Mumia Abu-Jamal

American political activist and journalist convicted of the murder of a police officer

Mumia Abu-Jamal (born April 24, 1954) is a former Black Panther activist, convicted murderer, and journalist on death row in the United States.


  • The state would rather give me an uzi than a microphone.
    • All Things Censored (2001, Seven Stories Press), p. 21
  • At the risk of quoting Mephistopheles I repeat: Welcome to hell. A hell erected and maintained by human-governments, and blessed by black robed judges. A hell that allows you to see your loved ones, but not to touch them. A hell situated in America's boondocks, hundreds of miles away from most families. A white, rural hell, where most of the captives are black and urban. It is an American way of death.
    • All Things Censored (2001, Seven Stories Press), pp. 55-56
  • Do you see law and order? There is nothing but disorder, and instead of law there is the illusion of security. It is an illusion because it is built on a long history of injustices: racism, criminality, and the genocide of millions. Many people say it is insane to resist the system, but actually, it is insane not to.
    • Death Blossoms (2004, South End Press; Cambridge MA), p. 11
  • I spend my days preparing for life, not preparing for death... They haven't stopped me from doing what I want every day. I believe in life, I believe in freedom, so my mind is not consumed with death. It's with love, life and those things. In many ways, on many days, only my body is here, because I am thinking about what's happening around the world.
    • "I spend my days preparing for life, not for death" The Guardian, Laura Smith (2007-10-25)
  • Politics is the art of making the people believe that they are in power, when in fact, they have none.
  • The media, itself an arm of mega-corporate power, feeds the fear industry, so that people are primed like pumps to support wars on rumor, innuendo, legends, and lies.


  • Once again, my family and I find ourselves being assaulted by the obscenity that is Mumia Abu-Jamal. On Sunday October 5th, my husband's killer will once again air his voice from what masquerades as a prison, and spew his thoughts and ideas at another college commencement. Mumia Abu-Jamal will be heard and honored as a victim and a hero by a pack of adolescent sycophants at Goddard College in Vermont. Despite the fact that 33 years ago, he loaded his gun with special high-velocity ammunition designed to kill in the most devastating fashion, then used that gun to rip my husband's freedom from him--today, Mumia Abu-Jamal will be lauded as a freedom fighter.

    Undoubtedly the administrators at Goddard who first accepted, then enthusiastically supported Abu-Jamal as their speaker will be moved by his "important message" when, if one distills that message to its basic meaning, it amounts to nothing more than the same worn out hatred for this country and everyone in law enforcement that Mumia Abu-Jamal has harbored his entire life.

    Many at Goddard College have said that this is a matter of Abu-Jamal's First Amendment right to speak and be heard. What a convenient way to dodge their responsibility to take a moral position on this situation. This is not a matter of First Amendment rights -- it's a matter of right and wrong. Across the country, people have been voicing their disgust with the wrong that the college is about to commit by allowing a convicted cop-killer to speak to them. Is this the message to be heard? How could they allow him to speak when Danny no longer has a voice?

    It is my opinion that all murderers should forfeit their right to free speech when they take the life of an innocent person. I have repeatedly seen college administrators deny conservative and religious speakers access to their campuses when even the tiniest minority feel their message is in some way offensive. What could be more offensive than having a person who violently took the life of another imparting his "unique perspective" on your students?

    Let's be honest. The instructors, administrators and graduates at Goddard College embrace having this killer as their commencement speaker not despite the fact that he brutally murdered a cop, but because he brutally murdered a cop. Otherwise, like so many other speakers that have been denied access to college campuses across the country, Goddard's administration would have lived up to their moral responsibility and pulled the plug on this travesty long ago.

    Shame on Goddard College and all associated with that school for choosing to honor an arrogant remorseless killer as their commencement speaker. Unfortunately, this is something that I am certain they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.

    • Statement by Maureen Faulkner, widow of Daniel Faulkner, upon Abu-Jamal's delivering the Commencement Address at Goddard College in 2014
  • Women-of all colors-are the fastest growing incarcerated group, two-thirds being mothers of dependent children. A growing population of lifers and people on death row. A death-penalty system tabulated strenuously to race. In the words of the death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, "the barest illusion of rehabilitation [is being] replaced by dehumanization by design" in the maximum-security, sensory-deprivation units of the penal system in the United States, and in prison policies overall.
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