PART 4 OF 4
[LOS CABOS, MEXICO, 2011]
[Ricardo Samaniego Mendoza, Artist] It’s beyond me to know that there are more journalists dead in Mexico than in Iraq.
[Saro Solis] Moved by the struggle of Mumia Abu Jamal, young Mexican artists, Ricardo Samaniego Mendoza and Helena Moguel Samaniego, created this installation entitled “Corridor of the Silenced Ones,” or “El Corredor de Los Silenciados.”
[Helena Moguel Samaniego, Artist] Mumia as a journalist and writer is important not only because of his work before his imprisonment, but what he has achieved there, and in the way he has proven all of the injustices and the corruption in the legal system in the United States.
[Ricardo Samaniego Mendoza, Artist] And I think this has more to do with people who are on top. Maybe it’s not convenient for the United States government to reveal these types of situations and cases because of their image, without caring who they stomp over or whose hands their justice lands on.
[Helena Moguel Samaniego, Artist] And I think that’s important because he has proved this, and because if this has happened to him, it may have happened to other people before him that we don’t know about, and the people should be aware of this.
[THE STATE WOULD RATHER GIVE ME AN UZI THAN A MICROPHONE – MUMIA ABU-JAMAL]
[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] If somebody goes out into the streets using the tools and mechanisms of an imperial power, you can’t win. You can’t win with money; you can’t win with guns. To quote the Zapatistas, “Our words are our weapons.”
[MUTULU OLUGBALA/M1, Activist, Rapper (Dead Prez)] This is what he is able to do with political theory. This is what he’s able to do to make what’s on CNN the lie that it is, and tell it to you with the charisma of a Malcolm X.
[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] And that’s dangerous. That’s beautiful. That’s what Mumia does.
[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] It’s this ability to connect with people that I think inspires other people on the outside to connect with him to say, “Yes, I want to go on a journey with this man because I need to connect like that, too.
[Mumia Abu Jamal] We should remember that during slavery, even post-reconstruction, there were people who functioned to benefit from the system, black people, even while the vast majority suffered from horrendous and, to be honest, terroristic conditions. Their function was to teach passivity in the face of repression.
[Alice Walker, Author] He’s a remarkable teacher. I think, for me, that is what I most treasure.
[Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General] If Mumia’s words could be taught to school children, we’d be a better people, and a better country.
[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] Which is one of the reasons I organized Educators For Mumia, because he’s a co-teacher with us, in fact a teacher of us in many respects.
[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] I have Mumia speak to my students via conference call on a regular basis.
[Mumia Abu Jamal] Hello, hello, hello.
[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] Hello. It’s wonderful to hear your voice.
[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] The response, is first of all, visceral. It’s emotional. And I think it’s emotional not just because it’s eloquent, but also because it takes one to the heart of struggle.
[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] And yet, he’s depicted as a monster, as a raving lunatic.
[Mumia Abu Jamal] We have yet to acknowledge, much less agree, that there is still a caste system at work in the U.S.
[Weldon McWilliams, Ph.D., Professor, Cheyney University] We see this man who is behind bars, continuing to fight against injustice, and fight against racism, fight against poverty, and encourages us who are on the outside, those of us who are not incarcerated, it gives us motivation to do more, and it also raises our expectations of what we should be able to do, us being outside these walls.
[Tanay Harris, Temple University] You understand that we have to continue this fight, because it is still going on to this very day. And it’s not about him; it’s about everyone else, and about the collective. He’s holding the media outlets accountable; he’s holding the world accountable; he’s holding ourselves accountable for understanding the truth behind what’s really going on. And in his mind, he sees the possibility of freedom.
[Gabriel Bryant, Temple University] I think that he’s given so much to humanity that it’s our obligation to continue that sense of truth, and to be kind of warriors for justice.
[Benjamin Cuozzo, Baruch College] For a student who had missed the class today, I think the only thing I would have to say to them is, “I’m sorry, because they really truly did miss out on something spectacular.”
[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] We get a lot of heat from authorities – supposedly we’re just getting political. Not so! We as educators are into Mumia Abu Jamal’s writings – and others! – because he provokes a profound analysis from perspectives that educators often ignore and neglect. And if they’re ignoring and neglecting it, they’re not being good educators.
[Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College, City University of New York] [Everyone clapping] That was wonderful!
[Mumia Abu Jamal] Thank you for this lift. I love you all.
[Students] Thank you, Mumia.
[Aya de Leon, Writer, Poet, Professor, reading from “Prayer Warrior: Poems of Struggle”] No prison walls, cell block, iron bars, solitary hell hole death row speech ban bullshit will ever, ever hold his spirit.
I wrote the poem “In the Flesh,” which was really about knowing that Mumia had made a decision long ago that he was going to be free.
[Singing] Steal away, steal away, steal away, oh steal away home. Steal away, steal away, we haven’t got long to stay here.
There are forces that are stronger than the state of Pennsylvania, and the governor. And there are forces that are stronger than bars and brick and barbed wire.
[Singing] Didn’t we shout for glee when you freed Geronimo Ji Jaga? Didn’t I cry for joy when you freed Nelson Mandela?
In the history of black folks, through slavery, through reconstruction and chain gangs, black people have always found ways to find freedom, even in the midst of physical constraint.
Oh! Let him be free in the flesh.
[“IF THE NUREMBERG LAWS WERE APPLIED, THEN EVERY POST-WAR AMERICAN PRESIDENT WOULD HAVE BEEN HANGED.” – NOAM CHOMSKY, AMERICAN PHILOSOPHER & DISSIDENT]
[Mumia Abu Jamal, 1989] When you talk about the PLO and other groups that are maligned and slurred as terrorists in the major media, they’re really small fry. They’re retail terrorists. Wholesale terrorists are the United States Government, which arms like the Arena government in El Salvador so that they can have helicopter gunships come in poor neighborhoods and bomb the FMLN like they did a few days ago. But it’s the FLMN who, in the New York Times when you read it, is described as a terrorist organization, not the Cristiani government that Roberto D’Aubuisson who tortured people with blow torches and was called by Pat Robertson, “A pretty nice fellow.”
[Linn Washington, Journalist] Here’s a man who speaks eloquently, and perceptively on the systemic problems in this country. America doesn’t like critics. You didn’t see Congress stop and pass a resolution honoring Howard Zinn when he passed. Howard Zinn documents the problems. He’s a historian.
[White guy with mala] In 2003 and 2004, Mumia wrote and published two critically acclaimed works of history, “Faith of Our Fathers,” which explores the spiritual life of Africans and African-Americans, and “We Want Freedom,” a personal narrative of The Black Panther Party.
[James Cone, Ph.D., Professor, Union Theological Seminary] I was surprised with what he knew, and how much he knew, about African-American religion and spirituality.
[Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary] Even though it’s about a very physical, bodily struggle of a whole people over 500 years for emancipation under conditions under slavery, the reason that it’s about faith, and spirit, because faith and spirit are about finding an artful way of being in the world under the agonistic conditions of imposed social suffering.
[“SLAVE SPIRITUAL” FROM “FAITH OF OUR FATHERS”, 2003]
[Rachel Robinson] Lord, how came me here? I wish I never was born.
[Eartha Robinson] They know freedom here, Lord. I wish I never was born.
[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Now, I’m reading this in the comfort of graduate school, going “How the hell was he doing this?” And I still haven’t completely figured that out.
[Rodney Charles, reading from “Faith of Our Fathers”, 2003] The repeated, plaintive refrain of the captive encapsulates the monstrous toll of human bondage: the wish for non-existence, for self-annihilation in the face of barbarous oppression.
[Huey P. Newton, Minister of Defense, the Black Panther Party] You can read the back of the program, and it simply says exactly what black people have been crying for for 400 years: “We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our own black communities.”
[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] Then he produces a history of the Black Panther Party. That’s one of the best histories of the Black Panther Party. I’m like, “he doesn’t have the Internet! He can’t go to the library! How’s he doing this?
[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] There have been a lot of books written about the Panthers. And I think this one is unique. In the first place, he talks a lot about the female Panthers, which very few books do.
[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] We’ve lost the memory of the fact that it was by and large women who ran virtually every chapter in the country.
[Barbara Cox Easley, Former Member, The Black Panther Party] Mumia, you asked the question about Mumia talking about women: He was never a chauvinist. From the day he entered the party, he was never a chauvinist.
[Christina Moses, reading from “We Want Freedom,” 2004] For me, political life began with the Black Panther Party, when an older sister named Audrea handed me a copy of the Black Panther newspaper. Around the spring of 1968, my mind was promptly blown. It was as if my dreams had awakened and strolled into my reality. I joined in my heart. I was all of 14 years old.
[Tariq Ali, Historian, Journalist] When Obama got the Peace Prize from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, 10,000 people in Norway demonstrated against the decision because Obama had just announced that he was going to escalate the war in Afghanistan, which he then proceeded to do after receiving the prize.
[WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] DemocracyNow producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous asked Tariq Ali for his reaction to Obama winning the Nobel Peace Price.
[Tariq Ali, Historian, Journalist] I could have given them two candidates who are very deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize this year. One is, of course, Noam Chomsky, who has fought for peace all his life, and the other is Mumia Abu Jamal. Now that would have given people something to think about.
If there were any justice in the world, they would award him the Peace Prize next year, but I’m prepared to bet you that they won’t.
