Selected essays on radical social change.
Written over the course of twenty years, the essays brought together here highlight and analyze tensions confronted by writers, scholars, activists, politicians, and political prisoners fighting racism and sexism. Focusing on the experiences of black women calling attention to and resisting social injustice, the astonishing scale of mass and politically driven imprisonment in the United States, and issues relating to government and civic powers in American democracy, Joy James gives voice to people and ideas persistently left outside mainstream progressive discourse—those advocating for the radical steps necessary to acknowledge and remedy structural injustice and violence, rather than merely reforming those existing structures.
Joy James is Presidential Professor of the Humanities at Williams College. Her many books include Warfare in the American Homeland: Policing and Prison in a Penal Democracy; The New Abolitionists: (Neo)Slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison Writings, also published by SUNY Press; and Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion.
"…this Joy James reader is at its core a portrait of 'the making of a dissident voice' … What we most desperately need in a world that fears and silences opposition—or worse—are revolutionaries who speak truth to power and beckon us to stand with them in solidarity. A luta continua. The struggle continues. " — from the Foreword by Beverly Guy-Sheftall
"These broad-ranging essays circle around the topic of building community under siege. Communities can be 'thorny ties,' as Joy James notes, yet are vital for developing a critical consciousness on one's society. James also provides an astute analysis of the antirevolutionary trends in social theory today. Herein one will find the voice of a dissident humanist in full flower. " — Linda Martín Alcoff, coeditor of Constructing the Nation: A Race and Nationalism Reader