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Anti-Racism: Criminal Justice & Race

This guide contains information on resources relating to anti-racism, including recommended books for further reading and films.

Internet Resources

Biblical Justice

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A14THPoc4-4

America After Ferguson

Source: Kanopy

Broken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice

Today, there are more African Americans in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. The prison population has exploded by 500% since the end of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. America locks up more of its racial and ethnic minorities than any other country (including South Africa at the height of apartheid). Mass incarceration has emerged as America's new caste system. How could this happen? With Philadelphia as an entry point, Broken on All Sides explores the intersection of race and poverty within the criminal justice system.

Source: Kanopy

Books & Films: Check Out at McKee Library

Locking up Our Own

"Locking Up Our Ownis an engaging, insightful, and provocative reexamination of over-incarceration in the black community. James Forman Jr. carefully exposes the complexities of crime, criminal justice, and race. What he illuminates should not be ignored." --Bryan Stevenson, author ofJust Mercy and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative "A beautiful book, written so well, that gives us the origins and consequences of where we are . . . I can see why [the Pulitzer prize] was awarded." --Trevor Noah, The Daily Show Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. InLocking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand the war on crime that began in the 1970s and why it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation's urban centers. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. 

Policing the Black Man

Policing the Black Man explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The co-authors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court?s failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. Policing the Black Man is an enlightening must-read for anyone interested in the critical issues of race and justice in America.

No Innocent Bystanders

The struggle for justice is ongoing. In answering the biblical call to act justly and love mercifully, can Christians cross lines of privilege to walk humbly not only with God but with their marginalized neighbors as well? No Innocent Bystanders looks at the role of allies in social justice movements and asks what works, what doesn't, and why. It explains what allies legitimately can accomplish, what they can't, and what kind of humility and clarity is required to tell the difference. This book is a start-up guide for spiritual or religious people who are interested in working for social justice but don't know how or where to begin, drawing on the lessons of history, the framework of Christian ideas, and the insights of contemporary activists. It offers practical guidance on how to meaningfully and mindfully advocate alongside all who struggle for a more just society.

Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice

"A law professor sounds an explosive alarm on the hidden unfairness of our legal system." --Kirkus Reviews, starred   A child is gunned down by a police officer; an investigator ignores critical clues in a case; an innocent man confesses to a crime he did not commit; a jury acquits a killer. The evidence is all around us: Our system of justice is fundamentally broken.   But it's not for the reasons we tend to think, as law professor Adam Benforado argues in this eye-opening, galvanizing book. Even if the system operated exactly as it was designed to, we would still end up with wrongful convictions, trampled rights, and unequal treatment. This is because the roots of injustice lie not inside the dark hearts of racist police officers or dishonest prosecutors, but within the minds of each and every one of us.  

Readings for Diversity and Social Justice

For more than a decade, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice has been the trusted, leading anthology to cover the full range of social oppressions from a social justice standpoint. With full sections dedicated to racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism, as well as transgender oppression, religious oppression, and adult and ageism, this bestselling text goes far beyond the range of traditional readers. New essay selections in each section of this third edition have been carefully chosen to keep topic coverage timely and readings accessible and engaging for students. The interactions among these topics are highlighted throughout to stress the interconnections among oppressions in everyday life. Retaining the key features and organization that has made Readings for Diversity and Social Justice an indispensable text for teaching issues of social justice while simultaneously updating and expanding its coverage, this new edition features: Over 20 new selections considering current topics and events such as immigration trends, racial profiling, student debt, Occupy Wall Street and global GLBT rights. An updated companion website with additional resources, including video clips that further complement the readings in each section. 

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire's work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and has taken on special urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is ongoing. This 50th anniversary edition includes an updated introduction by Donaldo Macedo, a new afterword by Ira Shor and interviews with Marina Aparicio Barberán, Noam Chomsky, Ramón Flecha, Gustavo Fischman, Ronald David Glass, Valerie Kinloch, Peter Mayo, Peter McLaren and Margo Okazawa-Rey to inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come.

Fearless Dialogues

Drawing on all the community's collective voices--from "doctors to drug dealers"--Fearless Dialogues is a groundbreaking program that seeks real solutions to problems of chronic unemployment, violence, and hopelessness. In cities around the United States and now the world, the program's founder, Gregory C. Ellison, and his team create conversations among community members who have never spoken to one another, the goal of which are real, implementable, and lasting changes to the life of the community. These community transformations are based on both face-to-face encounters and substantive analysis of the problems the community faces. In Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice, Ellison makes this same kind of analysis available to readers, walking them through the steps that must be taken to find common ground in our divided communities and then to implement genuine and lasting change.

America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

What began in spring 2020 as local protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police quickly exploded into a massive nationwide movement. Millions of mostly young people defiantly flooded into the nation's streets, demanding an end to police brutality and to the broader, systemic repression of Black people and other people of color. To many observers, the protests appeared to be without precedent in their scale and persistence. Yet, as the acclaimed historian Elizabeth Hinton demonstrates in America on Fire, the events of 2020 had clear precursors--and any attempt to understand our current crisis requires a reckoning with the recent past. Even in the aftermath of Donald Trump, many Americans consider the decades since the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s as a story of progress toward greater inclusiveness and equality. Hinton's sweeping narrative uncovers an altogether different history, taking us on a troubling journey from Detroit in 1967 and Miami in 1980 to Los Angeles in 1992 and beyond to chart the persistence of structural racism and one of its primary consequences, the so-called urban riot. Hinton offers a critical corrective: the word riot was nothing less than a racist trope applied to events that can only be properly understood as rebellions--explosions of collective resistance to an unequal and violent order. As she suggests, if rebellion and the conditions that precipitated it never disappeared, the optimistic story of a post-Jim Crow United States no longer holds. Black rebellion, America on Fire powerfully illustrates, was born in response to poverty and exclusion, but most immediately in reaction to police violence. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson launched the "War on Crime," sending militarized police forces into impoverished Black neighborhoods. Facing increasing surveillance and brutality, residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers, plundered local businesses, and vandalized exploitative institutions. Hinton draws on exclusive sources to uncover a previously hidden geography of violence in smaller American cities, from York, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois, to Stockton, California. The central lesson from these eruptions--that police violence invariably leads to community violence--continues to escape policymakers, who respond by further criminalizing entire groups instead of addressing underlying socioeconomic causes. The results are the hugely expanded policing and prison regimes that shape the lives of so many Americans today. Presenting a new framework for understanding our nation's enduring strife, America on Fire is also a warning: rebellions will surely continue unless police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control, and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principles of justice and equality.

Podcasts

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality

From Emmy(r)-winners Peter, George and Teddy Kunhardt (King in the Wilderness, John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls), this feature documentary follows Bryan Stevenson - lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative - through his experiences as a capital defense attorney and advocate for community-based reform.

Source: Kanopy