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On November 20–21, 2020, the Columbia Journal of Race and Law hosted a virtual two-day symposium entitled How the Law Underdeveloped Racial Minorities in the United States. Broadly, the theory of underdevelopment looks at the standard of life in a nation as a measure of that country’s economic conditions. The application of this theory in the context of the law and as a measure of the quality of life of racial minorities stems from Professor Manning Marable’s work on capitalism and the economic and social conditions of Black Americans.
In her Closing Remarks, Professor Alexis Hoag provided context for the contemporary application of Professor Marable’s theory in light of current events, exploring the Coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the 2020 Presidential Election. She then introduced carceral abolition as a theoretical and practical framework to understand the law’s underdevelopment of Black people and to help address the criminal legal system’s disparate impact on racial minorities.
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