Along with several other congregations that belong to Not in Our Town, an adult class at Princeton United Methodist Church will be examining the ideas and issues raised in Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness.“ Under Jim Crow laws, black Americans were relegated to a subordinate status for decades. Things like poll taxes, literacy tests for voters and laws designed to prevent blacks from serving on juries were commonplace in nearly a dozen Southern states.
In her book, legal scholar Alexander writes that many of the gains of the civil rights movement have been undermined by the mass incarceration of black Americans in the war on drugs. She says that although Jim Crow laws are now off the books, millions of blacks arrested for minor crimes remain marginalized and disfranchised, trapped by a criminal justice system that has forever branded them as felons and denied them basic rights and opportunities that would allow them to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
All adults are invited to attend the Contemporary Issues class on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in the PUMC library, on the corner of Nassau & Vandeventer.