[Man, in France, 2007] Free Mumia Abu Jamal!
[Harlem, Saint-Denis meme combat! Une Rue pour Mumia!]
[Keine Hinrichtung! Freiheit fur Mumia Abu-Jamal!
[Mumia Abu Jamal] I was deeply and gratefully surprised by the international solidarity. Stunned by it in a way.
[Suzanne Ross, Ph.D., Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition] We have been extremely heartened by the response all over the world. This is one of the moments where you really international solidarity.
[FREIHEIT FUR MUMIA!]
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] People around the world, I was just in Germany a few weeks ago, walking down the street, there’s a picture of Mumia!
[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] And I’m always impressed that everyone in Germany knows Mumia’s name. And in Paris, of course, he became the first honorary citizen of Paris since Pablo Picasso.
[ANGELA DAVIS ACCEPTS ABU-JAMAL’S HONORARY CITIZENSHIP]
[IN 2011, THE POSTAL SERVICE OF FRANCE ISSUED A FIRST-CLASS STAMP FEATURING MUMIA ABU-JAMAL]
[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] He’s such a threat. The only person I can think of that represented the same threat to this country was Paul Robson.
[Paul Robson] What you’ve been seeing here makes a lot of sense.
[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author]And so that trajectory reminds me a great deal of Frederick Douglass who used his powerful oratorical and writing skills to reach millions of people, literally, all over the planet.
[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] And people feel him that don’t even know how to spell his name around the world. And then they feed back to you, “I love you; bless you.” And he feels that.
[VOICE OF THE VOICELESS]
[FREE MUMIA RALLIES, PHILADELPHIA]
[FREE MUMIA: ABOLISH THE RACIST DEATH PENALTY]
[Mumia Abu Jamal] I’m experienced at an extreme distance, and an extreme isolation, but even at that depth of isolation and distance I was able to receive those messages of solidarity, of support, of oneness.
[Richard Claxton Gregory, Comedian, Activist, Author] There’s cops out here dressed like us, looking like hippies – they need to be here. Wrong has always tried to spy on right. Right never spies on wrong. There’s something about light that wipes out darkness.
There’s only privilege for decent folks, not for thugs and hoodlums.
[Speaker of the House] The gentleman from Wisconsin is recognized.
[Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, Judiciary Committee Chairman] Speaker, I move that the House suspend the rules and agree to House Resolution 1082 condemning the decision by the city of Saint-Denis, France, to name a street in honor of Mumia Abu Jamal, the convicted murderer of Philadelphia Police officer Danny Faulkner.
[SAINT-DENIS: RUE MUMIA ABU JAMAL]
[Julia Wright, Author, Activist, on DemocracyNow!] In the city of Saint-Denis, where the kings and queens of France are buried, there is a street that was named on the 29th of April, 2006, in honor of Mumia Abu Jamal. The FOP had gone hysterical –
[Amy Goodman, Journalist] The Fraternal Order of Police …
[Julia Wright, Author, Activist, on DemocracyNow!] Yes.
[CONDEMNATION OF ST. DENIS, FRANCE, C-SPAN, U.S. HOUSE]
[Linn Washington, Journalist] And it’s enough to cause the U.S. Congress to come to a halt, and violate all their rules to pass a resolution to condemn Saint-Denis. “We, the U.S. Congress, order you, to change the name of your street.”
[Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pennsylvania, 13th District, Philadelphia, Jenkintown] Mr. Speaker, we cannot allow Officer Faulkner’s public service to be diminished by the actions of a foreign city.
[Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, 8th District, Langhorne, Doylestown] Mr. Speaker, Mumia Abu Jamal is not a political prisoner. He’s a murderer with a penchant for public relations.
[Linn Washington, Journalist] A sovereign city, in a sovereign foreign country, can do what they want to do. If they want to wave the middle finger at America, they can.
[Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pennsylvania, 15th District, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton] Abu-Jamal, a cop killer, is now featured and feted as a minor celebrity by people like Fidel Castro, a few Hollywood movie stars, and of course, the leadership of a small suburb of Paris, France.
[Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, 8th District, Langhorne, Doylestown] He’s been able to sway extreme liberal and socialist groups to his side, in a sick effort to ride his story of political oppression to freedom.
[Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pennsylvania, 15th District, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton] We have a death penalty statute in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania precisely because of cases like this one.
[Reporter, Book TV, C-Span 2] Former Black Panther Party member and deathrow inmate, Mumia Abu Jamal, discusses his book, “Jailhouse Lawyers,” about prisoners defending other prisoners in the U.S. court system.
[PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE U.S.A.]
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] He forces us to come to terms with the depths of the crisis of the American Empire, and how do you create some awakening?
