As tortuous as the U.S. prison system is to its residents, it is criminally so to the children of incarcerated parents, and their caretakers. Herein lies a wealth of inspiring and uplifting ways to proactively heal the daily wounds of parenting, family unity and staying human while incarcerated.
Aug. 8, the day after getting the news that Kali O’Ray, director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, passed away, came the news that my cousin’s cousin “Cuban Pete” was murdered in Oakland in a different incident, and my comrade Chester from the Black Panther Commemoration Committee was also shot in a separate incident still. This was in addition to a dreaded text from a life-long friend that her sons had been shot.
The wheels of justice often move very slowly in our country, but we are picking up speed. Chuck Africa is now free! He was the youngest of the MOVE 9 to be arrested after the horrific events of Aug. 8, 1978. The groundswell of grassroots activity in Philly has brought MOVE members home starting with the release of Debbie Africa in June 2018 to Chuck Africa, the morning of Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Two of the nine members, Merle and Phil Africa, passed away in prison, but the remaining seven are now free.
Zolo Agona Azania is a Black revolutionary who has spent 35 years – most of his adult life – in prison, and much of it on death row. In 1981, at the age of 21, he was convicted of murdering a police officer during a bank robbery gone bad. Unlike his two co-defendants, Zolo was arrested unarmed, walking down the street miles from the scene of the robbery, and has always maintained his total innocence of any involvement in the crime.