In order to continue fighting the good fight, I have decided to expand my reading list to include authors who write about race relations, social justice and black feminism. To kick off this educational indulgence, I have started to go to the library more (I’m actually writing this post in the library) and continue to scour the internet in order to find texts that I hope will expand my way of thinking. I started with Angela Davis, because she is a political activist who has fought for social injustice in America since the 1960s, has been jailed and tried for her beliefs, and continues to speak out for those in need.
I first became interested in Angela Davis after watching a video of her speaking at Rockefeller Memorial Center in Chicago after the 2016 election. She also is featured in the Netflix original documentary by Ava Duvernay, “13th”, in which Davis discusses the links between slavery and the federal prison system in America. In her most recent book, “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” (2015), each chapter is an interview with Davis conducted on a particular topic ranging from Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement, Palestine and the connection between their police state and America’s, to one of her greatest passions, dismantling what she calls the prison industrial complex, or “the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems” (criticalresistance.org).
Published by Haymarket Books, the text is heavy reading, with topics intertwining together to form a cohesive and radical statement from the author informing the reader that the system in America is well and truly fucked and in need of change NOW. I felt so strongly about this particular manifesto, I shared a chapter with the university Argument Writing class I’m teaching this semester, right before I assigned them a paper discussing the themes and thesis of “13th”.
The world we live in is changing and I implore you to educate yourself. I will continue to read and share recommendations with you as we fight the resistance together.
xoxo C. Diva