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Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  5,010 ratings  ·  569 reviews
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the
Paperback, 145 pages
Published January 25th 2016 by Haymarket Books (first published August 17th 2015)
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Dominic The book helped me understand the Prison Abolition movement A LOT more. Whenever i heard of abolishing prisons all i could think was those who are…moreThe book helped me understand the Prison Abolition movement A LOT more. Whenever i heard of abolishing prisons all i could think was those who are actually committing violent acts would be back in public. But the book explains that we need better programs to deal with issues that pretty much everyone who is in jail for both violent and non-violent offenses face. Also it helped me understand a more intersectional view as opposed to just struggles facing African Americans.(less)

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Jean Menzies
I need to talk about this one more either on my channel or on my blog (or both?) but in the mean time everyone else should read it!
The discussion on my channel so far:
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2018
A fast-paced series of speeches, interviews, and essays, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle examines how ostensibly disparate social movements around the world in fact share deep and meaningful connections that might link them together in a global struggle for human liberation. Across ten pieces of writing Angela Davis explores a wide range of topics, from the militarization of the police in Israel and America to the rapid spread of the prison-industrial complex throughout the world. Her arguments ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
"Freedom is still more expansive than civil rights."

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about what was excluded from my education. Why are some voices or contributions left out? Is it simply a factor of a formula that there are only so many hours in a day, so many days in Black History month, or could there be other philosophies in play? Why do we only teach about civil "disobedience" that is peaceful and within a Christian framework? So Martin Luther King Jr., yes. Malcolm X and Angela
Anabel (inthebookcorner)
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I urge everyone to read this. Inform yourself about Palestine, the Prison-industrial complex, abolition movements, Black freedom struggles, and many other interconnected struggles. This book consists of interviews and speeches by Angela Y. Davis and it's such an important read, I couldn't recommend it enough.
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I would have given this book a five stars but the second half of the book pulls from different speeches Angela Davis has given over the past couple of years. Some of the speeches became repetitive. While what she was saying needed to be repeated I felt those pages could have been better served diving deeper into the history of certain Palestinian or Turkish political prisoners instead of glossing over names.
Book Riot Community
I’ve been trying to get into the book club scene locally (and possibly failing) but this was the pick of the month. I’ve always to read more by Angela Davis. This book of interviews and essays clearly distills many complex current issues, highlighting how local struggles are also global ones. Racism, capitalism, and the prison-industrial complex are all explored in depth. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone wanting a big picture look at social issues.

— Jessica Yang

from The Best Books We Read
Zaynab Shahar
Interviewing is an art form. It require the ability to transition from one question to the next while being able to connect questions thematically. The interview questions tend to jump from one subject to the next without drawing clearer or better connections between each subject matter. So the interview section of this book wasn't as interesting to read besides Angela's answers. The speeches she gives are honestly the better part of this book, not only for the theoretical connections Davis ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
The speeches and the interviews in this book left their mark, but they would have been even more powerful had they included more context. The book's format presents these pieces with little annotation and background, and few explanations of the issues presented. Adding "Selected Works" to the title might have helped, signifying that more reading (or background) on the subjects may be necessary.

Davis is a brilliant speaker and a passionate voice. Hearing her read her own words in this audiobook
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

This was a informative and hopeful read, that I happily relished. I haven't read any other books by Angela Davis, but this has inspired me to read and learn more about her world view. The first three chapters are interviews with Angela Davis in regards to her views on how we can continue to advance social movements in a effective way. The next seven chapters are speeches that Angela Davis has given around the world. All of the topics that Angela discuss
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: political-theory
3.5 stars. Wanted to love this, but I found myself getting confused as to whether or not I was re-reading the same speech. It was redundant and didn't feel like time and care was put into making this. The points about the connections from Ferguson to Palestine weren't really completely filled out, because it was just quick mentions in various speeches. There were some nice teachings on prison abolition, but overall I wanted more.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
It totally wasn't anything like I was expecting it to be so I enjoyed it less but that's completely my fault:)

I thought it was gunna be like a nice lil book about the freedom movements all around the world but it is in fact not:) it's a collection of essays and interviews and speeches by Angela Davis (still about the freedom movements tho). The book stops being informative in like the first half after that it's just repetitive. Maybe it's a formatting thing but the same points were brought up
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Extremely relevant collection of speeches and interviews. I need to get my hands on more of her writing asap.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, race, marxism
I agree that at times the speeches and interviews selected were repetitious but it still fucking owned. Angela Davis is such a great, imaginative thinker. (I would've finished an hour sooner if I hadn't played around online in between chapters tbh.)
Tamara Agha-Jaffar
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis is a collection of interviews with and speeches by Angela Davis over a two-year period from February 2013 to June 2015.

