One Read Program

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

by Professor Michelle Alexander

In the practice of law it is important for attorneys to be exposed to and aware of aspects of the world beyond their own daily experiences. To facilitate this understanding, and also to strengthen our community at Hulston Hall, Mizzou Law has started a One Read program. Law students, staff, and faculty are invited to read a particular book that relates to law, the legal profession, or legal education, and touches on important issues of the moment.

We believe that a One Read program strengthens our community within Hulston Hall by providing a focus for conversations and events within the law school. Over the past several years, our attention has been drawn to events around the U.S. to issues of race and the experience of “otherness.”  These issues reflect the challenges of seeing the world from another’s perspective – an imperative skill in the practice of law. Over the past few years, our One Read books have included Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

The title for the 2018-19 academic year will be The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, a civil rights attorney and law professor. This book, presenting pages of statistics and legal citations on American criminal justice policies, comes at a time when “declining crime rates and exploding prison budgets have made conservatives and liberals alike more ready to question the wisdom of keeping nearly 1 in 100 Americans behind bars.” It also is controversial and provocative, arguing that the war on drugs and unequal enforcement of criminal laws have legalized old forms of discrimination regarding employment, housing, voting rights, educational opportunities, and other public benefits.

Read More!

Mizzou Law faculty, staff, and students nominated many wonderful books for the One Read program. If you want to read more on this topic, don’t look any further for some excellent titles. You’ll find the finalists the committee considered on the top tab and the entire list of nominated titles on the second tab.

Access the Book

There are several ways you can access The New Jim Crow:

  • Purchase the book:  
  • Borrow it from our Law Library: The Law Library has acquired multiple copies of The New Jim Crow. Incoming 1L students may not yet be entered as borrowers in the library’s system, but will be issued a courtesy borrowing card if necessary in order to check out this book. Please contact Tamara Guilford-Davis for assistance.
  • Copies of the book are also available for checkout at Ellis Library and the Journalism Library.
  • Find it at a library near you: You can find local public and academic libraries that have the title.


This year’s One Read program is generously supported by:

Ted D. Ayres, ’72