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In 2015, I participated in a re-entry program at the Women’s Prison in Raleigh, N.C. Prior to this, I had never set foot in a prison before, and I was so anxious on this day to meet the two mentees that were assigned to me. On Nov. 3, 2018, I encountered another first and that was to actually visit someone in prison. I was introduced to Veronza Bowers by a fellow inmate who told me that Veronza was a former Black Panther who had been serving 46 years in prison. I was immediately interested in connecting with this iconic figure in the Black Power Movement, as my late dad was also a former Black Panther. So, on Aug. 14, 2018, thus began my journey into a beautiful, lifetime connection.
His name is Veronza Bowers Jr., a former member and captain of the original Black Panther Party. After more than 44 years in prison, 14 years beyond his mandatory release date, Veronza has faith that with his Freedom Team of top lawyers and the love of multitudes of supporters around the world, he will win his freedom soon. Political prisoners are kept in prison when the “law enforcers” they opposed decades ago carry grudges they pass down the generations, vowing those prisoners will die in prison. But the words of little Pharoah Dawson, who wrote, “Veronza, don’t die in prison!” are more powerful.
Attorney Karima Al-Amin, wife of Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known worldwide as H. Rap Brown, the voice of Black power, announced yesterday what has now been confirmed: “Imam Jamil has been moved to Butner FMC (Federal Medical Center), North Carolina.” Word on his condition or whether he has received medical care has not yet come. Still, this great man remains behind enemy lines, and the same mass pressure by the people that resulted in his transfer must be applied and intensified until he is free.