Free/Style: Zombies, Prisons, and Other Horrible Truths

Veinte años de vida del Taller de Gráfica Popular; Andrea Gómez, 1957

Samhain. Día de los Muertos. Halloween. Around the world, we celebrate our dead. We dress up, put on make up, and step out on the town for festivities and fun. Or so we hope. We hope, and we wonder if the costumes we’ve created might inch us toward the thinning veil between spiritual worlds. Perhaps our creative gestures will be a signal to the ancestors, bringing us closer to them and our truth.

This week, I’ve rounded up links on the topic of death and life, right in time for this season of honoring those who have come before us, those of us forgotten or left for dead, and those of us fighting to survive.

  1. The Atlantic explores the tragic roots of the “zombie industrial complex”, and its connection to slavery in Haiti.
  2. Are we drugging our healers and prophets? The Open Mind digs deep into how and why the mental health care system has exchanged physical straitjackets for chemical ones.
  3. Take a photographic tour through the medical industry’s eerie past.
  4. Sleeping Giant Wake Up, breaks it down for us in a piece about the dangers (and dark history) of the Depo-Provera shot.
  5. Ebony recently published an essay which helps to dismantle the myths surrounding black women and miscarriage.
  6. In February 2015, NPR shared a study about how young black women are disproportionately impacted by zero-tolerance policies throughout our nation’s schools.
  7. The National Journal’s “Say It” column gives us a lesson about the intersections between urban neighborhoods, public education, and the criminal justice system, and how this trifecta has created the school-to-prison pipeline.
  8. The Marshall Project published an extensive photo-essay from the archives of photographer and filmmaker Bruce Jackson, who spent years photographing prison plantations in Texas and Arkansas.

In solidarity,




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