[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] This is what he said about his own book; his words.
[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyers”] This is the story of law, learned not in the ivory towers of multi-billion dollar-endowed universities …
[Howard McNair, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyers”] Surrounded by neatly kept lawns, and served by the poor, who clean, sweep, and wash their cares away!!
[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyers”] It is law learned in the bowels of the slave ship, in the hidden, dank, dark dungeons of America: the prisonhouse of nations.
[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] That’s Mumia’s words about his book. Well said, Mumia!
[Virginia, Book TV, C-Span 2] Hello, this is Virginia at Labyrinth Books.
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Hello Virginia at Labyrinth Books.
[Crowd] [Shouting and clapping]
[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] You know, I find this book remarkable. And who should read it mostly? Lawyers. All lawyers should read this book, because I think they’d become better lawyers, and more compassionate if they did.
[ON THE PHONE: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, AUTHOR, “JAILHOUSE LAWYERS”]
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Thank you for coming. I know it’s a cold, somewhat snowy night, at least it is in Green County, Pennsylvania. So welcome. This is from the preface of “Jailhouse Lawyers.” I mean, c’mon – seriously! What in the hell is a “jailhouse lawyer”?
[Saro Solis] In “Jailhouse Lawyer,” Abu-Jamal draws a direct and tortuous line from SCI Green in Pennsylvania to Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyer”] In the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, one can see almost the manic glee, reflected in the shiny, white faces of Americans …
[DaJuan Johnson, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyer”] … as they thrill at the abuse, torture and humiliation of stripped Iraqi men.
"18 U.S.C. § 2340A–torture or attempted torture committed outside the United States by a person acting under color of law, where death results. United States jurisdiction under this provision covers offenses where the alleged offender is a U.S. national or where the alleged offender is present in the United States, regardless of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender."
-- Capital Punishment: An Overview of Federal Death Penalty Statutes, by CRS Report for Congress
[Amy Goodman, Journalist] The whole word gasped when we saw the pictures in 2004 of Abu Ghraib, depicting pictures of prisoners tortured by their prison guards. Those guards were U.S. military, like Charles Graner.
[Pranidhi Varshney, reading from Mumia’s “Jailhouse Lawyer”] Only Americans, with their electronic toys, capable of sending digital images abroad, could have outdone the Ba’ath party in depravity and infamy.
[Amy Goodman, Journalist] Well, he got his start at SCI Green where Mumia Abu-Jamal is imprisoned. And what exposed him were the photographs. Just think if we had those photographs back at SCI Green.
[Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild] Mumia knows that. And that is why he is writing books, and speaking out about others’ cases.
[PRISON RADIO: A PROJECT OF THE REDWOOD JUSTICE FUND – MUMIA ABU-JAMAL’S RADIO BROADCASTS]
[BEFORE GUANTANAMO OR ABU-GHRAIB WAS THE BLACK PANTHERS’ SHOUT OUT FOR NORMAL RICHMOND]
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] The roots of Guantanamo, of Abu Ghraib, of Bagram Airforce Base, of U.S. secret torture chambers operating all around the world, are deep in American life.
[Teddy Robinson, Engineer, KPFK, Radio, Los Angeles] Mumia gives me a lot of joy, a lot of empowerment, as we broadcast his voice, because I know it’s going to millions. I know there’s so many people that are tuned in and listening to what he has to say.
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Mumia is a very distinctive kind of celebrity. He’s a celebrity that calls into question the superficiality of most celebrities.
[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] I wanted to go see Mumia for myself. And the next day, I was going to fly on a private jet, going to L.A., hoping vainly, it seemed, that Denzel Washington would win the Academy Award as the starring actor in the movie “The Hurricane.”
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] When you juxtapose Mumia Abu-Jamal with Oprah Winfrey, you know that’s like John Coltrane and Kenny G. You know what I mean? It’s like, good God almighty, you’ve got depth, tremendous sacrifice, willingness to bear any cross – that’s Coltrane, and that’s Mumia Abu-Jamal.
[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] The contrast between the two places were so extreme, because there I was sitting with Mumia, and he was daring to dream from death row.
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Oprah is an entrepreneurial genius, we know that, but thin, superficial, well-adjusted to the injustice of society even as she surfaces.
[Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, CEO, Innocence International] And then the next day, I rode in this private jet to Hollywood, to the plush limousines, the plush suits and dresses, and the empty eyes of Hollywood. Nobody was dreaming there!
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] You never hear her talking about critiques of Wall Street. You never hear her talking about critiques of capital. You never hear her talking about the plight of poor people. You never hear voices on her show that allow that vision to be heard. Never. She is a “success.” American-style.
