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She is known by one name. Say the name, Ramona, and all know of whom you speak. Ramona Africa, of course. She is a revolutionary. A scarred veteran of May 13, 1985, when local, state and federal cops conspired to bomb and kill MOVE members in West Philadelphia. Ramona survived – but didn’t escape the flames, the smoke, the deadly fumes, the hatred, unscathed. Several weeks ago, we learned she was ill, fell into a coma, and was hospitalized. MOVE needs your help to support her in the rest and recuperation that she needs. Please donate on GoFundMe page: Help Save Ramona Africa.
On May 4, former Black Panther Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald agreed to a five-year denial of parole instead of insisting on a parole hearing, even though he has served more time than any former Black Panther still behind bars: 49 years. Chip is now 67 years old and living with the consequences of a stroke; his friends and family fear he will die in prison. He has been moved from one state prison to another over the years and is currently in the California State Prison-Los Angeles. I spoke to his lawyer, Charles Carbone, whose office is in San Francisco.
It is very important that you all clearly understand the depth of human torture to which I was subjected for 30-plus years by CDCr and CCPOA.* The torture was directed at me and similarly situated women and men prisoners held in California’s solitary confinement locations throughout CDCr, with the approval and sanctioning of California governors, CDCr secretaries and directors, attorneys general, along with the California Legislature for the past 40 years.
Amiri Baraka was a giant to those who know him. And now that he is physically gone, his legend will only grow. The FBI once identified him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Even those who critiqued him considered him to be brilliant, even referring to him as the Malcolm X of literature and spoken word. He often said bluntly and yet humbly that “Malcolm X was my leader.” Amiri Baraka put into practice what Malcolm taught him about cultural revolution.
It is my sincere hope this letter will be received in the same spirit of appreciation and cooperation in which it is written. First and foremost, I wish to acknowledge the courage and independent thinking and actions you demonstrated in the unannounced visit to inspect the conditions of confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit and speak with the strike leaders.
The collective salvation and redemption of Afrikan people is about our repatriation to the Continent, where we can decide to be all that we choose to be, and the possibilities are endless. Yes, we, like Marcus Garvey had done 100 years ago, can capture the imagination of Black people and begin to promote – in theory and practice – the theme: 21st century pioneers on the Afrikan frontier!
On July 23 the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (POCC) kicked off the “You Can Kill a Revolutionary ... But You Can’t Kill the Revolution Tour” in Oakland, California, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party.