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


The amendment that abolished slavery had a lasting flaw

By Editors' Choice

By Peniel E. Joseph— This week marks the 155th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution that banned racial slavery. At the time this marked a new birth of American freedom, one that came at a such a high cost — and remains so incomplete — that many Americans tend to gloss over the contemporary challenges left in its wake. The end of 2020 also…

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88th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors — Resolution In Support of #HR40

By Reparations

88th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors Resolution In Support of the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act (H.R 40/S. 1083) WHEREAS, Congress finds that four million Africans and their descendants were brought to this land and enslaved in the American colonies beginning in 1619, and slavery was an institution that was statutorily upheld by the federal government of the United States…

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#Blaxit: Black Americans leave US to escape racism, build lives abroad

By News & Current Affairs

By Kim Hjelmgaard, USA Today — Editor’s Note: If interested in this article, you may also be interested to know that The Right of Repatriation is included in NAARC’s 10 Point Reparations Program. “Africans in America who choose to exercise the right to return will be provided with sufficient monetary resources to become productive citizens in their new home..” – Read it here. Okunini Ọbádélé Kambon knew: He was arrested in Chicago…

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Prison Phones

Affordable phone calls for the incarcerated take on new urgency in the pandemic

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), News & Current Affairs

By Rebekah Barber, Facing South — During this time of pandemic-related social distancing, phone conversations are helping people stay sane and connected. But incarcerated people, who are among the most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, face significant barriers when it comes to accessing phone calls, which are more vital than ever given restrictions on in-person visits. Prison telecommunications is a $1.2 billion industry dominated by Securus Technologies, headquartered in Carrolton, Texas, and Global Tel…

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Homeless in NYC Subway

Inequality and the Coronavirus, Or How to Destroy American Society From the Top Down

By Commentaries/Opinions, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

By Liz Theoharis — My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt’s temperature every night because she shared a bedroom with my mom; how they…

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Man holding American flag

Reparations: One Necessary Step Toward Black Freedom

By Reparations

By Darrel Thompson, CLASP — Reparations for descendants of enslaved Black people have been discussed on and off at least since the end of the Civil War. But the conversation has been reignited by an inflamed racist political climate, drawing renewed focus to the nation’s racist past. Last spring, students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. voted to create a fund benefitting descendants of enslaved Black people sold by the university; all…

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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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