Essay about Michelle Alexander

2214 Words9 Pages
Theresa McDermott
Professor Gramlich
Sociology 101 Section 1
April 23, 2013

Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander depicts the grim reality for many young African American men in today’s society in her book the New Jim Crow. The harsh reality for many of them is that they will never be able to fully participate in mainstream society and receive the benefits and basic rights that are taken for granted by the rest of the nation. Her findings show that existence of the Jim Crow laws have yet to fully disappear from society like many believe they have, when it fact, the restrictions of the Jim Crow era have merely been reinvented in the form of the United States’ federal justice system. Today, the United States
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According to Alexander, the only way to truly get rid of racial discrimination is to discuss the underlying causes that mainstream society has not stopped. Baker, Anderson, and Dorn (1992) give the readers six guidelines to follow when critically assessing any literary work, all of which can applied to Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. The first guideline is about how accessible is her work. Throughout the book, Alexander made her work as clear and concise as she possibly could by explaining certain points over again in a different chapter to make sure that the audience understands what she is trying to say. Any explanation given, whether it is her own thoughts or other evidence/data is throughly talked about and written in such a way that the readers can easily digest its meanings. The next guideline is Authenticity. Alexander authenticates everything she can; almost all of the secondary sources she uses have dates (years) or she will reference certain historical events that correlate with the facts she is presenting to the audience. This is clearly shown when Michelle talks about the history of the “War on Drugs”, e.g. Reagan’s policies and Clinton’s “three
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