“Look, I Got My Life Out of this Cat”

Paul Coates Remembers Eddie Conway

Paul and Eddie at the Real News office. Photo: Susie Day.

Eddie Conway ended up living almost 44 years inside Maryland’s maximum-security prisons. Through each of those years, Paul stuck by him. Because Eddie and the people inside needed books about the Black experience, Paul started a bookstore; he published pamphlets; he founded Black Classic Press. More than anything, Paul was Eddie’s “eyes and his ears” to the outside world. For decades, Paul visited Eddie in prison, often taking with him some of his seven kids, including Ta-Nehisi, who was to become a writer.

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susie day writes about prison, policing, and political activism. She’s also written political satire, a collection of which, Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power, was published in 2014. In 2020, her book, The Brother You Choose: Paul Coates and Eddie Conway Talk About Life, Politics, and The Revolution was published by Haymarket. She lives in New York City with her partner, the infamous Laura Whitehorn.

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