Haley Scholars Fall 2013 Reading Groups
"The notion of racial differences--specifically the notion of white supremacy--proved far more durable than the institution that gave birth to it" (26). --Michelle Alexander
In chapter 1 of her book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander traces the history of slavery up to and through the rise and apparent fall of Jim Crow as a kind of racial caste system. She goes on to discuss the possible foundations of the "get tough on crime movement," which would somehow contribute to "the emergence of a penal system unprecedented in world history" (42).
Alexander goes on to explain how shifts and divisions from the Civil Rights Movement up through political campaigns and presidential policies, including those of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton solidified conditions for a modern-day system of racial caste.
What aspect of the history that Alexander presents was most notable or surprising to you? Why did that point attract your attention?