Occupy Kingston is teaming up with The Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library of Poughkeepsie to sponsor a lecture series and community read organized around The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a New York Times bestselling book about the extraordinary incarceration rates of African Americans in the contemporary United States and how that destroys lives, families, communities, and inflicts tremendous damage on our society as a whole.
Here is the situation:
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Beginning in the 1970s, the number of Americans residing in jails has risen more than 500% to total 2.2 million people.
Though African Americans make up a little more than 12% of
the total U.S. population, nearly half of those behind bars, or roughly 900,000 inmates, are black.
These statistics mean that African Americans are nearly six times as likely to be incarcerated as whites.
The racial disparity also encompasses Hispanics, who are twice as likely to be sent to jail as whites.
Laws and other targeting devices currently in place help to maintain and grow this tremendously unjust and repressive situation. The laws are there for specific reasons which have little to do with enhancing public safety and welfare.
We will be running this program with the dual purpose of educating ourselves on the facts today as well as looking at all we can do to change this untenable, destructive state of affairs. We will have guest speakers familiar with the particular topics highlighted in different chapters, and we'll be encouraging a robust dialogue amongst ourselves leading to resolute and productive action.
To take part in this Book Reading Contact: Odell Winfield[masked] or [masked]
The project will commence on October 9, and run mostly alternate Tuesdays until December 20th: