The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mass Incarceration - One Historical Perspective

Actor Raymond Spencer, at Ford's Theater (Wash., D.C.) premiere of "Slavery by Another Name." Listening attentively to Raymond as he speaks about the film is Attorney General Eric Holder, at right in bottom photo. 

In thinking about the Tuesday, February 24 event, Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth, which is scheduled to take place at 6:00 pm at the Plainfield Public Library (click here), I thought would be helpful to provide another important link which provides crucial background information. Below is the documentary film, Slavery By Another Name, directed by Sam Pollard. By a strange quirk of fate, one of my former students, actor Raymond Spencer (pictured) is one of the actors in the film. 

As one with a deep interest in history, I would be remiss if I did not also include this broader perspective on penal institutions in America, with a focus on how the old plantation system was reconfigured after the end of the Civil War into the modern penal system. In effect, laws were passed to create an unstoppable supply of bodies to continue forced labor--basically, slavery--by another name. This is connected to the modern-day mass incarceration movement and should be required watching by all.




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