Tag Archives: African American

The New Jim Crow (encore, on vacation)

I first saw the title six months ago., “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (1210).” Could it be that the author was comparing our current prison system to the notorious system of … Continue reading

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New Movement

About twenty years ago I knew Catherine McGowen, a retired cleaning woman from a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. A small African American, she had been one of grass roots activists in the civil rights movement. She was raising two young … Continue reading

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War on Drugs

Shortly after Ronald Reagan promoted the “War on Drugs” in 1982, I met a young African American woman locked in jail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She had been arrested in a drug sweep and charged with prostitution. In the background, cells … Continue reading

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Earl Varner’s Mother

The tragic death of Trayvon Martin has triggered memories of a similar incident that occurred about twenty-five years ago. Mary Robinson, an African American social activist born in 1943, and I were working on a book about her home community … Continue reading

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