August 29th, 2016

“The New Jim Crow” Community Read Latest News

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, is the definitive academic/legal account of the contemporary system of mass incarceration. In Alexander’s words, mass incarceration is a “stunningly comprehensive and well disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.”


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Jim Crow was the system of legalized segregation, discrimination and violence that operated from the late 1800’s Reconstruction Period to the mid 1960’s Civil Rights Era and has largely faded from public consciousness. Alexander’s book demonstrates how, in the current era of colorblindness, mass incarceration constitutes a New Jim Crow, creating a racialized second class citizenry around the label “criminal.”

Mass incarceration, like earlier systems of racial control (slavery and Jim Crow), will only change as the result of mass social movements for racial justice.



The Book Read project lasts from September 2016 to April 2017. There are two main parts:

Monthly Public Events, each on a different theme based on chapters of the NJC. Each event is hosted by different organization. The Kick Off Event is on September 19, 2016 and the last event is in April 2017.

Book Groups, where 10-20 people will gather every month for a facilitated discussion about the the NJC. The planning committee will offer a training for book group facilitators.

The book read is also offering free copies of The New Jim Crow (including an e-book option) for folks in book groups and for members of the public.

Want to facilitate a book group? Want to join a book group? Want to to attend a public discussion or learn about special event like film screenings?

Training for Book Group Facilitators

Join us for a facilitation training for book group facilitators on Saturday, September 10th, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 120 3rd St, Ithaca, NY.



Many thanks to community sponsors:

Multicultural Resource Center, ACTION (Activists Committed to Interrupting Oppression Now), Diversity Consortium of Tompkins County, Civic Ensemble, The City of Ithaca, Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC), Southside Community Center, Tompkins County Public Library, Africana Library (Cornell University), CU Public Service Center, Community Foundation of Tompkins County, Park Foundation. TST BOCES, Dorthy Cotton Institute, Ithaca College, Durland Alternatives Library, Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga, TC3, GreenStar, Eco-Defense Radio, ¡CULTURA! Ithaca, Latina/o Studies Program (Cornell University), Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Ithaca, The Village at Ithaca, Kendal at Ithaca, Natural Leaders Initiative, Tompkins County, Groundswell

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