Attica riots, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971, Open Society Foundation, Brooklyn Historical Society, BHS, Prison Policy Initiative,, Center for Community Change, Humanities Action Lab Global Dialogues on Incarceration, Alliance of Families for Justice, Attica Prison, Dr. Ann Heather Thompson, criminal justice, civil rights, mass incarceration, incarceration,
Photo credit: Brooklyn Historical Society

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson is the 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Blood in the Water’ which analyzes the events during and after the Attica riots of 1971

Photo credit: Brooklyn Historical Society

Historian and criminal justice advocate Dr. Heather Ann Thompson will discuss her 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Thursday, September 28.

Blood in the Water sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy as one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century. Thompson analyzes the historic events that unfolded on September 9, 1971 at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York when nearly 1,300 prisoners held guards and civilian employees hostage to protest against years of endured abuse and to negotiate for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed.

Four days later, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Their gunfire killed thirty-nine men – hostages as well as prisoners – and severely wounded more than one hundred others. In the months to come, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners. Ultimately, New York State authorities prosecuted only the prisoners, never once bringing charges against the officials involved in the retaking and its aftermath.

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson is a historian at the University of Michigan and 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. She  has consulted on several documentary films including Criminal Injustice at Attica and  And Still I Rise: Black Power to the White House produced by Henry Louis Gates for PBS.

Thompson was a member of the National Academy of Sciences blue-ribbon panel that studied the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in the U.S. She served on the boards of several policy organizations including the Prison Policy Initiative, the Eastern State Penitentiary, and on the advisory boards of Life of the Law and the Alliance of Families for Justice. She has also worked in an advisory capacity with the Center for Community Change, the Humanities Action Lab Global Dialogues on Incarceration and the Open Society Foundation.

Brooklyn Historical Society Presents: Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971

When: Thursday, September 28, 6:30pm/ $5 (free for members)

Where: Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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