Stayed On Freedom highlights Gainesville’s Zoharah Simmons’ life, Black Power work

What: Presentation by author Dan Berger
Where: UF Smathers Library East
When: Thursday, Feb. 23

A talk featuring the new book Stayed On Freedom by author Dan Berger will be presented at the UF Smathers Library East on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5 pm. 

It is a bit of a homecoming, as Dan lived in Gainesville from 1999 to 2003, largely splitting his time between UF and the Civic Media Center.

The subject of this book is a Gainesvillian as well, Zoharah Simmons, a SNCC veteran and former professor of religion at UF, as well as a strong voice for human rights in our community. She will be sharing the stage with Dan at this event.

The book is a very personal look at the Black Power movement, which is often associated with its iconic spokesmen, yet it derived much of its energy from the work of people whose stories have never been told. 

Stayed On Freedom brings into focus two unheralded Black Power activists who dedicated their lives to the fight for freedom. Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons fell in love while organizing tenants and workers in the South. 

Their commitment to each other and to social change took them on a decades-long journey that traversed first the country and then the world. In centering their lives, historian Dan Berger shows how Black Power united the local and the global across organizations and generations.  

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, Stayed On Freedom is a moving and intimate portrait of two people trying to make a life while working to make a better world. 

More information on Berger and his other books can be found at

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