speaks on the execution
of Shaka Sankofa
We in the Nation of Islam mourn
the loss of our brother Shaka Sankofa.
It is our belief that Allah (God) raised the Honorable Elijah
Muhammad to redeem us as a people from our fallen state. The
Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us there is nothing that we have
done in the days of our ignorance that Allah (God) will not
forgive us for.
Brother Shaka did the socially unacceptable thing that he did
when he was 16 and 17 years of age under the name Gary Graham. If
he were white he would have been punished, but because he was
under age he might have been given a chance to redeem himself. But
because Mr. Bobby Lambert was white and other of his victims were
white, I do not think it mattered what the true facts were in the
minds of his executioners. He had to be punished for what he did.
There is much about this case, in particular, that has never
been introduced in a court of law. I believe he was innocent of
the murder of Bobby Lambert. What compounds the problem is that
our brother is being judged by the people and the system that has
destroyed us as a people. I believe with all my heart that his
life and his death were not in vain. His death is fueling the
struggle against the death penalty in the United States,
particularly the unfair use of the death penalty where the Black
and the poor are concerned.
I thank Minister Robert Muhammad and the Muslims in Houston for
their support of Shaka Sankofa. The ease in which our brother was
executed makes it more difficult for Mumia Abu-Jamal, but we must
do all within our power to fight for those who are on death row.
Shaka Sankofa’s life will be avenged. His blood, like the
blood of those before him, cries out from the earth for justice.
The God of Justice will answer. Watch the forces of nature and
what they bring to Texas and the United States of America. The
death of Shaka Sankofa is one more reason why Allah (God) has come
to take us out of the hands of our wicked enslavers and tormentors
and put us under His own Mercy, Guidance and Protection.
I close with this scripture:
"Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful
captive be delivered?
"But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty
shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be
delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee,
and I will save thy children.
"And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own
flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with
sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy
Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob." –
Isaiah 49: 24-26
Thank you for reading these words.
can kill a revolutionary, but
you cannot stop the revolution'
Editor's Note: The
following are the last words of Shaka Sankofa, formerly know as
Gary Graham, as he was about to be executed in Texas. The
text is from his printed statement.
would like to say that I did not kill Bobby Lambert, that I’m an
innocent Black man that is being murdered.
This is a lynching
that is happening in America tonight. There’s overwhelming and
compelling evidence of my defense that has never been heard in any
court of America.
What is happening here is an
outrage for any civilized country to anybody anywhere to look at
what’s happening here is wrong.
I thank all of the people that
have rallied to my cause. They’ve been standing in support of
me, who have finished with me. I say to Mr. Lambert’s family, I
did not kill Bobby Lambert. You are pursuing the execution of an
I want to express my sincere
thanks to all of y’all. We must continue to move forward and do
everything we can do to outlaw legal lynching in America. We must
continue to stay strong all around the world, and people must come
together to stop the systematic killing of poor and innocent Black
people. We must continue to stand together in unity and to demand
a moratorium on all executions. We must not let this
murder/lynching be forgotten tonight, my brothers. We must take it
to the nation. We must keep the faith. We must go forward.
We must recognize that many
leaders have died. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and others who
stood up for what was right. They stood up for what was just. We
must, you must, brothers, that’s why I have called you today.
You must carry-on that tradition. What is here is just a lynching
that is taking place. But they’re going to keep on lynching us
for the next 100 years, if you do not carry on that tradition, and
that period of resistance.
We will prevail.
We may lose this battle but we will win the war. This death, this
lynching must be avenged. It will be avenged, it must be avenged.
The people must avenge this murder. So, my brothers, all of y’all
stay strong, continue to move forward. Know that I love you. I
love the people. I love all of you for your blessing, strength,
for your courage, for your dignity, the way you have come here
tonight, and the way you have protested and kept this nation
Keep moving forward, my
brothers. Slavery couldn’t stop us. The lynching couldn’t stop
us in the south. This lynching will not stop us tonight. We will
go forward. Our destiny in this country is freedom and liberation.