[“ALL GOVERNMENTS ARE RUN BY LIARS AND NOTHING THEY SAY SHOULD BE BELIEVED.” – I.F. “IZZY” STONE, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST.]
[Todd Burroughs, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University] He’s going to go right next to I.F. Stone, and all the other leftist journalists of the 20th century. And into the 21st century.
[Aya de Leon, Writer, Poet, Professor] I don’t agree with everything that he says, but I know that I can trust that it is uncut and unfiltered in a way in a way that I can’t trust so many other forms of news.
[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] You know, like embedded reporters. They make me want to throw up. Because you are censoring yourself does not mean the news you’re providing is uncensored.
[Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Historian] There’s quite a number of eminent people on the left – I won’t mention names, some of them very, very prominent, and maybe the very top people, too – that go so far about certain things. And they’ve got to flash their anti-communism to maintain their bona fides. Mumia doesn’t do all of that crap.
[Jerry Quickley, Poet, Journalist] I don’t want to go to Doha and live at the press center, and treat whatever press release that came from the White House as though it were a fucking story. That was obscene to me. The stories were out in the streets.
[LETTER FROM THE BIRMINGHAM JAIL, BY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.]
[Linn Washington, Journalist] There’s a lot of journalists who don’t like this guy. Not because they think he’s guilty – a lot of them do – but look at the jealousy factor. Here’s a man who is NSL 23 hours a day, no Internet access, writing everything he does longhand, a person who has authored thousands of commentaries that are broadcast and published all over the world every week. And here’s journalists in America who may get published once every other week, once every other month. “Why is this guy getting so much attention?” Because he’s good at what he does.
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Mumia Abu-Jamal has found his voice, as a blues man in the life of the mind, of a jazz man in the world of ideas.
[Alice Walker, Author] You can sell your soul and not swing, but the music would not be sweet to anyone.
[Anita Johnson, Executive Producer, Hard Knock Radio] The hip hop generation, if anything, they identify with him because of his honesty, as artists, “let’s push the envelope; let’s be truthful; and let’s really talk about what our parents are trying to ignore.
[“THE FIRST LESSON A REVOLUTIONARY MUST LEARN IS THAT HE IS A DOOMED MAN.” – HUEY P. NEWTON, MINISTER OF DEFENSE, THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY]
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] In both dialogues that I had with him, he said over and over again, “I’m a revolutionary because of the love. When you love people, you can’t stand the fact that they’re being treated unjustly.
[Greg Ruggiero, Editor, City Lights Books] I think Mumia would agree with what Che said, and at the risk of sounding ridiculous, “A revolutionary is guided by feelings of love, and for love of the people.”
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] I think that’s really what made him a revolutionary. That’s why he’s a long distance revolutionary. Most revolutionaries are not long distance.
[Juan Gonzalez, Investigative Journalist] What makes Mumia so threatening to many people in the United States is that he is still a revolutionary. And because he has been in jail for so long, the system has not had the opportunity to calm his down.
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Like Eldridge Cleaver for example. He ends up right wing, living in Utah, making men’s clothing. Excuse me. God bless the brother, and god bless his soul, but he was not a long distance revolutionary. And he ends up as not just a counter-revolutionary, but reinforcing the worst of Reaganism, which is a war against poor people and working people. “Eldridge, how did you get over there?” His love is not deep enough.
[Angela Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Activist, Author] For all of these decades, he is a vibrant member of a community of resistance, a community of struggle. As a matter of fact, he’s one of the most important contributors to that community.
[Mumia Abu Jamal, from his essay, “Teachers Baaad”, 2011] Teachers Baaad. According to a number of new governors across the country, the newest boogey-man (and I guess boogey-woman), are teachers, who are portrayed as greedy, selfish, and overpaid. Now, honestly, who better fits that description: teachers or politicians?
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] You’d think that the mic was dead! I was a soldier of the ministry of information, and my weapon was a typewriter. The media, as constituted is an element, a leg, a tool, of white supremacist power. We often operate with the illusion of freedom. We rarely achieve the reality. You have the right of association. You have the right of your political beliefs. Well, of course, you have that right, but the government will penalize you, will chase you, will hound you, will frame you, and if they can, they will kill you.
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] Death row forever. And he comes back stronger than ever.
[Frances Goldin, Mumia’s Literary Agent] He doesn’t do time. He’s using it like no one I have ever met is using it. [Holding back tears]
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] A prison cell, and the U.S. oppressive apparatus can never steal that joy from you.
[Alice Walker, Author] If you cannot have mercy, it is you, you are in prison.
[Cornel West, Princeton University, African American Studies University Professor] If the kingdom of god is within you. Then everywhere you go you leave a little heaven behind. Truth crushed to earth will rise again.
[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] Hey, did we get it all?
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Yeah, we got it all.
