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Course Hero, "The New Jim Crow Study Guide," April 2, 2018, accessed June 19, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-New-Jim-Crow/.

Michelle Alexander | Biography

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Michelle Alexander was born on October 7, 1967. She grew up in Oregon and graduated from Vanderbilt University. She went on to receive a law degree from Stanford University in 1992. There she directed the Civil Rights Clinic and served as director of the Racial Justice Project for the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Northern California chapter. While working for the ACLU, she spearheaded a campaign to address racial profiling in law enforcement. She also served as a law clerk for different judges at both the US Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals. When Alexander went on to practice law, she focused on class-action lawsuits dealing with race and gender discrimination. In 2005 she won the Soros Justice Fellowship, which allowed her to write her first book, The New Jim Crow.

Alexander's publication of The New Jim Crow was met with much attention and acclaim. It became a New York Times bestseller and won the 2011 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award for best non-fiction. The book's research stemmed from her work with the ACLU. She was struck by the racial unfairness of the criminal justice system and the effects of mass incarceration on black men in society. Alexander's work there made her realize her own complicity and judgment of people within the systemic control of mass incarceration.

Alexander has worked as a law professor at Ohio State University. In addition to teaching law, she has toured around the country to speak about the issues in the book.

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