‘Fearful inheritance’: What the Case for Reparations Means for Jail and Prison Reform by John Maki
To read this article on the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange website, click here.
I have been thinking recently about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ brilliant and haunting essay in the June issue of The Atlantic Monthly, “The Case for Reparations,” and what it means for jail and prison reform.
Weaving together history, biography and social science, Coates contends that the unacknowledged legacy of slavery and white supremacy still exerts a harmful influence on American society, particularly in the devastating concentration of poverty and disadvantage in our country’s poorest black communities.
As Coates argues, Chicago’s North Lawndale exemplifies this insidious dynamic. Through governmentally sanctioned plunder of black families who fled to Chicago to escape the Jim Crow South, coupled with decades of racist urban planning, North Lawndale is “on the wrong end of virtually every socioeconomic indicator.” As Coates writes: