Systemic Issues

Locking up our own : crime and punishment in black America

James Forman Jr
2018
ISBN: 9780374537449

"Critics of America's criminal justice system have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman Jr. points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders. In this book, he seeks to understand why. Forman describes how the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction--and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures that would have unforeseen but devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. He tells stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims--individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas."--Book cover.

The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness

Michelle Alexander ; with a new foreword by Cornel West
2012
ISBN: 9781595581037

This work argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them. In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community - and all of us - to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

Ebook and audiobook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

Ebook always available on Hoopla.

The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America

Richard Rothstein
2017
ISBN: 9781631492853

"Richard Rothstein explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation -- that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes it clear that it was de jure segregation -- the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments -- that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day."--Book jacket.

Ebook and audiobook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

Evicted : poverty and profit in the American city

Matthew Desmond
2016
ISBN: 9780553447439

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor families are spending over half of their income on housing and millions are forced from their homes each year. In the inner city, eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today.

Ebook and audiobook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

The sum of us : what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together

Heather McGhee
2021
ISBN: 9780525509561

"Heather C. McGhee's specialty is the American economy, and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. As she dug into subject after subject, from the financial crisis to declining wages to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common problem at the bottom of them all: racism, but not just in the obvious ways that hurt people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It's the common denominator in our most vexing public problems, even beyond our economy. It is at the core of the dysfunction of our democracy and even the spiritual and moral crises that grip us. Racism is a toxin in the American body and it weakens us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? To find the way, McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Mississippi to Maine, tallying up what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm: the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she collects the stories of white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams and their shot at a better job to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country, from parks and pools to functioning schools, have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. It's why we fail to prevent environmental and public health crises that require collective action. But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee also finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to the benefit of all involved"-- Provided by the publisher.

Ebook and audiobook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

Family properties : How the struggle over race and real estate transformed Chicago and urban America

Beryl Satter
2009
ISBN: 9780805076769

Part family story and part urban history, this work is a landmark investigation of segregation and urban decay in Chicago, and in cities across the nation. The "promised land" for thousands of Southern blacks, postwar Chicago quickly became the most segregated city in the North, the site of the nation's worst ghettos and the target of Martin Luther King Jr.'s first campaign beyond the South. In this book, the author identifies the true causes of the city's black slums and the ruin of urban neighborhoods throughout the country. It is not, as some have argued, black pathology, the culture of poverty, or white flight, but a widespread and institutionalized system of legal and financial exploitation. This is an account of a city in crisis; unscrupulous lawyers, slumlords, and speculators are pitched against religious reformers, community organizers, and an impassioned attorney who launched a crusade against the profiteers, the author's father, Mark J. Satter. At the heart of the struggle stand the black migrants who, having left the South with its legacy of sharecropping, suddenly find themselves caught in a new kind of debt peonage. The author shows the interlocking forces at work in their oppression: the discriminatory practices of the banking industry; the federal policies that created the country's shameful "dual housing market" ; the economic anxieties that fueled white violence; and the tempting profits to be made by preying on the city's most vulnerable population. This tale of racism and real estate, politics and finance, will forever change our understanding of the forces that transformed urban America.--[Provided by publisher.].

Redefining realness : my path to womanhood, identity, love & so much more

by Janet Mock
2014
ISBN: 9781476709130

With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman's quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another-and of ourselves-showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.

Audiobook always available on Hoopla.

Killing rage : ending racism

bell hooks
1995
ISBN: 9780805037821

Twenty-three essays written from a black and feminist perspective ; they consider the bitter difficulities of racism by envisioning a world without it.

The half has never been told : slavery and the making of American capitalism

Edward E. Baptist
2014
ISBN: 9780465002962

Historian Edward Baptist reveals how the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States.

Audiobook always available from Hoopla.

The sun does shine : how I found life and freedom on death row

Anthony Ray Hinton, with Lara Love Hardin ; and a foreword by Bryan Stevenson
2018
ISBN: 9781250124715

"A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit"-- From the publisher.

Ebook and audiobook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood

Trevor Noah
2016
ISBN: 9780399588174

Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.

Ebook available from the Alaska Digital Library.

At mama's knee : mothers and race in black and white

April Ryan
2016
ISBN: 9781442265639

In her first book, The Presidency in Black and White, journalist April Ryan examined race in America through her experience as a White House reporter. In this book, she shifts the conversation from the White House to every home in America. At Mama’s Knee looks at race and race relations through the lessons that mothers transmit to their children. As a single African American mother in Baltimore, Ryan has struggled with each gut wrenching, race related news story to find the words to convey the right lessons to her daughters. To better understand how mothers transfer to their children wisdom on race and race relations, she reached out to other mothers—prominent political leaders like Hillary Clinton and Valerie Jarrett, celebrities like Cindy Williams, and others like Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, whose lives have been impacted by prominent race related events. At a time when Americans still struggle to address racial division and prejudice, their stories remind us that attitudes change from one generation to the next and one child at a time.

The color of success : Asian Americans and the origins of the model minority

Ellen D. Wu
2014
ISBN: 9780691157825

"The Color of Success tells of the astonishing transformation of Asians in the United States from the "yellow peril" to "model minorities"--Peoples distinct from the white majority but lauded as well-assimilated, upwardly mobile, and exemplars of traditional family values--in the middle decades of the twentieth century. As Ellen Wu shows, liberals argued for the acceptance of these immigrant communities into the national fold, charging that the failure of America to live in accordance with its democratic ideals endangered the country's aspirations to world leadership. Weaving together myriad perspectives, Wu provides an unprecedented view of racial reform and the contradictions of national belonging in the civil rights era. She highlights the contests for power and authority within Japanese and Chinese America alongside the designs of those external to these populations, including government officials, social scientists, journalists, and others. And she demonstrates that the invention of the model minority took place in multiple arenas, such as battles over zoot suiters leaving wartime internment camps, the juvenile delinquency panic of the 1950s, Hawaii statehood, and the African American freedom movement. Together, these illuminate the impact of foreign relations on the domestic racial order and how the nation accepted Asians as legitimate citizens while continuing to perceive them as indelible outsiders. By charting the emergence of the model minority stereotype, The Color of Success reveals that this far-reaching, politically charged process continues to have profound implications for how Americans understand race, opportunity, and nationhood"-- Provided by publisher.