Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective by scott crow

the common ground collective founders

Black Flags and Windmills is scott crow’s story of his background in activism, and how that lead to being one of the founders of Common Ground Collective. Common Ground started in New Orleans, in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Katrina. It was built with a lot of anarchist ideas, and worked to offer supplies and services to the community.

Common Ground’s motto was founded with the motto “Solidarity not charity,” which is really striking. I know it’s an idea that’s going to stick with me for a long time.

crow tells his story about Common Ground, but he also devotes a lot of time explaining his journey, getting involved in different things that lead him to be an organizer with the skills and beliefs to get involved with something like this. He’s a white organizer, from Texas, and he does a thorough job reflecting on his privilege and what it meant for him to take a leadership role in an organization in a black neighborhood that wasn’t his.

I don’t call myself an anarchist, but my views certainly lean that way. There were a lot of “oh, this makes sense,” moments in Black Flags and Windmills. It pointed me towards more things I want to read.

crow’s account of the immediate aftermath of the storm is really compelling, and Common Grounds part of the response is really inspiring. The story of Katrina and the unnatural disaster of how it was handled is story that needs to be told, and a story that is still being written.


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