Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation and Rebellion (Transformative Politics Series)
By: Joy James (editor)Paperback
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Prisons constitute one of the most controversial and contested sites in a democratic society. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world, with over 2 million people in jails, prisons, and detention centers; with over three thousand on death row, it is also one of the few developed countries that continues to deploy the death penalty. International Human Rights Organizations such as Amnesty International have also noted the scores of political prisoners in U.S. detention. This anthology examines a class of intellectuals whose analyses of U.S. society, politics, culture, and social justice are rarely referenced in conventional political speech or academic discourse. Yet this body of outlawed 'public intellectuals' offers some of the most incisive analyses of our society and shared humanity. Here former and current U.S. political prisoners and activists-writers from the civil rights/black power, women's, gay/lesbian, American Indian, Puerto Rican Independence and anti-war movements share varying progressive critiques and theories on radical democracy and revolutionary struggle.
This rarely-referenced 'resistance literature' reflects the growing public interest in incarceration sites, intellectual and political dissent for social justice, and the possibilities of democratic transformations. Such anthologies also spark new discussions and debates about 'reading'; for as Barbara Harlow notes: 'Reading prison writing must...demand a correspondingly activist counterapproach to that of passivity, aesthetic gratification, and the pleasures of consumption that are traditionally sanctioned by the academic disciplining of literature.'-Barbara Harlow  1. Barbara Harlow, Barred: Women, Writing, and Political Detention (New England: Wesleyan University Press, 1992). Royalties are reserved for educational initiatives on human rights and U.S. incarceration.
Joy James is a professor in the Africana Studies Department at Brown University.
Chapter 1 Prologue: "A New Declaration of Independence" Chapter 3 Introduction Part 4 I. Black Liberationists Chapter 5 1. "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapter 6 2. "The Ballot or the Bullet" Malcolm X Chapter 7 3. "Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation" Angela Y. Davis Chapter 8 4. "Prison, Where is Thy Victory" Huey P. Newton Chapter 9 5. "Towards the United Front" George Jackson Chapter 10 6. "COINTELPRO and the Destruction of Black Leaders and Organizations" (Abridged) Dhoruba bin Wahad Chapter 11 7. "On the Black Liberation Army" (Abridged) Jalil Muntaquim Chapter 12 8. "July 4th Address" Assata Shakur Chapter 13 9. "Coming of Age: A Black Revolutionary" Safiya Bukhari Chapter 14 10. "An Updated History of the New Afrikan Prison Struggle" (Abridged) Sundiata Acoli Chapter 15 11. "Anarchism and the Black Revolution" (Abridged) Lorenzo Komboa Ervin Chapter 16 12. "Intellectuals and the Gallows" Mumia Abu-Jamal Part 17 II. Internationalists and Anti-Imperialists Chapter 18 13. "Genocide Waged Against the Black Nation" Mutulu Shakur, Anthony Bradshaw, Malik Dinguswa, Terry D. Long, Mark Cook, Adolfo Matos, and James Haskins Chapter 19 14. "The Struggle for Status Under International Law" Marilyn Buck Chapter 20 15. "White North American Political Prisoners" Rita Bo Brown Chapter 21 16. "On Trial" (Abridged) Raymond Luc Levasseur Chapter 22 17. "Letter to the Weathermen" Daniel J. Berrigan, S.J. Chapter 23 18. "Maternal Convictions: A Mother Beats a Missile into a Plowshare" (Abridged) Michele Naar-Obed Chapter 24 19. "Dykes and Fags Want to Know: Interview with Lesbian Political Prisoners" (with QUISP)" Linda Evans, Susan Rosenberg, and Laura Whitehorn Chapter 25 20. "This Is Enough!" Jose Solis Jordan Chapter 26 21. "Art of Liberation: A Vision of Freedom" Elizam Escobar Chapter 27 22. "Violence and the State" Standing Deer Chapter 28 23. "Inipi: Sweat Lodge" Leonard Peltier Chapter 29 Epilogue: "Incommunicado: Dispatches From a Political Prisoner" A Poem by Marilyn Buck Chapter 30 Appendix: Internet Sites
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