- July 16 2020 Facebook Live Ujima Povo Preto Page and Instagram Live @Bibliotecaassatashakur
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The Importance of Assata Shakur Liberation From Prison – Haki Shakur
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The Importance of Assata Shakur Liberation From Prison – Haki Shakur
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In April 11, 1992, Ronald Ray Howard, aged 19, shoots a Texas trooper. Howard’s attorney claims 2Pacalypse Now incited him to kill.
On June 30, 1993, Ronald Ray Howard was convicted of murder.
‘The music affected me,’ says Ronald Ray Howard. ‘That’s how it was that night I shot the trooper.
On July 14, 1993, Ronald Ray Howard is sentenced to death for the murder of Texas State Trooper BIll Daivdson.
The Texas teen-ager is also haunted by a second memory from that tragic night: the angry rap music blasting from the tape deck as he pulled the trigger–music his attorney claimed was partially responsible for the slaying.
“The music was up as loud as it could go with gunshots and siren noises on it and my heart was pounding hard,” said Howard, speaking in the Travis County jail a couple of weeks before the sentencing, while recounting the night of April 11, 1992. “I watched him get out of his car in my side view mirror, and I was so hyped up, I just snapped. I jacked a bullet in the chamber and when he was close enough, I turned around and bam! I shot him.”
2Pac Soulja’s Story
The cold-blooded killing of 43-year-old state trooper Bill Davidson sent a shudder through the music industry last year after Howard told authorities he was listening to Oakland rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur’s violence-laced “2PACALYPSE NOW” cassette during the homicide and thought it might have influenced his actions.
Howard’s lawyer tried to prove such a connection in this case. Describing the 19-year-old Howard as a “rap addict who lived, breathed and worshiped” the violent lifestyle portrayed in gangsta rap, Allen Tanner played jurors some of Howard’s favorite “cop-killing” songs by such artists as Shakur, the Geto Boys, Ice Cube, Ganksta N-I-P and N.W.A. Many of the compositions contain bloody depictions of urban violence.
But the eight-man, four-woman, mostly white and middle-aged jury–who convicted Howard June 8 of capital murder and deliberated for six days whether he should die by lethal injection–apparently did not buy the argument. However, twice during the sentencing deliberations, the jury reported it was deadlocked prior to reaching its decision. Tanner intends to appeal the death penalty decision.
“I feel real bad about this,” Howard said Wednesday. “I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. I saw my mom and my grandmother in court and I just told them to keep praying.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Bill Davidson stopped a vehicle on U.S. 59 in Jackson County for having a broken headlight.
The driver of the vehicle, Ronald Ray Howard, shot Davidson in the neck. The vehicle Howard was driving was stolen.
Howard fled the scene of the shooting, but he was arrested within a couple of hours with the murder weapon, a nine millimeter handgun loaded with hollow point bullets, in his possession.
Howard confessed to killing the trooper and repeated his confession to a grand jury.
Ronald Ray Howard’s Final Words:
Asked if he had a final statement, Howard looked at the victim’s family and said he hoped that “this helps a little. I don’t know how, but I hope it helps.” Then he turned to friends and a brother who were among his witnesses, expressing love and thanking them for finding two of his children, who visited him on death row within the past week. “Love you all. Thank you so much,” he said. As the drugs were administered, he lifted his head from the gurney and mouthed that he loved them, urged them to be strong and said “I’m going home.”
The Miseducation of 2Pac – Haki Shakur
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We, of the Black Liberation Army do relate to the desire of the people to gain freedom, and we do condemn the efforts by the power structure to suppress those of the Republic of New Africa (RNA) who are striving to acquire land in Hinds County Mississippi. THEIR STRUGGLE IS OUR STRUGGLE; THEIR FREEDOM IS OUR FREEDOM; THEIR BLOOD IS OUR BLOOD. So, let it be known that if one drop of Black Blood is shed, the sons and daughters of Malcolm will rise and pig blood will flow like a river wherever pigs exist. Woe unto those who cannot swim. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BLACK LIBERATION ARMY
COMMUNIQUE NO. 1 MAY 1971
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Here are the license plates sort after by the fascist state pig police. We send them in order to exhibit the potential power of oppressed people to acquire REVOLUTIONARY JUSTICE. The armd goons of this fascist government will again meet the guns of oppressed third world peoples as long as they occupy our community and murder our brothers and sisters in the name of AMERICAN LAW AND ORDER; just as the fascist Marines and Irmy occupy Vietnam in the name of democracy and murder Vietnamese people in the name of American imperialismare confronted with the guns of the Vietnamese Liberation Army, the domestic armed forces of racism and oppression will be confronted with the guns of the BLACK LIBERATION ARMY, who will mete out in the tradition of Malcolm and all true revolutionaries real justice.
