After Attica: Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration

Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30pm-8pm 
Hosted by Humanities New York 

Federal Hall
26 Wall Street, New York, New York, 10005

History doesn’t always speak so directly to the present, but Heather Ann Thompson’s Pulitzer-winning book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising and Its Legacy might as well be in direct conversation with today’s issues of mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial conflict. As if to prove this, the New York Times was a finalist for the Pulitzer in the same year as Thompson (2017) for their investigative reporting on racial discrimination in disciplinary measures in New York State prisons. Then, as now, urban blacks were guarded by rural whites and faced a striking racial disparity in parole decisions and disciplinary measures, especially when these were left to the discretion of guards. This event will explore the history of radical racial disparities and often brutal conditions in our nation’s prisons, and the investigative work behind the writing.

Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising and Its Legacy, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer for history, and Professor of History and of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan.

Michael Winerip, former investigative reporter for the New York Times, 2017 finalist for reporting on New York State’s prisons.

Elizabeth Hinton, Assistant Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America.

Toussaint Losier, Assistant Professor of Afro-American History at University of Massachusetts. Toussaint will moderate. 

This is the first of four evenings featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and journalists. This initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. Follow @humanitiesny on twitter and facebook or sign up for our newsletter to learn more. 

We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.