Dillard University will present author, attorney, and advocate Michelle Alexander for this year’s Ortique Lecture on Law and Society at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, in the Georges Auditorium on the university’s main campus (2601 Gentilly Blvd.).
Alexander’s recent book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, challenges the conventional wisdom that, with the election of Barack Obama as president, our nation has “triumphed over race.” Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an astounding percentage of the African-American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a permanent, second-class status, much like their grandparents before them who lived under an explicit system of racial control. Alexander argues that the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African-American men, primarily through the War on Drugs, has created a new racial under caste—a group of people defined largely by race that is subject to legalized discrimination, scorn, and social exclusion.
Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. You can read more about her event here, and more about Dillard University’s Ortique Lecture Series on Law and Society here.