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Gettin’ it right: a message for Black August 2012

August 4, 2012

by Amy Buckley

Angela Davis takes time to talk with apprentices and programmers after recording an interview with Minister of Information JR at KPFA in 2009. – Photo: Adalia
As women of the struggle, it is time we start gettin’ it right. For too long we have stood against one another, unwilling to put aside our petty issues and stand united. We have allowed ourselves to be disrespected and to become enslaved with the life of crime and imprisonment. Our children should have been our priority, but instead we chose to make the streets, drugs, men and other things our priority. We should strive to follow in the footsteps of great revolutionaries such as Angela Davis, following the example she has given us.

When will we, as women, get it right? We must stop fighting with one another, set aside the things that separate us and work together for equality, justice, peace and freedom. The realization that unity is a key factor in overcoming our struggles should draw us together! Those of us who are older and more experienced need to teach those who are younger and more susceptible to outside influences. We must stand strong, refusing to accept defeat and persevere despite adversity.

Disrespect is a major problem among women, men and youth alike. Many people are caught up in using terms such as nigga, cuz, bitch and ho. This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated! As long as we are drugged out, in prison or dead, we will never get the respect we deserve. It is time for us to command respect from all people, and in return give respect as well. Respect is paramount if we are going to stand united.

We must stop fighting with one another, set aside the things that separate us and work together for equality, justice, peace and freedom. The realization that unity is a key factor in overcoming our struggles should draw us together!

Enslavement to a life of crime and imprisonment has become an enormous problem for women over the years. This problem continues to grow at an alarming rate today. When is enough enough? We need to open our eyes and see that the unjust “justice” system does not care if we are male or female, young or old; they will throw us in prison just the same.

Inside the belly of the beast, I see on a daily basis women who are so institutionalized that they can no longer function in society. They have literally been broken by the system that was supposed to rehabilitate them. It is essential that we lay down the life of crime and turn our focus to our careers as mothers, wives, sisters and comrades. Once we get our priorities in order, we will be able to take our rightful positions in the world and become the leaders we are meant to be!

Let us not forget our children – our future. I cannot stress this point enough. So many children today are left alone in this world because their parents have chosen the fast life and have ended up dead or in prison. Our children look up to and depend on us. Setting good examples for them to follow is of utmost importance. Who will teach them the importance of honesty, respect and education among other things if their parents are in prison? Other people may lead them down the wrong path and teach them the wrong things. We, as women, need to be there to teach and guide our children, being positive role models and ensuring that they are on the right path in life.

The Bay View’s JR and Rashida talk with Kathleen Cleaver in 2004. – Photo: Kamau Amen-Ra
My comrade sisters, let us look at the example set for us by Kathleen Cleaver and follow her lead! This great woman continues to press onward in the revolutionary movement despite persecution. We must start today breaking the chains that have us bound in order to live in the freedom that knowledge has to offer.

Once we have educated ourselves, we will strive for unity, command respect and make our children our priority. We will no longer allow ourselves to become enslaved to a life of crime and imprisonment. Upon realizing our potential, we will be able to stand strong, overcoming the struggles that beset us.

Today is the day: Join together, never give up, never give in, always press onward despite our current circumstances! My sisters, it is time for an awakening – it is time to start getting’ it right!

If you have not read “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander, it is an excellent book, filled with knowledge and is a must read. I would also like to thank the Minister of Justice, Mr. Bobby Dixon, for his support and friendship. All power to the people! In solidarity, with Panther love.

Comrade Amy Buckley is deputy minister of justice for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC). This story was approved by Minister of Justice Bobby Dixon. “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander can be purchased from the oldest Black book store in the country, Marcus Books, 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115, (415) 346-4222.


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