[Marxism] Book on Black Panther Party Launched in Cuba

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 21 16:39:38 MST 2007

(Mumia read a strong message to the gathering, in Spanish, which is 
posted in English below. Speakers at the meeting included Sergio
Corriere and Jose Arbesu of the International Relations Department 
of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, as well as
Frances Goldin, Mumia's literary agent who attended and spoke from 
the platform as well.)

Book on Black Panther Party Launched in Cuba

Havana, Feb 19 (ACN) The first Spanish version of the book "We Want
Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party" by Mumia Abu, was
launched Saturday by Cuba's Jose Marti publishing house at the 16th
Book International Fair underway on the island.

For over 25 years Mumia Abu-Jamal's ideas have continued to grow,
becoming more and more defiant and irradiating clarity, despite his
being one of the prisoners who has served the longest time on death
row. Today, Mumia is waiting for a decision by the Pennsylvania
Supreme Court on the case presented by his attorney, who advocates
for the overturning his death sentence.

Mumia was set up. On December 9, 1981, while he drove a taxi in
Philadelphia to earn a living --since his work as a journalistic was
censured-- he was shot and beaten by police officers. A policeman
died at the scene. Eye witnesses have confirmed that the gunshot that
killed the policeman was fired by someone who fled. Nonetheless, the
verdict of guilty was handed down. The police evidently lied when
they alleged his possession of the gun. Racial hate, political
intransigence and judicial manipulation played the other part of the
job: he was sentenced to death on July 3, 1982.

Mumia's real "guilt" is that of thinking as a revolutionary, which
led him to become a member of the Black Panther Party and to
broadcast a controversial and militant talk-show on several radio

His many years of imprisonment have not discouraged him, as he
continues to study and write from death row. One of Mumia's most
well-read books has been translated for the first time into Spanish
and was issued by Cuba's Jose Marti publishing house. The book "We
Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party" was translated by
Luis Alberto Chirino Gamez and revised by the Cuban Association of
Translators and Interpreters (ESTI).

The book is a very serious and objective essay that reveals the
origin, ideology and actions of a political movement that brought
together a considerable segment of the African-American population
demanding social justice and freedom.

Enthusiasm does not lead the author to idealize the organization. 
He also pinpoints the deficiencies, problems and deviations of the

Today, it is known that the FBI implemented the Counterintelligence
Program (COINTELPRO) to destroy the Black Panther Party, and any
activity representing a threat to the foundations of the system.

Mumia's work includes a large number of sources and his testimony. 
He points out that the Black Panther Party had an anti-imperialist
character and was the reflection of a latent state of consciousness
in Black people over several generations. "The Black Panther Party is
a part of history, but not the driving forces behind its creation; we
are waiting for the appropriate time for these to prompt action
again, said Mumia.

Note: To Marianela/Havana Book Fair. Hola, mi hermana! I'm truly
honored to have Cubans read my work. I hope this is helful. -maj

Dear Brothers, Sisters, Friends, Comrades:

It is with true joy that I find I can share this history with Cuban
brothers and sisters.

Cuba, which has inspired so many people, all around the world, is, in
many ways, the parent nation for many of us in the West.

Why would I, an African-American, say something like this?

Wouldn't it make more sense to speak of the American 'revolution' as
the parent revolution for the West?

Those of us who have done the research know that it was a deeply
bourgeois 'revolution', what Jerry Frescia calls 'a baron's revolt.'
It did not extend freedom, despite its proclamations.

For millions of Africans who were enslaved before the 'revolution',
there was no difference in their civil status after the 'revolt.'
These four millions, one ¼ of the U.S. population, remained in

In a sense, the opening chapters of We Want Freedom is devoted to
that story, and the necessity for a true revolution, that has yet to
come to America.

The Black Panther Party is one expression of that social force.

I thank you my brothers and sisters, for your inspiration, and hope
you find something useful in this work.


With revolutionary love,

Mumia Abu-Jamal

We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party.


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