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE JUSTICE
COMMUNIQUE NO. 4 JAN 1972
This is from the George Jackson Squad of the BLACK LIBERATION ARMY about the pigs wiped out in lower Manhattan last night. For too long black people have been callously murdered for the sake of property. Never again! For everyone of us that are murdered two of you will die. Think about it! No longer will we tolerate Attica and oppression and exploitation and rape of our Black com-
munity. This is the start of our spring offensive. We also dealt with the pigs in stores and social clubs just isn’t our stick. Now we do stick up, because the revolution needs money. But we do ntt rob from our own people or any third world people. How do we look tating $80 dollars from a grocery store, when we can go down to CHASE MANHATTAN’S and take $60thousand dollars? (Can you dig it?) Once again we deny robbing that grocery store for $80 dollars, and we also deny sticking up some social club that we were supposed to have killed some blood in. We do not rob or kill tMrd world people, it’s agains our principles. Now Tie donjt deny killing pigs or any other oppressive forces in the Black community. Yes,we take credit for killing pigs, bank robberies, jail breaks, sky jackings, etc. We also take credit for the recent ambushes on the pigs. The ambushes were sincere attempts to take them off the count. And our reason for trying to kill them pigs was to revenge our dead comrades CHANGA OLUGBALA (Woodie Green) and KIMU OLUGBALA (Anthony White) who were murdered by pigs both whiteys and niggers, in a Brooklyn bar. Due to the unfortunate outcome of the ambushes they haven’t been avenged YET!I We will say it again so there’s no confusion or misunderstanding. We did not rob any blood in Harlem or at social club. In dealing with those robberies we’ve been so falsely accused of, let’s look at it logically and be realistic about Banks are more feasible than grocery stores and social clubs.
legacy & lessons of The Black Liberation Army Recounted By Haki Kweli Shakur
COMMUNIQUE NO. 12
“THIS IS THE DAY OF THE GUERRILLA” OLUGBALA TRIBE of the BLACK LIBERATION ARMY EULOGT: DEDANE OLUGBALA A/K/A ZAYD MALK SHAKUR Comrade DEDANE OLUGBALA a/k/a ZAYD MALK SHAKUR like many other revolu- tionaries has paid the supreme sacrifice, for the liberation of his people. The blood was no super nigger, or super star. He was just a nigger that was tired of the racist pig cops, shooting down unarmed Brothers and Sisters in the street, such as the recent murder of 10 year old Clifford Glover. The BRother wanted an immediate end to the murders and brutalities committed on our People by racist policemen. He felt that the only way to end such conditions as police oppression was through revolution and not a Kneegrow revolution either, but through a violent sad bloody revolution. The brother related to the teachings and speeches of Malcolm. He related to
the words of Malcolm. Malcolm said we should speak the language of the oppressor. If the oppressor’speaks the language of a shotgun, then we should speak the language. So the Brother spoke the language of our oppressor. The blood realised that Peace was not the correct method to use against these pigs in Babylon. The nigger felt the correct method for obtaining liberation here in Babylon was through revolutionary violence. He used this revolutionay violence to try and put an end to substandard housing; and end to the illegal lynchings of niggers by the court system; and end to the inhumane prison conditions; prisons, where 90% of the population are niggers and Third world people and an end to the massive genocide being waged on niggers. To sum it all up, the Brother, as a guerrilla, was using this revolutionary violence to end all oppression that our People are subjected to. Brother DEDANS OLUGBALA realised that one day, in the course of waging guerrilla warfare against the pigs, that he would have to deal with the pigs in a duel for his Mfe. One day he would be faced with the situation of him throwing up his hands and going to prison, or to the OK carral with the pigs. The blood like many other guerrillas warriors experienced the horrors of prison, or heard someone rap about rprison, and decided was no place for him. The Brother vowed never to return to of prison. He kept his vow, #he has escaped to freedom. If freedom is death, then by death one will escape to freedom. So long live the spirit of DEDANE OLUGBALA a/k/a ZAID HE will be missed and remembered along with the others who in this revolutionary struggle,, He is a martyr in our eyes be forgotten. We will bury our dead, clean our guns, and prepare for the next battle. Brothers and sisters, if his death is not be be in vain, new hands must reach out to pick up his gun, to intone his funeral dirge with the staccato ofmachine-gunfire.
