Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2010

Degree Type



In the 2009 spring semester, I walked into the class called 'The Black Prison Experience" not fully aware of what the class entailed and not fully aware of what to expect. Nor did I realize and understand that a massive part of America's infrastructure is invisible to the average American citizen. Today, however, I can confidently say that after almost completing my final semester at Fordham, and in hindsight, this class has had the greatest impact on me in my four years at Fordham University. And without this class, I would have never come to fully understand the invisible victims that are scattered throughout America. The first line of text I read from this class was a quote form Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He said, "the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prison."1 I have found that there are enough texts and many personal accounts of prisoners to allow someone to judge America's society. Over the years, America has found prison-themed televisions shows and movies to be great in creating drama but their portrayal of prisons is rarely fully developed or accurate. And in my findings, Americans should take a greater interest in our prison system for multiple reasons. If Dostoyevsky were alive today, he would be disgusted with America society judging by our prison system.