Banned Books: The New Jim Crow

By January 9, 2018Literature, Political

The New Jim Crow is an award-winning book by Michelle Alexander and was published in 2010. The critically acclaimed book offers an insight into prevalent discrimination against African Americans in the criminal justice system.

By obtaining public records about banned books, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) discovered that the book had been banned from some prisons in New Jersey. The ACLU have called for the ban to be lifted, citing that it violates the rights of inmates under the first amendment to the US constitution.

A letter was sent to New Jersey’s corrections commissioner, Gary Lanigan, containing worries many have with the implications of the ban. The ACLU said the ban was particularly troubling because the New Jersey has the widest disparity between white and black incarceration rates in the USA.

According to The Guardian, Tess Borden, staff attorney of the ACLU remarked within the letter:

“For the state burdened with this systemic injustice to prohibit prisoners from reading a book about race and mass incarceration is grossly ironic, misguided, and harmful,”

Via email, the author of the book, Michelle Alexander, said the ban was in keeping with a widespread denial of civil and human rights to inmates in American prisons.

The author of the book also noted:

“Those who run our prisons and jails seem determined to keep those who are locked up and locked out as ignorant as possible about the racial, social, and political forces that have turned this country into the most punitive nation on earth. There’s no reasonable explanation for this save one: prison officials must fear what would happen if people fully understood how biased and corrupt our so-called justice system actually is.”

It is unclear as to why the book has been banned as it does not promote drug abuse, violence, nor does it contain any sexually explicit passages. Under New Jersey regs, inmates are banned from receiving or reading any piece that threatens prison safety, incites violence, or shows any activities like lock-picking or bomb-making. Interestingly on the banned list are magazines covering hip-hop and black culture such as The Source and XXL.

What are your thoughts, Reading Addicts?

Buy The New Jim Crow Here:

PEN America to Sue Donald Trump for Restricting Freedom of Speech

By | Authors, News, Political | No Comments
Writers’ group PEN America, which consists of many well known writers and novelists, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against President Donald Trump for ‘violations of America’s First Amendment’.

The group is attempting to “stop President Trump from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for coverage he dislikes”. The First Amendment of the US constitution protects freedom of speech and PEN aren’t the only group to voice concerns about how Trump has attempted to shut down journalism.
Read More

‘Fear’ by Bob Woodward Has Sold Almost as Many Copies in a Week as ‘The Art of the Deal’ Has in 30 Years

By | New Releases, Political | No Comments
Bob Woodward’s Fear is arguably the biggest book of 2018 and, despite being released only last week, has already sold over a million copies. It was reported that the book sold 750,000 copies in its first day of sales alone. Fear‘s publisher Simon & Schuster spoke to CNN on Tuesday and said it had sold more than 1.1 million copies, making it the fastest selling book in the company’s history. A tenth printing is currently on order which will push book sales up to 1.2 million copies sold.
Read More

West Virginian Library Reverses Decision Not to Stock Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’

By | Libraries, New Releases, News, Political | No Comments
A few days ago, it was reported that the Morgan County Public Library in Berkeley Springs, W.Va was refusing to stock the newly released, and much sought after, Bob Woodward book Fear, which takes a critical look at Trump’s time as POTUS. However, following an enormous backlash from local residents, which soon saw the story make headlines, the library has confirmed it will be lending out Fear.

Despite only being published last Friday, Fear has already proven to be one of the biggest books of the year and reportedly sold over 750,000 copies within its first day of sales, it is also the fastest-selling adult book since Harper Lee’s 2015 book Go Set a Watchmen.
Read More

John Bunn: “Through my nightmare I found my dream”- from wrongfully convicted to literacy advocate

By | News, Political | No Comments
John Bunn spent 17 years wrongfully imprisoned as a teenager, for a crime that occurred while he was actually asleep in bed. His life has been dictated by the incompetence and racism of the system that accused him, and for years John Bunn has been fighting the courts for his exoneration, all while battling with PTSD caused by his horrific ordeal.

This disgusting treatment of young Black men is a perfect example of why Colin Kaepernick kneels.

Today, Bunn visits schools to as a mentor and literacy advocate through his program bringing books to prisons.

“There’s no greater feeling than me feeling like I’m existing for a purpose, and this is what gives my life purpose right now,” he says.

“Through my nightmare … I found my dream.”

Read More

Fear: Trump in the White House Smashes Sales Expectations

By | New Releases, Political | No Comments
Veteran Washington reporter Bob Woodward wrote Fear: Trump in the White House, a scathing attack on President Trump’s administration. Trump dismissed the book as ‘a joke’ but after less than a week of sales it seems it’s a joke that many people are keen to share as it’s reported that the book has sold three quarters of a million copies in the first day and is already going to its ninth reprint.

Guaranteed to be the bestselling nonfiction book of September, the expose is said to “depict a White House awash in dysfunction, where the Lord of the Flies is the closest thing to an owner’s manual”, according to a review posted in the Guardian recently.

Read More

Leave a Reply