Join UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library and the Levine Museum of the New South for a screening and discussion of “Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem,” a film that provides historical context and examines America’s history of racist oppression in the criminal justice system. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 20, at 6:00 p.m. in McKnight Hall on the campus of UNC Charlotte. The screening and discussions are part of Atkins Library’s “Film Screen With A Dean” series sponsored by Dr. Anne Cooper Moore, Dean of Atkins Library. It is also part of the What Is It Going To Take? series at Levine Museum of the New South, sponsored by NC Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem” (2021), is a film produced by Brave New Films and directed by Robert Greenwald. The documentary was inspired by Dr. Alexandra Natapoff’s book, Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal (Basic Books, 2018). Through first-person accounts of those charged under the Black Codes of the Reconstruction era paralleled with the outrageous stories of people trapped in the system today, this short film (approx. 30 minute running time) exposes how our country’s history of racial injustice evolved into an enormous abuse of criminal justice power. Thirteen million people a year – most of them poor and people of color – are abused by this system.
Join Us In Person!
The screening and discussion is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Parking is available in the Cone visitor lot on the campus of UNC Charlotte. Attendees will receive a token for free parking at the event. Directions and parking instructions will be emailed to registrants before the event.
Following the screening, Dr. Tina Shull with UNC Charlotte’s Department of History will moderate a panel discussion featuring Charlotte professors Dr. Gregory Mixon and Dr. Jeffrey Leak, and Kristie Puckett-Williams with the ACLU of North Carolina.
Dr. Tina Shull
Assistant Professor and Director of Public History at UNC Charlotte
Tina Shull is a historian of race, migration, and carceral studies and is the director of Public History at UNC Charlotte. Her new book, Detention Empire, explores the criminalization of migration and rise of immigration detention during the Reagan administration. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and also directs the public history project Climate Refugee Stories.
Deputy Director for Engagement and Mobilization for the ACLU of North Carolina Kristie Puckett-Williams’ direct experience with poverty, drug addiction, domestic violence, and incarceration have led her to pursue a career in policy and advocacy. She is an issue area expert on the conditions of confinement for women and girls, including pregnant women and girls in carceral facilities. Puckett also serves as the Chair of the Women in Incarceration Workgroup for the State Reentry Council Collaborative and as a commissioner on the North Carolina Commission on Racial & Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System (NC CRED). She holds an M.A. in Human Services Counseling: Addiction and Recovery Counseling.
Dr. Gregory Mixon
Professor of History at UNC Charlotte
As well as his role in the Department of History, Dr. Mixon is an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Africana Studies and American Studies Program at UNC Charlotte. He teaches African American, Southern, and United States History and racial violence with a research focus on the years 1860 to 1930. He is currently working on a comparative study of black militiamen in North Carolina and South Carolina, 1865 to 1898. He is also a founding member of the Romare Bearden Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dr. Jeffrey Leak
Professor of English and Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte
Dr. Jeffrey Leak has served as president of the faculty and held other leadership positions at UNC Charlotte. Currently, he is Interim Associate Dean in the Honors College. His research and teaching focus on African American Literature. He is the author of Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas, a biography of the Black Arts Movement writer Henry Dumas, which was awarded the 2014 Best Non-Fiction Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association