In American history the abolitionists fought to end slavery, lynching, and segregation. In our current times, one of the greatest challenges in the work to dismantle such repressive institutions is racism, morphed and hidden within all levels of governmental structures. The U.S. now has the largest prison population in the world. 70% of its more than 2 million inmates are poor people of color. As profits from the punishment industry increase, employment opportunities decrease and funding for education, housing, mental health, and drug treatment programs are drastically cut. As the race to the death penalty accelerates, images from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib reveal the global impact of U.S. crime policy.
Recorded at the First Congregational Church.
Angela Davis is one of the iconic figures of this era. Acquitted on conspiracy charges in 1970, after one of the most famous trials in U.S. history, she went on to become an internationally renowned writer, scholar, and lecturer. She is professor emerita at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has been in the forefront of the movement focusing on the prison industrial complex and its intersection with race, class and gender. She is the author of many books including Women, Race and Class, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, Abolition Democracy, and Freedom is a Constant Struggle.