We will gain our freedom and liberation by any means necessary. By
any means necessary we keep marching forward.
I love you, Mr. Jesse Jackson.
Bianca Jagger make sure the state does not get my body. Make sure
that we get my name as Shaka Sankofa. My name is not Gary Graham.
Make sure that it is properly presented on my grave. Shaka Sankofa.
I died fighting for what I believe in. I died fighting for what
was just and what was right. I did not kill Bobby Lambert, and the
truth is going to come out. It will be brought out.
I want you to take this thing
off into the International Court, Mr. Robert Muhammad, and all y’all.
I want you, I want to get my family and take this down to the
international court and file a lawsuit. Get all of the video tapes
of all the beatings. They have beat me up in the back. They have
beat me up at the unit over there. Get all the video tapes
supporting that lawsuit, and make the public exposed to the
genocide and this brutality world, and let the world see what is
really happening here. You must get those video tapes. You must
make it exposed, this injustice to the world.
You must continue to demand a
moratorium on all executions. We must
move forward, Minister Robert Muhammad. Ashanti Chimurenga, I love
you for standing with me, my sister. You are a strong warrior
queen. You will continue to be strong in everything that you do.
Believe in yourself, you must hold your head up, in the spirit of
Winnie Mandela, in the spirit of Nelson Mandela. Y’all must move
forward. We will stop this lynching. Reverend Al Sharpton, I love
you, my brother. Bianca Jagger, I love you all. Y’all make sure
that we continue to stand together. Reverend Jesse Jackson, I know
that this murder, this lynching will not be forgotten. I love you
too, my brother.
This is genocide in America.
This is what happens to Black men when they stand up and protest
for what is right and just. We refuse to compromise, we refuse to
surrender the dignity for what we know is right. But we will move
on, we have been strong in the past. We will continue to be strong
as a people.
You can kill a revolutionary,
but you cannot stop the revolution. The revolution will go on. The
people will carry the revolution on. You are the people that must
carry that revolutionary on in order to liberate our children from
this genocide and what is happening here in America tonight. What
has happened for the last 100 or so years in America. This is the
part of the genocide, this the part of the African Holocaust, that
we as Black people have endured in America.
But we shall overcome, we will
continue with this. We will continue, we will gain our freedom and
liberation in this country. We will gain it and we will do it by
any means necessary. Stay strong. They cannot kill us. We will
move forward. To my sons, to my daughters, all of you. I love you
all. You have been wonderful. Keep your heads up. Keep moving
forward. Keep united. Maintain the love and unity in the
community, and know that victory is assured. Victory for the
people will be assured.
We will gain our freedom and
liberation in this country. We will gain it and we will do it by
any means necessary. We will keep marching. March on, Black
people. Keep your heads high. March on, all y’all leaders, march
on. Take your message to the people. Preach the moratorium for all
executions. We’re gonna stop, we are going to end the death
penalty in this country. We are going to end it all across this
world. Push forward people and know that what y’all are doing is
This is nothing more than pure
and simple murder. This is what is
happening tonight in America. Nothing more than state-sanctioned
murders, state sanctioned lynching, right here in America, right
here tonight. This is what is happening, my brothers, nothing
less. They know I’m innocent. They’ve got the facts to prove
it. They know I’m innocent. But they cannot acknowledge my
innocence, because to do so would be to publicly admit their
guilt. This is something these racist people will never do. We
must remember, brothers, this is what we’re faced with. You must
take this endeavor forward. You must stay strong. You must
continue to hold your heads up, and to be there. And I love you
too, my brother. All of you who are standing with me in
We will prevail. We will keep
marching. Keep marching, Black people. Black power. Keep marching,
Black people. Black Power. Keep marching, Black people. Black
Power. Keep marching, Black people. They are killing me tonight.
They are killing me tonight. They are murdering me tonight.