By Da’Shaun Harrison originally published with Wear Your Voice Magazine In October of 2015, I was one of nine Atlanta University Center (AUC) students to protest then-presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. We were among the first to ever protest Clinton on her campaign trail, and were the largest group to ever do so, which shifted the national conversation around her relationship to Black voters and her complicity in the murders and incarceration of Black folks around the globe—both as a senator and as Secretary of State. Everything we planned logistically was amended the moment we stepped foot in Clark Atlanta University’s gymnasium. Originally part of a VIP list, we hung backstage with various notable Black celebrities with the understanding that we would be able to sit down with Clinton before the rally. That sit down never happened. However, Clinton did take the time to greet and take pictures with every prop—whereby . . .
“The prison, therefore, functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers. This is the ideological work that the prison performs—it relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.” Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the American criminal justice system currently holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 109 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories. The disproportionate numbers of Black and brown people in prisons are evidence that the innately racist system is . . .
“Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our specific economic situation as Black women.” —the Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977 “The concept of the simultaneity of oppression is still the crux of a Black feminist understanding of political reality and, I believe, one of the most significant ideological contributions of Black feminist thought.” —Black feminist and scholar Barbara Smith, 1983 The situational systematic position of Black women, particularly in the US, has long been explained throughout the decades whether it has been called “triple oppression”, “double jeopardy”, or more notably, “intersectionality”. While the mode of thought that has progressed Black feminism varies in political tendency, they all acknowledge the axis of oppressions that exist when Black and a woman. As this acknowledgement . . .