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The Meaning of Freedom (Open Media)by Angela Y. Davis
Synopses & Reviews
"Davis' arguments for justice are formidable. . . . The power of her historical insights and the sweetness of her dream cannot be denied."—The New York Times
What is the meaning of freedom? Angela Y. Davis' life and work have been dedicated to examining this fundamental question and to ending all forms of oppression that deny people their political, cultural, and sexual freedom. In this collection of twelve searing, previously unpublished speeches, Davis confronts the interconnected issues of power, race, gender, class, incarceration, conservatism, and the ongoing need for social change in the United States. With her characteristic brilliance, historical insight, and penetrating analysis, Davis addresses examples of institutional injustice and explores the radical notion of freedom as a collective striving for real democracy—not a thing granted by the state, law, proclamation, or policy, but a participatory social process, rooted in difficult dialogues, that demands new ways of thinking and being. "It is not too much," writes Robin D.G. Kelly in the introduction, "to call her one of the world's leading philosophers of freedom." The Meaning of Freedom articulates a bold vision of the society we need to build and the path to get there. This is her only book of speeches and her first full-length book since Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).
Angela Y. Davis is professor emerita at the University of California and author of eight books. She is a much sought after public speaker and an internationally known advocate for social justice.
Robin D.G. Kelley is the author of many books and a professor at the University of Southern California.
"Hot and timely topics like feminism, racism, incarceration, and patriotism are all considered by Davis (Are Prisons Obsolete?) in this collection of her speeches from 1994 to 2009. Structural racism and discrimination are the rhetorical linchpins of these oratories, with Davis advocating for a 'radical structural change' in American society, including the abolition of the 'prison-industrial complex' and the death penalty. The most compelling moments come when Davis points out ironies and inversions in the results of the apparently increasing equality between races and genders. For Davis, the photos taken at Abu Ghraib in Iraq serve as a prime example of how 'gender equality is construed as equal opportunity to wield the weapons and violence controlled by the state.' At their best, these speeches are highly rhetorical and persuasive, grounded in readings of DuBois and the personal experiences of Davis. At their weakest, they consist of posturing and unsupported claims. This overview of Davis' fervent lectures is perfect for the unfamiliar, though the incredulous may require a volume with more substantiation. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
First and only book of speeches on racism, community, freedom, and politics in the U.S. by international icon Angela Davis.
About the Author
Angela Y. Davis is Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness at the University of California and author of many books including Women, Race and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is a much sought after public speaker and internationally known feminist scholar, prison abolitionist, and advocate for social justice.
Robin D.G. Kelley is a professor of History, American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. From 2003-2006, he was the William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies at Columbia University. From 19942003, he was a professor of history and Africana Studies at NYU. He is the author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination.
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