by Karima Amin
Last month, we screened the beginning of “Panthers” (1995). This film, though fictionalized, showed the beginnings of an organization, “The Black Panther Party for Self-defense,” that was organized by a group of young people, stressing racial dignity and self-reliance. In my last article, I viewed this organization as having a place in the long line of liberation movements that largely impacted people of African descent from the Plantation System to the present day. Viewing this film, was our way of acknowledging February being Black History Month and viewing the second half of the film on March 27 reminds us that every month is a time for acknowledging the history and culture of Black people. Given the history of Black people in this country, respectful recognition should happen everyday.
The fight for “prison justice” is an ongoing battle not relegated to a special time. It is intense and necessary. It is hard work to engage a moral imperative. In the second half of this film we see these young people stepping up their efforts to change the gun laws by confronting lawmakers at their State Capital in Sacramento, CA. This is what we will do on May 10 when we speak out in Albany, uniting for Prison Justice in “A Day of Advocacy and Action.” This is “LOBBY DAY” and it will be a day of speaking truth to power. The list of our concerns regarding mass incarceration is extensive. You will find information about the issues that top the list of our concerns at our website. Go to: www.prp2.org. Check the page listing “CURRENT INITIATIVES.” Isolated (solitary) confinement, parole reform, RTA (raising the age of criminal responsibility), and RAPP (releasing aging people from prison) are most concerning at this time. The mass incarceration landscape is formidable. Our concentration on these four issues may only make a dent in a system that denies the humanity of prisoners as well as their families and communities but it is our responsibility to stand up and speak out.
On May 10, PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. will have a bus going to Albany. Stay tuned for details.
The next meeting for PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. will be Monday, March 27, 7:00-9:00pm at the Rafi Greene Center, 1423 Fillmore Ave. @ Glenwood in Buffalo. We will view the second half of “Panthers” (1995) and participate in a follow up discussion regarding the importance and value of organizing for justice. More information: 716-834-8438, firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE: This film is rated R for strong language and violence.
“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)