Book Discussion - The New Jim Crow

In The New Jim Crow (2010, rev. ed. 2012), law professor Michelle Alexander argues that mass incarceration “functions as a contemporary system of racial control” (back cover blurb). On this website we provide the reader with supplementary material, including links to material that will provide additional historical context. In addition, the reader will find resources on racial stereotypes and the portrayal of the “drug wars” in popular films.

Professor Alexander notes in the introduction to her book (2012) that she focuses on African American males. She encourages discussion and research by others on incarceration of women, Latinos, and immigrants. We provide some sources for those who care to do additional reading about these groups.

Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law Article -- "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander

New Jim Crow Chapter Summary from Scribd

Resource materials from the PBS series "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow" (2002)

Video and Audio

From the official New Jim Crow website:

Public radio interviews with Michelle Alexander:

Search for these videos on YouTube by title.

  • “Attica is All of Us: Cornel West on 40th Anniversary of Attica Prison Rebellion”
  • “End Mass Incarceration Panel at Riverside Church 9/14/12”
  • “Slavery and the Prison Industrial Complex – Angela Davis”

Social and Historical Context

  • Butler, Paul (2010) One Hundred Years of Race and Crime. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 100, No. 3, pp. 1043-1060.
  • Glover, Karen S. (2009) Racial Profiling: Research, Racism, and Resistance. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Hicks, Cheryl D. (2010) Talk with You like A Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935. Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Jacobs, Ronald N. (2000) Race, Media and the Crisis of Civil Society: From Watts to Rodney King. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mancini, Matthew J. (1996) One Dies, Get Another: Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-1928. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
  • Mirande, Alfredo (1987) Gringo Justice. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Oshinsky, David M. (1996) “Worse than Slavery”: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. New York: Free Press.
  • Poyntz, Stuart (1997) Homey, I Shot the Kids: Hollywood and the War on Drugs. Emergency Librarian, Vol. 25, Issue 2, p.8+
  • Roberts, Dorothy (1997) Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Smith, Mark M. (2006) How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Wallace, Michele F. (2003) The Good Lynching and The Birth of a Nation: Discourses and Aesthetics of Jim Crow. Cinema Journal, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 85-104.

The War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration

  • Bush-Baskette, Stephanie R. (2000) The War on Drugs and the Black Female: Testing the Impact of the Sentencing Policies for Clack Cocaine on Black Females in the Federal System. Dissertation, Rutgers University, Newark, 216 pp.
  • Cose, Ellis (2/8/2010) A New Jim Crow? Newsweek, Vol. 155, Issue 6.
  • Forman, James, Jr. (2012) Racial Critique of Mass Incarceration: Beyond The New Jim Crow. New York University Law Review 87 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 21.
  • Glasser, Ira (2000) American Drug Laws: The New Jim Crow. Albany Law Review, Vol. 63, Issue 3, p. 703, 22 pp.
  • Henderson, Katie (2011) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-Blindness. Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, Vol. 26, Issue 2, pp. 396-401.
  • Jordan-Zachery, Julia S. (2008) A Declaration of War: An Analysis of How the Invisibility of Black Women Makes Targets of the War on Drugs. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, Vol. 29, Issue 2, pp. 231-259.
  • Rafay, Atif (2012) Bleak Housing and Black Americans: Some Problems in the Use of Racial Disparities in Incarceration as a Reason for Reform. Journal of Poverty, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 353-362.
  • Reynolds, MaryLee (2008) The War on Drugs, Prison Building, and Globalization: Catalysts for the Global Incarceration of Women. NWSA Journal, Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 72-95.


The New Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan