Justice Undone: The Browns
Winner of the 2012 Alexia Award of Excellence
Beverly Brown's house on 12th Street and Airport Boulevard has served as her perch for nearly half a century and she has grown accustomed to family members’ unexpected visits. She proudly remembers the East Austin of her youth as a vibrant and prosperous black community. As she grew older, her pride turned to sadness as she watched drugs and poverty devastate the neighborhood.
Beverly’s family is just another statistic in America’s War on Drugs, the enforcement effort that has had an unimaginable effect on poor minority populations in the United States. In Beverly’s own community statistics are similar to those throughout the country. Unequal enforcement of drug laws filled prisons with African Americans-- men and women.
The loss of those individuals radiated back into the their neighborhoods, which eventually destabilized entire communities. Upon their release, these individuals reenter the community as second-class citizens. The aftermath of drug policies continue to deny the American Dream to countless poor African American families, who are left to pass on a legacy of incarceration.