Accomplished actor and author Hill Harper is a man on a mission these days…and no, we’re not talking Covert Affairs.
In his new book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother, Harper takes on hyper-incarceration in this nation, while seeking to provide young brothers with the role models they need to navigate their journey through the system…as well as once they get out.
Harper stopped by GlobalGrind this month to talk about aiding young brothers in the broken system, the pervasiveness of incarceration in black communities and changing that cycle from the bottom up.
Fact: Did you know the United States locks up more people than Russia and China combined?
But he didn’t stop there. Harper touched on the failed war on drugs and the unconstitutional racial profiling policy stop-and-frisk, an NYPD program that saw more police stops of young black men than there are young black men in New York City.
A program that CNN anchor Don Lemon endorsed…and you don’t want to miss what Harper has to say about that. Check out the exclusive interview, and what Harper thinks of Don Lemon’s antics, above.
And read Harper’s personal letter to you about his journey to write the book and how YOU can gift it to someone in need:
You have been continually supportive of all that I do and involve myself in and I cannot thank you enough. Now I am asking you for your support for a project that is my WHOLE HEART.
I am excited to announce that my fifth book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother was released today, Nov. 5th, 2013. After receiving countless letters from incarcerated men and women battling for a better future for themselves and their families, I knew I had to do something. This is my final non-fiction book. Letters to an Incarcerated Brother is the culmination of years of research and interaction with incarcerated men and women from across this country. It is my most important book to date and the work of which I am most proud.
This book is not intended only for those who are literally incarcerated, but also for those of us in prisons not built of iron bars but, instead, locked in ideologies, circumstances, indirection and disconnection. It is my hope that this book will set us all free, unlocking new ideas and influencing transformative and liberating ways of thinking and being.
If you could find it in your heart to click one of the links below (choose your favorite online book store) and order 2 copies (one for yourself and one to gift to a young man or woman), I would be ever so grateful. In fact, all proceeds from the first week of sales of the book will be donated to organizations that serve and assist incarcerated individuals and their children. Many of these young people are serving the unfair sentence of growing up without their parent for extended periods of time, and often for their entire lives.
In our country we are not just experiencing a “mass incarceration” crisis, but actually a HYPER incarceration crisis – truly the issue of our time. Yet, it seems that no one wants to openly and honestly discuss it. This email is not simply a call to action, but also an urgent call to first, PAY ATTENTION. We cannot even think about taking action if an entire subset of our population is being locked up and forgotten. At approximately 360 million people, we are about 5 percent of the world’s population but incarcerate 25 percent of the world’s inmates.
Second, we must ACKNOWLEDGE the dire nature of this crisis and offer new solutions. We lock up more people than Russia and China combined. We are a better country than our astronomical incarceration rates would suggest and must do better as a nation. It is my hope that Letters to an Incarcerated Brother does just that.
Many believe that there will never be a serious community response to dismantling this crisis – let’s prove the naysayers wrong! I was told that our community doesn’t care about incarcerated individuals, that we would not gift this book to individuals and organizations that help the incarcerated. I was also told that a serious book directed towards our incarcerated community would not be purchased. What they didn’t realize is that so many people underestimate the intelligence, willingness and compassion of our communities to grapple with difficult issues such as this one. It is my hope that this book not only shines a light on the current hyper-incarceration crisis, but that it will also be a powerful tool for all who read it.
You can’t have a discussion about entrenched poverty in this country without talking about our obscene jailing rates. You can’t have a discussion about our failing schools without talking about the mass imprisonment of young Black and Latino males, most of whom are from extremely low performing school districts. You cannot talk about the economic well-being of communities without discussing how the incarceration of such a high percentage of working age adults from those communities has crippled its economic foundation. Once you have a felony conviction on your record, one of the most difficult things to do is to break the cycle of recidivism. We must give people opportunities to change and rise above their circumstances.
Please forward and share this letter with your networks, friends and colleagues. I thank
you so much for your support. When you read the book I hope you will believe: We can and will change lives!
Thank you for supporting me and this mission by purchasing this book today.