October 5, 2012
Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.
September 28, 2012
“Long Distance Revolutionary,” the new documentary about political prisoner and prolific writer Mumia Abu Jamal, will have its international premiere in the Bay Area on Oct. 6 and 8 at the Mill Valley Film Festival. There have been a number of documentaries done about the case of Mumia Abu Jamal, but this one puts his life at the center of the discussion.
September 15, 2012
The massacre in Marikana, South Africa, of striking mine workers has caused dismay and disbelief the world over. Thirty-four miners were slaughtered and 78 others wounded by a hail of police gunfire. How could this happen in a post-apartheid South Africa? How could this happen under a predominantly Black government, led by the African National Congress?
September 11, 2012
The day is Buy Black Wednesday. I am setting foot in the Pan Afrikan Market Place called Little Nubia, modeled after Harlem in its “hey day,” old Timbuktu and Black Wall Street. So there are over 600 Black businesses in a 10-square-block area. Red, black and green is everywhere. Flags from every Afrikan nation flutter in the summer breeze.
September 10, 2012
John “J-Rock” Carter was a juvenile lifer who was sentenced at 16 years old under a law that the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled was unconstitutional in Alabama v. Miller. Irony of Ironies. J-Rock never lived to see it. J-Rock fought for justice. He put himself on the front line of the struggle against inhumanity – and paid for it with his life. But his contribution will never be overlooked, ignored or down-played.
September 9, 2012
Mumia Abu-Jamal writes that on Sept. 9, 1971, prisoners at Attica state prison in upstate New York rebelled, took hostages and demanded to be treated as men. And the state, under orders of then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, unleashed a hail of bullets that killed dozens of men – prisoners and prison guards alike – and then lied about it. The Correctional Association has called for Attica to be shut down, as it remains a grim symbol of expensive, brutal failure. If it does, it’ll be 41 years too late. [Watch the excellent video on Attica by Freedom Archives posted with this story.]
September 1, 2012
Mumia’s motion not only attacks his own sentence to “slow death row,” but makes the constitutional challenge to life imprisonment without parole, solitary confinement for death row inmates and solitary confinement in general. Mumia is fighting with and for the entirety of the “incarceration nation.”
August 26, 2012
The struggle is long and arduous, and sometimes we do etch out significant victories, as in the case of our Brotha Mutope Duguma in In re Crawford, a significant step in reaffirming that prisoners are entitled to a measure of First Amendment protection that cannot be ignored simply because the state dislikes the spiel.
August 11, 2012
Abdul Olugbala Shakur and M. Ajanaku are in the process of collecting essays written by New Afrikan Black political prisoners and political prisoners of war for a book titled “In the Spirit of George Jackson.” Proceeds from sale of the book will be donated to the San Francisco Bay View and the New Afrikan Criminology Academy (NACA).
August 6, 2012
On Aug. 8, 1978, the Move Organization’s headquarters was attacked in a pre-dawn raid by several hundred Philadelphia cops and officials. Move members were charged for the assault and are still languishing in prison. The issue is not what the parole board will “decide”; the real issue is what the people will allow.
August 2, 2012
The concept of Black August grew out of the need to expose to the light of day the glorious and heroic deeds of Afrikan women and men who recognized and fought injustice. We consecrate this month to those who have been taken from us but who will never be forgotten – for the love of freedom which their lives were dedicated to.
June 14, 2012
He was born Richard Reginald Schell, but most people knew him as Reggie, and those who worked with him called him “Cap” – short for Captain, the rank he held in the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party. He was a patient and wise teacher and looked out for younger Panthers, including this writer.
June 9, 2012
Most people do not know enough about the Black Panther Party, which was founded at Merritt College in Oakland in October of 1966 by Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton and Chairman Bobby Seale. This happening is important to Black history nationally and worldwide because the Panthers were and are an example of Black people fighting for self-determination no matter the cost.
June 5, 2012
The SAFE California Act to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole will be on the November ballot in California. Here are the perspectives of three men on San Quentin’s death row. Kevin Cooper writes: “Please don’t get me wrong, as I have my say concerning this SAFE California Act. I am not in favor of capital punishment either! But I do know that there has to be a better way to end capital punishment within this state than the SAFE California Act.”
May 25, 2012
Trayvon Martin and Mumia Abu-Jamal. One is dead. One languished on death row for 30 years. They are separated in age by a generation, separated by different locations and different life-histories, but their stories of being under surveillance, watched and shot, intersect strikingly with each other and with many other people.
May 17, 2012
His name is almost legendary: Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, an affiliate of the Black Panther Party, activist and Black revolutionary.
May 8, 2012
“The purpose of the … control unit is to control revolutionary attitudes in the prison system and in the society at large,” said former Marion Supermax Prison Warden Ralph Aron. What is shocking to many is how can some not only resist such systematic psychological torture, but actually improve themselves under such conditions of extreme duress.
May 5, 2012
We give honor to Mother Earth, her birthday celebrated the weekend of April 22 with many great events in the Bay Area, “Love Yo Mama” in East Oakland hosted by Nehanda Imara of Citizens for a Better Environment, one of my favorite community events. My granddaughter and I enjoyed visiting the Tassafaronga Farm.
April 19, 2012
After spending almost 30 years on death row, Abu-Jamal told RT’s Anastasia Churkina: “The truth is I’ve spent most of my living years in my lifetime on death row. So in many ways, even to this day, in my own mind, if not in fact, I’m still on death row.”
March 8, 2012
Shouting “Inside, outside, we’re all on the same side” and “Here comes Oakland,” five full buses and two vans left Oakland to meet up with marchers from as far away as Portland and Seattle who had already arrived at plantation San Quentin for one of the largest anti-slavery rallies in California history.