Looking for something new to read or a new program to watch? Then check out JONAH’s featured Good Read and Good View recommended by fellow JONAH members!
Ethnographer Matthew Desmond lived with the poor and followed their trials as they attempted to rent an apartment or a house in Milwaukee. He worked for and interviewed landlords to get the landlord’s as well as the renter’s experience. In his well-researched and documented book, Evicted, Desmond focuses on several families as they try to maintain a stable living arrangement for their families. He describes how little it takes to be evicted: a call to the Public Health Department to report a stopped-up toilet (after many times reporting it to the landlord) is sufficient, as is dialing 911 for an ambulance for a sick child. The problems families face when they have no permanent living arrangements plead for solutions to homelessness, poverty, and improper living conditions.
Evicted is available at public libraries, in bookstores, and online.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, the documentary, 13th: The Journey from Shackles to Prison Bars, explores the politics surrounding mass incarceration. Taking its name from the 13th Amendment, which states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction,” the film depicts the criminalization of African Americans as an extension of slavery. Commentary from Angela Davis, Cory Booker, Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist, and others, many with lived experiences to share, contribute to the power of 13th‘s message. The file is available through Netflix. View the trailer.