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Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson,…
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Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations… (2015)

by Angela Y. Davis

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Good, informative, but sadly a bit repetitive. It’s a nice collection of interviews with her and speeches she’s given, but they needed to order them a bit differently or stagger the two more, because with a bunch of the speeches one after another in the second half, the info got a bit repetition, different speeches, but similar info in each. So definitely things I want to read more info about, but the format could have been a bit better.

Having said that, I did add two other books to my reading list while reading this one, so leading to future reading is always a plus. ( )
  RivetedReaderMelissa | Mar 22, 2018 |
3.5 stars

I wouldn't have called myself a political activist until November 8, 2016. And even then, it's certainly not my full-time focus as it is for Angela Davis. She's been an activist for decades, since the days of the Black Panther Party. As a part-time, neophyte activist I found this collection of speeches and an interview to be interesting. The collection is somewhat repetitive because Davis gives speeches to similar groups and has her specific causes. For me, that was actually helpful because repeated emphasis encouraged my own learning process.

Her primary message throughout is that "... there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite, that democracy from below can challenge oligarchy, that imprisoned migrants can be freed, that fascism can be overcome, and that equality is emancipatory."

Davis verbally and actively discusses so many issues that I have a considerable future study list. Here's a list of the issues I captured, although it's likely imperfect:

Feminism
Racism
Prison Industrial complex / privatization of prisons
Immigration and immigrant detention
Rape culture
Poverty
Capitalism
Assanta Shakur on the terrorist most wanted list
The 10 principles of the Black Panther Party
Discrimination and violence against oppressed peoples, including LGBTQ and indigenous peoples

This is a short book full of heavy ideas. I listened to the audiobook, which Davis narrates in a professorial voice that worked for me. It was well worth the time for me.

Lest you think this is all angry pessimism, I'll leave you with another quote:

“I don't think we have any alternative other than remaining optimistic. Optimism is an absolute necessity, even if it's only optimism of the will, as Gramsci said, and pessimism of the intellect.” ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
This text is a collection of Angela Davis' speeches focused around the themes: Continuity of struggle and the unfinished project of liberation; Rejection of narratives that construct liberation movements as the product of extraordinary individuals rather than communities of regular people who decided that things needed to change; and the intersectionality of struggle.

While the larger themes wont be ground breaking for those who spend a lot of time with this kind of material there is still value in reading/listening to this book due to the authors and works that Davis cites, her description of the intersections of struggles (e.g Palestine and Ferguson) and little known aspects of freedom movements like the involvement of children in the struggle.

I also really enjoyed Davis' discussion of Feminism and the Black Radical Tradition as frameworks for justice and methodologies rather than identities and proprietary cultural artifacts. I have found that the public discourse seems to lack this understand. It was rather refreshing. ( )
  _praxis_ | Mar 5, 2018 |
Only for a completist. This collection of essays, interviews and speeches by Davis discusses the struggles of protest, against the state and oppression. Topics range from prison to Palestine to the Obama administration and the ties between them.
 
Some of it was really fascinating and interesting to learn. The history of activism and protesting, what lessons can be learned across borders/cultures, the role of issues including racism/sexism/etc. in the struggle, etc. However, the book is not without its problems. It's very repetitive as other people have said. While it can be handy to read in different forms, I couldn't help but be disappointed for such a thin, small book to be so expensive.
 
I enjoyed reading it and had a much easier time understanding vs. another work of hers (it probably helped that I am *much* more familiar with the topics she discusses in this book) but at the same time I wish had had been something else: perhaps a book specific piece by Davis (there's a Forward and Introduction but not by her)
 
Overall I don't regret reading this at all and would recommend getting to it if you're interested. But just be aware that you'll be reading a lot of the same points that are just postulated differently depending on the audience and the format. Recommend as a library borrow/look for this on the internet unless you collect her works.
  ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Angela Davis is a leading and historical figure in the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, as well as being an outspoken Communist and Feminist. She has inspired countless individuals to rise up and take action against injustice and in support of freedom for all. Her book, FREEDOM IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE, is a collection of interviews, conversations, essays, and speeches that tackle the concept of freedom in different ways.

While there are many overlapping themes in these pieces, Davis spends a significant amount of time discussing oppression and its historical roots in colonialism, apartheid, classism, caste systems, and especially during Reconstruction after the American Civil War. She makes a convincing case that nothing, throughout the history of the world, ever happens in a vacuum. What happens "here" is influenced by, and in turn influences, what happens "there". In every case, she makes connections between the treatment of black bodies in the USA with the treatment of "others" elsewhere in the world by the dominant societal and governmental powers. She ultimately believes that, for the rights of marginalized groups to reach true equality with those of the dominant class, we all need to recognize the intersectionality of the issues at stake. Feminism is intrinsically linked with racism, sexism, classism, and the oppression of indigenous peoples, to name a few. To succeed in one area alone may cause great harm to other areas.

The audiobook is narrated by the author, which lends a certain extra importance to the material being discussed. I will likely never have the opportunity to be in Angela Davis' presence, but through listening to FREEDOM IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE, I feel as though I know a little bit about her, and the ideals she holds most dear. It was a joy to read this book, and certainly an inspiration for future action towards freedom and equality. ( )
  BooksForYears | Nov 2, 2017 |
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Book description
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."

Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Dr. Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." His many books include Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his autobiography, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.

Frank Barat is a human rights activist and author. He was the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and is now the president of the Palestine Legal Action Network. His books include Gaza in Crisis and Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation.
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In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."… (more)

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