Fugitive Thought: Prison Movements, Race, and the Meaning of Justice

By Michael Hames-García | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Resistant Freedom:
Piri Thomas and Miguel Piñero

It is not just accidental that prisons breed recidivism; prisons are built-in, powerful, destructive systems which cling to and destroy those who fall into them. There is no change which can change this, for it is the very essence of prisons to destroy human beings.

—Ruth Morris, Crumbling Walls: Why Prisons Fail

In one sense, freedom is not just about where one lives (in prison or out) but how one lives. In novelist Toni Morrison's words, “Freeing yourself [i]s one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self [i]s another” (95). Claiming ownership of that freed self entails, in part, making a number of ethical choices about how one will live in the world. These choices are major concerns of New York–raised Puerto Rican (Nuyorican) prison writers Piri Thomas and Miguel Piñero. A childhood vignette related in Thomas's prison memoir, Seven Long Times, stresses how freedom for others entails ethical choices about one's actions toward others:

We contemplated our imprisoned [Wreflies] in the evening light of Central Park and silently watched the on-and-off neon-like green glow.

“Piri […] You think if these bugs hadda chance they'd do the same to us?”

I thought about it and said, “You fuckin' right. If I got treated this way, I'd get even. Like, we ain't got no right to stick 'em in a jar.”

[… …]

“You can't blame them for wanting to escape.”

“No, you can't, ” I agreed.

Without checking with each other, we had silently opened our

-141-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Fugitive Thought: Prison Movements, Race, and the Meaning of Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 354

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.