The Black Power movement, often associated with its iconic spokesmen, derived much of its energy from the work of people whose stories have never been told. Stayed On Freedom brings into focus two unheralded Black Power activists who dedicated their lives to the fight for freedom.
Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons fell in love while organizing tenants and workers in the South. Their commitment to each other and to social change took them on a decades-long journey that traversed first the country and then the world. In centering their lives, historian Dan Berger shows how Black Power united the local and the global across organizations and generations.
Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, Stayed On Freedom is a moving and intimate portrait of two people trying to make a life while working to make a better world.
Dan Berger is an author and historian of activism, Black Power, and the carceral state. His previous books include Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era, which won the 2015 James A. Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians; Remaking Radicalism: A Grassroots Documentary Reader of the United States, 1973-2001, co-edited with Emily Hobson; and Rethinking the American Prison Movement, co-authored with Toussaint Losier. A public scholar, Berger curates the Washington Prison History Project, a multimedia archive of prisoner activism and policy in the state. Berger is Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.
N. D. B. Connolly is the Herbert Baxter Adams Associate Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University. He is also the author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida, which, among other awards, won the Urban History Association's Kenneth T. Jackson Award for the best book on North American urban history, and the Liberty Legacy Book Award from the Organization of American Historians.
Michael Simmons has been a peace and justice activist for over forty years. A Philadelphia native, Simmons worked with SNCC in his youth and was imprisoned for his draft resistance during the Vietnam War. Simmons has been a participant in the fair housing movement, the anti-apartheid movement and other human rights struggles.