With all the recent attention on Ferguson and the death of Mike Brown, I hope we activist do not get lost in this single story (however important it may be) and forget to make all the connections. Seeing the big picture is what’s most important. What happened to Mike Brown is only a small variation of what happened to Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Reynaldo Cuevas, Ramarley Graham and many others. Black men are falling victim to police murders as more and more our communities of color are being over-policed and Blacks and Latinos continue to be greatly overrepresented in prisons. We are dealing with a systemic problem. Mass incarceration. Over policing. Vicious cops. And white supremacy.
There are a couple great books that take a critical look at what’s going – again, making connections and seeing the big picture – not the least among such books is Angela Davis’ Abolition Democracy. Abolition Democracy is a small but powerful book of an interview with Angela Davis where she explains her thoughts on racism, police brutality, capitalism (particularly the way prisons make profit) and prison abolition (the idea that we can create a world without prisons). In this book Angela Davis’ poses prison abolition as the solution to mass incarceration and police violence.
Don’t think we can have a world without cops and jails? This video shows Angela Davis speaking about the possibilities which are explored in her books.
Angela Davis' Abolition Democracy will soon be available in the Pens Up Press Bookstore. Subscribe now to get emailed when the store goes live and get a discount.
Books by Jill Scott…
The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott
Jill Scott: The Light Of The Sun
These and much more will soon be available online at the Pens Up Press Bookstore. Sign up to hear about the store’s launch and get a discount.
Shameless plug: If you are in the New York area check out Uproar Poetry. Here are some of the writing circles we are doing this week. All Uproar Poetry events are FREE and open to the public…
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
-Frederick Douglass (Speech on the twenty-fourth anniversary of emancipation in Washington. D.C.)
The black unicorn is impatient.
‘The black unicorn was mistaken
for a shadow or symbol
through a cold country
where mist painted mockeries
of my fury.
It is not on her lap where the horn rests
but deep in her moonpit
The black unicorn is restless
the black unicorn is unrelenting
the black unicorn is not
Enjoy this video of a public reading and community discussion of Jamal Joseph’s book, Black Panther Baby, at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore.
Jamal Joseph was one of the Panther 21 and Black Panther Baby is a book about his involvement in the Black Panthers as a fifteen-year-old boy during the late 1960s.
Sister’s Uptown Bookstore is a black-owned bookstore in washington heights. This store is a site for community and a cultural hub. You can find out more about it at http://sistersuptown.ning.com/
Jamal Joseph’s Black Panther Baby will soon be available in the Pens Up Press online bookstore. Subscribe now to receive a notification when the bookstore goes live.