Michelle Alexander





Michelle Alexander

Author profile


born
in The United States
October 07, 1967


About this author

Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University, a civil rights advocate and a writer.


Average rating: 4.38 · 8,286 ratings · 1,199 reviews · 5 distinct works · Similar authors
The New Jim Crow: Mass Inca...
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 8,160 ratings — published 2009 — 8 editions
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The Color of Sunlight: A Tr...
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4.57 of 5 stars 4.57 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2010
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Behind Bars
4.67 of 5 stars 4.67 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2011
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Race to Incarcerate: A Grap...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 106 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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Redefining Black Power: Ref...
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“The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.”
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

“The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that's why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.”
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

“Arguably the most important parallel between mass incarceration and Jim Crow is that both have served to define the meaning and significance of race in America. Indeed, a primary function of any racial caste system is to define the meaning of race in its time. Slavery defined what it meant to be black (a slave), and Jim Crow defined what it meant to be black (a second-class citizen). Today mass incarceration defines the meaning of blackness in America: black people, especially black men, are criminals. That is what it means to be black.”
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

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