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National NAACP Legal Defense Fund "Know Your Rights"

National NAACP Legal Defense Fund "Know Your Rights"

Book Recommendation: "Caste - The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson

Book Recommendation: "Caste - The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson

Book Recommendation:  "Just Mercy"

Book Recommendation: "Just Mercy"

The book I am encouraging all of you to read this month is “Just Mercy—A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson. From one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time comes an unforgettable true story about the redeeming potential of mercy. This book has been honored with many awards including—The NAACP Image Award For Nonfiction, The Carnegie Medal For Excellence in Nonfiction, and The Books For A better Life Award. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow” says, “Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today. The stories told in his book hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.” Bryan is the founder and executive director of the Montgomery Alabama Equal Justice Initiative which was founded initially to provide free, quality services to condemned men and women on death row in Alabama, and to challenge the injustice of the justice system against poor people and people of color. The book tells about his constant struggles to get those who have been unjustly accused off death row, and also to advocate for children as young as 13 who have been sentenced to life without parole. He strongly believes that “each of us is more than the worst thing we have ever done.” In his prologue, Bryan writes, “We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it’s necessary that we all need mercy , we all need justice, and --perhaps-- we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”

Book Recommendation:  "The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in an Agoe of Colorblindness"

Book Recommendation: "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Agoe of Colorblindness"

There are many wonderful books you can read on these topics. I would like to make some suggestions based on books I have read in the last few years. If you haven’t read them, I encourage you to. The first book I think all NAACP members should read is “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander. The paperback edition of the book was published in 2012. It was a book that changed the way many Americans saw their country, and helped to create a movement to change the many injustices that exist. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “The Bible of a Social Movement.” Cornell West said it is a must-read for all people of conscience. This book is a “call to action”. Some issues are presently being dealt with, but there is still so much work that needs to be done to make our country a better place for people of all races to live—but especially for the young black men who have been unfairly targeted for so long. EndFragment