SURVIVAL BLACK LIBERATION ARMY UNITY RESISTANCE AND that prison the cold walls the penalty for MALIK SHAKUR. have fallen and v/ill never VICTORY‼️
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On May 23, Mayor Levar Stoney publicly endorsed the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park and asked that the Memorial Park concept be made a part of the Shockoe Bottom Small Area Plan, the City of Richmond’s official land-use plan. In fact, all four of Richmond’s mayoral candidates have endorsed the Memorial Park (see the Sacred Ground Project’s release below).
Mayor Stoney’s endorsement reads, in part: “I fully support the establishment of such an inclusive Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park and have requested that the Shockoe Alliance – a collective group of city and community stakeholders that I convened in 2018 to focus on memorialization, preservation and equitable development in Shockoe Bottom – incorporate this concept into the Small Area Plan for Shockoe Bottom.”
Credit for this milestone goes, of course, to the community members – in Richmond and across the nation — who have spoken up for truth, healing, and history.
Regards, — Rob Nieweg
PS: Please visit Preservation Virginia’s webpage to review the important economic benefits of creating a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park. Here is the 2019 economic study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis and funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
Rob Nieweg | INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT for FIELD SERVICES
NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The Watergate Office Building
2600 Virginia Avenue NW Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20037
MEDIA RELEASE from the
Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223 * Ph: 804.644.5834 * Email: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Ana Edwards – email:firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL FOUR RICHMOND MAYORAL CANDIDATES HAVE NOW ENDORSED
THE COMMUNITY PROPOSAL FOR A
9-ACRE SHOCKOE BOTTOM MEMORIAL PARK
All four announced candidates for the November 2020 election for mayor of Richmond have now declared their support for the community-generated proposal for a nine-acre Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park.
With his statement today, Mayor Levar Stoney joins longtime memorial park supporter Richmond City Councilwoman Kimberly Gray and more recent supporters attorney Justin Griffin and entertainment promoter Tracey McLean in endorsing the community proposal designed to properly memorialize the downtown district that once was the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade.
Significantly, Mayor Stoney’s statement includes support for incorporating into the memorial park the three physical elements that make up the proposal: the 3.1-acre African Burial Ground; the 1.7-acre site of Robert Lumpkin’s slave jail, known as the Devil’s Half-Acre; and the two blocks east of the CSX railroad tracks between East Broad, East Grace and 17th streets where several other slave jails and other significant slave-trade-related sites once were located.
The mayor’s statement also calls for including the park proposal in the Shockoe Bottom small-area plan now being developed by the Shockoe Alliance advisory group. It also calls for the city to provide financial support for the park’s development, while acknowledging the limitations the city is now facing in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the endorsements, Sacred Ground Project Chair Ana Edwards said, “This now-unanimous endorsement of the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park proposal by all four declared mayoral candidates marks a significant step forward in the decades-long community struggle to reclaim and properly memorialize Shockoe Bottom, which for the three decades before the Civil War was the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade.
“The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project looks forward to working with all other interested parties, and in particular Richmond’s Black community, in making the vision of the memorial park a reality. Throughout this work, we will follow our commitment to respect the right to self-determination for oppressed peoples by continuing to promote the view that the descendant community must have the primary voice in, and reap the primary financial benefits from, the development of this sacred ground.
“Moving forward in these concrete ways will help ensure that Richmond can approach its 300th anniversary having honestly confronted its shameful past, while moving forward to a more justice-oriented future.”
