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Hugo L.A. Pinell Legacy: It was important to my Dad to always give honor where honor was due. This tribute to an honorable ancestor is offered in that spirit. They are together again, Khatari and Hugo, now ancestors looking over us. Many nights I sit and wonder what the elders would tell us today. Dad told me stories of Khatari; he loved him like a brother. Dad shared how Khatari’s leadership in the prison resistance movement was a vital vein after the assassination of George Jackson.
I am speaking to how I personally feel about the disparity in justice for the rich and the poor, the people who have friends and family that are willing to fight and those who don’t and who are left with no voice. I have been all alone in my fight for freedom some 30 or so years. I have no family who speaks out, I was too young to have friends and the few that I do have now are ones that I have met since my incarceration.
On the weekend of Aug. 19, 2017, a historic event, the Millions for Prisoners March will take place in Washington, D.C., to bring awareness to a constitutional injustice and a banquet to honor and celebrate 41 years of service of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. In the midst of this fight for freedom, it is an honor to be a part of such a historical event, it is an even bigger honor to be a part of a coalition that shares the same views for freedom and vision to preserve a much needed tool in the fight for freedom. The San Francisco Bay View is one of those much needed tools to aid in this fight.
On Sunday, a small group of National Football League players risked their careers, their endorsements and their livelihoods. They did so through the simple act of refusal. They stood in the proudest tradition of athletes who have used their platforms for social change, and they have already felt a backlash that would ring familiar, almost note-for-note, to anyone acquainted with what that last generation had to endure.
Beneath the banner “Justice or Else,” this march appeared different from the Oct. 20, 1995, event. Minister Louis Farrakhan called for an end to police violence against African Americans and demanded a halt to Black-on-Black crime, which kills more inner-city men than all other causes combined. The Nation of Islam leader used the occasion of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Million Man March at the steps of the U.S. Capitol to condemn the loss of life of Blacks.
Today I sit in my caged existence away from the outside world and still connected to the revolutionary community. Recently a New Afrikan brother and comrade wrote me with news: Hugo Pinnell was executed on the prison yard at Folsom. This was heartbreaking news and it sent me into a rage. Hugo Pinnell, like George Jackson, was and shall ever be an example for New Afrikan manhood.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson is a documentary about a Black revolutionary organization in a revolutionary time. It is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen that intends to tell the history of an organization that shook the world and fundamentally changed the way that Black people in the United States have looked at themselves for nearly half a century. It’s screening in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael on Oct. 2. The Oakland screening is Saturday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m., Piedmont Theater, 4186 Piedmont Ave., followed by Q&A with Stanley Nelson and former Oakland Panther Steve McCutchen.
During the recent events surrounding the murder of unarmed Black males by white police officers in this country, it has been pointed out, and correctly so, that America has a steep and tortured history concerning the murders of Blacks by whites – legally and illegally! But what has for the most part been left out of this real life and death conversation is the fact that Black police officers have done, and are still doing, the same thing as their white police partners.
Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson continues his fight for freedom. He is an innocent man serving a sentence of life imprisonment. In Pennsylvania a life sentence means just that. There is no parole, no release until you are carried out feet first or win a reversal of your conviction. And even then the struggle is to definitively defeat the prosecution’s unceasing efforts to reconvict and re-imprison.
Brother Compeer Herman “Hooks” Wallace was a legendary figure throughout the Louisiana state prison system. Myself, Compeer Herman and Compeer Albert “Shaka” Woodfox established the Angola Prison branch of the Louisiana Chapter of the Black Panther Party. I say that the legendary figure is also a hero. Compeer Hooks set a standard for prisoners in particular and all human beings in general.