With passion and conviction, Davis argues that the struggle for freedom is inextricably intertwined with all ongoing struggles throughout the world. As examples, she highlights the connections between the training and militarization of police in Israel with the training and
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The structure/format of this book just didn’t work for me! Her other two books that I’ve read (Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete?) were much more productive reads for me because they broke things down and supported with a lot of evidence and had pretty clear takeaways. Because this was a series of interviews and speeches it generally just skimmed the surface of the topics it was covering. And a lot of content was repeated. I know this book was not meant to be an intro to the issue ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I learned so much from reading this book. I am grateful for the insight of Dr. Davis. We don't deserve her. She is more dedicated to our freedom than we are. I look forward to reading more of her work.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Angela Davis doesn't disappoint. This is a combination of interviews & speeches she's given over the last 3+ years. Very recent events influence the questions, commentary & speeches given throughout & they are connected to past & current struggles in places all over the world. The deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, the Occupy Movements & the resulting mass movements & protests are mentioned. Reading this stressed, for me, even more the importance of historical ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Good, informative, but sadly a bit repetitive. It’s a nice collection of interviews with her and speeches she’s given, but they needed to order them a bit differently or stagger the two more, because with a bunch of the speeches one after another in the second half, the info got a bit repetition, different speeches, but similar info in each. So definitely things I want to read more info about, but the format could have been a bit better.

Having said that, I did add two other books to my reading
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A very interesting book, but not the best starter for someone unfamiliar with the details of the feminist, civil rights, or justice movements. It is a conversation that presumes a fair amount of knowledge about a wide array of events and organizations. Gave me a lot of things to look up and research. Definitely drove home the point that it's not possible to discuss any issue without examining all the interrelated narratives - that you cannot discuss feminism without discussing class, race, ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, aoc, audiobook
Excellent book that made me think about collective movements vs. heroes in an entirely new light. I wish on the audiobook a different narrator had read the interview questions rather than Davis herself (who reads the book).
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of speeches and interviews from activist icon Angela Davis. It provides some nice insights into and discussion of intersectionality. Highly recommend the audiobook version!
Chuy Ruiz
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
5 * content, but it's not really a book. It's a collection of speeches, so she often repeats herself and it doesn't feel like it flows. Nevertheless, this lady is a true inspiration and any opportunity to read her work is a good one.
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
The problem I have with Angela Davis is the same problem I have with most "practicing" Catholics I know. That is, simply, either these Catholics are only Catholics in name, or they are all talk and no action. The first called themselves Catholics, but have not touched the Gospels, the Catechism, or have gone to Church in years. The latter however, is more dangerous, for these Catholics proclaim themselves to be followers of Christ, go to Mass every Sunday or more, read the Gospels voraciously. ...more
Conor Ahern
This collection of speeches and Q&A sessions with Angela Davis really had me in awe. Davis is a woman who has been persecuted and demonized throughout her entire adult life, and who has used her unique experiences to forge a sharp, incisive political vision for a better world. She resists the characterizations that others put on her and pushes her interlocutors to understand the folly of their divisions as well as the unseen sources of the strength that lies in their unity.

I think I would
Ericka Clouther
Mind blown. This is a lot like stepping into an intermediate or advanced class on intersectionality which is tough for me because I'm still trying to get a beginners' foundation in feminism, race equality, and intersectionality. Nonetheless, wow. I can't believe that I managed to get a law degree without ever even hearing about the prison abolition movement.

There's so much in here, so much to process, that I can't tackle all my thoughts on it yet. It makes me feel like I need to do a lot more
B Sarv
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the first books I read by Angela Y. Davis was “Women, Race and Class” and for me it stands out as a necessary book to begin to understand the issues surrounding those critical topics. I was attracted to the book I review here by the fact that it was associated with Prof. Davis, Ferguson and Palestine; a sterling thinker and two critical issues of our times. A closer examination revealed that it was a collection of interviews Prof. Davis gave and speeches that she made at various venues ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the speeches collected here offer an extraordinary treatise of intersectionality as collective opposition to neoliberalism. angela davis’ primary interest continues to be a practice that owes a debt to the intercommunalism of the black panthers. this principle for collective experiments in solidarities is given in the engagement of ferguson and palestine over combined systems, inc.’s tear gas canisters. intersectionality is the theoretical notion legible and mobilized as palestinians offering ...more
Rosa Kwak
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, education
so much to learn from this book
- the absolute necessity for us to practice transnational solidarity and move beyond the dominant ideology of american exceptionalism
- imagine futures that extend beyond our own lifetimes
- “the process of trying to assimilate into an existing category runs counter to efforts to produce radical or revolutionary results” (101).
- recognition of rights by a legal system and framework isn’t the answer

pls pls read‼
Chloe Halpenny
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My two major takeaways:

1) Shedding an emphasis on individualism within struggle is absolutely necessary.
2) We stand to benefit from engaging with linkages, connections, alliances - an intersectionality of struggles.

This pair of emphases alone lend themselves to an easy 5 stars.

The format of the book necessarily led to some repetition, but that just served to further hammer home Davis’s central messages. I’ve got a lot more reading to do after reading this - in my view, a good outcome!
Ayala Levinger
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a collection of interviews and speaches that Angela Davis gave during 2014. very very interestingand inspiring. The audiobook is narrated by Angela Davis herself and that is amazing!
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Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a nationally prominent activist and radical in the 1960s, as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement despite never being an official member of the party. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing ...more
“Everyone is familiar with the slogan "The personal is political" -- not only that what we experience on a personal level has profound political implications, but that our interior lives, our emotional lives are very much informed by ideology. We oftentimes do the work of the state in and through our interior lives. What we often assume belongs most intimately to ourselves and to our emotional life has been produced elsewhere and has been recruited to do the work of racism and repression.” 24 likes
“It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” 20 likes
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