Friday, November 18, 2016 (Live streaming video here)

According to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, “nationally, 1.4 million Black men have lost the right to vote” due to felony conviction laws in various states, and today, “current housing for approximately 2 million Americans—two thirds of them African American or Hispanic—is a prison or jail cell.” Does the United States have two justice systems – one for people who are white and have resources – and one for people of color and the poor? Equal justice before the law, enshrined in the US Constitution, has been a pillar of our democratic system, but recent events and actions threaten to make this a mockery, mere printed words, rather than an equitable and well-functioning process. From charges of profiling and unfair treatment by police, to racially-influenced decisions by prosecutors and the courts, to the construction of a prison system that is increasingly privatized and profit-based, critics describe a justice system that itself should be ‘held in contempt’ and is in need of major reforms. Gain insights from a discussion with panelists from higher education, law enforcement, community engagement, and the legal system, that may lead to useful changes in our justice system.

Recommended Books

Streaming Video

  • Riggs, Marlon T., Bill T. Jones, Angela Davis, Bell Hooks, Cornel West, Michele Wallace, Barbara Smith, Maulana Karenga, and California Newsreel. Black Is Black Ain't. San Francisco, California, USA: Kanopy Streaming, 2014.
  • Julien, Issac. The Darker Side of Black. New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 1996.
  • Svensson, Birgitta., and Sveriges Television. God Is Angry : The Black Power Movement. New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 1997.
  • Akinwole, Monifa., John Henrik. Clark, Gail. Dines, Michael Eric. Dyson, M. C. Hammer, Byron Hurt, Andrew P. Jones, Jackson. Katz, Richard. Majors, Kevin. Powell, Andrew Young, God Bless the Child Productions, and Media Education Foundation. I Am a Man : Black Masculinity in America. San Francisco, California, USA: Kanopy Streaming, 2014.
  • Dickson, Sandra, and Churchill Roberts. Negroes With Guns : Rob Williams And Black Power. San Francisco, California, USA: Kanopy Streaming, 2015.


  • Foster, Kathleen, Joseph L. Graves, and Chauniqua D. Young. Profiled. New York, NY: WMM, Women Make Movies, 2016.

More Information




  • Nancy Herther, Librarian for Sociology, Anthropology, American Studies & Asian American Studies