Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, by James Forman, Jr. (2017). The war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African Americans. This books seeks to explain why. James, the son of iconic civil rights leader James Forman, is a former DC public defender, just as I was. (Actually I didn’t get THAT job – read my upcoming memoir, Black Power Black Lawyer about that juicy story – but I did represent the indigent. Love James’ portrayals of the politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims he shares in his book. Now a Yale Law School professor, Forman’s book tells how society became so punitive. And, as depicted in my upcoming memoir #BlackPowerBlackLawyer, I’ve spent my legal career trying to make it less so!
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