Assata Shakur: “We can’t afford to be spectators while our lives deteriorate.We have to truly love our people and work to make that love stronger.”
|—||Assata Shakur (via daughterofzami)|
The voices of many scholars, activists, journalists, political prisoners and academics on the Prison Industrial Complex.
You can find these photos and others by clicking on our photos on Facebook.
Find The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander here for more information about the prison-industrial-complex and today’s greatest fight against racism in America.
Kind of bummed with the “professional” tone of this but sharing nonetheless - (hint: you don’t need to be an academic to know that the Prison Industrial Complex is fucked and must end OR for your voice to be heard and important)
I typically would ignore sideline snark like this, but the dismissiveness of this comment really irks me and deserves addressing.
It would seem you maybe just don’t know who these people are. Assata Shakur is a Black Panther living under political asylum in Cuba, Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of America’s best known, most outspoken death-row inmates. This is hardly just an arbitrary group of academics.
These are people who, through their activism, their writing or their careers have been instrumental in shedding light on the Prison Industrial Complex. And although I agree that everybody has invested interest in talking about the Prison Industrial Complex, disappearing civil liberties in America, and systemic racism, one way or another, all of these people have earned the right to be recognized for their work spreading social consciousness about the Prison Industrial Complex & the New Jim Crow.
|—||Assata Shakur (via torrid-wind)|
From Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur.
One day as i was returning to Davis Hall, a middle aged woman with “salt and pepper” hair caught my eye. She had a dignified, schoolteacher look. Something drew me towards her. As i searched her face, i could see she was searching mine. Our eyes locked in a questioning gaze. “Lolita?” I ventured. “Assata?” she responded. And there, in the middle of those Alderson prison grounds, we hugged and kissed each other.
For me, this was one of the greatest honors in my life. Lolita Lebrón was one of the most respected political prisoners in the world. Ever since I learned about her courageous struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico, I had read everything I could find that had been written about her. She spent a quarter of a century behind bars and had refused parole unless her comrades were also freed. After all those years she had remained strong, unbent and unbroken, still dedicated to the independence of Puerto Rico and the liberation of her people. She deserved more respect than anyone could possibly give her, and i could not do enough to demonstrate my respect.
In our subsequent meetings i must have been quite a pain in the neck, falling all over myself to carry her tray, to get a chair for her, or to do whatever i could do for her. Lolita had been through hell in prison, yet she was amazingly calm and extremely kind. She had suffered years of isolation in davis hall in addition to years of political and personal isolation. Until the upsurge of the movement for Puerto Rican independence in the late 60s, she had received very little support. Years had gone by without a visit. For years she had been cut off from her country, her culture, her family, and had not been able to speak her own language. Her only daughter had died while she was in prison.
I supported Lolita a hundred percent, but there was one thing about which we did not agree. At the time we met Lolita was somewhat anticommunist and antisocialist. She was extremely religious and, I think, believed that religion and socialism were two opposing forces, that socialists and communists were completely opposed to religion and religious freedom.
After the resurgence of the Puerto Rican independence movement, Lolita was visited by all kinds of people. Some were pseudo-revolutionary robots who attacked her for her religious beliefs, telling her that to be a revolutionary she had to give up her belief in God. It apparently had never occurred to those fools that Lolita was more revolutionary than they could ever be, and that her religion had helped her remain strong and committed all those years. I was infuriated by their crass, misguided arrogance…
Lolita is free now, and she is no longer isolated from what is going on in her part of the world or her church. I know that wherever she is, she is praying and struggling for her people.
- Assata Shakur (via chaoticimperfections)
Half reason behind new (okay, no that new) blog url.