An Introduction to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow

Is the War on Drugs responsible for the inordinate number of black Americans sent to prison for non-violent drug offensives? That's MIchelle Alexander's contention in her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Introduce class members to Alexander with Macat's brief analysis of her work.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups research and collect statistics that support or challenge Alexander's premise
  • Review the Jim Crow laws before showing the video
Classroom Considerations

  • Make sure that viewers understand that the military example is hypotheical and not in fact true of the military
  • From a longer playlist about the greatest ideas in history
Pros

  • The lack of statistics in the video encourages viewers to research and find data that either supports or challenges Alexander's thesis
Cons

  • No statistics are provided
Common Core