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James Forman Jr.

James Forman Jr. comes from a family of civil rights fighters, a torch he has carried on in his work as a public defender, educator, and advocate for the incarcerated and disadvantaged in the African American community. Early in his career, Forman served as a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. He later served as a public defender in Washington, DC, an experience that would affect all of his subsequent work. In 1997 he cofounded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, which functions as an alternative school for youth who have been previously arrested or dropped out of school. He has taught law at Michigan Law School, Georgetown Law, NYU Law, and is currently a professor of law at Yale University. His new book is Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, which the New York Times called “superb and shattering.”

"Between the World and Me: 10,000 Years From Tomorrow"

The Guardian article on Locking Up Our Own