Friday, May 13, 2011

Survey: 3/4 of African Americans Have a Relative Who’s Been Incarcerated

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

In a recent survey by, 74.8% of all respondents said they have a relative who has served time in the prison system. Nearly half (46%) stated that they have a relative who is now in prison.

Additionally, the broad majority of respondents (78.2%) said that they have an associate or relative in prison, and nearly all (92%) said that they have a friend or associate who’s been in prison at some point during his/her life.

When Ryan Mack and I started the Never Going Back Initiative with the Your Black World Coalition (which you can sign up for by clicking here), our goal was to highlight the manner through which the criminal justice system continues to destroy the entire African American community. Like the festering wound that we are too lazy to show to a physician, mass incarceration has threatened to destroy black families unlike anything in our nation’s history.

I am calling on all concerned citizens throughout the United States to work with us to remind our African American Attorney General, Eric Holder, that this insidious, destructive, racist and debilitating problem can remain on the sidelines no longer. It’s time to deal with mass incarceration in America.

Please join our coalition to fight against mass incarceration. It’s time to push for the freedom that we deserve. To see and hear my personal thoughts on the matter, please watch this video.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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