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The slave trade, particularly as it pertains to the United States, is often depicted through images of African captives being carried across the Atlantic Ocean in squalid ships to be bought, sold, and abused by “civilized” Americans for the purposes of manual plantation labor and domestic duties in a Southern economy. However, slavery extends far beyond the Middle Passage, Confederate states, and the ownership of human people presented in many historical texts. Today, millions of people remain under similar levels of surveillance and control, not at the hands of slave masters but under the supervision of the criminal justice system. In her evaluation of mass incarceration and the racialization of contemporary penal policy, legal scholar and civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander argues that the U.S. ...

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