Tag Archives: Mumia Abu Jamal


how you live by vagabond © (for mumia)

how you live
(for mumia)
“the state would rather give me an uzi than a microphone”
– mumia abu-jamal

it was decided somewhere
that i was something to fear
my existence
makes them uncomfortable
they didn’t like
what i had to say
they pictured me
killing a cop
and framed it
to hang above
an electric chair
on death row
thinking they could
muzzle me like a dog
with fear of death

but i live my life
behind the walls
behind the locks
behind the doors
behind the guards
23 solitary hours a day
with an hour outside
also alone
it seems my voice
instills fear in them still
with all that power
they still fear
a man in a cell
with a voice

in court
i forced them
to take down
the framed picture of me
hanging over the electric chair
and that scared them
even more
so they conspired hep c for me
and refuse to treat me
putting the picture
over my prison hospital bed
there’s more than one way
to kill a man
they fail to realize
that it’s not
how you die
but how you live

-vagabond ©

Note: April being poetry month i wanted to challenge myself to have a poem with an accompanying piece of art for each day of the month posted here in this space… Today being the birthday of celebrated author and journalist US held political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal i decided today’s art and poem would be for him… Share what you like… both online and off…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1MD


Abu Jamal 59

Saint Mumia by vagabond ©
Saint Mumia by vagabond ©

Sometime in the Spring of 1997, RICANSTRUCTION recorded a song for Mumia Abu Jamal for their first full length album Liberation Day. The song soon became an anthem for the movement to free Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia is the US held political prisoner wrongly convicted for the death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9 of 1981. For the next 30 years Mumia was held in isolation on Death Row. An international campaign managed to pressure the Philadelphia District Attorney to give up appeals for Mumia’s death but he remains in prison serving a life sentence without parole. Although he’s no longer on Death Row the campaign to free him continues…

Abu Jamal EP by RICANSTRUCTION (cover design by Sam Lahoz www.slny.net)
Abu Jamal EP by RICANSTRUCTION (cover design by Sam Lahoz http://www.slny.net)

In 1999 RICANSTRUCTION re-released Abu Jamal as a benefit EP with the Abu Jamal Artu-Rican Re-Mix. They also released two other new tracks Slavery Daze and Asesino and a blistering and apropos cover of Abel Meeropol’s Strange Fruit made famous by Billie Holiday. In honor of Mumia’s 59th birthday RICANSTRUCTION has once again made Abu Jamal available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Rdio, X-Box Music, Rhapsody and eMusic.

Happy Birthday Mumia, may your next one be in freedom!!!

For more information on the international campaign to Free Mumia Abu jamal click here…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-12w

A Song Of Resistance For Mumia

Abu Jamal EP Single by RICANSTRUCTION cover design by Sam Lahoz
Abu Jamal EP Single by RICANSTRUCTION cover design by Sam Lahoz

“People say they don’t care about politics, they’re not involved or don’t get involved, but they are. Their involvement just masquerades as indifference or inattention. It is the silent acquiescence of the millions that supports the system. When you don’t oppose a system, you silence becomes your approval, for it does nothing to interrupt the system. People use all sorts of excuses for their indifference. They even appeal to God as shorthand route for supporting the status quo. They talk about law and order. But look at the system, look at the present social “order” of society. Do you see God? Do you see law and order? There is nothing but disorder, and instead of law there is the illusion of security. It is an illusion because it is built on a long history of injustices: racism, criminality, and the enslavement and genocide of millions. Many people say it is insane to resist the system, but actually it is insane not to.” – Mumia Abu Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award winning journalist who spent 29 years of his life on death row for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. It’s a crime Mumia didn’t commit. Mumia was a journalist who used his journalism as a voice for the downtrodden and the oppressed, for those without a voice. And the real reason that Mumia was framed for the murder of Daniel Faulkner is because those in power, those who do the oppressing needed to find a way to silence him. It’s been difficult silencing Mumia. People all over the world speak on his behalf. People like Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Danny Glover, TalibKwali, Mos Def, Dead Prez, Chuck D Angela Davis, Ward Churchill, the European Parliament, Amnesty International, the NAACP, the Black Caucus of the US Congress, and millions of other people who have fought and continue to fight for Mumia. Those who want Mumia silent have even found it difficult to silence Mumia himself. He has continued to be a journalist from prison, writing articles and recording commentaries on current events.

