by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cornel West (Foreword by), Julia Wright (Preface by)
In Death Blossoms: Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience Mumia Abu-Jamal, America's best known political prisoner, offers poetic observations and reflections on life on this planet and on death row. In this collection of short essays and personal vignettes, which take on everything from spirituality and religion to capitalism and the prison-industrial complex, Mumia examines the deeper dimensions of existence.
Mumia's ability to celebrate life and advocate for revolutionary change while being held, at the state's convenience, at death's door, imbues his thoughts and words with power and passion. "Many people say it is insane to resist the system, but actually, it is insane not to," he writes in "Politics." In "God-Talk on Phase II" he writes, "On death's brink, men begin to see things they've perhaps never seen before. Like those around them, and especially those who share their fatemen whose death warrants have been signed, men with a date to die-live each day with a clarity and a vibrancy they might have lacked in less pressured times."
Mumia turns this clarity towards his quest for spiritual and social fulfillment drawing connections between religion and race politics. He embraces spirituality while exploring the true nature of the institutions that have sentenced him to die.
"Crucial reading for all opponents of the death penalty-and for those who support it, too."-Katha Pollitt, The Nation
"A brilliant, lucid meditation on the moral obligation of political commitment by a deeply ethical-and deeply wronged-human being. Mumia should be freed, now."-Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
"If Mumia Abu-Jamal has nothing important to say, whyare so many powerful people trying to kill him and shut him up? Read him."-John Edgar Wideman
Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award-winning journalist and former Black Panther Party member, has been living on death row in a Pennsylvania prison since 1982.
It is impossible to escape the irony that a man so impassioned about life has spent the last 15 years on death row. A journalist (Live from Death Row, LJ 5/1/95) and self-described "professional revolutionary" accused of killing a Philadelphia police officer, Abu-Jamal has won international attention for his case. Prison walls, however, have done little to deter his activism. His latest book has a markedly spiritual undertone, as he discusses his views on religion and fellow inmates' thoughts on the subject. In this compilation of over 35 short commentaries and poems, the author questions the validity of Christianity and traces his struggles with religion. In one touching essay, he compares children to acorns, saying that they possess the power to grow into mighty oak trees. Abu-Jamal's words flow like the very sap of those trees, pulsing with energy and capturing the essence of life. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.Erin Cassin, "Library Journal"
Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award-winning journalist, is America's best-known political prisoner. Sentenced with execution, Mumia has lived on Death Row since 1982. Ever since he wrote for the Black Panther Party's national newspaper as a youth, Mumia has reported on the racism and inequity in our society. He soon added radio to his portfolio, eventually recording a series of reports from death row for NPR's All Things Considered. However, NPR, caving in to political pressure, refused to air the programs. Mumia Abu-Jamal is still fighting for his own freedom from prison, and through his powerful voice, for the freedom of all people from inequity.
Paperback: 150 pages