BY Kijana Tashiri Askari
“Whereas slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States, is none other than a most barbarous, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens upon another portion – the only conditions of which are perpetual imprisonment and hopeless servitude or absolute extermination …” – Preamble to John Brown’s Provisional Constitution, 1858
Since the inception of our first hunger strike in July 2011, I’ve been repeatedly asked, “Why did you risk putting your life on the line and go on all three hunger strikes?” My response has simply been this: We New Afrikans have a historical obligation to protect and serve the people through the crucible of forging a united front by joining forces with ALL like-minded individuals, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. Our historical obligation in particular is rooted in the year 1619 via the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from which the Abolitionist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Liberation Movement and the New Afrikan Independence Movement were spawned.
Our historical obligation has left us with the choice of freedom or death, meaning that it is up to us to go about liberating ourselves from the torturous and oppressive political, social, cultural and economic living conditions that the ruling class has subjugated us to in solitary confinement for the past 40-plus years via U.S. colonial rule. Or we could have accepted the prescribed role of oppressed man and woman for the next 40-plus years, which would have assured our eventual demise! Note: We must never forget all of the women prisoners who courageously stood in solidarity with us.
Our beloved New Afrikan Sista Harriet Tubman clearly understood our historical obligation when she not only liberated herself from the confines of the slave plantation where she was kept but also returned 20 times – despite the danger of being recaptured – via the mutual aid construct of the Underground Railroad to help liberate over 300 of her fellow slaves from the barbaric and diabolical culture of slavery, where rapes and lynchings occurred daily. CONTINUE READING–