Complicating The New Jim Crow

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At the New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh discusses a new provocative book about current racial tensions in the USThe book, Black Silent Majority by Michael Javen Fortner, aims to complicate the idea that black people are disproportionately affected by police violence and incarceration (notably addressed by Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow) by talking about the ways black people themselves called for harsher prison sentences and a crackdown on crime in the 60s and 70s:

At a moment of growing concern about how our criminal-justice system harms African-Americans, Fortner seeks to show that African-American leaders, urged on by members of the community, helped create that system in the first place.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →