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Three prisoners bid a loving farewell to Hugo Pinell

February 1, 2016

Hugo … Hugo … Hugo … where are you?

by Alay’he Justin Jackson

I often visit the spot where they took you from us. I still can’t accept it. Although we didn’t know each other, I knew your spirit. I cried for you the day your light was dimmed.

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was interviewed on TV in 1983.

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was interviewed on TV in 1983.

I never met you, but you were my brother, my father, my dear friend. Yogi, I’m afraid. I’m afraid because the same climate that dimmed your light is still here on this yard. The gatekeepers on this yard are still playing chess with brothers’ lives. Gotta keep the natives behind the gunline! Those are the unspoken words of those who pretend to uphold justice.

No matter how hard we try to stand up to injustice, they do everything they can to keep our backs hunched over, our heads and necks bent towards the ground. “Yessir, we’z be good.”

Yogi, if they only knew how bright your light would shine, how many of us will continue to be guided by your light. Yogi, we love you. We always will.

Rest easy,

Alay’he Justin Jackson

Send our brother some love and light: Alay’he Justin Jackson, E-82983, CSP Sac B3-101, P.O. Box 290066, Represa CA 95671.

‘Yogi’

by Kasim O. Gero

The communique of your demise arrived,

And to my surprise I could not cry, your memory

Wiping the tears of my soul before they could

Wet my face in sorrow.

I saw your face, regal and wise,

Your mind steeled and sharp as the blade that snatched your

Manifestation into darkness.

You were a warrior for comrades past,

A walking expression of their dedication to action,

Militancy and sacrifice.

I imagine you now in a place where guerrillas go,

The trenches of god, and the foliated jungles of paradise,

Launching attacks alongside the Jacksons and Khataris

On the battlefield of spirits.

At your commemoration, we tossed your ashes into the flames

Of liberation

and etched your name onto the war memorial of August’s fallen.

Not a tear touched our cheek, lest it was made of blood,

and to you we raised a salute as 21 told tails of anguish.

Another warrior has fallen to this days’ witness, so

that a dragon may arise in the hearts of his companions.

Tumekupenda, Yogi!

Send our brother some love and light: Kasim O. Gero, 343142/2410253, P.O. Box 700, Jessup, MO 20794. Tumekupenda means we have loved you in Swahili.

I hope Yogi’s saying, ‘Don’t worry, young blood; you did your best’

by Tommy ‘Jaboe’ Williams

I’ve always enjoyed reading your newspaper. When one Afrikan gets a paper, we pass it amongst the community. The concern and love that you guys at Bay View show the Afrikans in here goes a long way. It’s good to see that people care and recognize us as human beings even though CDCr goes out of their way to convince us otherwise.

I’ve been in prison 20 years, since I was 19 years old. I wish I could’ve met Yogi in my youth. If I could’ve had a year of his teaching, who knows where I’d be now.

I truly understand the power of influence. In that short time, Yogi changed our conversation, our thought process. I’m forever bonded with those Afrikans on B-Yard, and I know I want to be better.

I get now what PTSD is. I always thought it was something used to justify doing drugs or lashing out. No, it’s a real condition. For at least a week, I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing Yogi lying on that dirty prison ground bleeding out. That’s a pain that medication or drugs can’t help but I understand and feel for soldiers in combat.

What I went through was 20 minutes and one day and lost a friend and a loved elder. I can only imagine how it feels to see friends, your comrades in arms, get blown up, shot, brutally murdered for months – even years – straight.

I realize that the images of that day will never leave me, so I’ll learn to live with it. I will channel my sadness, my anger, into getting better, pushing forward even harder, and I hope Yogi’s lookin’ down on me with forgiveness.

I can only hope he’s saying: “Don’t worry, young blood, you did your best. You gave it your all, lil brotha.”

RIP Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell,

Tommy “Jaboe” Williams

Send our brother some love and light: Tommy “Jaboe” Williams, K-29812, CSP Sac 2G-174, P.O. Box 290066, Represa CA 95671.

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