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Why has our society become so punitive? In recent years, critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. However, many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers supported the war on crime that began in the 1970s. James Forman, Jr., a professor of law at Yale Law School and former D.C. public defender, wrestles with the complexities of race and the criminal justice system in his new book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. Chronicling riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims, Forman illustrates with great compassion how racism plagues our current system of tough-on-crime measures. In an eye-opening conversation with Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA Robin D.G. Kelley, Forman shines a light on the urgent debate over the future of America’s criminal justice system.

James Forman, Jr.

James Forman, Jr. is a professor of law at Yale Law School. He has written for The New York TimesThe Atlantic, numerous law reviews, and other publications. A former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, he spent six years as a public defender in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.


Robin D.G. Kelley

Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His books include the prize-winning, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression; Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America; Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn; and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. His most recent book is Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times.

 


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: Acre Prison, 2017 (TLV and more)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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