Book Review: Alexander, R., Jr. (2005). Racism, African Americans, and Social Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. ix, 149

Published date01 March 2008
Date01 March 2008
Subject MatterArticles
Last, this reviewer was pleased to come across several references to Compstat, although
this text does not fully develop Compstat as an organizational management tool. At any rate,
the examples that are structured into this text will show the reader that no law enforcement
organization is immune to failure. Most heartening, the author clearly encourages those
who do study law enforcement organizations and in particular aspiring law enforcement
executives to understand that managing structural, cultural, and institutional components of
law enforcement organizations is all about leadership and accountability. Although debates
about whether or not organizational failure is preventable might be legitimate, without failure,
there can be no success.
John M. Marks, Jr.
Sam Houston State University
Alexander, R., Jr. (2005). Racism, African Americans, and Social
Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. ix, 149.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016808314561
Rudolph Alexander’s Racism, African Americans, and Social Justice examines race and
racism for African Americans in the United States. Though this topic is well researched and
its coverage is eclectic, it is a great read and makes a lively and compelling documentation
of the oftentimes horrific, and corrupt discriminatory practices toward African Americans
from the period of Reconstruction to present day.
In his quest for social justice, Alexander ensured that the aim of the book could not be
misconstrued as he effectively reiterates the sociohistorical context in which he writes. He
contends that “African Americans receive less justice—legal, social, educational, and econom-
ical. Moreover, Af rican Americans have not received due appreciation for their military
contributions, and this neglect implicates justice” (p. 119).
Using Federal Court documents, FBI statistics and Gallup Polls, peer reviewed journal
articles, and other documents, Alexander effectively validates the discriminatory practices
which still influence present-day African American culture. While African Americans were not
the only group to experience discrimination in the history of the United States, a distinction
was made regarding the origins of this practice. As Alexander points out, African Americans
are a unique group because they are the only group who were brought to the United States
involuntarily and had to fight their way through servitude, Jim Crow, Dred Scott, and lynching
laws. He demonstrates that these challenges were often perpetuated by a racist criminal justice
system which was supported by Federal Courts.
Alexander skillfully turns a critical eye toward the difference between African American
justice and White American justice. Addressing the issue of law as the oppressor, he writes
soundly about discrimination in regard to the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice
system, higher education, affirmative action reparations, economics, and employment. Each
of the nine chapters is well organized, beginning with an introduction to the issue being
addressed. Subcategories streamline the text, assisting the reader in breaking down each
Book Reviews 115

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