[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] All right! Which country do you want to go to when you get out?
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Uh, which ones are there?
[Telephone Operator] You have fifteen seconds left to talk.
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Every one of them: Brazil, Cuba – you know what I mean?
[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] Yep.
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] France.
[Noel Hanrahan, producer of NPR’s “All Things Considered.”] Whoo hoo!
[Mumia Abu-Jamal] Netherlands. You name it. I love everybody.
[Telephone hangs up]
[SHORTLY AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THIS FILM, MUMIA’S DEATH SENTENCE WAS OVERTURNED. HE REMAINS IN PRISON WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. HE CONTINUES TO FIGHT FOR HIS FREEDOM]
A Call to Action
The choice, as every choice, is yours:
to fight for freedom or be fettered,
to struggle for liberty or be satisfied with slavery,
to side with life or death.
Spread the word of life far and wide.
Talk to your friends, read, and open your eyes --
even to doorways of perception you feared
to look into yesterday.
Hold your heart open to the truth.
-- Death Blossoms: Reflections From a Prisoner of Conscience, by Mumia Abu-Jamal
WRITTEN, DIRECTED & EDITED BY STEPHEN VITTORIA
PRODUCED BY KATYANA FARZANRAD, NOELLE HANRAHAN AND STEPHEN VITTORIA
CINEMATOGRAPHY & EDITOR: ERIK SORENSEN
MUSIC WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY ROBERT GUILLORY
SOUND DESIGN & RE-RECORDING MIXER: DINO HERRMANN
CO-PRODUCER: RIKKI JARRETT
PRODUCTION DESIGN: ADAM REDNER
8MM PHOTOGRAPHY: SKYE BORGMAN
LOCATION SOUND MIXERS: ED NOVICK, BENJAMIN S.L. WONG, JOHNPAUL GOLASKI, MAX COOKE
ADDITIONAL FIELD PRODUCERS (NEW YORK & PHILADELPHIA): DREW WILLIAMS, MARISSA COSTIDIS, SHANNON VITTORIA
ADDITIONAL CAMERA & LIGHTING: ALEX LEVIN, CHRISTOPHER BAUER, SKYE BORGMAN, RAY DOMINGUEZ, CHRISTOPHER SAVAGE
LONDON CREW: CREATIONVIDEO LTD.; MARK SLOCOMBE, PRODUCER; DAVID STEVEN LEE, LIGHTING CAMERAMAN
TELEPROMPTING LOS ANGELES: PC PROMPTING, STEVE GRAHAM
TELEPROMPTING SAN FRANCISCO: RALPH KELLIHER
STUDIO SERVICES: MAD DOG VIDEO (NORTH HOLLYWOOD); ERIC BOURGOUJIAN; MIKE JORDAN
ART DIRECTION SERVICES: JEREMY CLAUSON; HISTORY FOR HIRE (NORTH HOLLYWOOD)
DRIVER: CHRIS FARZANRAD
MOTION GRAPHICS: DESIGNPATH
ASSISTANT EDITOR: COLIN ARCHDEACON
DIALOGUE EDITOR: CINEHYTE INC.
ADDITIONAL SOUND DESIGN: FRANCOIS BLAIGNAN
TROY ALCENDOR PLAYED MUMIA (IN THE CELL)
BRANDY SCOTT PLAYED MUMIA’S MOTHER & AUDREA
SYDNEY BLOOM PLAYED MUMIA’S DAUGHTER
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ARTWORK: SETH TOBOCMAN, ERIK DROOKER, MAC MCGILL, ANGELA BOCAGE, MENIRA GILDEN
BLACK PANTHER ARTWORK: EMORY DOUGLAS
ANIMATION: DMITRY BORISOV
PANELS FROM “THE GREAT MIGRATION” BY JACOB LAWRENCE © 2011 THE JACOB AND GWENDOLYN LAWRENCE FOUNDATION, SEATTLE ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK
“EL CORREDOR DE LOS SILENCIADOS”, RICARDO SAMANIEGO MENDOZA: PROJECT & IMPLEMENTATION; HELENA MOGUEL SAMANIEGO: RESEARCH & VISUAL ARGUMENT
RESEARCH: MICHELE AWEEKY, SHANNON VITTORIA, KIRA LIPP
SPANISH TRANSLATIONS: ISABEL MORA, NATALIE VASQUEZ
PRISON RADIO STAFF: CAROLE SELIGMAN, MILES MONTABANO, EMMA SHAW CRANE, JUSTIN FIELKOW, KATRINA FULLMAN, JOHN JUDGE, JOANNE CABELLO, ALLI STARR, SHAWN BERRY
