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If They Come in the Morning ... (Radical Thinkers)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  32 reviews
With race and the police once more burning issues, this classic work from one of America s giants....
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Verso (first published 1971)
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4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  412 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Hasan Makhzoum
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You might find it a cliché, but while reading the very first lines, it's Tracy Chapman's song "Talkin' About Revolution" that resonated continuously inside my head:
"Don't you know
They're talkin' bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper.."

(Goosebumps whenever I listen to it, always) .. Only recently I've found out that The Rolling Stones' song "Sweet Black Angel" was dedicated to her, as an act of solidarity and homage, when she was incarcerated..

Phathu Musitha
“In the heat of our pursuit for fundamental human rights, Black people have been continually cautioned to be patient. We are advised that if we remain faithful to the existing democratic order, the glorious moment will eventually arrive when we will come into our own as fully-fledged human beings.” — Angela Davis
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection of essays, letters, poems and notes from 1972 is a fascinating historical record from a period prior to the modern wave of mass incarceration in the USA. It is unavoidably dated in its style and many specifics have changed, but they have changed only for the worse and this writing has lost none of its topical relevance in the intervening 55 years.

The core theme is the corrupt use of the criminal justice system to incarcerate and control Black Americans. This is recognised as a f
I am a criminal defense attorney primarily and almost exclusively. I know personally many incarcerated people. Being a Black woman attorney in Mississippi some may say gives me a unique perspective of the inner workings of the system. What it really gives me is nightmares and sleepless nights, disappointments and anxiety, sadness and despair, and yet, fleeting moments of hope. Seriously.
I know there are people who are in prison doing major time for minor crimes; people doing time for crimes they
"Some us, white and Black, know how great a price has been paid to bring into existence a new consciousness, a new people, an unprecedented nation. If we know, and do nothing, we are worse than the murderers hired in our name. If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own--which it is--and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night."
--James Baldwin, "An Open Letter To My S
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a book of letters but they all talk to each other and words and thoughts flow together so I don't remember now who said what. And this is a book of history but I don't know much about California's geography and Marin and Folsom and San Quentin all kind of run together for me (and that's because i live in a cash-insulated bubble!!! prisons are basically one big box to me! god dang it).

so mostly I let these missives wash over me and pretended that i'd never heard of prisons before, and th
Nan Kirkpatrick
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're interested in learning more about the ways in which the state uses law enforcement as a tool for racial oppression, this is a good book to check out.
The Most Political of All Political Prisoners for Justice
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No revolutionary should fail to understand the underlying significance of the dictum that the success or failure of a revolution can almost always be gauged by the degree to which the status of women is altered in a radical, progressive direction.
—Angela Davis

I bought this paperback in a used bookstore in Denver, Colorado and since then I've been flipping through it, finding some real gems, putting it down for a while and then coming back to it. It's kind of like a handbook for radicals really,
Michael Fredette
If They Come in the Morning is a collection by and about imprisoned Black American radicals which was published in 1970. It focuses on the celebrated case of Angela Davis, a former UCLA professor and accomplished intellectual, accused (and later acquitted, though that's beyond the scope of this book) of orchestrating a courtroom break out to free a Soledad Brother on trial for capital murder, based on apparently flimsy and dubious evidence. Includes contributions from Davis, her legal team, and ...more
A collection of essays, poems, found letters, legal documents regarding the prison industrial complex and the wrong imprisonment of political dissidents. My god, Nixon seems like an asshole. Like Blood in the Water, which reveals how organizing in prison can lead to activism and self-government (even though the end result was not ideal by any means), this volume also proves how arguments and ideas are tempered, confirmed, and/or honed in prison.

This collection also focuses on the insanity of put
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2016 Reading Challenge - A political memoir

I originally read this in January 2001 in relation to my graduate work. This is my second time reading it. It is a valuable compilation of personal reflections on being a political prisoner in the late 1960s and early 1970s, along with letters of support and critical analysis of the political climate of the time. Angela Davis, as always, does an excellent job of correlating her individual experience to the larger Black experience and the world wide att
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful collection of articles about this time in history. Some very interesting commentary from some very interesting people; Angela Davis, Huey Newton, Ruchell Magee and others contribute.
Recommended companion reading: Soledad Brother
Recommended companion viewing: Punishment Park (1971)
I learned that everyone in prison is a political prisoner...

That's pretty cynical. I think it was an interesting read, and it certainly does open one's eyes about the injustices that happen in prison. However, there did seem to be a tendency to describe everyone in jail as a political hero.

Also, everyone gets a number after their name like superheroes. I think the Solidad three should fight the bionic six.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: authors-of-color
i learned a ton, was really moved and inspired. there's so much in here. deep, accessible critique of prison industrial complex. verbal fighting back against the repression and targeting of dissent/radical thought. extended discussion of right to self-representation. information of a lot of important trials (and movements), 60's and 70's. but more than anything, courage and passion really leap off the page...

(and what i wrote here is just scratching the surface)
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these essays read as very much of a specific time and place, perhaps a time where there was a more... uncritical.. embrace of communism and international communist leaders. But it's also a fascinating (depressing?) tour through some of the lesser known and actively suppressed parts of black american history.

Also, a lot of definite mixed emotions to be reading that people in the 1970s were just as convinced we had reached The End of America as we are today.
Jan 17, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I had this book in my bag and Angela Davis was sitting right behind me during a report-out on the New Jersey 4 trial at Critical Resistance. Oh how I wanted to do something geeky like get her to sign it. But I didn't.
Carmilla Voiez
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Written by Civil Rights activists in the 1970s about their experiences with the American police, courts and prisons. It's an amazing book, bringing recent history to life through the words of people who lived it. Highly recommended!
Sean Estelle
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great breakdown of the prison system, and discussion of the campaign to free Angela and all political prisoners. Definitely a document of its time, but amazing how relevant the critiques still are.
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because, you know, Angela Davis rocks and stuff...
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was only 23 years old. It had a profound effect on me about right and justice, then and since. It is a deep book but well worth reading as it is written well.
Jeff Wallace
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great collections of stories and some beautiful poems. If you are looking for inspiration than this book will help you find it in yourself!
Kimberly Christian
My Dad passed this read down to me. It's a very old book, had to be purchased in the seventies, early eighties. Great depiction of injustice in the prison system especially, in that era.
Eurethius Péllitièr
A case study, with accompanying notes/letters/evidence around 7th August 1970 and the incarceration of Angela Davis and others that followed. An important contribution to Prison Abolition
Rianna Jade
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-finest
A solid collection of speeches and personal letters from prominent voices of the time (70S/80s) on the anti-prison/war movement lead by members of the Black Panther Party, Communist Party USA et al.
Michelle Lemaster
Angela Davis is such a bad-ass! The struggle for social justice is so frought with obstacles. This is a must read for anyone concerned with social-justice.
Ilene Richards
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am learning that the struggle for freedom never ends
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-rights
A written testament of the struggles represented by Ruchell Magee, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale and many others for social justice and freedom for political prisoners.
Molly Roach
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is required reading, for all, forever.
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2013
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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 inter ...more