Angela Davis

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela 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 militarization of police in the US and in other parts of the world. She draws comparisons between Ferguson and the Palestinian struggle in the occupied territories. She critiques the prison industrial complex, perceiving it as an extension of slavery. She argues that social change does not come about because of the actions of one individual but rather through robust, collective social movements. She credits the Black female domestic workers for their pivotal role in the 1955 Montgomery bus boycotts. And she sums up her underlying premise by saying, “The greatest challenge facing us as we attempt to forge international solidarities and connections across national borders is an understanding of what feminists often call ‘intersectionality.’ Not so much intersectionality of identities, but intersectionality of struggles.”

This is a powerful collection of speeches and interviews. Davis’ arguments are perceptive and persuasive. Since the speeches were given at different times and in different locations, there is some repetition of her main ideas. But these reiterations serve to illustrate her unflinching resolve to articulate and illustrate the intersectionality of global struggles and the collective action needed to address them.

Davis challenges us to think deeper and broader and to reject facile solutions to complex problems. She urges us to unearth root causes and to recognize the interconnectedness of the various global struggles for freedom.

Highly recommended.

AuthorTamara Agha-Jaffar
CategoriesBook Review