February is Black History Month

Black History is American History. One way to explore our country’s fascinating and complex history is to browse the book display in the PLC 1st floor Lounge.

Here is a sample of the titles you will see:presidentobama-copyrightclear
America Behind the Color Line by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The History of Black Business in America : Capitalism, Race,
Entrepreneurship
by Juliet E.K. Walker

Between God and Gangsta Rap : Bearing Witness to Black Culture by Michael Eric Dyson

Acres of Skin : Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison: A Story of Abuse and Exploitation in the Name of Medical Science by Allen M. Hornblum

Black Intellectuals: Race and Responsibility in American Life by William M. Banks

This little list barely scratches the surface of the diverse selection both in the display and elsewhere in the Library’s collection. Stop by and take a look — books are available for checkout!

Campus Coffee Hour with Dr. Usha Rao, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of OTL

RaoWHO:  All are invited

WHAT:  Socialize and network with Dr. Rao and other
campus colleagues in a relaxed setting while you enjoy
coffee, tea and light breakfast fare!

WHEN:  Friday, February 19th — 9:00AM to 10:00AM

WHERE:  Post Learning Commons, 2nd floor loungecoffee-cup-mug-spoonfor blog

Beat the winter doldrums — come out and join us in welcoming Dr. Rao in her new role!

Chew on This: Ginger Hoffman, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Ginger HoffmanWHAT:  Ginger Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, will present on “The Self-Disrespect Objection to Bioenhancement Technologies: A Feminist Analysis of the Complex Relationship Between Enhancement and Self-Respect” published in the Journal of Social Philosophy.

WHEN:  February 18, 2016 12:30 – 2:00 PM

WHERE Post Learning Commons, Wachterhauser Seminar Room, 2nd Floor

Cookies and drinks will be provided. Please plan to join us for this
engaging presentation!

chewonthis-redesign

 

New Jim Crow-It’s What We’re Reading

February 2016

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

New Jim Crow cover from Google Books
New Jim Crow cover from Google Books

The New Jim Crow 
Alexander, Michelle

Published in 2010, this book is about an issue that is not new to many people. As someone who missed this title when it came out, I highly recommend it.

Ms. Alexander, a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, leads readers through the details of mass incarceration in America. She argues that mass incarceration is a new form of systemic oppression that directly grew to take the place of Jim Crow laws. The common misperception is that “guilty” prisoners serve their time in jail and are released. In reality laws against ex-felons discriminate against and disenfranchise them for the rest of their lives.  Most people know that our laws are applied  discriminatorily against minority groups, especially African Americans, but they may not connect the dots to systemic racism and instead chalk it up to “bad apples” or specific municipalities. This book will convince you otherwise. Thoroughly researched, it could and has been used as a textbook for college classes. As the author brings in stories of real people damaged by our criminal justice system, it remains a riveting read even though it is also a dense and disturbing one.

Reforms that are currently in demand, such as more monitoring of police activity and reducing sentences for most drug crimes, do not obviate Ms. Alexander’s underlying argument. It is even more important to understand the system while we are thinking about these issues. Focusing only on one or two aspects of the system she presents will not be enough to save our American people or our collective soul.

The New Jim Crow is part of the Library’s collection and is
available on the second floor. Make sure to check the availability online. It may already be checked out.