Monday, August 10, 2020

Five top books about justice

David Lammy was born in London to Guianese parents and has served as the MP for Tottenham since 2000. He was the first black Briton to study at Harvard Law School and before entering politics practised as a barrister. He served as a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and his first book, Out of the Ashes: Britain after the Riots, was published to widespread acclaim in 2011.

Lammy's latest book is Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society.

At the Guardian, he tagged five of the best books about the legal system:
In 2016, the writer and lawyer Michelle Alexander said the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, would come to be seen as a “critical turning point. If it winds up not being a turning point, it will be because we did not do our job.”

Nearly two months on since the death of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter has become one of the largest demonstrations in history, but it is still not clear whether a turning point has been reached.

If I have one reason to be optimistic, it is that hundreds of people have written to me asking: what can I do? There is a renewed awareness of racial disproportionality in criminal justice systems, a subject Alexander explores in The New Jim Crow. She makes a chilling comparison between the Jim Crow laws in the United States following the civil war, which segregated the newly emancipated black population, and the country’s system of mass incarceration today, in which one in three black men are sent to prison.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue