“Authors of Their Own Destiny”: Three Formerly Incarcerated Men of Color and Their Paths to Activism.
Westlake, Ariela R.
- Abstract: Arguably the most important civil rights issues of contemporary America, the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration disproportionately impact marginalized populations and communities, especially poor communities and people of Color, and has created a second-class citizenship for a growing body of formerly incarcerated people. This thesis explores the political biographies and ... read moreresistances of three formerly incarcerated men of Color who have survived the criminal injustice system and the systemic violence of prison itself, and despite the odds stacked against them, have become politicized activists, continuing to resist and organize against the dehumanization and oppression of other incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. In a White Supremacist society that condemns prisoners and formerly incarcerated people of Color, this thesis resists that condemnation and challenges the reader to question dominant narratives about incarceration, criminal injustice, race, and the lives of formerly incarcerated men of Color. Through the voices, stories, and insights of these men of Color, we see in this case study that formerly incarcerated people have much to offer the world, and that given the right opportunities and resources they have incredible capacity to change it. read less
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