In December the movement to free Mumia garnered a victory over the state of Pennsylvania which chose not to seek the death penalty but wants Mumia in prison for the rest of his life. Although Mumia’s life no longer hangs in the balance his freedom is something that we still need to work towards. To join in that campaign and to see what you can do visit www.freemumia.com.

Today is Mumia’s birthday. He is 58 years old. In 1995 the NYC based Puerto Rican Hardcore Punk, Reggae, Be-bop, Salsa, Hip-hop band RICANSTRUCTION wrote a protest song for Mumia. It’s called Abu Jamal… the song was released as a single from their first album Liberation Day. Abu Jamal also features three other tracks only available on the Abu Jamal single EP – Slavery Daze, Asesino (Assassin) and a blistering rendition of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit… Do you see a connection between these songs? Abu Jamal, Asesino (Assassin), Slavery Daze and Strange Fruit? If you don’t you aren’t looking…

Abu Jamal
freedom’s bound in the underground in his martyr’s rags and thorny crown
in the stinking hell of a death row cell
where the loudest voice never makes a sound
and he waking indecision in a pennsylvania prison
and he wailing through the silence
where corruption speaks throughout the tongue of violence

Mumia Abu Jamal come to you alive from death row

freedom sits on the precipice as injustice chews and dishonor spits
in the rotting shell of the liberty bell
where the law consumes and his honor shits
still the voiceless scream stop it
never kill another prophet
pick your choice of constitution
you can die this way or begin revolution

lyrics by Not4Prophet

You can get Abu Jamal at iTunes… and other online stores and use it as a tool, use it to start a conversation, use it to help free Mumia…

Shortlink: – http://wp.me/p1eniL-Ie

“Free Mumia” – MLK

Saint Mumia by vagabond ©
Saint Mumia by vagabond ©

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“They don’t just want my death, they want my silence.” – Mumia Abu Jamal

In 1982 while driving a cab to supplement his income in order to support his family, Mumia Abu Jamal came across an altercation that his brother was having with police officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia got out of his cab and tried to help his brother and in the process someone shot both police officer Daniel Faulkner and Mumia. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, the power elites in Philadelphia moved to frame Mumia for the murder of Daniel Faulkner. They first saw Mumia as a threat when he was 15 and the Minister Of Information for the Black Panther Party. Since then Mumia went on to become an award-winning journalist who often exposed the injustice of the power elites much to their chagrin. To say that Mumia’s case and trial was a travesty of justice is a gross understatement. To give just one example, the judge in Mumia’s case was heard saying ‘let’s fry this nigger’ while the case was still being tried.

Let’s be clear about something. Mumia did not do time on death row (his death sentence was recently commuted to life), and is not doing time in prison for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Mumia has done time on death row, is doing time in prison for his politics. Mumia Abu Jamal is a political prisoner.

While corporations from Coca-Cola to Chrysler line up to talk about the diversity programs they support in the name of MLK’s dream, in magazine ads and television and radio commercials designed to tug at the heart-strings and bring a single greasy tear to your eye, Mumia Abu Jamal languishes in a prison… And so while those in power are anxious to speak about how far we’ve come now that America is “post-racial” with its Black president, Mumia Abu Jamal continues to languish in a prison cell… Black president or not Mumia Abu Jamal is serving a life sentence in prison not for killing Daniel Faulkner but because Mumia’s politics stand in defiance of the politics that silenced MLK and the politics that are trying to silence him as well as the politics that are trying to silence anyone of us who stand in defiance to injustice…

Mumia didn’t pull any punches when dealing with racism and poverty and the abuses of power by the elites, in much the same way that Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t pull any punches. If MLK were alive today i’m sure he would see a piece of himself in Mumia. If MLK were alive today he would be leading the charge to free Mumia. The campaign to free  Mumia Abu Jamal is strong, among Mumia’s supporters are Bishop Desmond Tutu, Cornel West and Alice Walker. However we could always use more support in getting Mumia free. So instead of listening to snippets of old recordings of MLK speeches in 30 second commercials, join the campaign to free Mumia… It’s what MLK would have wanted… It’s what MLK would be doing if he were alive today…

To find out how to help Free Mumia click here…

To order some of the books Mumia has written click here…