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We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party
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We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  161 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In his youth Mumia Abu-Jamal helped found the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party, wrote for the national newspaper, and began his life-long work of exposing the violence of the state as it manifests in entrenched poverty, endemic racism, and unending police brutality and celebrating a people’s unending quest for freedom. In We Want Freedom, Mumia combines perso ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by South End Press (first published May 1st 2004)
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Nov 06, 2008 Ciara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: black panther party scholars, aspiring journalists/radical memoirists, anti-prison activists
i read this a long time ago, so i am working off a foggy memory here, but i recall that i liked it. it's a memoir kind of deal about mumia abu-jamal's time in the black panther party. he got into it at a pretty young age, selling newspapers & such forth. as an insider's account, it avoids a lot of the salacious guns-&-violence crap that a lot of other books about the black panther party focus on, & as a journalist, abu-jamal does a good job weaving the everyday nuts & bolts work- ...more
Jun 15, 2008 Mikal rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: free thinking, forward moving, objective, intelligent people
A life in the Black Panther Party is a great account of the history, ideology and philosophy behind the movement from one of its most famous, and relevant East Coast Members, Mumia Abul Jamal. While being all of sixteen years of age, and literally joining at or near the height of its strength, he offers a comprehensive and sober view of the movement, its policies, flaws and strengths.

The biggest thing I took away from this book, is how skewed the message and realities of the Black Panther Party
Ryan Mishap
Adding another book to the collection of histories about the Black Panthers, Abu-Jamal offers us something not a lot of some others have: personal experience and a successful attempt to place the Panthers in a historical context of black resistance to oppression by the white power structure. This historical exploration is one of the best parts of the book, but my favorite sections deal with his own personal experiences as a young man joining and experiencing the Panthers—from Philadelphia to Cal ...more
This is a great history of the Black Panther Party, Mumia Abu-Jamal's early life, and even a great overview of the history of black resistance movements from the first slave rebellions - which he says the BPP fits into as an integral piece.

Mumia does a great job explaining the origins and philosophies of the party, as well as covering its history succinctly but in a sweeping way that other books have failed to do. There is a chapter on women in the party, which is of mixed quality, but other ch
This is a great, critical, and detailed account of both political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal's life in the Black Panther Party, but also the roots and development of the party itself - the two kind of grew up together. Reveals the true origins of the BPP, integrates them into a continuum of black resistance to colonialism extending back hundreds of years, and also really illuminates the every day reality of a revolutionary group completely tarnished by racist media and government slander. A thorou ...more
Given my familiarity with the subject I can say that it wasn't terribly earth shattering, but at the same time also a very honest and comprehensive look at the historical significance of the Panthers (that one might expect from a writer/thinker such as Mumia). There are certain aspects of the Party's character that he... paints in a positive light, but anybody who can read at a 6th grade level should be able to read between the lines (which I suspect was his intent). Overall I would absolutely r ...more
Required reading for my poli sci class, but I'm sure I would have happened across it at some point as a result of my interest in all things controversial. A very interesting book. Mumia is obviously an educated man, passionate about what he believes in. Now, just waiting on the questions from my professor which will turn into my 4-page mid term.
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
A very good read about the rise of the Black Panther Party and Mumia's experiences in Philly growing up with the Panthers. It was a history I really needed to read as I'd heard a lot about the Panthers but really didn't know much else. This was a very accessible and interesting personal history.
I learned a lot about the Black Panther Party, how they were organized, the different types of programs they had, and why the organization fell apart by reading this book. Mumia is REALLY a great writer and I hope to read some more of his books in the future.
Brotha Nameless
I loved Mumia sharing this perspective on the BPP. Not only does it give a good analysis to the BPP, but it provides info into his earliest period of contributions to the people.
Free Mumia!
Winter Rose
This Is A Well Written Documentary Of The Struggles Of The Freedom Fighters Of The 1960's. Excellent Read!
Ted Heitz
Clearly biased as a man that is seeking relevance and support from behind bars. Skewed interpretations shining a haloed light on a racist organization.
Mujahid Ibn Abdellah
So Far, all that I knew already. How the Brother Huey Newton was an exceptional and amazing indiviual who had the right vision.
gotta read it.
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