After viewing several videos and films, the idea that is sticking in my mind most is that youth of color are marked, to quote Michelle Alexander, “from cradle to grave”. In the TedTalk, Alexander used this phrasing to discuss how young POC, Black boys in particular, are targeted from an early age by law enforcement. She also stated that once an individual is faced with criminal charges and incarcerated, it is near impossible for them to return to a normal life. They will face discrimination in finding work, not have access to benefits such as food stamps, and can be turned away from both public and private housing. There are no options for people in this situation, and in fixating on Black youth, the criminal justice system essentially sets that population up for a perpetual disadvantaged state.

In today’s class, research involving Black children facing disciplinary action more often than their white classmates was presented, which reflected the “cradle to grave” notion even more.


3 responses »

  1. jonesa0913 says:

    This is spot on. In my blog post, I focused on the “grave” aspect of her talk. There was one thing that troubled me about her analysis that you raised in your blog. She mainly focused on Black men. What do you think including cis-women and trans-women and men to her analysis could add to the conversation?

  2. katyschaefe says:

    The cradle to grave notion is a complex one that unfortunately expands far beyond the prison system, but ultimately leads young people of color back into it. The example given of the higher rate of expulsions for black youth as young as preschool is an excellent example of this. It isn’t just police that are targeting POC, but teachers, doctors, and strangers. These factors eventually contribute to the way that these individuals value themselves and see the world which can ultimately lead to delinquency. It is a horrible and vicious cycle.

  3. mollyhaas16 says:

    So true — I’m interested in learning more about black and brown children who are up against the injustices of our society. I think children are such symbols of purity and innocence, and I think they could be (and have been) really effective in moving along this movement.

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