I try to pick her up. She knocks my hand away. “You can get out of here if you want to,” she screams. “You just don’t want to.”
“No, i can’t,” i say, weakly.
“Yes you can.” she accuses. “You just don’t want to.”
I look helplessly at my mother. Her face is choked with pain. “Tell her to try to open the bars,” she says in a whisper.
“I can’t open the door,” i tell my daughter. “I can’t get through the bars. You try and open the bars.”
My daughter goes over to the barred door that leads to the visiting room. She pulls and she pushes. She yanks and she hits and she kicks the bars until she falls on the floor, a heap of exhaustion. I go over and pick her up. I hold and rock and kiss her. There is a look of resignation on her face that i can’t stand.
When the guard says the visit is over, i cling to her for dear life. She holds her head high, and her back as straight as she walks out of the prison. She waves good-bye to me, her face clouded and worried, looking like a little adult.
I go back to my cage and cry until i vomit. I decide that it is time to leave.
Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography
Mainstream white feminist movement, those of you who fight for equal pay with your white male counterparts, those of you who are colorblind, those of you who will go to the ends of the earth to fight for Laci Green and against rape jokes.
Where is your support for women in prison? For female political prisoners? For your sisters behind bars, born behind bars, funneled into a pipeline from school to prison, where are your posts? Where are your signs? Why are these spaces only occupied by poor women and women of color? Where are your books and articles?
WHERE ARE YOU?