More than 75 essays—many freshly composed by Mumia with the cartridge of a ball-point pen, the only implement he is allowed in his death-row cell—embody the calm and powerful words of humanity spoken by a man on Death Row. Abu-Jamal writes on many different topics, including the ironies that abound within the U.S. prison system and the consequences of those ironies, and hiMore than 75 essays—many freshly composed by Mumia with the cartridge of a ball-point pen, the only implement he is allowed in his death-row cell—embody the calm and powerful words of humanity spoken by a man on Death Row. Abu-Jamal writes on many different topics, including the ironies that abound within the U.S. prison system and the consequences of those ironies, and his own case. Mumia's composure, humor, and connection to the living world around him represents an irrefutable victory over the "corrections" system that has for two decades sought to isolate and silence him.
The title, All Things Censored, refers to Mumia's hiring as an on-air columnist by National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," and subsequent banning from that venue under pressure from law and order groups....more
Paperback, 336 pages
June 5th 2001
by Seven Stories Press
(first published 2000)
As far as I’m concerned America has never been a place, especially for minorities, for where dreams are achieved, it’s has been nothing short of illusions in which people have been fooled by it’s rhetoric about freedom, democracy, and prosperity for all. Few books that I’ve read so eloquently highlight the injustices of this country than Mumia Abu-Jamal’s "Live from Death Row", and "All Things Censored".
It’s amazing that Mumia, who has spent over twenty years on death row, can so eloquently criAs far as I’m concerned America has never been a place, especially for minorities, for where dreams are achieved, it’s has been nothing short of illusions in which people have been fooled by it’s rhetoric about freedom, democracy, and prosperity for all. Few books that I’ve read so eloquently highlight the injustices of this country than Mumia Abu-Jamal’s "Live from Death Row", and "All Things Censored".
It’s amazing that Mumia, who has spent over twenty years on death row, can so eloquently critique the history and current affairs of this country, writing from inside the death row walls of what he calls hell.
In one of his essays on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Mumia writes:
"The system used the main nonviolent themes of Martin Luther King’s life to present a strategy designed to protect its own interests—imagine the most violent nation on earth, the heir of India and African genocide, the only nation ever to drop an atomic bomb on a civilian population, the world’s biggest arms dealer, the country that napalmed over ten million people in Vietnam to “save” it from communism, the world’s largest jailer, waving the corpse of King, calling for nonviolence!"
This essay was written before 2001. Just think what Mumia would say about America under Bush, and even Obama! (Incidentally, most of these essays only saw the light of publication because they were audio recorded as Mumia read them behind glass to one of, I think, his lawyers. After the publication of these essays, he was punished with disciplinary action for “writing and conducting the business or profession of journalism.”(!) Read the book to find out more about this. I can’t even do it justice, for it’s so bizarre.)
I read "Live from Death Row" back in 1996 when it was first published. The eloquence of his writing, reportage and analysis was something very rare back then. Not since reading the essays of James Baldwin had I been so moved and so angry after reading that book. I purchased "All Things Censored" a few years later when it came out, but it languished on my bookshelf unread. I’m not sure why I never read it, but I finished it tonight, and again, I’m simply amazed by the insight and the ability of Mumia to write so truthfully.
Mumia doesn’t write in generalizations. Despite, I’m sure, of his lack of access to reading material in the hell hole of prison, and his only source to the outside being television and maybe a newspaper now and then, this writer can do more in a two-page essay to pinpoint the political injustices of this country than entire books on the subjects he writes about.
It’s sad that so many people in this, the most technologically and materially richest country in the world, are systemically ignorant, arrogant, naive, and just damned frightened to open their eyes to the contradictions that pollute this nation.
Well over two million people are now incarcerated in this country—costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year and the federal government $5 billion more. The sky rocketing bill for California’s Three Strikes legislation has come and the state can’t afford to pay it. All this is a direct result of the conservative ideology of this country that use retribution and revenge as a way of marginalizing people who can’t toe the line, rather than restoration and social reconciliation (this analysis taken from Mumia’s essay about Japan’s criminal justice system) to bring about a more just society.
It’s quite telling that in a country with so many esteemed universities, so many books published, and so much wealth, it can’t (no, it won't—refuses!) figure how to build beloved communities of social justice and economic equality. It can’t do it because of greed, racism, and sheer ignorance.
If you want to be awakened from the illusions of this country, you can can start by reading "Live on Death Row" and "All Things Censored". ...more
A collection of essays from previous volumes, this book covers a lot of ground on a lot of subjects. Mumia Abu Jamal's prose is poetic and incisive with deep humanity. His perpective as a death row inmate, informed by his depth of study and knowledge on African-American heritage and issues, combines with his journalistic training to give a potent voice in today's American wilderness. To anyone who has yet to become familiar with his work, I say pick up this book!
A book for my "Political Violence and Revolution" class in college. This one has made a lasting impact. I have gone online to look at both sides of this story, and on the other side is a family who lost a loved one. It's sad. I think there is good evidence that Mumia didn't receive a fair trial, but I also think there's some good evidence that he did in fact commit the crime or was an accomplice. No matter what, the book is one that stayed with me and it's a "thinking" book, that's for sure.
EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! essay's and stories from death row. this man is a genius. follow this guy into the fire... FUCK THE US GOV'T! FUCK THE COPS! FREE MUMIA! FREE PELTIER! FREE TIBET! FREE PALISTINE! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! OPEN THE BORDERS! END POLICE BRUTALITY, FIGHT BACK! FIGHT IMPERIALISM! EL VIVE CHE! VIVA ZAPATA! VIVA GERONIMO! VIVA POPEY! VIVA EZLN! FZLN! BLACK PANTHERS! MOVE! AFRICA UNITE!
If I remember correctly, this is a collection of essays that Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote for public radio. I think he was going to read them over the phone and they were going to be played on National Public Radio. But somehow this plan became controversial and the idea was nixed. Maybe by this point these essays have been broadcast, but it was all quite a mess at the time.