The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project was founded in 2004 to guide the ongoing work of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality to reclaim and properly memorialize Shockoe Bottom, once the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade.
Copies of all four mayoral candidate statements, in alphabetical order:
W.E.B. Du Bois eloquently said. “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” As I think about this particular quote, it is without hesitation that I vehemently support a Slavery Memorial Park in Richmond. Very rarely do we have “real talk” about the atrocities of slavery and the generational consequences of bondage. A memorial park at the site of Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom that was central to the American slave trade must be a gathering place for all to remember, reflect, heal, and honor the lives of the men, women and children who were sold into bondage.
I recognize that for many Richmonders, the history of the South is extremely difficult to talk about. Like so many schoolchildren, I learned of certain African-Americans and their contributions in February for Black History Month. As an adult, I have spent considerable time researching my family’s history. Not surprising, I am the descendant of enslaved people who likely experienced the slave market in Shockoe, known as the Devil’s Half-Acre.
In the present day, too many children and adults are not knowledgeable about the important role slavery played in determining America’s path and the impact slavery still has on race relations, the economy and many other societal inequities. It is a hard traumatic discussion! Trauma generates emotions and unless we process these emotions, the trauma stays with us. The Memorial Park is one of the greatest opportunities we have to tell the full history of African-Americans and begin the healing process for both the descendants of enslaved people and enslavers.
Lastly, not only would the Memorial Park stand as an example of the importance of sacred sites in America, it provides a historic resource for future generations to remember the past.
I absolutely endorse the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park proposal. If elected, I would champion the plan and make it a reality.
Imagine if we had spent as much time, money, and other resources on the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park as we did on the Navy Hill arena proposal.
I believe where you spend your time and money shows what you value. Richmond has a priorities problem, and it shows in the lack of attention to Shockoe Bottom.
Richmond should do everything it can to take its rightful place as the center of black history by telling the stories that deserve to be told but aren’t. Shockoe Bottom, the slave trade, and the birth of Virginia Union University from Lumpkin’s Jail after the Civil War should be the first step in that process.
This vision of Richmond’s future also should include a National Slave Museum and projects to depict Jackson Ward at its height.
The fact that the Memorial Park covers learning, remembering, reflecting, gathering, economic development, and economic empowerment shows that this plan is well-thought out, thoroughly considered, and was inclusively developed.
The Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park is not just a plan to remember our past but is a plan to build up our future.
I firmly believe that we must start today systematically building up this generation of Richmonders whose ancestors were systematically torn down. This plan does that in more ways than one.
Building the Memorial Park would not only be a great thing for Richmond, but for the entire country. It is amazing to me that the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park and the stories it would tell have been ignored by our elected officials. We deserve better.
I would like to state for the record that I agree with this project, for more reasons than one. I would like to see this project be pushed forward towards completion.
This Historical Project is beneficial to all of us. There is no reason not to support this project, when there has been a lot of support for things like breweries that only hold a financial significance, whereas this project holds historical, financial and possible healing for the Commonwealth.
Throughout my time as Mayor, I have always supported efforts to tell the complete narrative of the dark and traumatic history of slavery in Richmond, to uplift inspiring stories of resistance – such as that of Brother Gabriel – and generate opportunities for equitable development that prioritize the preservation of our historic and sacred sites.
I am committed to continuing to work in partnership with key voices who have for years and decades dedicated themselves to ensuring Richmond’s story of strength and resilience is told, preserved, respected and celebrated. These voices include leaders such as Delegate Delores McQuinn, City Council President Cynthia Newbille, Reverend Sylvester “Tee” Turner – along with other members of the Slave Trail Commission – as well as Ana Edwards of the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project and others whose longtime work and passion have been focused on transforming Shockoe Bottom into a place that properly honors our enslaved African ancestors and freedom fighters and offers opportunities for education and hope for generations to come.
I am confident that we can and will make this happen in an innovative, inclusive and collaborative way. The creation of a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park – to serve as a site of conscience, memorialization, reflection and education through both greenspace and structural sites such as a heritage interpretive center or museum – gives us the opportunity to do just that. Such a space would encompass the sacred African Ancestral Burial Ground, the Lumpkin’s Jail/Devil’s Half Acre site and the two blocks east of the railroad tracks that contain significant, historical sites with future archaeological potential. This endeavor will help ensure we preserve and protect our hallowed spaces in Shockoe Bottom while providing an opportunity for Richmond residents and visitors to deepen their connection with the historical and cultural sacredness of the area and be inspired by the spirit and stories of our ancestors to fight the injustices of today.
