by Friends and Comrades of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement
It’s rare to meet someone who exemplifies living with purpose. And rarer still to find those human gems who live that purpose with revolutionary love under the most adverse and challenging circumstances, where it could be easier to throw principles to the wind and do only for themselves. Paul Redd may be an unsung hero to most, but just that to those who mattered to him. Here are his songs …
“Greetings Sistas and Brothas,
“Our chosen lifestyle as New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalists is one that is a total commitment; a dedication to purpose that transcends all others as it is quite literally the future of humankind. Our Comrade Mume embodied this commitment for the entirety of his adult life. He was a teacher to those who did not know who they were; he was an advocate for those subjected to injustice; he was a brother to us all, and a servant of the People in the noblest sense of the word. He was my Comrade, my Brotha. Though we only communicated seldomly, those communications were significant and empowering. He was an inspiration to all, having endured decades of torture rather than renounce his dedication to his People and his commitment to making this world a more just and equal place. Though this world is diminished by his passing, we are all empowered by the impact he left on Our lives. We honor him, not by what we say, but by what we DO to make a meaningful contribution to moving this world of injustice and hate closer to one where the light of Freedom, Justice and Equality shines down on all humanity like a star in the night. Rage on into immortality, Mume … rage on.” – Guerilla Love, Joka Heshima Jinsai
“This is Brotha Balagoon Kambone Muhammad, I speak to you guys today on behalf of a friend, a Comrade, a Brotha. A fearless Lion was laid down to rest. A Royal Falcon of Harus has taken another righteous soul into the radiance of the heavens. A soul that now sits in the sacred circle of the ancestors. The passing of Comrade Paul Redd is a great loss to us all, as a Nation and as New Afrikan People. That this Brotha brought light and greatness to the struggle, not solely by those of us that continue to carry on the legacy of those who have gone before us.
“He lived his life as an example of his message of Unity, consolidation and group operation. A bona fide Warrior and New Afrikan in service to the People. He struggled with strength, dignity and determination for over 47 years behind the walls to continue the work. And to him, like those who came before him, he encouraged, urged People of noble African genotype to end all petty grudges, end negative approaches to our problems.
“He taught honor and respect to so-called thugs and ‘hood niggas’ and showed them how to respect and give concern for each other in such a way, thereby the world would come to respect and honor them. He also taught them to be young Lions and soldiers for all seasons. I was one of those young soldiers that he taught. And I was one of those young warriors that had grown with the example that he gave me. I stand now as an eternal witness to the teachings that this Brotha imparted to me, the political education. He taught me to refuse. He showed and taught me how to stand and not bend, buck or bow before the murderers who held us captive in Amerikkka’s concentration camps. But they all said Paul Redd turned his time and energy towards supporting socio, political, cultural and Nationalist movements behind these walls and beyond these walls, and there came a space and time that like-minded Warriors who spoke of our special truth and subscribed to the principles of our culture as New Afrikans. This Noble Son of Africa who lifted up the light of truth by the Honorable Marcus Garvey and other Revolutionary fighters before him, made the supreme sacrifice, of righteousness, decency and respect even after transcending the bounds and limits of his confinement. This Brotha will always be remembered, he will always be loved, he will always be cherished. And he will always be credited for the many, many wonderful things he did both behind these walls and beyond these walls. He pushed on with dedication, discipline, sacrifice. Not only in a way that reaffirms our tradition of struggle, but in a way that drew a clear line of distinction between us as Revolutionary Huemenists and them as racist conformists. He made clear that our opponents could not be our advisors, nor the selectors in this sacred struggle for our survival in this world. In the tradition of all true Revolutionary Huemenists, he posed and pursued a new paradigm of humanity and transcended these walls. Returning to society to be a great help, a great spokesman, a great example. We will always remember this Brotha. We will always miss this Brotha, but we will always have in our minds, our hearts and our souls an example. This Brotha, his spirit lives forever. I’m Brotha Balagoon Kambone, a Brotha and a friend.”
