2012 The Root 100

Michelle Alexander's work as a civil rights lawyer inspired her to write The New Jim Crow.

  • Influence: 168.6
  • Reach: 6.9
  • Substance: 8.0
  • Media Mentions: 322
  • Internet Mentions: 27200
  • Twitter Followers: 0
  • Michelle Alexander

  • Civil rights lawyer whose book, "The New Jim Crow," put a harsh spotlight on the war on drugs.
  • Job: Professor and author
  • Sector: Community
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Age: 45
  • Bio: Michelle Alexander clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun and later went to work with nonprofit organizations and the ACLU. She eventually took her Stanford law degree and entered academia, but not before realizing the devastating effects of mass incarceration. Alexander has been on a mission ever since, dispelling the notion that society is colorblind and everyone gets a second chance. Her award-winning book, The New Jim Crow, released in paperback in January 2012, spurred the NAACP to call for an end to the drug war and continues to shed a light on the nation's criminal-justice system. Like her Facebook page.