Douglas Gary Freeman is the Mississauga-based author of Blue Cage at Midnight (poetry) and of Exile Blues, a novel. Both were inspired by his life as a Black man in the United States during the civil rights movement. Freeman grew up in an inner city neighbourhood in Washington, D.C., became an activist in turbulent Chicago, and shot a white police officer in self-defence when he was 19. He fled to Canada in 1969, got married, had four children, and worked as a research librarian in Toronto. Blue Cage at Midnight drew together decades of his poems as he hung in limbo, arrested in 2004 and awaiting extradition to the U.S.—the start of 11 terrible years of legal wrangling. Freeman’s poems, notes George Elliot Clarke, are “spiky, tough, explosive.” His struggles to survive, his strength, and his insights into the nature of race relations resonate powerfully in our Black Lives Matter times.