INTERVIEWS: MICHAEL AFRICA, PAM AFRICA, RAMONA AFRICA, MICHELLE ALEXANDER, TARIQ ALI, LYDIA BARASHANGO, TERRY BISSON, HEIDI BOGHOSIAN, GREG BRIDGES, GABRIEL BRYANT, TODD STEVEN BURROUGHS, STU BYKOFSKY, TAMEKA CAGE, DR. RUBIN “HURRICANE” CARTER, RAMSEY CLARK, JAMES H. CONE, BENJAMIN CUOZZO, ANGELA DAVIS, AYA DE LEON, EMORY DOUGLAS, BARBARA COX EASLEY, ANN ERPINO, GIANCARLO ESPOSITO, JOHANNA FERNANDEZ, GLEN FORD, FRANCES GOLDIN, JUAN GONZALEZ, AMY GOODMAN, DICK GREGORY, BARIKI HALL, LAKOTA HARDEN, TANAY HARRIS, ANITA JOHNSON, C. CLARK KISSINGER, SONALI KOLHATKAR, GLORIA LARIVA, DAVID LINDORFF, WELDON MCWILLIAMS, TED NACE, MUTULU OLUGBALA/MI, MICHAEL PARENTI, JERRY QUICKLEY, TEDDY ROBINSON, GREG RUGGIERO, REGGIE SCHELL, MARK LEWIS TAYLOR, JOEY VENTO, ALICE WALKER, LINN WASHINGTON, CORNEL WEST, DAVID ZIRIN
NARRATORS & READINGS: RUBY DEE, AHSABI MONIQUE BURRIS, LORIN BECKER, MARTHA BOLES, VANESSA BORN, RODNEY CHARLES, MYLES CRANFORD, ERIC DAVIS, GERALD EMERICK, ADRIAN GERMANY, SHEILA GRENHAM, ELIJA HALL, RACHEL HASTING, DAJUAN JOHNSON, HOWARD MCNAIR, CHRISTINA MOSES, MARQUES RAY, EARTHA ROBINSON, RACHEL ROBINSON, HALIMA SCOTT, TEJAH SIGNORI, SARO SOLIS, CORNELIOUS SWOPE, JIM UNDERDOWN, PRANIDHI VARSHNEY
ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE & IMAGES: TEMPLE URBAN ARCHIVE, NATIONAL ARCHIVE, PRISON RADIO, PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, FOOTAGE BANK, ALL AGES PRODUCTIONS/TED PASSON, BERLIN FREE MUMIA COALITION, POND 5, 3 FOOTAGE, CRITICAL PAST, BUYOUT FOOTAGE, C-SPAN, DEMOCRACYNOW!, BLACK PANTHER ARCHIVE/IT’S ABOUT TIME, CHRIS MEIER, ARLETTE STUIP, KHALIL BENDIB, ANNETTE SCHIFFMANN, CLAUDE GUILLAUMAUD-PUJOL, DEEP DISH TV, PEOPLES VIDEO NETWORK, J.C. ALSTON FAMILY MOVIES, ALAN LIGHT, DOUGLAS BROWN
“BLACK AND BLUE” FOOTAGE: COURTESY OF LAMAR WILLIAMS & HUGH KING
“MOVE: CONFRONTATION IN PHILADELPHIA”, A FILM BY KAREN POMER & JANE MANCINI, © TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
EXCERPTS FROM THE EXCLUSIVE MUMIA INTERVIEW COURTESY OF THE OTMOOR PRODUCTIONS FILM
“MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: A CASE FOR REASONABLE DOUBT”, DIRECTOR JOHN EDGINTON
FULL INTERVIEW AVAILABLE ON THE DVD http://WWW.OTMOORPRODUCTIONS.COM
1989 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW: COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER BRATTON
1995 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW: COURTESY OF TOM FILMYER
1996 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW: KAOS KUNST ARCHIVE, GERMANY
1996 MUMIA ABU-JAMAL INTERVIEW (LAST VIDEOTAPED INTERVIEW): INTERVIEWERS: MONICA MOOREHEAD & LARRY HOLMES; CAMERA: KEY MARTIN; COURTESY OF PEOPLES VIDEO NETWORK
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL PRISON PHOTOGRAPHY: LOU JONES, JENNIFER BEACH, NOLAN EDMONSON, APRIL SAUL
BLACK PANTHER PARTY PHOTOGRAPHY: ILKA HARTMANN – http://WWW.ILKAHARTMANN.COM
, IT’S ABOUT TIME
“MURDER INCORPORATED” SESSIONS (2007): COURTESY OF STREET LEGAL CINEMA
AUDIO RECORDING SESSIONS & PHOTOS FROM DEATH ROW: COURTESY OF PRISON RADIO AND NOELLE HANRAHAN, http://WWW.PRISONRADIO.ORG
COLOR BY FILMLOOK (BURBNAK): DA VINCI COLORIST: ALLEN KELLY
LABORATORY SERVICES: SMV COMPLETE MEDIA (SANTA MONICA), DUART FILM & VIDEO (NEW YORK), VTI (BOSTON), PRO8MM (BURBANK)
SHOT WITH PANSONIC DVCPRO-HD CAMERAS, 8MM FILM CAMERA: CANON 514 XL, FILM STOCK: PRO8/19,PRO8/70, CRANE: ALAN GORDON ENTERPRISES (HOLLYWOOD)
EDITED ON FINAL CUT PRO
LEGAL SERVICES: MICHAEL DONALDSON, DONALDSON & CALLIF
INSURANCE SERVICES: HEFFERNAN INSURANCE, ALLISON PARSHALL
MUMIA ABUL-JAMAL EXCERPTS FROM THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:
LIVE FROM DEATH ROW
ADDISON-WESLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY
© 1995 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
SOUTH END PRESS
© 1996 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
ALL THINGS CENSORED
SEVEN STORIES PRESS
© 2000 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL AND NOELLE HANRAHAN
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
AFRICA WORLD PRESS, INC.
