The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Why It Matters Today
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 5:00pm

February 8th

Lincoln Hall  (LH) | Recital Hall RM 75


A free lecture on the racial politics of mass incarceration 


presented by 


In 1971, nearly 1300 men took over the notorious Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York demanding more humane conditions. Although this remarkable prison protest was violently suppressed by hundreds of New York State Police troopers after four long days and nights of fruitful negotiations, its left a powerful legacy. From Attica back in 1971 up to the crisis of mass incarceration in the state of Oregon today, historian Heather Ann Thompson will ask us to rethink our nation’s criminal justice system then and now.


Dr. Heather Ann Thompson is a historian at the University of Michigan, and is the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon Books, 2016). Thompson’s 2001 book, Whose Detroit: Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City in 2001 was republished in 2017 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Riot of 1967. Thompson is a public intellectual who writes extensively on the history of policing, mass incarceration and the current criminal justice system for The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, Jacobin, The Atlantic, Salon, Dissent, NBC, New Labor Forum, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post, as well as for the top publications in her field. Thompson has served in policy organizations and she has been a consultant on numerous documentaries that focus on cities, prisons, and the black experience.