I fully support the establishment of such an inclusive Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park and have requested that the Shockoe Alliance – a collective group of city and community stakeholders that I convened in 2018 to focus on memorialization, preservation and equitable development in Shockoe Bottom – incorporate this concept into the Small Area Plan for Shockoe Bottom.Richmond’s story of historic trauma and supreme resilience is a global one and it is time that we truly recognize and elevate our collective story in a way that will honor our enslaved ancestors who built this city and nation, and empower future generations. Once the epicenter of the insidious institution of slavery where women, men and children were tortured, bought and sold, Richmond will not only move toward more fully preserving our sacred spaces and telling a more holistic story of our past, but will continue to strive toward being an epicenter of hope, transformation, equity and justice.
The creation of a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park will be a tremendous undertaking for our city, particularly the construction of what could be an extraordinary heritage center or museum, and will require that we all come together with the necessary resources to make it happen. Over the last several months, the City of Richmond has been diligently working to address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial disparities both created and illuminated by this health crisis. The economic impact of this pandemic has forced us to make major adjustments to our city’s budget, however, I am committed to doing what we can to turn this unique, collective vision into reality. This endeavor undoubtedly calls for a collaborative, community approach from a variety of stakeholders in order to bring this extraordinary vision into fruition. I am grateful for the continuous dedication of our local and state leaders, community advocates and organizations such as Preservation Virginia and the National Trust for Historic Preservation who work to ensure that the rich historical narratives and powerful legacies of our fearless ancestors are never forgotten and that the spaces and places on which they lived, struggled, endured and triumphed are respected, honored and used to propel us into a better, more just tomorrow. I look forward to standing alongside all who are ready to make this important work happen. It is time.
– end –
|Greg Thomas, a “native” of Southeast, Washington DC, is a Black Studies professor in English at Tufts University. Author of books such as The Sexual Demon of Colonial Power (2007) and Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh (2009), he is also curator of the traveling art exhibition, “George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine,” an outgrowth of his current book projects on “Comrade George” and political captivity.|
|Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on the history of science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages, especially in the Indian Ocean World.|
|Aruri, Naseer Hasan, and Edmund Ghareeb, eds.
Enemy of the Sun. Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
The Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey, a brilliant orator and black nationalist leader, turned his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) into the most important black organization in the United States in the early 1920s. Garvey’s speeches often drew huge audiences, and stories of Garvey’s stubborn resistance in the face of white hostility proliferated among his supporters. In an oral history interview, devotee Audley Moore remembered the Jamaican’s defiant behavior at a rally in New Orleans caused “the [white] police [to] file out . . . like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them.” She proudly recalled the crowd intimidating the police by raising their guns and chanting “speak, Garvey, speak.”
Listen to Audio:
Main link to audio http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/29/
Queen Mother Audley Moore: They didn’t want Garvey to speak in New Orleans. We had a delegation to go to the mayor, and the next night, they allowed him to come. And we all was armed. Everybody had bags of ammunition, too. So when Garvey came in, we applauded, and the police were lined man to man along the line of each bench. So Mr. Garvey said, “My friends, I want to apologize for not speaking to you last night. But the reason I didn’t was because the mayor of the city of New Orleans committed himself to act as a stooge for the police department to prevent me from speaking.” And the police jumped up and said, “I’ll run you in.”When he did this, everybody jumped up on the benches and pulled out their guns and just held the guns up in the air and said, “Speak, Garvey, speak.”And Garvey said, “As I was saying,” and he went on and repeated what he had said before, and the police filed out the hall like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them. So that was radical enough. I had two guns with me, one in my bosom and one in my pocketbook, little 38 specials.
Source: Interview done by the Oral History of the American Left, Tamiment Library, NYU for the public radio program Grandma Was An Activist, producers Charlie Potter and Beth Friend.
