August 21, 2014, marks the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of our beloved Comrade George Lester Jackson. Here are more quotes from his two books; the first was the bestseller, Soledad Brother: the Prison Letters of George Jackson and Blood In My Eye, published after his death. It’s remarkable that these statements are as pertinent today as they were 43 years ago, perhaps more so.
Monday, August 25, 2014
"Iola," Princess of the Press: The Story of Feminist Anti-Lynching Crusader, Ida B. Wellls-Barnett, by Kiilu Nyasha
"I then began an investigation of every lynching I read about. By 1893, over a thousand Black men, women and children had been hanged, shot and burned to death by white mobs in America."
A tireless champion of her people, Ida B. Wells was the first of eight children born to Jim and Elizabeth Wells in Mississippi in 1862, six months before chattel slavery was ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. Her parents, who had been slaves, were able to support their children because Elizabeth was an excellent cook and Jim a skilled carpenter. But when Ida was only 16, her parents and youngest sibling died of Yellow Fever during an epidemic. In keeping with the strength and fortitude she demonstrated throughout her remarkable life, Ida took responsibility for raising her six younger siblings with her grandmother’s help. Educated at nearby Rust College, a school run by white missionaries, Ida was forced to drop out; she got a full-time teaching job by lying about her age, and spent weekends washing, ironing and cooking for her large family.
Wells eventually moved to Memphis, Tenn., where she taught school in a small town called Woodstock and continued her education by attending Fisk University and Lemoyne Institute during the summers.
Friday, August 1, 2014
George Jackson was a unifying force who fought to transform the gangster mentality into a revolutionary one. KRON-4 aired a special program in October labeled “Day of the Gun.” The “day” was Aug. 21, 1971, when George Lester Jackson, three prison guards and two inmate trustees were killed.
As one of countless people who knew and loved George, I found the title itself offensive. How would you feel if your loved one had been murdered by gunshot and the day of his death symbolized by the weapon of destruction, not the human tragedy, the loss of life?