The New Jim Crow? Recovering the Progressive Origins of Mass Incarceration
Saint Louis University - School of Law
March 6, 2014
Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Forthcoming
Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper 2014-8
This article revisits the claim that mass incarceration constitutes a new form of racial segregation, or Jim Crow. Drawing from historical sources, it demonstrates that proponents of the analogy miss an important commonality between the two phenomena, namely the debt that each owe to progressive and/or liberal politics. Though generally associated with repression and discrimination, both Jim Crow and mass incarceration owe their existence in part to enlightened reforms aimed at promoting black interests; albeit with perverse results. Recognizing the aspirational origins of systematic discrimination marks an important facet of comprehending the persistence of racial inequality in the United States.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: race, segregation, Jim Crow, new Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander, incarceration
Date posted: March 7, 2014 ; Last revised: April 3, 2014
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