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#373#374#375#376 Episode #377 - The Prison: A Sign of US Democracy?
(Angela Davis on the Abolition of Prison)



Sun 23 September 2007  Angela Davis
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2A talk by Professor Angela Davis given Sept 18, 2007 at Cornell University. The US imprisons more people than any other nation, more than two million are behind bars now. According to report by the US dept of justice a few years ago, 1 in 37 Americans will find themselves behind bars.
The majority of those prisoners are people of color, especially African American men, even in states where they are a tiny minority of the population, and even though many studies have shown that white people break laws as often or more often than people of color. It is estimated that one in 3 black men will be incarcerated at some time in his life.

That the US legal system is biased against people of color, and the poor, who are disproportionately people of color, is

incontrovertible, and Angela Davis will touch on that in the talk. Then she'll go on beyond to question the institution of prison itself, to pose the idea that imprisonment is bound up with the American conception of democracy in surprising ways, that it plays a role in how freedom is defined in the national psyche. Angela Davis, a former political prisoner herself as well as an internationally known scholar, is one of the foremost activists in the prison abolition movement that questions the very validity and purpose of prison as an institution.
Thanks to Judy Holly, Robert Harris, Joan Miura
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