This collection of short meditations, written from a prison cell, captures the past two decades of police violence that gave rise to Black Lives Matter while digging deeply into the history of the United States. This is the book we need right now to find our bearings in the chaos."e;--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
[MumiaGÇÖs] writings are a wake-up call. He is a voice from our prophetic tradition, speaking to us here, now, lovingly, urgently.GÇ¥Cornel West
He allows us to reflect upon the fact that transformational possibilities often emerge where we least expect them.GÇ¥Angela Y. Davis
In December 1981, Mumia Abu Jamal was shot and beaten into unconsciousness by Philadelphia police. He awoke to find himself shackled to a hospital bed, accused of killing a cop. He was convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has denounced as failing to meet the minimum standards of judicial fairness.
In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?, Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States. This collection of his radio commentaries on the topic features an in-depth essay written especially for this book to examine the history of policing in America, with its origins in the white slave patrols of the antebellum South and an explicit mission to terrorize the countryGÇÖs black population. Applying a personal, historical, and political lens, Mumia provides a righteously angry and calmly principled radical black perspective on how racist violence is tearing our country apart and what must be done to turn things around.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Death Blossoms, Live from Death Row, All Things Censored, and Writing on the Wall.