Against the Grain

African American Support for Incarceration

The mass criminalization and incarceration of African Americans has received increasing attention in recent years, thanks to social movements.  But the role of African American leaders in locking up black people is much less known.  James Forman Jr., son of the Civil Rights leader, discusses the confluence of forces – including class differences within the black community — that generated African American support for punitive policies.


James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017


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