Every time I read Angela Y. Davis I am left in well-informed awe. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement is her latest book which is a collection of essays, speeches and interviews from the recent past. In it, Davis touches on the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. She cites the deaths of Mike Brown and Rekia Boyd, the Occupy Movements and resulting mass movements and protests, and as the title suggests, she links it to the struggles and injustices in Palestine.
Davis stresses the importance of understanding the struggles of others and how it relates to our own. How it is necessary for people as a whole to organize and act. It is not just individuals who change history. This is evident in the historical examples she gives from the Montgomery Bus Boycotts – how it would not have been possible without the organization of black women.
The way she weaves together the struggles against neo-liberal capitalism, the prison-industrial complex, systemic injustices, settler colonialism in Palestine, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia is masterful. It makes for a short but extremely powerful read.
I was a journalism major, I worked as a journalist in the past, and I am an advocate of honest, truthful reporting and the freedom to do so. I’ve always harbored a desire to be a foreign correspondent (I still do), and I love to live vicariously through memoirs of journalists who have been there and can tell their stories.
Breaking News: A Memoir by Martin Fletcher is an interesting read. Fletcher has decades of experience as a cameraman, producer, and eventually correspondent in the field reporting harrowing stories from front lines of war and more. I know, another book by an old white man reporting on wars happening in foreign lands. However, that’s the sad fact of journalism in general, and one of the aspects of the book I didn’t enjoy. Fletcher writes about his colleagues very often – all white men. When a women is mentioned, she is a secretary, at the assignment desk, a sexual conquest, or wife. His tales of being young, having money, and enjoying white privilege in Africa are not appealing, but they are the truth – at least he admits that.
That’s not to take away from the actual stories of war – they are harrowing. The battle between ethics and humanity and trying to “get the story” is also fascinating. Dealing with filming a woman dying to get the story across. He put his life on the line to bring these stories to the world.