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Mass Incarceration Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Protesters in Baltimore in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death in 2015.

The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an ‘Aberration’

By Commentaries/Opinions

From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial. By Michelle Alexander, NYT — Ten years have passed since my book, “The New Jim Crow,” was published. I wrote it to challenge our nation to reckon with the recurring cycles of racial reform, retrenchment and rebirth of caste-like systems that have defined our racial history since slavery. It has been an astonishing decade. Everything and nothing has…

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in St. Augustine, Florida. June 1964.

‘Until We Are All Free’: Learning from Tubman, King, and Stevenson

By Commentaries/Opinions

All of them returned to the South’s frontline struggle for racial justice. By R. Drew Smith — In 2020, January remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. are occurring against the backdrop of two high-profile films emphasizing sacrificial servant leadership. First, the film Harriet provided a renewed focus on celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman. This biopic chronicles her mid-19th century enslavement in Maryland, her daring escape to a hard-won freedom in Philadelphia, and her…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

The Thriving System of Convict Labor

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — As 2019 ticked to a close, the screamingly outrageous headlines have not slowed. Every day there is something, whether it is a flurry of presidential tweets or yet another Republican spouting off about something or other. Who would have thought, though, that amid the Christmas holiday we would learn that billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg is using convicted prisoners to make calls for his campaign? He…

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New Jersey considers task force to look into reparations for slavery

New Jersey considers task force to look into reparations for slavery

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By News12, New Jersey — New Jersey’s African American lawmakers want to start studying how the state could make reparations for slavery. The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus introduced a bill Thursday that would establish a Reparations Task Force. The task force would investigate the lingering effects of slavery and the role of state government. “The great national stain of this country’s history is this conversation around slavery. And the…

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Ben & Jerry's Stands in Support of H.R. 40 and Reparations for African Americans

Ben & Jerry’s Stands in Support of H.R. 40 and Reparations for African Americans

By Reparations

Statement by Ben & Jerry’s — Four hundred years ago, the first enslaved Africans were brought to North America in Jamestown, Virginia. As all of us acknowledge and observe this anniversary, we, as a company, believe it’s important to take a decisive stand in support of reparations. That is why we back H.R. 40, a bill before Congress that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination…

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Prisons

American Gulag: Our Prisons Get More Oppressive by the Day

By Editors' Choice

By John W. Whitehead, CounterPunch — “The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can ‘pay their debt to society,’ make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself. The rulers of ancient Rome and Greece sent their dissidents off to distant colonies. Socrates chose death over the torment of exile from Athens. The poet…

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Moms United to End the War on Drugs

Parents Across the Nation Will Gather on International Overdose Awareness Day

By News & Current Affairs

On International Overdose Awareness Day, Parents Across the Nation Gather to Remember and Honor Lives Lost and Educate Communities about Solutions to the Overdose Crisis. By Moms United/A New Path — Moms United to End the War on Drugs representatives are raising awareness about the crisis on accidental overdoses across the nation and around the world. Families will hold rallies and vigils during the week leading up to International Overdose…

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Ronald E. Hampton

Who made the police both judge and jury?

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Ron Hampton — Big-city prosecutors and police chiefs recently attended a summit in Washington, D.C. held at the office of the Police Executive Research Forum, a think tank that advises police chiefs. But some prosecutors and police chiefs decided not to attend. The traditional police community is at it again in America. The police chiefs are claiming that newly elected representatives and progressive prosecutors along with some police chiefs…

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Lynchings happened across the U.S., including the 1916 lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas.

Maryland has created a truth commission on lynchings – can it deliver?

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Kelebogile Zvobgo — Between 1850 and 1950, thousands of African American men, women and children were victims of lynchings: public torture and killings carried out by white mobs. Lynchings were used to terrorize and control black people, notably in the South following the end of slavery. Yet despite the prevalence and seriousness of the practice, there has been an “astonishing absence of any effort to acknowledge, discuss, or address lynching,” reports the Equal…

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Black Lives Matter Poster

The Racist Roots of American Policing: from Slave Patrols to Traffic Stops

By Commentaries/Opinions

But the persistence of racially biased policing means that unless American policing reckons with its racist roots, it is likely to keep repeating mistakes of the past. Connie Hassett-Walker, The Conversation — Outrage over racial profiling and the killing of African Americans by police officers and vigilantes in recent years helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new. There are many precedents to the Ferguson,…

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