Book Discussion for "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander

  • May 12, 2013 · 3:00 PM
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Here's our nonfiction pick for the quarter, and it looks like it will be an interesting read! Please bring questions, thoughts, comments - no formal presentations are necessary, but do expect to engage in some active listening and conversation. As always, dissenting opinions and thoughts are welcome, but I do expect participants to be respectful of each other as they express them.

 

Here's a short summary of the book:

"The New Jim Crow," by Michelle Alexander.

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."
Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos, "explosive" by Kirkus, and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.


Now let's get to readin'!

 

Suggested Donation: $2/attendee

As stated in my profile, I'm a broke-ass grad student, and Meetup groups cost money to run (surprise!), so... if you can contribute a buck or two, please do! This increases the likelihood that I can continue this group despite my rotten budget. If you can't, don't sweat it - it wouldn't really be fair to exclude other broke-asses. If there are extra funds from donations over the year (i.e., if the amount collected exceeds the cost of the Meetup, which is $144/year), then I will use the remaining funds for something fun for the group, like drinks/snacks for a holiday get together at the year's end.

A little note on RSVPs:

If you have to cancel (life happens sometimes), please do so at least 24 hours in advance. That way space can be freed up for others who may wish to attend, but for whom there wasn't enough room. RSVPs cannot be changed after 9:00am on the day of the event, so be sure to change your RSVP well in advance of this! Also, if you are on the waiting list and other's change their RSVP to "no", you will be bumped up on the list, so make sure to check your status the day of the event. If you RSVP "yes" and don't show up 3 times (yes, I will be counting!), you will be excluded from future attendance. This is only fair for others who want to attend the meetings.

 

 

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  • lorena

    loved the discussion for The New Jim Crow

    2 · May 13, 2013

  • brian b

    The NYTimes’ piece I couldn’t remember this afternoon is “Beyond the Code of the Streets” by Ta-Nahisi Coates—a very compelling (and short!) read, I think: http://wap.nytimes.com/images/100000000856098/2013/05/05/opinion/sunday/coates-beyond-the-code-of-the-streets.html?from=sunday-review

    1 · May 12, 2013

  • brian b

    Spencer: Luka's a Sports Bar! And the Warriors will have the game well in hand by 3:00, in any event.

    May 11, 2013

    • brian b

      Well, it's more of a Sports Bar-Lite. I watched game 2 at Wed.’s Starry Plough Poetry Slam—a sensational high/low brow blend!

      May 11, 2013

    • Spencer T. C.

      Good to know we have a fellow Warriors fan. ^^

      May 12, 2013

  • Jeremy

    Not going to get through it.

    May 11, 2013

  • Spencer T. C.

    I'm a diehard Golden State Warriors fan, and they've just been scheduled to play game four against the Spurs this Sunday afternoon. It's a huge playoff game, so I'll have to pass on this meeting to support our basketball team - go Warriors!

    May 11, 2013

  • Liz G.

    So sorry to miss the meeting. Great book, but Mother's Day plans call.

    May 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If we can be mindful of the varying financial bandwidth when it comes to where we choose to meet, that would be greatly appreciated. :-)

    April 28, 2013

    • Valerie F.

      See my personal description - out of my own self-interest, I am ALWAYS mindful of financial bandwidths! :)

      1 · May 4, 2013

    • Spencer T. C.

      Valerie, I love your profile description regarding your "financial bandwidth" - it's cheerful, blunt, unpretentious, and humorous! It's one of the first things I noticed when I joined this meetup group, lol. ^^

      May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Totally forgot about Mothers Day. Can't make it.

    May 5, 2013

  • lorena

    One suggestion for where to meet during the warm weather is Cafe Leila. They have a large outdoor garden area with large tables out there. Very nice atmosphere.

    April 28, 2013

    • Valerie F.

      I'll check it out at some point Lorena - didn't have time to scope it this month!

      May 4, 2013

    • lorena

      When you go to check it out you might enjoy going on a Friday or Saturday night when they have a Jazz band. You can look on their site for the schedule.

      May 5, 2013

  • Liz

    Just a mention that Sunday, May 12th is Mother's Day, so many cafe/restaurants may be busier than usual. I imagine that the rush will be over by 3pm, but just something to bear in mind :)

    1 · May 3, 2013

    • Valerie F.

      Thanks for the reminder! I have a feeling Luka's should be relatively open, as it doesn't seem like a typical Mum's Day spot :)

      May 4, 2013

  • eric

    The only suggestion I have for the book club is that the
    San Francisco Public Library is all ways having events for people who have an interest in books, movies and community. Nevertheless, I attend the events to learn but hangout the most to study for my degree on my own. (www.sfpl.org)

    April 25, 2013

  • henry d.

    I hope to attend. Would anyone be interested in reading Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem? Instantly became a favorite of mine.

    Henry

    April 22, 2013

    • Valerie F.

      Henry, definitely send me that book title and a synopsis when I send out the next call for book suggestions!

      April 24, 2013

  • Liz

    Missed the cut off to RSVP, but determined to be there. Even if it has to be ninja-style...

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am willing to host this in my home in Oakland if folks are interested. I LOVED this book and don't mind re-reading it again. I have a dog and cat in residence but can put them in the bedroom.

    March 11, 2013

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