We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party

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South End Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 292 pages
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In his youth Mumia Abu-Jamal helped found the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party, wrote for the national newspaper, and began his life-long work of exposing the violence of the state as it manifests in entrenched poverty, endemic racism, and unending police brutality and celebrating a people's unending quest for freedom. In We Want Freedom, Mumia combines personal experience with extensive research to provide a compelling history of the Black Panther Party--what it was, where it came from, and what rose from its ashes. Mumia also pays special attention to the U.S. government's disruption of the organization through COINTELPRO and similar operations.

While Abu-Jamal is a prolific writer and probably the world's most famous political prisoner, this book is unlike any of Mumia's previous works. In We Want Freedom, Abu-Jamal applies his sharp critical faculties to an examination of one of the U.S.'s most revolutionary and most misrepresented groups. A subject previously explored by various historians and forever ripe for "insider" accounts, the Black Panther Party has not yet been addressed by a writer with the well-earned international acclaim of Abu-Jamal, nor with his unique combination of a powerful, even poetic, voice and an unsparing critical gaze. Abu-Jamal is able to make his own Black Panther Party days come alive as well as help situate the organization within its historical context, a context that included both great revolutionary fervor and hope, and great repression. In this era, when the US PATRIOT Act dismantles some of the same rights and freedoms violated by the FBI in their attack on the Black Panther Party, the story of how the Party grew and matured while combating such invasions is a welcome and essential lesson.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chicagofreedom - LibraryThing

We Want Freedom focuses on the men and women who were the Party, as much as on the leadership. By locating the Black Panthers in a struggle centuries old--and in the personal memories of a young man--Mumia Abu-Jamal helps us to understand freedom. Read full review

We want freedom: a life in the Black Panther Party

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this polemic-cum-history, Abu-Jamal,"the world's most famous political prisoner," offers a celebratory look at the origins and accomplishments of the Black Panther Party, of which he was a member ... Read full review

Contents

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY AND THE HISTORY IT SPRANG FROM
1
THE DEEP ROOTS OF THE STRUGGLE FOR BLACK LIBERATION
31
A PANTHER WALKS IN PHILLY
51
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY
65
HUEYS PARTY GROWS
95
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK COINTELPRO
117
A WOMANS PARTY
159
A PANTHERS LIFE
185
ONE TWO MANY PARITES
227
Afterword
247
Photos and Documents
251
Endnotes
269
Bibliography
277
Index
283
About Mumia AbuJamal
293
Copyright

THE SPLIT
205

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About the author (2004)

Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award-winning journalist, is America's best-known political prisoner. Sentenced with execution, Mumia has lived on Death Row since 1982. Ever since he wrote for the Black Panther Party's national newspaper as a youth, Mumia has reported on the racism and inequity in our society. He soon added radio to his portfolio, eventually recording a series of reports from death row for NPR's All Things Considered. However, NPR, caving in to political pressure, refused to air the programs. Mumia Abu-Jamal is still fighting for his own freedom from prison, and through his powerful voice, for the freedom of all people from inequity.

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