Ellis Cose

Ellis Cose, a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek, is the author of many books, including Bone to Pick: On Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation and Revenge and The Envy of the World: On Being a Black Man in America.

Recent Articles

Race and Redemption

As an attorney for the Youth Law Center, litigating largely over conditions of confinement, James Bell spent some 20 years in courtrooms across America. The scene was always much the same: Even in communities that were overwhelmingly white, those arrested, detained, and convicted were overwhelmingly black and brown. Nonwhites, as Bell saw it, were being “Velcroed in” as whites were “Tefloned out.” The statistics are now so well-known they have almost lost their ability to shock: roughly 2 million men behind bars, the majority of whom are Latino and black. At every juncture -- from suspicion to conviction -- people of color, especially blacks, are significantly more likely than whites to get tangled up in America's system of justice. And juvenile statistics mirror those for adults: Roughly two-thirds of juveniles detained in public facilities are persons of color -- nearly twice their proportion in the general population. If you are young, Latino, and male, your odds of being in juvenile...

Race and Redemption

As an attorney for the Youth Law Center, litigating largely over conditions of confinement, James Bell spent some 20 years in courtrooms across America. The scene was always much the same: Even in communities that were overwhelmingly white, those arrested, detained, and convicted were overwhelmingly black and brown. Nonwhites, as Bell saw it, were being “Velcroed in” as whites were “Tefloned out.” The statistics are now so well-known they have almost lost their ability to shock: roughly 2 million men behind bars, the majority of whom are Latino and black. At every juncture -- from suspicion to conviction -- people of color, especially blacks, are significantly more likely than whites to get tangled up in America's system of justice. And juvenile statistics mirror those for adults: Roughly two-thirds of juveniles detained in public facilities are persons of color -- nearly twice their proportion in the general population. If you are young, Latino, and male, your odds of being in juvenile...