Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Make Earth Day Last All Year Long! Get Active. Go Green!

As part of our environmental responsibility, by recycling, reusing, reducing and educating, we are protecting and restoring the Earth’s resources. Do your part to help make Earth Day last all year long!

To enter my "Green Week" contest, meet me each week to donate as many used books and magazines that you can find around your home or office to recycle!

Attach your name, contact information and the week's Green Blog topic to your donation. The person that donates the most will win their choice of a FREE writing coaching session, FREE editing or a FREE writing project!

Meet me in Dallas each Wednesday at TBAAL (The Black Academy of Arts & Letters), located on the corner of Akard and Canton between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Or, meet me in McKinney each Thursday at the Starbucks on the corner of Custer and Eldorado between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Disclaimer: TBAAL and Starbucks are not affiliated with this contest.)

April 1st marks the beginning of Earth Month. Like last year, I'm reminding you that April is Earth Month, and April 22nd is Earth Day! I hope that you spent the entire year making small lifestyle changes that will make a huge, positive impact on Planet Earth.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. For the past 365 days, you've been taking action to save the Planet. To celebrate, make of list of exactly what you did to clean up the Earth.
Are you embarrassed by your lack of effort? Are you proud of the small, but significant effort you put forth? Did your small deeds turn to big deeds until eventually they became part of your lifestyle? Who else did you try to educate? Are you eager to do more?

Whatever you did, there are so many more ways to help save our planet. As a booster, I've made a list to get you started or keep you advocating:

Get Involved. Go Green!

Get Educated. Go Green!

Get Conscious. Go Green!

Get Well. Go Green!

Get Savvy. Go Green!

These and many other such efforts will not only positively impact your daily lifestyle by saving you money, food, paper and other resources, they will protect our planet!

Get Active. Go Green!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"TEXAS TOUGH: The Rise of America's Prison Empire"

By Robert Perkinson (Metropolitan Books - March 2010)

The United States of America, land of the free, imprisons a greater share of its people than any other country, about 1 out of every 100 adults. On any given day, some 2.4 million people are incarcerated, more than the populations of Boston, D.C., and San Francisco combined. But despite the magnitude of imprisonment, the story of how one state came to dominate criminal-justice practices nationwide has never been told.

Covering 150 years of American history, Robert Perkinson’s "TEXAS TOUGH: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire" (Metropolitan Books; on sale: March 16, 2010) is a sweeping account of race, politics, and imprisonment from slavery to the present, with an emphasis on the country’s most locked-down, politically influential state: Texas. With its expansive territory that stretches from South to West, its racially mixed demographics, and its uniquely turbulent history, Texas has played the vanguard role in America’s punitive revolution: from assembly-line executions to isolation supermaxes, from prison privatization to sentencing juveniles as adults. While previous histories have emphasized the North’s rehabilitative approach to criminal justice, this is but a fraction of the story. It is the retributive and profit-driven regime of the South that has ultimately triumphed, and a plantation-based penal system once dismissed as barbaric has become the template for the nation.

Most provocatively, Perkinson argues in TEXAS TOUGH that just as convict leasing and segregation emerged in response to Reconstruction, so today’s mass incarceration, with its vast racial disparities, must be seen as a backlash against civil rights. A Southern style of punitive justice has become increasingly dominant as the nation’s politics have swung to the right. Based on a decade of archival and legal research—plus hundreds of interviews with prisoners, guards, activists, judges, and politicians—TEXAS TOUGH illuminates for the first time the origins of America’s prison juggernaut. At stake is not just the fate of those living behind bars but the vitality of the country’s democratic ideals.

Robert Perkins
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Perkinson, left, is a professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His writing has appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, and Boston Review, among others. Texas Tough is his first book. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. TEXAS TOUGH: The Rise of America’s Prison Empireby Robert Perkinson ISBN-10: 0-8050-8069-8. ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-8069-8$35.00, March 16, 2010Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company

Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire
Robert Perkinson, Author and Professor of American History at University of Hawaii