matrix movies.

In a famous spat with the then president of Harvard University he called Lawrence Summers “the Ariel Sharon of higher education.”

Avi Lewis talks to Cornel West, a professor of African American Studies at Princeton, hip hop artist, and one of the most controversial academics in the US, about the state of democracy for African-Americans today, the Obama administration, and his dispute with Lawrence Summers.

He also shares his views on US foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan, global recession, and the growing pressure on Barack Obama.

Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AJFaultLines
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Meet the Fault Lines Team: http://aje.me/ZhfAbH

Wattstax Documents the “Black Woodstock” Concert Held 7 Years After the Watts Riots (1973)

Wattstax Picture Logokinopoisk.ru
By Josh Jones. Reblogged from Open Culture.

Recent events in Missouri have brought back painful memories for many of the brutal treatment of protestors by police during the Civil Rights Movement. Others see specters of the riots in cities like Detroit, Washington, DC, and the beleaguered Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder. These are battles we would like to think belong to the past, but in remembering them, we should also remember peaceful expressions of solidarity and nonviolent responses to persistent social injustice. One such response came in the form of a massive concert at the L.A. Coliseum put on by Memphis’ Stax records in 1972, seven years after the Watts riots. Featuring some of Stax’ biggest names— Isaac Hayes, Albert King, The Staples Singers, and more — the Wattstax music festival brought in more than 100,000 attendees and raised thousands of dollars for local causes, becoming known informally as the “black Woodstock.”

The idea came from West Coast Stax exec Forrest Hamilton and future Stax president Al Bell, who hoped, he said, to “put on a small concert to help draw attention to, and to raise funds for the Watts Summer Festival” as well as “to create, motivate, and instill a sense of pride in the citizens of the Watts community.” To make sure everyone could attend, rich or poor, the organizers sold tickets for a dollar each. Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, leading the thousands of concertgoers in a call-and-response reading of William H. Borders’ poem “I Am – Somebody.” There to film the event was Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The resulting documentary features incredible performances from Stax’ full roster of artists at the time (see a swaggering Isaac Hayes play “Shaft”). Despite security concerns from LA officials, still nervous about a gathering of “more than two black people” in one place, says Bell, the concert was a peaceful and joyously funky occasion: “you saw the Crips and Bloods sitting side by side—no problems.”

The film intercuts concert footage with man-on-the street interviews and “trenchant musings” from a then little-known Richard Pryor, who offers “sharp insight into the realities of life for black Americans, circa 1972.” It’s a moment of “get-down entertainment, raised-fist political rally, and stand-up spiritual revival” characteristic of the post-Civil Rights, Vietnam era movement, writes the PBS description of Wattstax. Unfortunately, the documentary “was considered too racy, political, and black to receive wide theatrical release or television broadcast” despite a “noted” Cannes screening and a 1974 Golden Globe nomination. It’s been a cult favorite for years, but deserves to be more widely seen, as a record of the hope and celebration of black America after the rage and despair of the late-60s. The messages of Wattstax still resonate. As Bell says, “forty years later, I hear African Americans in the audiences reacting the same scenes, the same way they did forty years ago.”

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BILL WITHERS LIVE AT THE BBC, 1973 (FULL CONCERT)

BILL WITHERS

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BILL WITHERS, The Essential (2 CDs) 
DOWLOAD TORRENT

CD1
01 – Better Days (Theme from Man and Boy).mp3
02 – Ain’t No Sunshine.mp3
03 – Harlem.mp3
04 – Grandma’s Hands.mp3
05 – Hope She’ll Be Happier.mp3
06 – Better Off Dead.mp3
07 – Lonely Town, Lonely Street.mp3
08 – Let Me in Your Life.mp3
09 – Who Is He (And What Is He to You).mp3
10 – Use Me.mp3

CD2
01 – Family Table.mp3
02 – The Best You Can.mp3
03 – Hello Like Before.mp3
04 – I Wish You Well.mp3
05 – Don’t You Want to Stay.mp3
06 – I’ll Be With You.mp3
07 – My Imagination.mp3
08 – Lovely Day.mp3
09 – I Want to Spend the Night.mp3
10 – Tender Things.mp3