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The History & Development of The Republic of New Afrika Via Irish Socialist & Haki Kweli Shakur
Queen Mother Moore Speaks on Garvey & Armed Self Defense 1973
The L.A. Rebellion ( Misnomer L.A. Riots ) & The L.A. Four: On Today April 29 1992 New Afrikans in South Central Los Angeles got tired of systematic oppression & police terrorism and rebelled starting on Florence & Normandie
The ” L.A. Four ” Political Prisoners was a nickname given to the first four men charged with the attack on Denny: Damian ” Football ” Williams, Henry Watson, Antoine Miller, and Gary Williams. Two additional men, Anthony Brown and Lance Parker, were also charged with the attack on Denny but not until after the “L.A. Four” nickname had spread. The six were redubbed the “L.A. Four Plus”. The three arrested men were suspected to be part of the 83 Gangster Crips.
On April 29, after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in TV broadcasts.
25 Years Later Original Westside Eight Tray Gangster Crips
Askari X — City Life ( LA Rebellion Footage Florence and Normandie )
Kiwe & Damu Umoja — Unity Tookie Know The Origin of The Terminology ” GANG ” Rooted in Slavery – Haki Kweli Shakur
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On the eve of Ghana’s independence on 6 March 1957, Kwame Nkrumah, leader of the African government of that country, made his “Ghana is free forever” historic speech to the world. This Pan-Africanist extraordinaire declared, inter alia, that: “ We shall no more go back to sleep [F]rom now on, there is a New African in the world[!]” How did he differentiate between a new and old African? This study, interested in the character of this envisioned “ New African,” perceives that Nkrumah did not think that this African already existed. Rather, a purposeful hominisation of this “new” being needed to occur. Hence, Nkrumah added that: “From today, we [Ghanaians] must change our attitudes, our minds [and] realise that we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people! ” Change, as he emphasised, meant an anthropogenesis for the “new” being to “prove,” as Nkrumah added, “to the world that the African is somebody!” and “capable of managing his or her own affairs.” In Nkrumah’s view, Ghana, which he ruled until 1966, had to champion the total decolonization of Africa, continental unity, development of the spirit of African Personality and renaissance of African self-possession and creativity.
There’s a New African in The World – Kwame Nkrumah
This, therefore, required that the hominisation of the “New African” had to start from Ghana. What initiatives and processes were offered to engender this transformative attitudinal and intellectual rebirth in Ghana? This article offers a historical examination of the educational and cultural initiatives and political-ideological training movements and cadre schools, especially the Ghana Young Pioneers Movement and Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, which Nkrumah, Africa’s “Man of the Millennium,” provided intentionally to help bring about the necessary attitudinal and intellectual moulding of a “New African” in Ghana from 1957–1966.
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Alabama’s prisons were overcrowded and prisoners were routinely denied basic items such as clean drinking water and eating utensils, while being subjected to violence and extended periods of solitary confinement. To call attention to their demands for improved conditions, prisoners organized as Inmates for Action (IFA), and engaged in work stoppages and strikes in Alabama’s Atmore and Holman prisons. IFA also led classes for prisoners on subjects such as Revolutionary Theory and Black History. In response to prisoner activism, prison guards tortured and murdered IFA leaders Chagina (George Dobbins), Yukeena (Tommy Dotson) and Frank X. Moore. Furthermore, guards continued to deny access to necessities, and attempted to repress continued organizing among the prisoners. Outside of prison, the Committee for Prisoner Support in Birmingham (CPSB) and the Atmore-Holman Defense Committee planned demonstrations, assisted with legal strategy in support of IFA and campaigned for accountability for the murders.
The IFA was founded in the Alabama prison slave system at the Atmore State Prison (now Fountain Correctional Facility) in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The politics of the IFA were the politics of the times: a little socialism, black nationalism/revolutionary nationalism/cultural nationalism, and anti-capitalism and anti-racism. The IFA was mainly composed of black prisoners, but I know at least one white prisoner was a member of the IFA. The IFA was a formation of the times, a time when young black people had become disillusioned with the Civil Rights Movement. This was the generation that birthed Black Liberation and saw the politics of the Civil Rights Movement as bankrupt of any ideas to liberate black people from the white supremacist, racist, capitalist political power structure. Revolution was in the air and seemed possible.
