Perspectives

An Open letter to President Barack Obama to Free Black Political Prisoners

By Abdul Akbar Muhammad | Last updated: Dec 8, 2016 - 2:10:30 PM

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This open letter to you, Mr. President, was inspired by the PardonSnowden Organization, which wrote an open letter to you in the September 22, 2016 edition of The New York Times appealing to you to use your pardon privilege power to pardon Edward Snowden and allow him to come home without charges.

There are men and women who engaged in The Black Liberation struggle for freedom, justice and equality for our people, who are suffering from the pain of injustice in America and languishing in prisons across this country. Many have already died and, Mr. President, if you pardon them most because of age and sickness could never be a menace to American society.

These Black men and women saw a need to struggle against a system that history tells us was unjust and brutal against the aspirations of millions of Black Americans who are descendants from slaves.

They suffered at the hands of the leaders of this country. Their struggle was born out of oppression. We don’t see them as criminals but men and women who put their lives on the line to make a difference in the lives of millions of Black people across this country.

They took this course of action as the early Americans did against the British Empire. When we look back at this struggle and reassess some of their convictions you may see in your wisdom that their conviction based on prevailing circumstances at that time and history may give you a new view of what they were convicted of and for.

We would hope you would use the pardon privilege invested in you as the President of the United States to free these brothers and sisters.

Not only will you as the first Black President be making history, but it will be a part of your legacy that will be long lasting. I have listed some names that I hope that you would consider using your power to pardon. I am sure there are others worthy of pardon as well.

In closing, Mr. President, I know that you have received many requests and letters to grant a posthumous pardon to the Honorable Marcus Garvey, would you please consider adding his name to the enclosed list?

Sincerely,
Abdul Akbar Muhammad


1) Assata Shakur (who is in Cuba to come home and not be charged), Black Liberation Army, Black Panther Party

2) Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), Islamic leader and former Black Panther Party leader

3) Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Republic of New Africa, Black Liberation Army

4) Fred “Muhammad” Burton, Black Panther Party, Black Liberation Army

5) Patrice Lumumba Ford, Portland 7

6) Mumia Abul-Jamal, Black Panther Party, MOVE

7) Zolo Agona Azania, Black Panther Party

8) Veronza Bowers, Jr., Black Panther Party

9) Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, Black Panther Party

10) Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen, Black Liberation Army

11) Jeff Fort (Chief Malik), El Rukhn

12) Robert Seth Hayes, Black Panther Party

13) Kamau Sadiki (Freddie Hilton), Black Panther Party

14) Larry Hoover, Gangster Disciple Growth and Development Committee

15) Richard Mafundi Lake, African Peoples Survival

16) Maliki Shakur Latine, Black Liberation Army

17) Ruchell Cinque Magee, Black Liberation Army

18) Reverend Joy Powell, Pastor and Anti-Violence Activist

19) Ronald Reed, Black United Front

20) Kojo Bomani Sababu, Black Liberation Army

21) Russell Maroon Shoatz, Black Unity Council

22) Sundiata Acoli (C. Squire), Black Panther Party

23) Kenny Zulu Whitmore, Black Panther Party

24) Chuck Sims Africa, MOVE

25) Debbie Sims Africa, MOVE

26) Delbert Orr Africa, MOVE

27) Edward Goodman Africa, MOVE

28) Janet Holloway Africa, MOVE

29) Janine Phillips Africa, MOVE

30) Michael Davis Africa, MOVE

31) Herman Bell, Black Panther Party

32) Jalil Muntaqim, Black Panther Party

33) Leonard Peltier, American Indian Movement

34) Abdul Azziz Warren Ballentine, Virgin Island Independence Movement

35) Hanif Shabazz Bey (Beaumont Gereau), Virgin Island Independence Movement

36) Malik Smith (Meral Smith), Virgin Island Independence Movement

37) Charles Koen, Civil Rights Activist

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