Rattling the cage: 250 views of America's school-to-prison pipeline

Compiled from three years’ worth of interviews, Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field confronts the criminal justice system and inequality in the US Four storeys above the chaos of a blistering summer afternoon on Manhattan’s Eighth Avenue, Anna Deavere Smith sits in silence. The acclaimed American playwright and actor – who played Nancy McNally on The West Wing – glances at the rehearsal room floor, draws breath and begins the opening monologue of her one-woman show, Notes from the Field, assuming the voice of famed civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill. “It is impossible to talk about the criminal justice system, mass incarceration, without talking about education,” Smith says, capturing both the matter-of-fact exasperation and scholarly expertise you can imagine the NAACP Legal Defence Fund’s veteran president exuding. Continue reading...

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