Political Prisoners on Alcatraz
Political Prisoners on Alcatraz engages you in a little known history of Alcatraz Island - a site that has witnessed the ongoing struggles to define justice and freedom - its limits and applications - for individuals and society. The first case study centers on two conscientious objectors jailed during World War I: Robert Simmons, African American religious objector, and Phillip Grosser, Jewish anarchist, who protested on political grounds. The second story introduces Robert Lipscomb, African American federal penitentiary inmate labeled “race agitator” and “known homo,” who fought for civil rights within the prison walls during the segregated 1950s.
Join your colleagues for open-ended inquiry with primary sources and a visit to Alcatraz Island to consider how the military prison and federal penitentiary reflected the American justice system’s interpretation of rights - who is entitled, who is denied, and why?
Last updated: May 21, 2018