i have been working for a while on a new web series documentary about Black Unity Council co-founder, Black Panther Party member and Black Liberation Army soldier Russell Maroon Shoatz. He has been a US held political prisoner for over 40 years. i’ve been friends with his son Russell Shoatz for about over ten years now. i first met Russell when i was working with the NYC based Puerto Rican hardcore punk band RICANSTRUCTION. Russell reached out to RICANSTRUCTION to play a benefit for his dad at a punk squat in the Lower East Side of Manhattan called ABCNORIO. We accepted and have been good friends since then.
Not much is known about Russell Maroon Shoatz and i set out to try to see what i could do about that by interviewing Russell Shoatz (the son) about his dad. i went down to Philadelphia thinking i would get a quick 15 minute video interview that could serve as an introduction to Russell Maroon Shoatz and his struggle to get out of prison. What we ended up with is the incredible story of how Russell Maroon Shoatz became a political prisoner and how that affected his family. It would be unbelievable if it weren’t true. The quick 15 minute interview turned into a multi-part web series and this is part one. Over the next few weeks other parts of the story of Russell Maroon Shoatz will be released… It’s an amazing story of strength, love and sacrifice…
In Part One of An Ongoing Cost To Be Free the social and political backdrop of the 60’s and 70’s is set. Black people in America are subject to constant suspicion, abuse, beatings and even murder by the police. Russell Maroon Shoatz is not someone who can stand idly by and let it go on unanswered. He gathers with other like minded men and women in the Black community to take a stand. When a young teenager is shot and killed in front of his mother by the police. A group of Black men decide to retaliate and Russell is among them. A police officer is shot and killed and Russell is forced to go on the run and live a life in clandestinity.
Join the campaign to help free Russell Maroon Shoatz… Check out Russell’s blog on WordPress… www.russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com. Follow Russell on Twitter @RussellMShoatz and connect on Facebook @ Russell Maroon Shoats. Or write to Russell directly at…
Russell Maroon Shoatz
SCI Greene Pennsylvania
175 Progress Dr