April 13, 2011 – Hour 1

“Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.”

This excerpt is from The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, who joins us for this segment.