Compiling an anthology about Abu-Jamal, and Linn Washington gave me this article, published shortly after Abu-Jamal escaped the guillotine the first time a quarter of a century ago. It reminds me of dose days, when I was a part-time intern at the National Newspaper Publishers Association and constantly surrounded by Black newspapers. I always had a soft spot for The Philadelphia New Observer because it would print these huge, remarkable 20,000-word Black/Afrikan history supplements by James G. Spady, then a Black Philadelphia living institution.
OCTOBER 14th UPDATE: My friend Linn Washington Jr. went. Here’s his public take:
Saturday’s Justice march was “powerful” in the words of my 12-year-old grandson. I went primarily to take him so he could experience it – I was there as a participant not a reporter.-But I can report that the 200k participant ‘guess-ta-ment” for the 10/10/15 Justice march is not far off.-That event did not have anywhere near the million+ of the ’95 M3 event…yet there was that spiritual-like ’95 unity vibe albeit not as INtense and focused as 1995.-In ’95 I walked from the Capitol steps back to the Washington Monument to get a scope of the crowd (i knew the media/authorities would lie on the count)…and in ’95 it was a solid sea of men on the Mall spilling into parallel streets. Saturday, the multitude did not have the people-per-square-inch density or Capitol to Monument seamlessness of participants…occupying the Mall only and the distance of a few blocks back. (And, fidelity to fact: I didn’t do the Capitol to Monument stroll on Saturday but could see open space around Monument unlike in ’95)-Below are a few observations from a participant not from a thorough reporter:–Saturday’s event did have a more diverse crowd – 8 to 80, 8 as in eight months old. A striking aspect for me on Saturday was the presence of families (Dad/Mom kids) and extended families lil ones to grands, all rolling as a ‘crew’ – a lot of women were there also…and whites were there (seemingly not on a ‘zoo visit’ attytood)– Saw a few Native Americans but did not see many Hispanics.-Yes, there were a lot, A Lot of 20-30 somethings in the crowd and there were organizations galore in ‘see-me’ attire from black Greeks to the New Black Panther Party.-Of course, in 2015: it was ‘selfie’ city…saw folks popping into the NBPP formation to get their pics taken…-Judging from tee shirts and other attire items, folks came from north/south, east/west to attend.-A few similarities between Saturday & 1995:-Much media coverage was not in-depth…for example, didn’t see mention in articles that I read about the on stage remarks by a sister of Sandra Bland, the father of Michael Brown and the mother of Trayvon Martin — Justice or Else definitely includes police brutality so how can cover an anti-police abuse event and not report on symbols of that struggle???-Another similarity between 1995 & 2015 (and I will probably get my ‘Black Card’ revoked for this observation): Farrakhan talked TOO much. I respect the Brother Minister deeply, but, Yo, cogent and concise hits harder. (Grandson and I toured the entire Smithsonian Native American Museum from top to bottom, beginning visit 15 minutes into Farrakhan’s remarks, we did all four floors of the museum and when we exited Farrakhan was still talking. Interesting seeing [again] how ameriKKKa JERKED the Indians like they jerked us -broken treaties, abusive justice system, LIES aplenty, attacking the victim for opposing their oppression, etc.)-The trip Saturday to Justice or Else for me was about the grandson: He said the event was “really cool.” Said he liked that people “are coming together.” Said he doesn’t want to group up and have to “deal with” brutal cops. He liked “the support” he saw at the march Saturday.