“Paul was my Brotha. Our Brotha. All we want to do is live as men. They tried to make all of us into monsters. When Paul got out, it was a blessing because he told everybody we weren’t monsters. You could see, discover him for yourself. He isn’t a monster. He’s another caring, compassionate human being. That’s who he is. It frustrates me that he goes out, they let us out and we’re elderly men now, and he goes out to experience his spiritual transition. But I know he’s in a better place, free of all the BS, all the pain, all his struggles. And he passed amidst all his friends who really love him. I get choked up. I know he appreciated all of you. It’s a good thing he was able to experience all of y’alls love and care and support, that you all had his back. Being with you all made him feel safe. He’ll rest in peace and power now. No more worries, no more having to struggle. So I think when we remember he’s good, it helps us heal. He will never die, because in our hearts that’s where his spirit lies. There’s a time to mourn and grieve, to be sad. But when we remember his memory that brought life alive, we smile and continue the fight. We continue the fight because he went out fighting. A lot of people went home and just forgot. He never forgot. He never forgot us in here. I’ve been knowing PR since ‘77. He came in the SHU in Tracy. He had come up with an idea to do a fundraiser to help another Brotha out, Jomo, to get a lawyer. And it was his idea; he’s always been our voice, the activist, doing that legal stuff. He was our paralegal. Trying to always fight for us to come home, him and Mata. You know, I feel the loss. PR had touched a whole lotta people out there, and in here. We sing his praises, as PR, we sing his praises, in life and in his spiritual transition. He’s with the ancestors now. We got our tears, they come and go. But they’re a sign of a rebirth to me. We’ve got to keep pushin’, Can’t stop, won’t stop.” – Brotha Ifoma
“We lost one of the good ones. Paul’s been doing so much positive since he’s been out, in this short time. He leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten; What he did for the struggle and for the interest of other people. It kinda tore me up when I heard about it, because I had just talked to him, couldn’t have been a week, I just talked to him, before he passed. He was talking about going to look at those 602s and say, ‘There’s a better way, send them to me so that I can give you my perspective.’ I was getting them sent out to him. But he passed before all that transpired. That’s something that I have, I cherish his opinion, I always have, so … it kinda hit me in a different way, you know.” – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa
“Paul Redd’s passing is heartfelt for many as he was a staunch advocate of Black Love and Solidarity. His dedication and commitment to freedom of himself and other prisoners made him a target of the State and thereby a political prisoner. I spent prison time with Paul in Tracy and San Quentin, and know of his years of selfless service in the Black Guerrilla Family. As a soldier for the liberation of his people, he will be sorely missed in the field of battle opposing white supremacy and the tyranny of capitalism-imperialism. Paul, I salute you!!!” – Jalil Muntaqim
“Firm Revolutionary embrace to the family and friends of Paul ‘Mume’ Redd. i met our good Brutha Mume some 37 years ago in the Old Folsom law library and was taught the unique guerilla law fighting style of combating amerika’s colonial Anglo Saxon jurisprudence (laws/courts and litigation). We eventually found ourselves caught up in the whirlwind of California’s prison boom and indefinite solitary confinement. It was here that we would spend decades fighting our release from SHU and to return home. We honor and salute you, Comrade.” Clenched fist of solidarity, New Afrikan JB
“Revolutionary greetings, It’s with extreme respect that I extend my love and regards to a strong Brother PR, who always demonstrated his profound love for our New Afrikan population, both in this country and abroad. The PR, is and was one of our brightest stars and will always be in my Revolutionary Heart. Our ancestors have him now, so he’s in good spirits. Rest comfortably, Mume. Ubuntu Sasa!” – KD
“A salute to my Brutha Comrade Paul ‘PR’ Redd/Mume, whom I met back in 2014 at SATF after successfully hunger striking (2011-2013), he was finally released from long-term solitary confinement torture dungeon at PBSP-SHU. Immediately upon meeting PR, along with other released New Afrikan Freedom Fighters, Ifoma and Abasi, my education and learning from them was a blessing. Mume shared his knowledge, wisdom and understanding with me regularly. I am forever grateful.” – In struggle, BT
“We could spend a lot of time in search of that friend with whom you have no second thoughts or recriminations about that friendship that never grows cold with the passage of time; that friendship where neither takes advantage of the others’ special uniqueness; that person who understands that in order to have that type of friend you must first be one. Paul Redd was indeed that! Can’t stop, won’t stop.” – Kubwa Jitu Modibo Kambon
“Paul, PR, My Brutha Abaas, The Animal B.W., for 50 years you stood in the storm. While the convenience of excuse is the fair weather travelers compass. Your lighthouse was the sacred trust forged in the whirlwind. Rest in power, Comrade. Your example will be forever in the Dragon’s Book of Life. Kan’t stop won’t stop !!!” – Black August Collective
“He snatched me up and educated me. He’s the reason I’m a paralegal. I pursued an associates degree in law because of how gifted he was with it, reading and understanding how to apply it. Paul Redd is irreplaceable. He’s a prolific, gifted legal beagle; a strong-minded Brotha. He was with the struggle, givin’ for his People. His gifts and his talents he left behind are something that I can always utilize in my own repertoire. He was somebody that was compassionate. He was someone that always had time to give you, with something that you needed, as far as learning about your people, and learning about the struggle. His story is remarkable. He comes from a time in the 70s when we chose to do the wrong things like selling drugs, even using drugs, pimpin’ and hustlin’ in that way. But when you become a New Man, you change your mind and you grow and develop into being just that. You realize that you have a purpose now, so you live by example and he has left a legacy behind that will continue to be uplifted by others that know him, like I will. He will be terribly missed.” – Mwalimu Shakur
“I would like to say a few words about the man I had the honor and pleasure of knowing. Paul and I met in prison behind the lines. I had heard of him way before we actually met, as his notoriety preceded him. We connected from the start, forming a lasting bond of trust and friendship. He was an astute student versed in law; What many refer to as a Jailhouse Lawyer. Paul helped many prisoners attain their freedom over the years, as well as helped to bring much needed change and reform to the prison system as a whole. A couple in particular was helping to initiate the California Prisoner Hunger Strikes, and also the call to cease hostilities within the prison system – his input was most valuable. Unfortunately, the vast majority of his 44 years in prison was spent in various Security Housing Units aka SHUs, throughout the system. He had not only passion, but equally a gift for helping people less versed in law behind the walls. His paralegal status afforded him the opportunity to spend countless hours dabbling in the science of law in pursuit of justice in which law and justice aren’t the same. I will dearly miss my dear friend, Brother and mentor, a man of hope, truth and vision. Rest in power, Comrade.” – Richard Johnson
Rest in power, PR.