Comparative 13th & Intro to Chapter 2 from New Jim Crow
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, published in 2010, remains one of the clearest explanations of how the system of mass incarceration is actually a third iteration 。 of the American “racial caste system.” Despite the assumption that the criminal justice system is colorblind, she exposes the various covert and overt ways that low income Black and other people of color communities have been targeted by law enforcement and court systems for imprisonment. Similarly, Ava Duvernay directed the 2016 documentary 13th, which picks up on many of the points raised in Alexander’s text. For this Weekly Writing Response, you are asked to write a 400-word comparative analysis of the documentary 13th and the Intro through chapter 2 of the New Jim Crow.
Why does Alexander title her book the “New Jim Crow” and DuVernay title her film “13th”? How are these titles related to topics we’ve already discussed this semester? What are the main points raised by both Alexander and DuVernay? What are some of the myths and assumptions that people have about the criminal justice system? What factors do Alexander and DuVernay argue have caused the rapid increase in mass incarceration? How does the current system of mass incarceration and criminal justice mirror previous systems of racialized social control?