12 June 1869 — 14 May 1940
Emma Goldman was an anarchist: she believed that a just society should be organised around the ideal of absolute freedom, and she dedicated her life to causes such as free speech, sexual freedom, women’s rights, and workers’ rights. She was born in Russia but emigrated to America, where her challenges to the political and economic authorities of the day eventually led to her being viewed as ‘exceedingly dangerous’. As a result, she was banned from public speaking, deported, and even imprisoned. Although life was very hard for Emma, her belief that it should be joyfully lived inspired the popular phrase If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.
Want to know more? Of course you do.
Berkeley University houses an archive of Emma Goldman's papers — fascinating reading!
'If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal' — and other quotes from Emma Goldman.