Angela Davis Meaning Of Freedom Analysis

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In The Meaning of Freedom, activist Angela Davis critiques the plausibility of democracy and collective freedom in the United States. By examining parallels between slavery and the carceral state, Davis contends that the two systems mutually characterize black people as disposable and compels them to incapacitation. Focusing on the two oppressive systems’ reliance on the maintenance of ignorance, Davis discusses how this ignorance is connected to America’s dominant sentiments of capitalism and self-interest, which, altogether, perpetuate cycles of abuse that disproportionately harm communities of color and lower-class peoples. As a result, this propels the creation of social hierarchies which, because it inherently cultivates inequalities, causes America’s classification as a “democracy” to be impossible.…show more content…
In regards to the more contemporary system of incarceration, Robin D.G. Kelley, in the foreword of Davis’ The Meaning of Freedom, refers to Davis’ employment of “negative” liberty (Davis 7). Here, as seen when he states, “This ‘negative’ liberty or freedom places a premium on the right to own property, to accumulate wealth…” Davis and Kelley distinguish that the collective freedoms of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” are not guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution but instead are merely protected from the government’s abridgement” (Davis
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