Zoé Samudzi: Merry Christmas, San Quentin

We are just two days from Christmas, yesterday evening was the first of eight nights of Hanukkah. Many different organizations do letter-writing drives for incarcerated people and toy or supply drives for their families because one of the state’s most time-specific cruelties is a maintained separation of families to be together during what ought to be a love-filled and celebratory time for countless others. And as I consider what it means for people to be behind bars during a time of year marked by community and generosity (both obviously marred by capitalism), I cannot help but think about the ways we are always meant to be surprised that prisoners have deep interior emotional landscapes beyond ones that can offered to make them more legible — more “complicated” — to those of us with no experience of incarceration and/or no relationships with incarcerated people. [Continue reading . . .]

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