Intellectual Freedom Fighters, Part 3: Books to Prison Organizations
In light of recent controversy around bans on prison book donations, prison libraries and books to prison organizations are recognized as fighters for intellectual freedom.
Reading as a Mirror: Banning the New Jim Crow in New Jersey Prisons
On January 10th, the New Jersey prisons reversed a ban on Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, after a letter from the New Jersey ACLU challenged the ban. With a little reflection, it isn’t hard to see the bitter irony of banning prisoners from reading a book like The New Jim Crow, a book that argues that mass incarceration targets African-Americans in order to keep them in an inferior position both socially and economically. These men and women are made “socially dead,” to borrow a phrase from famed sociologist Orlando Patterson.