Many people across the Diocese have been affected profoundly by reading Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.  In this thoroughly researched and well-argued book. Alexander demonstrates the ways in which mass incarceration has become the modern way of marginalizing particularly young men of color.  The New Jim Crow spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestseller List, and it has inspired important conversation and action around the country.  In the wake of the police brutality cases in Ferguson and Staten Island (among other places), this is an especially relevant time to read and digest Michelle Alexander’s excellent scholarship.

A study guide, prepared by the faith-based Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, along with many other supporting articles and videos, can make the book accessible to a wide variety of readers and congregants.  As we continue to journey together towards a just society–one that is free of violence, poverty and racism–we offer The New Jim Crow as a guide post along the way.  May it challenge and inspire you to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”

Where to find the book:

  • The New Jim Crow can be found on Amazon or at your local library.
  • To listen to the audiobook online for free, click here or visit Youtube.
  • The study guide we recommend, written by the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference, can be purchased here.

How to get involved

  • Start a discussion group in your congregation community, or read the book on your own
  • Read and respond to discussion prompts on our blog starting in Lent
  • Contact us if you are interested in finding a discussion group near you

Articles and online guides for The New Jim Crow

  • This article on Bill Moyers’s website has a great exerpt from the book to get you started.
  • The Atlantic has each of the six chapters broken down, with highlights, critiques, and additional links.

Chapter 1

Chapters 2 & 3

Chapters 4 & 5

Chapter 6

  • Additional study guides and discussion questions can be found here and here.

Videos featuring Michelle Alexander

  • To see a TED Talk on the future of race in America, click here.


  • To view a lecture given at the University of Chicago, click here.


  • Listen to Michelle Alexander on NPR’s Fresh Air.
  • Another great interview with Michelle Alexander can be found here on Democracy Now’s website.

Additional educational tools


Resources for Discussing Racism | Rows of Sharon · July 22, 2015 at 9:25 am

[…] The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (book) with a variety of study guides, including one from the Diocese of Massachusetts […]

Minority Report—Sermon for 4 October 2015 | All Saints Parish, Brookline, MA · October 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

[…] own diocese plans to continue work in this area, encouraging all of us to read and discuss the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. In the face of the narrative that it’s too costly and too late to do […]

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