From an April 9 audio commentary.
From Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row
John Black presente!
With the passing of John Black of State College, Pennsylvania, passes more then a remarkable man-it is the passing of an era. Black was a anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-Nazi, anti-death penalty, anti-ignorance activist and worked for the working class since his youth in Germany.
During the rise of the Nazis, Black, as a teenager, worked with young anti-fascists and communists in Berlin to oppose the dictator. He posted anti-Nazi slogans at a time when it could have earned him a death sentence. He passed secret communications against the Nazis among anti-fascists throughout the region. When he came to the U.S., he worked tirelessly to help build 1199, the progressive hospital workers union and got tossed into jail frequently for defending the rights of workers.
He was a member of Workers World Party and contributed to the Workers World newspaper especially when it came to historical research and to revolutions and popular struggles.
He was fasinated with the life of people like François-Noël Babeuf, the French revolutionary who helped form the "Conspiracy of Equals" which opposed the authoritarian nature of the five- man directory in the later stages of the revolution. John, despite failing health, continued his reading and research into revolutionary figures and struggles from France, from Indonesia and beyond.
He drew immense inspiration from his brilliant wife, the scholar Dr. Bernice Black and their children. On our visits whenever he mentioned her, I never failed to see a twinkle in his eye, of love and pride.
From his earliest days to his last ones, he was a revolutionary who never forgot as the theme of his radio show use to go, which side he was on. Johns weekly talk show on Penn States WPSU was one of the first places to air my pieces from death row. When university big-wigs demanded that he stop airing them, he refused and his show was canceled.
John Black never forgot which side he was on. He was on the workers side, he was on the oppressed side, he was on the revolutionary side, he was on the peoples' side.
John Black presente. From death row, this Mumia Abu Jamal.
Go to prisonradio.org to hear Mumia's audio commentaries.
Read Mumia Abu-Jamal's books:
WE WANT FREEDOM: A Life in the Black Panther Party
Faith of our fathers: An examination of the spiritual life of African and African American People
Live from Death Row
All Things Censored.
Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370