Angela Davis speaks [video]



A great interview between Angela Davis and Amy Goodman of the consistently informative Democracy Now. Some statistics shared by Amy during the interview jarred me:

/////"Amy Goodman: Recently we had Michelle Alexander on, the author of The New Jim Crow, and she said there are more African Americans under correctional control today, in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began."/////

This reality, in and of itself, makes this interview worthwhile. Davis, however,
places that data into a larger historical context (a comparative discussion of the abolitionist movement and today's anti-prison movement) and offers some alternatives to today's prison-industrial-complex.

The Black Power heroine Angela Davis, who was later appropriated and transformed by Hollywood into the vivacious Pam Grier (a.k.a. the original Foxy Brown), shared portions of a fascinating biography (I had no idea she and Condoleeza Rice grew up in "Bombingham" during roughly the same time period).

For this generation, the task is to sift through the shallow imitations of "Foxy Brown" (I suppose the status is now occupied by rap artist Nicki Minaj) and return to the source. Davis reminds us that there was a time in the not too distant past when a powerful Black woman held the American (and international) public captive through mass media with her thoughts--not wealth or exhibitionism as is today's custom. All that to say, set aside some time if you can. You will definitely come away with a refined understanding of the modern prison-industrial complex and its historical roots.