1619: “Punishment,” by Bryan Stevenson
“America has produced an endless list of harsh, extreme, and cruel sentences.”
Happy Monday! Hope you had a good week of reflection and action last week. It’s time to get back to reading! Here’s our schedule.
This week, let’s read “Punishment,” by Bryan Stevenson. The essay discusses how the criminal justice system has been harsh and cruel to Black people from slavery to segregation to lynching to mass incarceration to “broken windows” to stop and frisk.
Mr. Stevenson writes:
Hundreds of years after the arrival of the first enslaved Africans, a presumption of danger and criminality still follows Black people everywhere. New language has emerged for the non-crimes that have replaced the Black Codes: driving while Black, sleeping while Black, sitting in a coffee shop while Black. All reflect incidents in which African Americans have been mistreated, assaulted, or arrested for conduct that would be ignored if they were white.
Read “Punishment,” by Bryan Stevenson.
Recommended: If you haven’t read Just Mercy, please do!
Also, please feel free to reach out. Let me know if you need anything or want to chat. All you need to do is hit reply. Thank you and have a great week!