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Lighting the fire of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Michelle Alexander

7 p.m. Tuesday, October 11
The College of Saint Rose
Registration is closed.

A watch party will be held on the Saint Rose campus in the Interfaith Sanctuary, 959 Madison Avenue in Albany, for those that would like to view the talk in a group.

Event will also be livestreamed on The College of Saint Rose YouTube channel

Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010), a book that spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

The book portrays mass incarceration as a method of reinforcing a racial caste system. Ibram X. Kendi said, “This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives Matter.”

Michelle Alexander

(Photo provided by Michelle Alexander)

Over the years, Alexander has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinic.  In 2005, Alexander won a Soros Justice Fellowship that supported the writing of The New Jim Crow and accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.   Currently she is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.


Prior to joining academia, Alexander engaged in civil rights litigation in both the private and nonprofit sector, ultimately serving as the director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she coordinated the Project’s media advocacy, grassroots organizing, and coalition building and launched a major campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement known as the “DWB Campaign” or “Driving While Black or Brown Campaign.”


Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. She has clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. | |  WNYC Studios: Ten Years After The New Jim Crow

Presented in partnership with The College of Saint Rose and UAlbany's Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow

About the book

The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.

Named one of the Most Influential Books of the Last 20 Years by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction

“[The New Jim Crow] transformed forever the way thinkers and activists view the phenomenon of mass incarceration.”
— Slate

“The bible of a social movement.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“[An] instant classic... is a grand wake-up call in the midst of a long slumber of indifference to the poor and vulnerable.” —Cornel West

“[An] extraordinary book.”  —Marian Wright Edelman

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