Author Michelle Alexander, whose book The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness has been called “the best book ever written on mass incarceration and the war on drugs,” will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6 at the Holiday Inn City Center, 500 Hamilton Blvd., Peoria.
Alexander will speak on the plan to criminalize young Black and Brown men in America, when the plan was created and implemented, who benefits from it, and how it has produced a new pseudo-slavery for black men in America.
Writing in the HuffingtonPost.com, Alexander stated: “…crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the past few decades — and currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have soared. Quintupled. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs, a war waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color, even though studies consistently show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates.”
Alexander is a longtime civil rights advocate and litigator who received a 2005 Soros Justice Fellowship and now holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Mortiz College of Law at Ohio State University. She was director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California, and directed the Civil Rights Clinics at Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor. Alexander is a former law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court, and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.
The event is open to the public, with an admission price of $20.00.
Alexander will meet with audience members afterward to sign her book, and also be at Bradley University’s Romeo B. Garrett Hall at 12 noon to 1:20 p.m. on Dec. 6 for a book signing.