Title : The New Jim Crow
Author : Michelle Alexander
Book Review : “The New Jim Crow” is a book by Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar. The book discusses race-related issues specific to African-American males and mass incarceration in the United States. Michelle Alexander argues that despite the old Jim Crow is gone, it does not necessarily mean the end of racial caste. Alexander describes a set of practices and social discourses that serve to maintain African-American people controlled by systems and institutions. The author further examines the mass incarceration phenomenon in recent years. Comparing Jim Crow with mass incarceration, she points out that mass incarceration is a network of laws, policies, customs and institutions that works together to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined by race.
Alexander then describes the New Jim Crow as a moment where society have already internalized the stereotypes of African-American men as violent and more likely to commit. That is, today is seen as normal that black parents are missing in their homes because they are in institutions of control. She also stresses American society denies racism when they assume the justice system works. Therefore, she claims that “mass incarceration is colorblind” and that American society does not see the race biased within the institutions of control.
Mass incarceration in a country that presumes to avoid racism and even develops the practice of affirmative action to guarantee the progress of minorities, is an invisible tool to maintain the repressive state apparatus working with a race bias. Hence, the new Jim Crow allows to segregate the black community and to obstacle its progress. A community that does not have the same opportunity for its development due to its race, cannot erase the line that define its lower position in a race hierarchy. Ultimately the purpose of the New Jim Crow as the Old Jim Crow is to segregate the marginalized communities in the United States. According to the author, it was clear that the justice system in the U.S. is still not fair, and that collective action must arise to challenge it.
Title: The Help (2011)
Director: Tate Taylor
The film “The Help” is very closely relevant to the untold stories of African-American women and their experiences in service to the white women – part of the narrative of civil rights and segregation in America. During the 60s, the era in which the movie was set, segregation was legal and economic inequalities are heavily limited for black women. Descriptions of historical events of the early activities of the civil rights movement are peppered throughout the movie, as are interactions between the maids and their white employers.
Race plays an important role in the film by showing how race is greatly valued in our culture, and that race is a crucial aspect of everyday life. In “The Help”, the film represents black women who labored as domestic servants in white home as loyal and caring in serving them. The characters in the film are socially conditioned to assume certain rights and beliefs about the races, in this case white and black. The white women are brainwashed and pressured to believe that their maids are lower life forms that do not have the same rights or characteristics as themselves. For example, Miss Hillie commented that Minnie needed to use the outside bathroom and the Help need to use their own bathrooms because they carry different diseases from them. More disturbing is that the other women partaking in the social event felt pressured to believe in that idea in order to avoid possible social sanctions. The scenes of the social gatherings demonstrate how our peers influence our thoughts and actions, as we are fearing rejection and social sanctions. Being well-liked in society is more valued than standing up for one’s beliefs because people have the power to take away opportunities. There are many instances that affect other aspects of an individual’s life that are often discouraged in fear of losing a job, safety, or financial security.
Overall, “The Help” provides an insightful storyline taking place in the roughness of the simmering racial prejudices of the 1960s. Today, as compared to the 60s, is a racially quieter era, but in a way is still pounding its way through. Therefore, a movie like “The Help” speaks to the public now as people will share a greater understanding of the past in a better way rather than being ignorant and blind.
강문숙 곽병수 구명진 구자승 구정우 권소미 권오승 김갑유 김고은 김광일 김도형 김동혁 김민서 김민지 김수영 김영자 김우영 김자원 김종엽 김태령 김혁(1) 김혁(2) 김현호 김형근 류성호 류호근 박범진 박정훈 박현준 박혜란 배명호 백범석 서창우 서창희 손교명 송영훈 송진원 심재경 양기웅 엄영선 오다건 원재천 원종혁 유연우 유윤정 윤대웅 윤웅상 이다정 이미숙 이선이 이성현 이연재 이영환 이용진 이용훈 이은경 이재천 이정국 이진영 이진화 이철호 임사라 임유철 장근호 장동진 정사명 정성윤 조규완 조산새 조용노 조윤영 조지영 제강호 지연숙 최경규 최서린 최치훈 한지민 허 선 황선영 황원희 황유정 황태희
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