Etc.

‘They were standing tall and they were beautiful’

Cuban poster for Angela Davis, 1971

Cuban poster for Angela Davis, 1971

The hearing on the Morong 43 a few weeks ago made me recall this lengthy quote:

“The presence of this Soledad guard was supposed to instill awe and fear in us. We were supposed to feel impotent before the apparatus he represented. We were supposed to already smell the odor of cyanide.

“But we did not feel afraid, we did not feel impotent. And we vigorously applauded the heroes of our struggle as they strode proudly, courageously, powerfully into the courtroom. The chains draping their bodies did not threaten us; they were there to be broken, destroyed, smashed. The sight of those shackles designed to alarm us, to make the prisoners appear “dangerous,” “mad,” only made us itch to tear the metal from their wrists, their ankles. I knew that my own anger was shared by all. The bile rose in my throat. But more powerful than the taste of courage was the dominating presence of the Brothers, for the Brothers were beautiful. Chained and shackled, they were standing tall and they were beautiful.”

— Angela Davis, on Soledad Brothers, in 1971. From With My Mind on Freedom, An Autobiography

*Speaking of Angela Davis, Happy Women’s Day.

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