- May 7, 2009
What Blacks Owe to Each Other
As a follow-up to The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, Randall Robinson makes the compelling case that at the same time that African Americans push for reparations, they must simultaneously fight another equally important battle against the growing prison industrial system that is as ominous a development for black and brown Americans as the slave trade was for the people of Africa between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Tragically, African Americans have been and continue to be overwhelmingly thrown into new prisons-for-profit, increasingly built and run by corporations. Robinson argues that blacks owe it to each other to expose and dismantle this phenomenon because the repercussions, not only to those actually imprisoned, but for the entire black community, are frighteningly multidimensional and intergenerational.
The Reckoning grew out of Robinson’s work with gang members, ex-convicts, and others profoundly scarred by environments of extreme poverty. It pays homage to the residents of these neighborhoods waging heroic struggles to save their communities, and holds up for public examination America’s elected officials joining with corporate America to make private-sector prisons a twenty-first-century growth industry.
Willets Photo Studio, St. Kitts
About the Author
Randall Robinson is the author of MAKEDA, An Unbroken Agony and the national best sellers The Debt, The Reckoning, Quitting America, and Defending the Spirit, as well as the novel The Emancipation of Wakefield Clay. He is a professor of law at Penn State Law School and is the creator, co-producer, and host of the public television human rights series World on Trial. Robinson lives with his wife Hazel in St. Kitts, West Indies.
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