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Intro to African American Studies Notes; WEEK 1

by: Bethany

Intro to African American Studies Notes; WEEK 1 AFAM 2000

Marketplace > University of Georgia > African American Studies > AFAM 2000 > Intro to African American Studies Notes WEEK 1
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About this Document

These notes cover what has been discussed over the first week of class.
Intro to African-American Studies
Dr. Chana Kai Lee
Class Notes
African American Studies; UGA




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bethany on Tuesday January 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AFAM 2000 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Chana Kai Lee in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see Intro to African-American Studies in African American Studies at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 01/26/16
Intro to African American Studies [AFAM 2000] Spring 2016     Prison Industrial Complex  What is it?  “A set of bureaucratic, political and economic interests” that. . .   Encourages increased spending on imprisonment regardless of need  Results in large numbers of people (poor, black and brown) imprisoned  Driven by profit of private industry  Created by liberal and conservative politicians and policy makers  The Complex:  2.2 million adults are incarcerated in the U.S. (1 in every 100 adults is locked up)   total U.S. adult population: 250 million   total U.S. population: 317 million  Correctional Control:  7 million individuals are under some form of correctional control in the United  States (incarceration, probation, parole)  Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics  Who is affected?  One in three U.S. adults: arrested by age 23.   Disproportionately affected:  Communities of color;   Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals;   People with histories of abuse or mental illness are disproportionately affected.  Between 70 million and 100 million Americans (1 in 3) have some type of criminal  record.   Race & Gender  41 million African Americans in U.S , making 13.5% of U.S. total population  46% black men  54% black women  Black Males (18 or older): 1 in 15 men are incarcerated  Black Males (20­34): 1 in 9 are incarcerated  However, all men (18 or older): 1 in 54 are incarcerated.  Black Women (35­39): 1 in 100 women are incarcerated.  However, all women (35­39): 1 in 265 are incarcerated.  Black Men  Black men are 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men.  Black and white men use marijuana and crack at the same level, yet black men  are incarcerated more often.  In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college.  Hispanic men are 2.5 times more likely than white men.  Source: The Sentencing Project; U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics  Women  Women represent the fastest growing prison population. Intro to African American Studies [AFAM 2000] Spring 2016  The majority in prison are Black and Latina women.  They account for upwards of 80% of the incarceration increase.  Largely in response to the violence/rape inflicted upon them in their lives.   1970: 5,600 women incarcerated in the U.S.  2001: 161,200 women incarcerated in the U.S.  1970­2001: 2,800% increase in women behind bars.  American South   At the end of 2007, the South had the largest increase in incarceration rates (2.8%):  623,563 to 641,024  Origins: Why?  War on Drugs  “Tough on Crime”  Anti­Drug Abuse Act of 1986  Mandatory minimum sentencing of five years for crack cocaine possession.  3 Strikes Law  Increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been  previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies.  By first use of cocaine, punishment was a 3 – 5 years sentence.  By third felony, punishment is often times 25 year life imprisonment.  1994 Crime Bill (Clinton)  Crack cocaine uses get more time than powder users.  Crack users were often black, yet powder users were often white.  White person using powder cocaine received lesser sentencing.  Fair Sentencing Act of 2010   Decreased the disparity between the amount of crack cocaine and powder  cocaine required to receive certain penalties.  Eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing.  Prisons stimulated state, local, and rural economic need.  Private Industry: The Profit Motive  It is a multibillion dollar industry.  Stimulates revenue for several corporations and small companies.  A pay phone at a prison can generate as much as $15,000a year—about five  times the revenue of a typical pay phone on the street.  Prisons are labor­intensive institutions, offering year­round employment.  Recession­proof, usually expanding in size during hard times.   Prisons bring stable, steady income to regions long accustomed to highly seasonal, uncertain economy.   Supports employees and generates wages for local services.  The economic impact of the prisons extends beyond the wages they pay and the  local services they buy.  Have political power and leverage. Intro to African American Studies [AFAM 2000] Spring 2016  Traded for investments.  What Else Accounts for Mass Incarceration?  Why are African American Men Incarcerated at a High Rate?  Poverty  Racial Discrimination/History/Systemic Oppression  Personal responsibility (poor choices)  Poor education/limited options  Insufficient family support  Harmful peer socialization  Substance abuse  Personal history of abuse (sexual, emotional) and mental health problems  Why are African American Women Incarcerated at a Disproportionate Rate?  