AFRICANGLOBE – Prisons across the United States are “disproportionately” filled with Black people who are being incarcerated increasingly with solitary confinement, an African-American activist in Georgia says.
“The population in Pennsylvania’s prisons and America’s prisons is disproportionately Black,” said Bruce Dixon, chairman of the Georgia Green Party and managing editor of Black Agenda Report.
“This is a development that really, really ought to worry more of us and that we really ought to pay a lot more attention to and its happening in many places around the country besides Pennsylvania,” Dixon said Monday.
He made the comments after American political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a lawsuit on Monday on the grounds that a new Pennsylvania law is aimed at silencing prisoners.
The Pennsylvania legislature rushed a bill last month that gives unlimited powers to district attorneys and crime victims to silence prisoner speech by claiming that such statements cause victims’ families “mental anguish.”
The “Revictimization Relief Act” was passed after Abu-Jamal delivered a pre-recorded speech to students at Vermont’s Goddard College, his alma mater, which calls him as “an award winning journalist who chronicles the human condition.”
The African-American activist, who graduated from Goddard in 1996, said that his studies at the college provided him an opportunity to learn about important figures in far-off places.
Before his arrest, Abu-Jamal was known for his outspoken political views and commentary on racial injustice and police brutality.
Abu-Jamal joined the Black Panther Party at the age of 15 in May 1969 and helped form the Philadelphia branch of the party. He was a member of the Black Panther Party until October 1970 and was subject to FBI COINTELPRO surveillance from 1969 until about 1974.
The civil rights activist has written several books during his years in prison and continues to protest against his conviction on prisonradio.org.
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