Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow

November 11, 2016
Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: an organizing guide Book Cover Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: an organizing guide
Daniel Hunter
Social Justice; Self Help
Veterans of Hope
February 27th, 2015

Expanding on the call to action in Michelle Alexander's acclaimed best-seller, The New Jim Crow, this accessible organizing guide puts tools in your hands to help you and your group understand how to make meaningful, effective change. Learn about your role in movement-building and how to pick and build campaigns that contribute towards a bigger mass movement against the largest penal system in the world. This important new resource offers examples from this and other movements, time-tested organizing techniques, and vision to inspire, challenge, and motivate.

(via Goodreads)


It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything. A lot has been happening in my home country of the good ol’ US of A. It’s been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I don’t want to get political here— heck, I barely get political in my daily life. However, it’s obvious to me that a lot of people in my social circles feel trapped and scared. Everyone is entitled to their emotions and their personal reflections. But I want to take this moment to empower you to make a difference, regardless of your worldview.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is a fascinating book by Michelle Alexander describing how the United States which elected Barack Obama, their first black president, is incarcerating the majority of their black young men. the-new-jim-crowAlexander argues that the citizens of the United States have not ended racial segregation, we have merely redesigned it. Some day, I’ll post my review for that book and we can discuss those points. Today isn’t about that book, but it’s about a companion to that book: Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: an organizing guide.

After the call to action Alexander gave in The New Jim Crow it’s easy to be impassioned. But where to start? Hunter’s brief book highlights his experiences as a successful organizer and provides actionable steps for the reader. Filled with powerful stories and examples of both success and failure, Hunter makes it easy to see how one can truly be an agent of change in their own community. His realistic, concrete, and specific examples provide tangible opens for individuals to begin finding ways to work with others and chip away at larger issues.

Yes, the focus in this book is on mass incarceration, but looking beyond those examples it is easy to see how Hunter’s ideas can be applied to any form of social action. Hunter describes what to  social change moment is and how to grow one. No matter at what level you want to be involved, this guide provides actionable steps for anyone interested. From how to begin a social justice campaign to providing tools, strategy, and tactics, Hunter establishes a common language for those who want to be involved in making change. With this text, you can identify simple ways to organize and take action in your own community.

If you want to make change but you aren’t certain how, or if you don’t feel like you as an individual can even make a dent in transformational change, read this book.

Bonus: As of November 11th, you can get a copy of this book FREE for Kindle! Thanks Amazon!!

If you are upset, concerned, worried, or scared– don’t cower in the corner. Learn and empower yourself. Be stronger. Be the change you want to see in the world.

4 stars

What do you think?

  • Are you involved in any social action/justice programs in your community?
  • Do you know of any other reference materials which might help empower people to drive change in their own community?
  • Have you read The New Jim Crow? What did you think? Did it inspire you?


  • Jasmine November 11, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I like reading books with examples of people’s success and failures. Have you read Freakonomics? I read it a long time ago and really loved the stories in there. I like your last line of your review. A strong message 🙂

    • Jackie B November 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      I have read Freakonomics! That’s a good comparison– hearing about what worked and didn’t work is always nice. It helps make things more real. If I get too much success in a self-help or action-oriented book I tend to disbelieve the narrator.

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea November 11, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I have been dealing with similar feelings. I actually just decided to forgo my regular facebook for a while and stick blog media only. Too much hate and negativity during an already challenging time. I am so happy to see you back with a great review. I snagged a free copy for later 🙂

    • Jackie B November 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      I am doing the same thing! Regular social media is just too depressing. I don’t want to listen to everyone shouting terrible things at each other. As Thumper’s mother says, “If you can’t say something nice don’t say nothin’ at all.” 🙂

  • Brendon November 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

    The title of the book gave me chills, an eek of hope, and sadness. That Jim Crow is still alive and well in our country. Like intellectually I know systemic oppression exists but actually seeing it so blatant has been crushing. This sounds like a good next step book to start thinking about real change and being that agent of change. Thank yoU!

    • Jackie B November 13, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      That’s more or less how this book made me feel, honestly– chills, hope, and sadness. But the hope is the important part! I refuse to sit around and let systematic oppression continue. Reading and acting on this book is as good a start as any.

  • Shouni November 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t often read books that aren’t fiction but this seems like something I should pick up. I am not involved in any social/justice programs unfortunately though I do want to be more involved in the community in the upcoming years. Thank you for the recommendation!

    • Jackie B November 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Shouni! I realized recently that I don’t read a ton of non-fiction either– mostly only memoir audiobooks. But it felt like the right time for this book. For sure.

  • Anne November 14, 2016 at 8:39 am

    This is great! I think we can all use a little inspiration when it comes to moving forward. Not just in the US, but everywhere!

    • Jackie B November 14, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Ain’t that the truth! And with something so large like tackling social justice, it can be really overwhelming to even figure out where to start. I’m just glad to try and spark some motivation.

  • 4thhouseontheleft November 14, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I really appreciate this post. I read The New Jim Crow over the summer as part of a community discussion series organized by someone I know, who has also created the group Educate to Engage (you should look it up, if you’re on Facebook). The series included a discussion of both The New Jim Crow as well as Building a Movement. While I have always considered myself “woke”, both books really gave me the tools I was missing to help discuss this topic with others. I am so happy to have read both prior to the recent protests here in Charlotte after the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, when my own town became the focus of the nation while the hurt and pain over police shootings poured out into the streets. I participated in one of the BLM protest marches that week, and have talked to as many people as will listen in the suburbs where I live.

    I have always believed that protest only goes so far, and we need to build a bridge between protest and policy. I also think that most major urban areas have existing programs for people wanting to become more involved in social advocacy, you just have to seek it out.

    Here’s my review of The New Jim Crow –

    • Jackie B November 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you so much! And thank you for sharing your story. I’m really impressed. It’s wonderful to hear that there are communities picking this up and using these books as a tool for driving change. We need more stories like this in the world.
      Do you have any lessons learned from your experiences you think we would benefit from? Any tips or tricks on being an active part of change?

  • Lost In A Good Book November 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Glad to see serious books about how to go about making a difference in the world. I knew if I came to your blog I would find something good right now. I’ve found it hard to focus on my blog with all this nonsense going on in our world. But i’m sure it will just take a little time. Thanks for making your blog a tiny island of common sense and decency. 🙂

    • Jackie B November 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks, Crystal! I really appreciate that. I also lost track with my blog a bit with all the changes in the world. It’s been disheartening and distracting. I hope that I can continue to make my blog a tiny island of common sense and decency. 🙂 Anything to help improve the world.

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