George Jackson University            

Long Live The Dragon

              "All power to the people who don't fear freedom"

As a small child my parents wanted land so we moved to a small farm 45 minutes from Baltimore Maryland. Farm life required a level of self reliance. Anything that could be found in an urban community was not there. For example the nearest grocery store, fire and police departments were 20 minutes away. I experienced two forms of racism living there. One was direct (KKK), my school bus would pass their rally from time to time. When I first moved,  there was stuffed animal tied to a tree with a note "the best nigga is a dead nigga." After that my father stayed outside at night armed. The second form of racism was subtle, but was a more difficult to fight. This was an institutional racism and bigotry. The school curriculum showed people who where white with positive attributes and achievements throughout history. When a person of color was mentioned in class there were little or no achievements that any man or woman could respect. The effect of this type of "schooling" was that students who were white were uplifted while students of color felt the opposite.

As a early teen my house burned down and I lost my father and house. My relatives took me in. Most of my family lived in east Baltimore. This is where I saw the second form of racism in full affect. In east Baltimore there was widespread poverty, violence, and police harassment. The most visible and direct form of institutional racism was the police. They treated the people in the community with contempt. The formation of the police resembled an occupying army. Approximately 50% of young men and are in jail, on parole or probation. As one result of this gestapo type of policing, many men in the community are barred from employment that can match the cost of living in the community. Its a brutal cycle, without employment or land, a lot if men use underground economies for survival and to pay rent.

I am not sure the first time I heard his name, but I knew as a teen that Huey P Newton was a man whose life was to be respected. Unlike a lot of popular black activist who operated in rural south, Huey and the Black Panther Party operated in an urban setting and dealt with a lot the same issues.

In my late teens I made the decision to protect my family by any means and I was incarcerated. While I was incarcerated I heard of a prison movement within the jail, and as always that second form of racism was present.  Any type of social movement was harassed by corrections officials. There I saw more of how this type of bigotry effected people of color. Corrections officers could inflict violence anytime without fear of reprisal or disciplinary measures by the State.  

In 2001 I joined NBPP DC chapter under Prince Najee Muhammad. This is where I was introduced to Black Nationalism and Pan Afikanism. In 2005 I helped organize the Millions More March. In 2006 I was part of the protection detail for Malik Zulu Shabazz while he defended the rights of a woman that was raped at Duke University. During the same year I was involved in an embassy protest as well. 2008 was my last active year in NBPP.

In 2010 I was involved in the TRUCE movement (True Revolution Uniting Colors Everywhere). The TRUCE movement's objective is to unit gang members for the empowerment of their communities. The TRUCE movement held monthly lectures and workshops for incarcerated people and act as a liaison between the incarcerated and faith based organizations.

I am a current member of the Jericho Amnesty Movement. The Jericho movement's objective is to bring awareness to the plight of political prisoners. Traditionally the objective directed to individuals who were part of social movements in the 60s and 70s. Currently we are trying to bring awareness to prisoners of consciousness.

I am also a member of Black August Memorial Commemoration Committee (BAMCC). The objective of BAMCC is to preserve and promote the observance of Black August within the New Afrikan community.

I am also a current member of the Ujima People's Progress Party (UPP). This party is working hard to both make history and make change a reality for citizens throughout the state. UPP is here to reflect the issues of the working class, Afrikan people,and poor people state wide. The platform of the party encompasses both economic and social justice.

In struggle your Komrade

Rafiki Jemel

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