Following the footsteps of the Black Liberation Movement organizations on the streets, the IFA established political, cultural, and general education classes to educate the prisoner population. Many prisoners at that time in the South couldn’t read and write, and the white supremacist power structure wanted to keep it that way. This was also a time when there were no black prison guards, wardens, or commissioners, not that it means anything because today the black prison guards, wardens, commissioners are just as brutal and fucked up as their white counterparts were then.
The IFA intervened in an attempt to change this backwards and predatory culture into a culture of unity and revolution. In fact, the IFA was instrumental in stopping the practice of prisoners keeping count of how many prisoners were in the prison for the guards. They openly challenged the rape culture. In 1971, the IFA staged a successful workstrike at Atmore and Holman prisons in protest of the beating and murder of prisoners on the workfarm. That was unheard of at the time in Alabama prisons. The IFA was so successful in educating prisoners as to who their true enemy was, that when they transferred Mafundi to Holman and placed him in the all-white dorm in the hopes of the white prisoners killing him, the white prisoners joined Mafundi in rioting.
In 1974, IFA members took prison guards hostage at knifepoint in the Atmore prison lockup unit and declared the action “a revolution.” After subduing the two guards they proceeded to open all the cell doors of IFA members who were in the lockup at the time. Most of them were there for “inciting a riot” or “assault against a guard.” They then began to exact “revolutionary justice” on all those prisoners who had been working with the white racist prison guards selling water and ice to other prisoners in the stifling hot lockup cells.
In the aftermath of this “revolution” by IFA members, one white guard lay dead, another seriously wounded, and a number of prisoners were seriously injured by IFA members. The warden and prison guards stormed the lockup unit with shotguns and rifles ablazing, wounding some of the prisoners. Johnny Imani Harris received the death penalty for the murder of the guard, Lincoln Kambui Heard received a life sentence and Oscar Johnson received thirty years. Others also received sentences for taking part in the “revolution.” Johnny Imani Harris eventually had his death sentence overturned and was released from prison.
The IFA didn’t limit their activities and organizing to the prisons. Richard Mafundi Lake and other ex-cons who were IFA members took their organization and activities to the streets of Birmingham and other smaller cities on Alabama. In Birmingham, where they were most active, they monitored the police with scanners and intervened when the police attempted to make arrests. Many shootouts between IFA and police occurred. They held community meetings to organize against police brutality and racism on the part of city officials.
They didn’t forget their brothers left in the prisons. They organized family transportation to the prisons, they aided escapes from Atmore, Holman and some road kamps. They created the Atmore/Holman Brothers support committee to support those still in the prisons facing new charges for assault and murder on prison guards. They IFA had a motto – “Kill one of our, we kill two of yours.” And they lived by that. Many IFA members were killed inside and outside the prisons. George Dobbins, Tommy Dotson, Charles Beasley, Frank X. Moore is just a few of the IFA members murdered by the state inside and outside the prisons.
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the At more -Holman Brothers racist repression DEATH LIST , • On March 4, '1974 a trustee at Holman Maximum Security Prison came across a handwritten list of names of inmates of the Alabama prison system. Almost all of the 23 prisoners named were members of the IF A. The list made it clear that the prison officials wanted the named prisoners killed and would take no action against any prison guards who participated in such a process. . At the head of the list was George ! ; (Chagina) Dobbins, the Chairman of the IFA, who had been murdered by Alabama officials in the aftermath of the January, 1974 rebellion at Atmore Prison Farm. Among the other names on the list were Tommy (Yukeena) Dotson and Willie Joe Menefee. Dotson was able to obtain the list and smuggle it out of Holman Prison. There was an urgency- ; as he presented the list; “I might be next,” he said. And he was. On March 13, Dotson was beaten to death by five guards at Holman Prison. Three days later the Mobile Register reported that Willie Joe Menefee had been stabbed to . death at Atmore Prison. When the existenceTof the death list got- coverage in the Mobile Register, Commissioner L.B. Sullivan’s response to questions . about it was “no comment.” But there must be a comment, especially since 7 of the 9 Atmore-Holman Brothers facing trial are on that list. The Alabama prison officials are working their way down the “death list” systematically eliminating every prisoner who will speak out against the barbaric conditions of. the Alabama prison system. The frameup cases of the Atmore-Holman Brothers, nine Black men who have spoken out in just such a manner, is another brutal act in the implementation of the death list. THIS IS A PEOPLE’S CASE— IT NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT The state plans to put the brothers, who are the victims of violence and , inhuman conditions inside the prisons, ; on trial as the villains. If the state wins, _ the wardens and guards will know that • " •' . .