The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow Preface Summary & Analysis

Alexander claims that The New Jim Crow was not “written for everyone,” but rather specifically addresses those who care about ending racial inequality but don’t fully understand mass incarceration and how it disproportionately affects people of color. It is also written for those who have been trying to persuade others about the problems of mass incarceration, but need evidence to help make their case. Alexander concludes that the book is also written for those who are incarcerated, assuring them that they “are not forgotten.”
It may seem strange that Alexander limits the intended audience of her book to three somewhat narrow groups. However, this specification actually has an important persuasive function. By addressing the book to people who care about racial justice, she implies that people who object to the book’s premise and claims perhaps do not care about racial justice (even if they assume otherwise).
Racial Castes, Stereotypes, and Hierarchies Theme Icon
Myth, Dishonesty, and Conspiracy Theme Icon