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“Égalité for All: Toussaint L’Overture and the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804)” – Full PBS Documentary, 55 min, 2009, HD

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“It was the only successful slave insurrection in history. It grasped the full meaning of French revolutionary ideas — liberté, equalité, fraternité — and used them to create the world’s first Black republic. It changed the trajectory of colonial economics. “It” was the Haitian Revolution, a movement that’s been called the true birth moment of universal human rights. Vaguely remembered today, the Haitian Revolution was a hurricane at the turn of the nineteenth century — traumatizing Southern planters and inspiring slaves and abolitionists, worldwide.

The man at the forefront of Haiti’s epochal uprising was Toussaint Louverture. He was world-known in his day and deserves a place among history’s most celebrated figures today. Born into slavery, Toussaint had been freed by his master before the revolt began. He owned property and was financially secure. He risked it all, however, to join then lead an army of slaves that would fight, in turn, the French, the British, and the Spanish empires for twelve years…

The story of Haiti’s revolution is a story of extraordinary pathos. Half a million slaves dared hope for an unprecedented end to slavery and thousands died in the process. But the revolution’s history is also a story of forgotten people and milestones. Haitian slaves did not just fight with weapons. In 1794 a multi-racial delegation from Haiti traveled to Paris to address the national assembly. They spoke powerfully about slavery’s moral and physical violence. They argued that their struggle was part of France’s domestic revolution against despotism. And they won the day. The elocution of Haitian Blacks led to a sudden decree that not only freed the empire’s entire slave population, it made them French citizens, too.

Égalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution explores this history through music, voodoo ritual, powerful re-creations, and insightful writers and historians.” – PBS Synopsis

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You might also like:

Haitian Revolution – Toussaint L’Overture on Vimeo.

Toussaint L’Ouverture was the leader of the Haitian Revolution (1794-1804) against the French. Haiti was the first black republic and the second independent modern nation in the Western Hemisphere. Through the illustrations of paintings by Jacob Lawrence and Edouard Duval-Carrie, among others, the re-enactment of the lasts days of Toussaint L’Ouverture and the story of the Haitian Revolution unfolds. This film features actors Danny Glover as narrator and Glenn Plummer in the role of Toussaint, interviews with Dr. Cornel West and Wyclef Jean (who also composed original music). Created for the Museum of the African Diaspora. All rights and permissions belong to the museum.

Remembering 1968: Protests in France, The Prague Spring, Massacre at Mexico’s Olympic Games, Black Power actions etc… By Greil Marcus

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In a recent article I wrote on Greil Marcus’ musings on Jim Morrison and The Doors, I claimed that Marcus is a “painter of cultural landscapes” much more than a mere music critic. Here’s another example of what I meant by that, taken from his book about Van Morrison. Here is a bit of the historical context in which a masterpiece of outpouring musical and lyrical beauty – Astral Weeks – came to life:

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Mr. Marcus

“From the sightlines in Berkeley, California, where I lived then and now, I recall 1968 as a year of horror and bad faith, fervor and despair. The Vietnam War was poisoning the United States. Most of all there was a sense of knowing that when you drew a breath you were breathing history along with the air, or the smoke – history was being made in the instant. These names made history in 1968: John Carlos, Tommie Smith.

Berkeley was a lookout and a hideout. The great storm of student protest that would convulse the U.S.A. and nations around the world had begun there in 1964 with the Free Speech Movement. When in May 1968 a rally was held in Berkeley to celebrate the poorly understood but exciting revolt taking place in France, activists distributed leaflets denouncing the police violence that had dispersed the rally before the rally took place.

Word of the Prague Spring, even the meaning of the Soviet invasion that crushed it, arrived only in fragments, and no speaker stood up to put the pieces together. News of the massacre of hundreds of students in Mexico City, just before the Olympic Games were to begin there, were supressed from the start… In the United States few looked; curiosity about the world withered.

When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis in April, and then, in June, in Los Angeles, Robert F. Kennedy, running for president, was shot and killed, an awful sense of disease, ruin, and damnation seized the country so fully it could only be channeled into pathetic calls for gun control…

The Mexican government wanted a clean Olympics, a clean show, and so did the world. That is why the massacres took place, why the government buried the event literally and figuratively, and why the cover-up was a complete success, with witnesses disappeared or conventionally murdered for years afterward… So the games went on as planned – except for John Carlos and Tommie Smith of San Jose State in California, American entrants in the 200 meter dash. Inspired by Harry Edwards’s Olympic Project for Human Rights, which had originally called for a boycott of the Olympics by all black athletes, they had a plan.

They would run the race; they would win; they would mount the victory stand; and then, as the band played “The Star-Spangled Banner”, before the eyes of the entire world they would bow their heads and raise black-gloved fists in salutes of black power and black unity. With beads around their necks they would signify the deaths of those leaders like King who had been assassinated, and the nameless thousands gone who had been lynched and thrown from slave ships; with shoeless feet they would signify poverty.

On October 16, 1968, the plan was realized: Smith finished first, tying the world record, and took the gold metal, Carlos finished third and took the bronze. In the podium, Smith and Carlos gestured.

They marked, or scarred, their national anthem as definitively as Jimi Hendrix would a year later at Woodstock. Hendrix’s furiously, exultantly distorted, bottomlessly complex recasting of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was not only a version of what Smith and Carlos did with it, his version may have been inspired by theirs.”

GREIL MARCUS,
“When That Rough God Goes Riding – Listening to Van Morrison”.
New York: Public Affaris, 2010. Pg. 46-47

Jimi-Hendrix

Hendrix. Woodstock, 69. The U.S. anthem. Fucking awesome.

The War on Terror, Mass Incarceration in the U.S.A., and Another World Is Possible – by Angela Davis

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Angela Davis speaks:

“In Wisconsin black people constitute 4 or 5% of the state’s population and about 50% of the imprisoned population. Our criminal justice system sends increasing numbers of people to prison by first robbing them of housing, health care, education, and welfare, and then punishing them when they participate in underground economies. What should we think about a system that will, on the one hand, sacrifice social services, human compassion, housing and decent schools, mental health care and jobs, while on the other hand developing an ever larger and ever more profitable prison system that subjects ever larger numbers of people to daily regimes of coercion and abuse? The violent regimes inside prisons are located on a continuum of repression that includes state-sanctioned killing of civilians.” (The Meaning of Freedom, p. 62)

“It cannot be denied that immigration is on the rise. In many cases, however, people are compelled to leave their home countries because U.S. corporations have economically undermined local economies through ‘free trade’ agreements, structural adjustment, and the influence of such international financial institutions as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Rather than characterize ‘immigration’ as the source of the current crisis, it is more accurate to say that it is the homelessness of global capital that is responsible for so many of the problems people are experiencing throughout the world. Many transnational corporations that used to be required to comply with a modicum of rules and regulations in the nation-states where they are headquartered have found ways to evade prohibitions against cruel, dehumanizing, and exploitative labor practices. They are now free to do virtually anything in the name of maximizing profits. 50% of all of the garments purchased in the U.S. are made abroad by women and girls in Asia and Latin America. Many immigrant women from those regions who come to this country hoping to find work do so because they can no longer make a living in their home countries. Their native economies have been dislocated by global corporations. But what do they find here in the United States? More sweatshops.” (p. 64)

free_angela_button“Our impoverished popular imagination is responsible for the lack of or sparsity of conversations on minimizing prisons and emphasizing decarceration as opposed to increased incarceration. Particularly since resources that could fund services designed to help prevent people from engaging in the behavior that leads to prison are being used instead to build and operate prisons. Precisely the resources we need in order to prevent people from going to prison are being devoured by the prison system. This means that the prison reproduces the conditions of its own expansion, creating a syndrome of self-perpetuation.” (p. 67)