Poverty  Substance Abuse  Sexual and Emotional Abuse History  Mental health issues  Insufficient family support  Racial Discrimination/History/Systemic Oppression   Personal responsibility (poor choices)  Poor education/limited options  Consequences of Mass Incarceration  In 2007: more than half of Americans (54%) in state and federal prisons were  parents of minor children.  Source: The Sentencing Project; U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics  Economic Impact  Increasing unemployment rate when people are in prison.  Barriers to employment after completing sentence.  Banned from public assistance after completing sentence.  Education  Much more money spent on prisons than education.  Political Rights  Disenfranchisement  Hurts black community; tears people down.  Gives less hope and opportunity to make a change.  Past offenders cannot serve in juries; poor people will not have a jury of their  peers.  Some past offenders may not be informed that they still hold the right to vote.   Political­Socioeconomic Impact: The Cycle  Unemployment => decrease  in tax revenues => less funding for schools and  other social services => Crime and Unmet Social Needs => Criminal Justice  System => middle­class, businesses leave urban areas, shrinking revenues  Intro to African American Studies [AFAM 2000] Spring 2016 further => Jobs move (1970s decline of manufacturing) => More  Unemployment  Social and Cultural Impact  Broken individual lives  Broken families  Broken communities  Structural Inequality and Abuse  Cycles of Generational Hardship  Bankrupt state economies     Poverty, Work and the New Economy  Causes of Poverty  Can’t get jobs due to lack of education.  Newer, more stable occupations (doctoral; law; accounting; white collar jobs)  require higher levels of schooling.  Lack of resources to further one’s education  Must either choose a low paying job or often times a path of crime  Increasing current demands  Need to pay rent; buy food; etc.  Can’t save for college or other future opportunities.  Environment may have been poor (neighborhood; schools without good teachers)  Structural Reasons: motions to keep certain people from certain areas/access in  order to restrict them from working in those areas.  1970s – Georgia Marta Bus System Limited access to suburban areas Many only used public transport, so they couldn’t reach jobs outside of the  city. Also, a political reason.  1970s – Deindustrialization High paying jobs were replaced with low paid workers outside of the  country (China, etc.) Many black people were now reduced to low wage service jobs (secretary;  fast food)  Economic downturns, such as the 2008 Recession Intro to African American Studies [AFAM 2000] Spring 2016  Unemployment By Race (December 2015)  National rate: 5.1%  African Americans: 8.3%  Hispanics: 6.3%  Asians: 6.0%  Whites: 4.5%  Median Income (2012)  All households: $53,657 (half above, half below)  Asians: $74,297  Whites: $60,256  Latinos: $42,491  African Americans: $35,398  Feminization of Poverty/Gender Inequality  The process of women becoming a larger share of the poor than men  Poverty has a gender component that affects black families disproportionately  Women are hit harder economically.  Men with low education can still find jobs in construction, trade work,  mechanics, etc.  Women earn less than men.  Men are valued more: socially they are seen as the “head” of the family.  Women don’t ask for raises.  Tend to ask for less and receive less.  Women may want/have children, so companies may not hire them because it  would restrict economic productivity for the company.  The overall proportion of children living with single mothers has risen steadily,  from 8% in 1960 to 24% in 2010  Since black women don’t have as many skilled job opportunities as white  women, black children are affected more.  75 million children live in single­mother households.  16% white children live in single­mother families   27%  Latino children   52 % African American children  Source: Population Reference Bureau  Breaking the Cycle  Children born in the bottom 20% only have 1% chance or reaching the top 5%  of income earners (mostly entertainers).  Government Policy: The Narratives  Who Needs Help  Baby Mama Myth: always on welfare; makes too many bad  choices/irresponsible (too many babies). Intro to African American Studies [AFAM 2000] Spring 2016  Culture of Poverty: Black people have values different than whites/others, not  morally equivalent  Who Deserves Help  Myth of Meritocracy: Black people are not seen as worthy You get what you deserve mentality: What did you do to get to your current  situation?  Myth of the “Job Creators”: worth is determined by how many jobs you  provide/create for others, ability to share wealth with others.  What keeps people poor?  Barriers to Mobility  Discrimination: ways people get locked into a circumstance (Profiling people  based solely on their names on their resumes.)  Race; gender; generational cycle of poverty.  Government Policy and Income Inequality  Policies that Indirectly Limit Economic Progress for Poor People  Social Safety Net  TANF  SNAP  Medicaid  Head Start  Unemployment Insurance  Social Security  Earned Income Tax Credit  Policies that Support Economic Growth/Preservation for the Wealthy  Subsidies  Farm  Oil  Research (science and medicine)  Mortgage Deduction  Capital Gains Tax  Payroll tax threshold


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