Synopses & Reviews
Tracing a life of radical activism and the emergence of a grassroots organization in the face of disaster, this chronicle describes scott crow's headlong rush into the political storm surrounding the catastrophic failure of the levee in New Orleans in 2005 and the subsequent failure of state and local government agencies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It recounts crow's efforts with others in the community to found Common Ground Collective, a grassroots relief organization that built medical clinics, set up food and water distribution, and created community gardens when local government agencies, FEMA, and the Red Cross were absent or ineffective. The members also stood alongside the beleaguered residents of New Orleans in resisting home demolitions, white militias, police brutality, and FEMA incompetence. This vivid, personal account maps the intersection of radical ideology with pragmatic action and chronicles a community's efforts to translate ideals into tangible results. Resisting indifference, rebuilding hope amidst collapse, and independence from government entities emerge as persistent themes in this call to activism, demonstrating what can be done by determined individuals in extreme circumstances.
"Ultimately, Black Flags and Windmills is about envisioning a better world and trusting ourselves to believe that our dreams actually contain the paths to make it happen, not as voters, not as consumers, but as participants in a spontaneous, horizontal democracy that looks different everywhere but meets the needs of the people where they are." —The Indypendent (December 29, 2011)
"Black Flags and Windmills is an incredible book about a group of dedicated men and women who, faced with challenges from all sides of the United States government, built an oasis in a desert." —Razorcake (March 2012)
"When we read Black Flags and Windmills, we get a sense of heroic narrative—the tradition of black liberation, third world revolution, anarchist organizing—but we can understand this only in the context of a politics of friendship, a constant feeling of giving and understanding." —www.EarthFirstNews.wordpress.com
About the Author
scott crow is an anarchist activist, a community organizer, a writer, and the founder of social justice groups and education projects throughout Texas and the south, including Common Ground Collective, Dirty South Earth First!, the North Texas Coalition for a Just Peace, Radical Encuentro Camp, and UPROAR (United People Resisting Oppression and Racism). He has also trained and organized for many grassroots organizations, including ACORN, Forest Ethics, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and The Ruckus Society, and is currently collaborating on a number of sustainable cooperative projects. He lives in Austin, Texas. Kathleen Cleaver is a senior lecturer in law at Emory University and was the spokesperson and first female member of the Black Panther Party's decision-making body. She is the author of Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party, and We Want Freedom. She lives in Atlanta.