“The global war on drugs is responsible for the soaring numbers of people behind bars – and for the fact that throughout the world there is a disproportionate number of people of color and people from the global South in prison. (…) The drug war and the war on terror are linked to the global expansion of the prison. Let us remember that the prison is a historical system of punishment. In other worlds, it has not always been a part of human history; therefore, we should not take this institution for granted, or consider it a permanent and unavoidable fixture of our society. The prison as punishment emerged around the time of industrial capitalism, and it continues to have a particular affinity with capitalism. (…) Globalization has not only created devastating conditions for people in the global South, it has created impoverished and incarcerated communities in the United States and elsewhere in the global North. ” (p. 82)

politicians

“Why, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, have we allowed our government to pursue unilateral policies and practices of global war? (…) Increasingly, freedom and democracy are envisioned by the government as exportable commodities, commodities that can be sold or imposed upon entire populations whose resistances are aggressively suppressed by the military. The so-called global war on terror was devised as a direct response to the September 11 attacks. Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush swiftly transformed the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon into occasions to misuse and manipulate collective grief, thereby reducing this grief to a national desire for vengeance. (…) It seems to me the most obvious subversion of the healing process occurred when the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan, then Iraq, and now potentially Iran. All in the name of the human beings who died on September 11. Bloodshed and belligerence in the name of freedom and democracy!…

Bush had the opportunity to rehearse this strategy of vengeance and death on a smaller scale before he moved into the White House. As governor of Texas, he not only lauded capital punishment, he presided over more executions – 152 to be precise – than any other governor in the history of the United States of America.

Imperialist war militates against freedom and democracy, yet freedom and democracy are repeatedly invoked by the purveyors of global war. Precisely those forces that presume to make the world safe for freedom and democracy are now spreading war and torture and capitalist exploitation around the globe. The Bush government represents its project as a global offensive against terrorism, but the conduct of this offensive has generated practices of state violence and state terrorism in comparison to which its targets pale…

Estimates range from 500.000 to 700.000 so far – some people say that one million… – people that have been killed during the war in Iraq. Why can’t we even have a national conversation about that?”

onehellofaleader

“What is most distressing to those of us who believe in a democratic future is the tendency to equate democracy with capitalism. Capitalist democracy should be recognized as the oxymoron that it is. The two orders are fundamentally incompatible, especially considering the contemporary transformations of capitalism under the impact of globalization. But there are those who cannot tell the difference between the two. In no historical era can the freedom of the market serve as an acceptable model of democracy for those who do not possess the means – the capital – to take advantage of the freedom of the market.

The most convincing contemporary evidence against the equation of capitalism and democracy can be discovered in the fact that many institutions with a profoundly democratic impulse have been dismantled under the pressure exerted by international financial agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In the global South, structural adjustment has unleashed a juggernaut of privatization of public services that used to be available to masses of people, such as education and health care. These are services that no society should deny its members, services we all should be able to claim by virtue of our humanity. Conservative demands to privatize Social Security in the United States further reveal the reign of profits for the few over the rights of the many.

Another world is possible, and despite the hegemony of forces that promote inequality, hierarchy, possessive individualism, and contempt for humanity, I believe that together we can work to create the conditions for radical social transformation.”

ANGELA DAVIS,
The Meaning of Freedom 
City Lights Books
San Franciso, California, 2012.

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Mountains That Take Wing
(2009. 97 min. Color.)

A WMM (Women Make Movies) release:
orders@wmm.com and http://www.wmm.com.

“This film, co-directed by C.A. Griffith & H.L.T. Quan, is a “Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation”. Internationally renowned scholar, professor and writer Angela Davis and 89-year-old grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yuri Kochiyama share intimate conversations about personal histories and influences that shaped them and their shared experiences in some of the most important social movements in 20th century United States. The film’s unique format honors the scope and depth of their knowledge on topics ranging from Jim Crow laws and Japanese internment camps, to Civil Rights, anti-war, women’s and gay liberation movements, to today’s campaigns for political prisoners and prison reform. These insights, recorded over the span of 13 years, offer critical lessons about community activism and tremendous hope for the future of social justice.”

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