A CD Review by George Tirado

root - Posted on 23 July 2001

ReViewSforTheRevOluTiOn A PNN column for all your literary,visual and audio art needs..

by George Tirado

If you don't know that 175 Progress Drive is
death row, then you would never know that Mumia Abu
Jamal lives there . If you don't know his story
it is simple. Mumia was convicted in 1982 of the
killing of Dan Falkner a Philadelphia cop in a trial
that was mostly fiction. He was convicted, and given
the strongest possible sentence; Death.

As Assatta Shakur puts it early on the CD."I understood why the
United States government wants to put him to death,
Why because it is simple, he is dangerous to every mind
closed to change, to a racist government that has
taken from him his first amendment right to free
speech, his family, and if they had their way, his

Every piece on this CD, is a voice screaming to
be heard whether it is spoken word by Marc Bamuthi
Joseph talking about gun shots in "All I Hear",. to
Michael Franti who reads "Manhood" , to Martin Espada
reading "Another Nameless Prostitute says the man is
Innocent" It is the pain I feel that is shown here
people crying out one way or another for Justice.

But what I find comforting is the fact that
actors, rap and rock stars would put their own
reputations on the line for this man, why because his
voice is so comforting.

There's something about this CD. so that when you
have heard enough there still is more, and I find
myself staring off cringing and frightened from what I*m
hearing. How prison officials move a death row
prisoner, Dan Hill, to a cell block in a city prison which
happens to house the man who killed his daughter.
Hoping one will kill the other for sport, or how lawyers
tell their own clients they don’t like them and either
because of drugs or alcohol fall asleep in court and pay no attention to their clients.
Even in court case*s dealing with the death penalty.

Mumia is a social conscience here to reeducate us
and reverse what corporate American media has done to
us. His is the still voice in the storm of Racism loud
enough to start a social conscience in the community
of color that has not been seen in years since the

If it were up to me I would send a copy of this
CD. To the board of Education in Oakland to Mayor
Jerry Brown and the rest of the people who feel Mumia
is not enough of a hero to speak to our kids graduating
from high school. Would they rather have our kids look
up to dope dealers, racists or something worse,
politicians ?. This man needs to be free.


Sign-up for POOR email!