Photo credit: Aaron Salcido/Zócalo Public Square
On Thursday, the New York Times announced that the author of the critically acclaimed book ,“The New Jim Crow”, Michelle Alexander, will join the publication as a columnist for its Opinion pages. In this role, Alexander will serve as the paper's only woman of color columnist.
James Bennet, the New York Times’ editorial page editor, said in a press release: “Michelle is the author of 'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,' the book that changed the way many of us think about criminal justice and about the persistence and adaptation of forms of racial control in the United States. She is a powerful writer, a fierce advocate for a more just world and a deep believer in open-minded, searching debate over how to achieve it.”
Alexander is also a civil rights lawyer, advocate and legal scholar. She served as director of the Racial Justice Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. There, she coordinated media advocacy, grassroots organizing and litigation for the project. In 2005, Alexander won a fellowship that led her to write "The New Jim Crow," which traces the history of mass incarceration of Black Americans from slavery to today's prison system.
Using her knowledge, Alexander has highlighted racial bias and profiling in the American criminal justice system. This has given people of color knowledge of the laws that affect their daily lives.
Now, starting in September, she'll be writing pieces for the New York Times that we're sure will be just as thought provoking.