The Meaning of Freedom
The idea of freedom is inspiring. But what does it mean? If you are free in a political sense but have no food, what’s that? The freedom to starve? Or if the candidates on the ballot are yoked to unjust power structures, what’s that? The freedom to vote? The colonies in Asia and Africa gained their independence from their European lords but did they gain freedom? Frantz Fanon, who worked with the liberation movement in Algeria wrote prophetically in his classic work, The Wretched of the Earth, that the newly independent states of the post-colonial era will not achieve real freedom if they replicate the patterns of oppression and domination perfected by their former masters. He warned about changing one policeman for another. Replacing white sahibs with brown and black ones.
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 at 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.