FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

American Dreams, American Nightmares

by MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

Can a book be both beautiful and terrible?

Adorning its front cover is a beautiful little girl, her hair neatly sectioned into intricate cornrows, the ends of her braids festooned with bright, plastic baubles.

But the story within these pages is hardly one of beauty; it is the terrible, heart-rending, soul-eating tale of the foreclosure crisis. How capital waged a war of greed, fraud and malice to wipe out the wealth, homes and well-being of millions of people.

And yet, Laura Gottesdiener’s fine little book, A Dream Foreclosed, manages to find some beauty amidst immense pain and lauradreamsuffering.  The beauty of people continuing to fight back against rapacious banks, the politicians they buy and the lawyers they hire.

People fight – for years – against fraudulent, robo-signed foreclosure notices, court hearings, heavily armed sheriffs and police, and actually win, because they discover that there is power in communities – and in movements.

They learn that they aren’t alone.

Indeed, there are millions – millions – of people, thrown into the horrors of homelessness, suffering in silence and shame.

Gottesdiener tells their stories, of how they joined, or sometimes built, movements to change their condition – and won!

Gottesdiener tells the life tales of four families –North, South, East and West – who, though driven to the brink of madness and despair, find solace in united struggle against monstrous odds.

Through movements, through united action, these desperate and scattered families build loving kernels of community and bonds of solidarity.  As Hettie, the mother of one young man facing foreclosure remarked, “People in numbers can work magic” (138)

They received nothing but scorn and derision from their elected so-called ‘leaders’ (whether local or national).  So, pressed against the wall of hopelessness, thrown into the refuse heap of society, they became their own leaders – and created social change.

A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, by Laura Gottesdiener is a work both beautiful and terrible that deserves to be read by many.

Click here to listen to an audio file of Mumia reading this review.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of Live From Death Row, All Things Censored and We All Want Freedom.

 

More articles by:

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of Writing on the Wall.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 28, 2017
Diana Johnstone
Macron’s Mission: Save the European Union From Itself
Jordon Kraemer
The Cultural Anxiety of the White Middle Class
Vijay Prashad
Modi and Trump: When the Titans of Hate Politics Meet
Jonathan Cook
Israel’s Efforts to Hide Palestinians From View No Longer Fools Young American Jews
Ron Jacobs
Gonna’ Have to Face It, You’re Addicted to War
Jim Lobe – Giulia McDonnell Nieto Del Rio
Is Trump Blundering Into the Next Middle East War?
Radical Washtenaw
David Ware, Killed By Police: a Vindication
John W. Whitehead
The Age of No Privacy: the Surveillance State Shifts into High Gear
Robert Mejia, Kay Beckermann and Curtis Sullivan
The Racial Politics of the Left’s Political Nostalgia
Tom H. Hastings
Courting Each Other
Winslow Myers
“A Decent Respect for the Opinions of Mankind”
Leonard Peltier
The Struggle is Never for Nothing
Jonathan Latham
Illegal GE Bacteria Detected in an Animal Feed Supplement
Deborah James
State of Play in the WTO: Toward the 11th Ministerial in Argentina
Andrew Stewart
Health Care for All: Why I Occupied Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s Office
Binoy Kampmark
The European Commission, Google and Anti-Competition
Jesse Jackson
A Savage Health Care Bill
Jimmy Centeno
Cats and Meows in L.A.
June 27, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
California Scheming: Democrats Betray Single-Payer Again
Jonathan Cook
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Edward Hunt
Excessive and Avoidable Harm in Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Death of Democracy Both Here and Abroad and All Those Colorful Sneakers
Gary Leupp
Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference
Kenneth Surin
Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall
Slavoj Zizek
Get the Left
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State
Ralph Nader
Driverless Cars: Hype, Hubris and Distractions
Rima Najjar
Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
Norman Solomon
Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?
Binoy Kampmark
In the Twitter Building: Tech Incubators and Altering Perceptions
Dean Baker
Uber’s Repudiation is the Moment for the U.S. to Finally Start Regulating the So-called Sharing Economy
Rob Seimetz
What I Saw From The Law
George Wuerthner
The Causes of Forest Fires: Climate vs. Logging
June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail