“Don’t you know that slavery was outlawed?”
“No,” the guard said, “you’re wrong. Slavery was outlawed with the exception of prisons. Slavery is legal in prisons.”
I looked it up and sure enough, she was right. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Well, that explained a lot of things. That explained why jails and prisons all over the country are filled to the brim with Black and Third World people, why so many Black people can’t find a job on the streets and are forced to survive the best way they know how. Once you’re in prison, there are plenty of jobs, and, if you don’t want to work, they beat you up and throw you in a hole. If every state had to pay workers to do the jobs prisoners are forced to do, the salaries would amount to billions… Prisons are a profitable business. They are a way of legally perpetuating slavery. In every state more and more prisons are being built and even more are on the drawing board. Who are they for? They certainly aren’t planning to put white people in them. Prisons are part of this government’s genocidal war against Black and Third World people.
Assata (via michellehuxtable)
I tell my students this every single semester.
Rivers and Roads | The Head and the Heart
A year from now we’ll all be gone
All our friends will move away
They’re going to better places
But our friends will be gone away.
Been talking ‘bout the way things change…
You have my permission not to love me;
I am a cathedral of deadbolts
and I’d rather burn myself down
than change the locks.
Artemisia Gentileschi, “Judith Slaying Holofernes”/Destiny’s Child, “Independent Women”
The Jackson Brothers
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, August 21, 1934
Croatian Cousin Frank Kirigin balances two unidentified Acrobats.
Photo: Courtesy of Cousin Robert Kirigin
Personal Archives: Uncle Steve Kirigin & Aunt Mary Kirigin
Loneliness is black coffee and late-night television; solitude is herb tea and soft music. Solitude, quality solitude, is an assertion of self-worth, because only in the stillness can we hear the truth of our own unique voices.
I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke.
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