Culture and Society
I learned a history not then written in books but one passed from generation to generation on the steps of moonlit porches and beside dying fires in one-room houses, a history of great-grandparents and of slavery and of the days following slavery; of those who lived still not free, yet who would not let their spirits be enslaved.
Tom Hayden On Democracy And Redemption
You can’t just change consciousness and expect that institutions will follow. They’ve got to be overthrown, replaced, altered.
The [prison] system does everything within its power to sever any physical or emotional links you have to anyone in the outside world. They want your children to grow up without ever knowing you. They want your spouse to forget your face and start a new life. They want you to sit alone, grieving, in a concrete box, unable even to say your last farewell at a parent’s funeral.
After fifteen years in prison I was beginning to assume my life couldn’t get any more lopsided and annoying, but now some cruel functionary has started a war against the local swallows.
Henry Robinett On Teaching Inmates To Play The Guitar
These guys are allowed almost no dignity. As far as I’m concerned, their sentence is their punishment. They aren’t supposed to be treated cruelly on top of that.
It is a unique sound. A cell door has no handle, either outside or inside. It cannot be shut except by being slammed. It is made of massive steel and concrete, about four inches thick, and every time it falls to there is a resounding crash just as though a shot has been fired. But this report dies away without an echo. Prison sounds are echoless and bleak.