I shed a tear

by DeAndre Williams

With great joy, Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm Shabazz finally meet in 2010 after Malcolm was released from prison and traveled to Oakland to meet some of his strongest supporters throughout his years behind enemy lines. During that time, Malcolm, grandson of Malcolm X, and DeAndre Williams, grandson of Dr. Chancellor Williams, became close friends. And both of them corresponded with Yuri, who devoted herself to encouraging political prisoners after she had worked with Malcolm X in Harlem and was the person who cradled his head in her lap when he was assassinated while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report
With great joy, Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm Shabazz finally meet in 2010 after Malcolm was released from prison and traveled to Oakland to meet some of his strongest supporters throughout his years behind enemy lines. During that time, Malcolm, grandson of Malcolm X, and DeAndre Williams, grandson of Dr. Chancellor Williams, became close friends. And both of them corresponded with Yuri, who devoted herself to encouraging political prisoners after she had worked with Malcolm X in Harlem and was the person who cradled his head in her lap when he was assassinated while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Old friends passing

I shed a tear

Remembering

Their smiling and laughing

Educating me

And making me feel loved

I shed a tear

‘Cause now

I feel as if I’m all alone

I shed a tear

As Yuri whispers in my ear

And Chinosole scolds me

As I

Listen closely to the wisdom

The Freeman brothers

Share.

Yeah, I shed a tear

Sista Goldii

Though

I never met you

Your words

Brought sweet music to my ears

I shed a tear

Send our brother some love and light: DeAndre Williams, 99A0052, Five Points Correctional Facility 11-A1-12B, State Route 96, P.O. Box 119, Romulus NY 14541.

Injustice

by Prisons Foundation

DeAndre Williams went to trial in 1997 as a result of a six-count indictment. He was acquitted on all six counts. Normally, any defendant acquitted on every count of an indictment would walk out of the courtroom a free man. Not Williams.

He was sentenced to 25 to life and remains in prison in New York. How this could happen in a functioning democracy governed by the rule of law is the subject of “Looking Back,” a documented account of Williams’s trial and subsequent imprisonment.

According to his account, the trouble began in 1993 when Williams filed a complaint against a police officer who was subsequently arrested and convicted. Two years later, he refused a demand by authorities to perjure himself in a murder case, and two years after that he was arrested.

The grandson of scholar and author Dr. Chancellor Williams, DeAndre has endured eight years of solitary confinement, constant assaults on his body and dignity, and serial denials of his legal and human rights. What makes this book so arresting is the quantity and quality of the documented evidence Williams offers in support of his claims, including the jury’s ballot that clearly indicates “Not Guilty” on all six counts.

Those unfamiliar with the criminal justice system will shake their heads in wonder, mystified by how such an obvious miscarriage of justice could occur in the US of A. Those of us with more experience inside the system will nod slowly as Michel Foucault’s dictum echoes: “Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.”

The Prisons Foundation, http://www.prisonsfoundation.org/, which publishes at no charge on their website manuscripts from prisoners, scanning them and posting the pages just as they are received, can be reached at P.O. Box 58043, Washington DC 20037. Submissions they consider outstanding are briefly reviewed, as DeAndre’s book was.