Racism, Prisons and the Future of Black America

Columbia's Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies Professor Manning Marable comments on 20th century numerical histories of crime, policing, and incarceration, including an analysis of the costs and profits of the early 21st Century Prison system and an argument that the anti-prison movement is potentially the most indispensable domestic American political project. 

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There are today over two million Americans incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails throughout the United States. More than one-half, or one million, are black men and women. The devastating human costs of the mass incarceration of one out of every thirty-five individuals within black America are beyond imagination. While civil rights organizations like the NAACP and black institutions such as churches and mosques have begun to address this widespread crisis of black mass imprisonment, they have frankly not given it the centrality and importance it deserves. Read more...