Prisons, State Violence, and the Organizing Tradition

Lecture Description

People in prison played a central role in the civil rights and Black Power movements of the mid-twentieth century and continue to influence racial justice campaigns today. They challenged the endemic racism of American prisons long before the War on Drugs gave the United States the world’s largest prison population. This talk traces the long arc of black campaigns against prisons and police violence. It shows how activists confronted the barriers of imprisonment in fashioning their own tradition of social justice organizing.


African American Civil Liberties, Security State

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