© 2003 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
WE WANT FREEDOM
SOUTH END PRESS
© 2004 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
CITY LIGHTS BOOKS
© 2009 BY MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
“MIDNIGHT SPECIAL” (TRADITIONAL), PERFORMED BY HUDDIE WILLIAM LEDBETTER, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS RECORDINGS
“SPIRIT IN THE SKY”, WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY NORMAL GREENBAUM, COURTESY OF TRANSTONE PRODUCTIONS
“ROCKS THA WORLD”, MUMIA 911, FRANK SOSA, PRODUCER, REALIZED MUSIC
“SOCIETY”, PERFORMED BY EDDIE VEDDER, WRITTEN BY JERRY HANNAN, COURTESY OF MONKEY WRENCH/RCA RECORDINGS, BY ARRANGEMENT WITH SONY MUSIC LICENSING
It's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won't be free
Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
'Cause when you have more than you think
You need more space
Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me
There's those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more how're you keeping score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you're starting from the top, you can't do that
Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me
SPECIAL THANKS: ANSWER COALITION; BRIAN BECKER; IAN THOMPSON; ANTHONY ARNOVE; BARUCH COLLEGE, CUNY; CHARLES L. BLOCKSON AFRO-AMERICAN COLLECTION; ERICA BRIDGEMAN; KELLY CARLIN; CENTER FOR INQUIRY WEST; JAMES UNDERDOWN; MARTHA CONLEY; CARRIE CORE; KIM DELGADO; DEMOCRACYNOW!; KRISTEN DEVLIN; TIM DILLARD; ALAN GORDON ENTERPRISES; EDUCATORS FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL; THE ELLA BAKER CENTER, OAKLAND; LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI & CITY LIGHTS BOOKS; ELLEN FREUND; NICK FURRIS; KIM FURST; GENO’S STEAKS, PHILADELPHIA; ROSALIND GODDARD; CLAUDE GUILLAUMAUD-PUJOL; AARON HARPER; RON HARRIS; SUE HARRIS, PEOPLES VIDEO NETWORK; APRIL HAYES; JANET HICKS; ERIK JACOBSEN; BILLY X. JENNINGS; EMILY KIRSCH; PETER KLEINERT-TRALAU; KEN KLONSKY; LEDA KNEE-GUINE; KPFA-FM BERKELEY; KPFK-FM LOS ANGELES; JOYCE LIEBERMAN, WHYY-FM PHILADELPHIA; DARYL & JAMIE LIGGINS; LOS ANGELES CITY COLLEGE; LOS ANGELES CITY COLLEGE LIBRARY; MALCOLM MARSHALL & THE STAR PEOPLE; NICOLE MARTIN; MARK MCMAHON; MARK MCPHERSON; CHRIS MEIER; RAPHAEL MOGUE; ALBERTO MORENO; DENIS MOYNIHAN; BRENDA MURAD; NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD; SUSAN NOVICK; TED PASSON; MATTHEW PERELMAN, MAC ENTHUSIASTS; NICK PETERS; ANDREW PHILLIPS; SUSAN RICKETTS; MARY ANN RODRIGUEZ; JEFF ROSEN; BILL SIEMERING; FRANK SOSA; SAM STOLOFF; NEIL TANNER; TEMPLE UNIVERSITY; SABINE TRUNZER; JIM TULLIO; WALTER TURNER; JULIA WRIGHT; MICHAEL YOSHIDA
LONG DISTANCE REVOLUTIONARY: A JOURNEY WITH MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
“We were blessed by the prisoner who knew how to be free.” – Lucinda Williams
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