“I freed a lot of comics … if I never would have done comedy, it would’ve been a different art form … I’m sure of it.” – Paul Mooney
If we look to any uprising in world history we will see that such rebellions, although they may have included various nationalities, are usually attributed to the dominant force in that rebellion. Rebellions take on the oppression, and those who arise lend their voice in the struggle. The dominant force in an event shapes the event and shapes the character of the struggle. The same can be said of prison struggles.
Aug. 12, 2015, I sat waiting for the mail to come as I did each day. This day it was different because for the first time my dad was in his first lockdown on the mainline. He had only been there 15 days – abruptly moved on July 29 after a meeting with the DRB (Departmental Review Board) on July 28. Each day I waited to hear from him hoping and praying he was OK. Finally the mailman delivered the letter I was waiting for.
“What Happened, Miss Simone?” is a beautiful and tragic look at the life of one of the women who made us proud to be Black. She helped us to transform our minds from the psychology of scared Colored Negroes into being proud Black Africans in America. The film documents some of her thoughts and includes a lot of archival interview footage and footage of her performing.
When I first met Elder, he was introduced to me as Kojo. He served his time with the dignity and the spirit of a caged Panther. I know that spirit, as it was reflected by the many other Panthers who were serving time in San Quentin, like Geronimo ji jaga, the indomitable Chip Fitzgerald and many others. Back in the ‘70s, San Quentin was a dangerous prison, where someone could lose his life in the blink, yet Kojo/Elder walked the main yard with no fear.
Our study group here has expanded exponentially since these demonstrations across the country. People here with me who only yesterday refused to come to terms with being victims of social injustice are now identifying with the forces of revolution. They no longer have a defeatist mentality. Ferguson has shown that RESISTANCE IS THE WAY FORWARD. We are moving – to what destination, only time will tell.
He was born Rolihlahla in July of 1918, in a nation of which he was not truly a citizen, into a country called the Union of South Africa, a part of the British Empire. The world would come to know him as Nelson, a name given him by a grade school teacher: Nelson Mandela. At long last, after 95 years of life, Mandela has returned to his ancestors. Between birth and death he has blazed an amazing life of love and revolution, of struggle and resistance, of prison and isolation, of freedom – and now death.
Perhaps it’s a false contradiction. But today there are many who stress the pacifist message with which South Africa’s Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) emerged from prison in 1990, while few put an emphasis on his rebellion against apartheid, including armed rebellion, which landed him in prison. Mandela was a political activist and a revolutionary at least since 1942.
Damu’s idea of revolutionary change meant, first, seeing the need for a radical transformation of the world and then having confidence that ordinary people, working people, are capable of making it happen. When they do rise up and try to fashion a new world, with all the mistakes humans are capable of making, he believed you have to support them.
Revolutionaries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean owe a great debt to Hugo Chavez. His selfless struggle for the advancement of the masses of poor and oppressed occupied him 24/7. It was with sheer determination and a lifetime of struggle that this great champion of the oppressed, Comandante Hugo Chavez, led a revolution that provides us with a working example of what he termed “21st century socialism,” where people of all ethnicities have a place under the sun.
Since Dec. 13, 1994, Indiana political prisoner Khalfani Malik Khaldun has been held in control units, i.e. administrative segregation or isolation. It began when police and prison investigators manufactured a murder charge against him after a guard was stabbed and killed. Brother Khalfani is a Muslim and New Afrikan revolutionary educator who professes a strong sense of radical politics and culture.
Richard Aoki has been used as a sensationalized hook to sell Seth Rosenfeld’s book. The recently released FBI documents still don’t pass the burden of proof and only fuel more speculation as to Rosenfeld’s motives. The only thing that I believe can be confirmed by these heavily redacted files is that the FBI believed it had an informant.
Brother Richard Aoki demonstrably and sincerely dedicated the vast majority of his life and his every living thought to achieve the overcoming of racism, poverty and inequality, without giving up. Richard was indeed exactly who he claimed to be, who is exactly what people back in the day of the struggle also knew him to be: a dedicated, brilliant revolutionary.
If we would have been self-transforming for the last 60, 50 years, there would not be millions of new slaves today and we would have the power to be making an impact and difference toward the building of the New World. Our teachers kept saying: “No matter what, we gotta keep pushing and growing. It’s the only way to continue our growth and become free.”
Glen Cove was a large village and ceremonial grounds that was used by many different tribes throughout the Bay Area. This area has been deemed, declared and even federally recognized as sacred to indigenous peoples. Many Natives alive today have ties to ancestors buried there.
There is no possibility of understanding what is happening in Libya within a Eurocentric framework. Libya’s system and the battle now taking place on its soil stands completely outside of the Western imagination. The battle that is being waged in Libya is fundamentally a battle between pan-African forces on the one hand, who are dedicated to the realization of Qaddafi’s vision of a united Africa, and Libyan Arab forces who look toward Europe and the Arab world for Libya’s future.
Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a Jesus-like revolutionary. In jail and out, he preached liberation of the poor, release of prisoners, human rights for all and a fair distribution of wealth. Though he died May 27, he remains present in the hearts of millions. Watch a video he recorded just for SF Bay View.
The Prisoners of Conscience Committee delegation from the United States returned recently from a fact-finding mission in El Salvador. We were in three cities - San Salvador, Suchitoto and Sansonate - and we talked to former combatants, government officials, union leaders, community leaders, members of street organizations, former political prisoners and more. One of my favorite groups that we met was Radio Zurda, a collective of youth who do a political radio show heard in El Salvador and Honduras, targeted towards a youth audience.