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“Locking Up Our Own”: A Talk by James Forman, Jr.

Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 7:30pm
Lawrence University Wriston Hall Auditorium (S. Lawe St. south of the Library)

James Forman Jr., author of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, will deliver a talk that explores the rise of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. The talk will be followed by a signing of his book, which is hailed as “superb and shattering” by The New York Times.

James Forman Jr. headshot

Forman explores how the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers and seeks to understand why. His exploration began when Forman served as a public defender in Washington, D.C. After he failed to keep a 15-year-old out of a juvenile detention center, he wondered how the mayor, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, the arresting officer, even the bailiff—all of whom were black—could send so many of their own to a grim, incarcerated future.  

Now a professor at Yale Law School, Forman will explore the answers in his talk.  He will show how good intentions and pressing dangers of the last 40 years have shaped the get-tough approach in the culture at large and in black neighborhoods.

This event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.

[The text of this article draws heavily from the LU press release about this event, found here:]

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