• . r" . ■ . 'i ■ " they can keep on working their way down the death list and no one will ever prosecute them. They will also know that they can safely use death as a method of discipline against any prisoners who buck the brutal system that exists, who support programs like the IFA’s for basic human rights. If. these methods of maintaining order at any price are allowed to succeed inside the prisons, then they will be used outside too. This is why the Atmore^ Holman brothers defense— like other cases such as Attica— is not for them . alone, not even for prisoners alone, v ; ; Their defense is for the people also. PEOPLE MOVE TO DEFEND THE IFA ; People throughout Alabama, tiie South and the country have responded to the call by the brothers for support. Prisoners’ relatives have organized : into support groups called Families for : l Action in both Mobile and Birmingham. Former prisoners and IFA members have been instrumental in organizing defense efforts on behalf of the. brothers on the inside. And others: workers, students, teachers, welfare rights, tenant rights, and union activists have organized defense committees to support the IFA’s demands and fight to free the Atmore- ' Holman Brothers. Also a legal committee has been organized, bringing together lawyers from all over the South to represent the Brothers. In addition, offensive legal ^action is being planned against pnsoh : ana state oinciais tor repression and . violence against IF A members. The supporters of the Atmore- Holman brothers are "now working to mobilize national support for the case and. to bring people to the trials in Brewton in February. WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP 1) Money is desperately needed to help the families of the Atmore- Holman brothers, most of whom are from Birmingham, to get to Atmore regularly, since only they and the lawyers can see the Brothers. In addition there are dozens of important . daily expenses, court costs, and rental buses to get people to the trials. This is a people’s trial and only the presence of the people will force any justice into the courtroom. 2) It is crucial to show that the Brothers have broad and national support. You or your group can help by sponsoring the Defense Committeeand publicizing the case arid by distributing the newsletter and buttons. 3) You can also write to L.B. Sullivan, Commissioner of the i Alabama Board of Corrections, 101 South Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama, and Gov. George Wallace, State Capitol, Montgomery, Alabama - . - ■- , • Dotson savagely mutilated. - l ** Pic ture taken oj . Tomm y, Dotson jrtive^- ^ protest ^ trials and false charges. 4) Finally, send some letters to the Brothers. They are locked in isolation : cells where it’s hard for them to hear the voice of the people in their support. - The mailing address for Anthony Paradise, Johnny Harris, Lincoln; Heard, Grover McCorvey, and Charles: V; Beasley is Rt. 2 Box 38 Atmore, Alabama 36502. For Edward ‘Ellis, Jessie James Clanzy, and Oscar Johnson, write Rt. 5, Box 125, Montgomery, Alabama 36109. For Frank X.- Moore, write Escambia County Jail, Brewton. Alabama. TRIAL IN BREWTON ON Louisville
December 27 1973 New York City – Three BLA sympathizers are caught attempting to free BLA members from the Tombs when police see one of them emerging from a sewer manhole two blocks away, outside the corrections department design and engineering unit that house blueprints.
April 17 1974 New York City – The Tombs, four BLA “New Haven Three,” Hodari Diallo (Harold Simmons), Ashanti (Michael Alston), and Gunnie (James Haskins) invade the Tombs in NY to liberate POWs armed with two hand-guns and acetylene torch attempt to free three BLA members; they flee when the torch runs out of fuel.
May 3 1974 New York City – After failing to release prisoners at the Tombs, BLA members flee to New Haven, Connecticut where they rob a bank and shoot a policeman. Three are captured, others escape.
The Suppressed History of New Africans Fighting For Independence in America – Haki Shakur
Republic of New Afrika Declaration For Independence March 31 1968 – Haki Shakur
The Black Liberation Army History ( The Secrets of War ) Thomas Blood Mccreary, Shakurs, Cleaver
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