Is Jim Crow alive and well? Author Michelle Alexander argues in her book THE NEW JIM CROW it looks different, but Jim Crow is still alive and well. The mass incarceration of black and brown people is the new Jim Crow (a strategy for oppression) and has contributed to increased children at risk, community pain, and the disenfranchisement of millions of Americans. The dream, illusion or myth that this a country where all children are guaranteed fairness, healthy environments and equal rights has been sold to the masses. The protection of vulnerable children must include a continual fight and the implementation of strategies for helping families deal with legacies of oppression. People of color have a complicated history that includes slavery, trails of tears, Jim Crow, and the new Jim Crow.
Our prisons are disproportionately full of people of color, that while locked up lose their full citizenship and healthy sense of self. Most find it very difficult to recover these rights and their identity without the support of people who welcome them home with patience, resources and love. These supportive people do exist and a collective of them met, fellowshipped and strategized this past Saturday at the Knowledge Quest Family Stabilization Initiative building to understand how to be available for men and women when they come home. Mothers spoke passionately to social workers, doctors, therapists, students, administrators and others at the Lifelong Initiative for Family Empowerment Barber Shop Talk about the changes in their sons, daughters, and significant others after their incarceration experiences. Men who have been incarcerated shared their experiences, frustrations, and suggestions for successful transitions from prison to home. One of the most important themes was the need for pre and post preparations for the incarcerated individuals and their families. Another important theme was the reality that individualized needs must be addressed- each situation is different. Reentry mentorship and relationship counseling were also discussed.
It is painful and a great strain on the sanity and resources of families when they have a family member incarcerated. Please help of us understand the issues from your perspective by sharing your thoughts, reactions, successes and willingness to bring these fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers back to a prepared welcoming community. Kill the crow!!
Doc G and Kufere