The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan: An American Memoir - Cecily McMillan

Staff Pick

Few book accounts of Occupy Wall Street give any kind of in-depth look at the movement and the controversies that swirl around it. And it is equally rare to read first-hand accounts of women imprisoned at New York’s Rikers Island. The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan does both and the book would be worthy of reading on that account alone. But her memoir provides more. McMillan describes her upbringing and youth in Texas and Georgia, family difficulties, financial hard times leading her brother in prison for drugs, her to political engagement—and on to New York and Occupy, the swirl of activism striving to be effectual without giving up its values.  She recounts how that commitment led to her victimization by police and by a legal system that has long abjured the notion of innocent before proven guilty—and thus to her stint in prison. There she comes to a deeper appreciation of the lives and struggles of others, a deeper appreciation of herself.  McMillan becomes a voice for women rendered silent, not speaking for them but rather through them and discovering thereby a stronger sense of self to accompany her commitment to activism.  The book concludes with a statement she made upon her release that explains her memoir’s title: “The guards didn’t free me that day, the women did.  Their demands were my emancipation proclamation.”

The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan: An American Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781568585383
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bold Type Books - August 9th, 2016

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