1901 picture of a ‘chain gang’ in Virginia.
On so-called ‘independence day’ it is important to keep in mind what litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow (http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm), argued at an event at Demos February 18, 2010: that is that we have not ended racial caste in America, we have simply redesigned it. She argues that the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary means of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness.
While we may laud the election of Barrack Obama as president of the US we still must acknowledge that the majority of young black men held captive in disintegrating major American cities are now locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life.
See Michelle’s speech at Demos on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgM5NAq6cGI