Defying the Tomb: Art Exhibit and Book Presentation

October 1 2-5pm:  Defying the Tomb

Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave, Washington DC

Defying the Tomb is the name of a brand new book by Kevin Rashid Johnson, of Richmond, VA, who has been held in solitary confinement at the Red Onion Virginia State Prison for years.  Very Soledad Brother-esque, this book is a collection of letters between Johnson and a fellow prisoner, Outlaw.  It also includes some essays written by Johnson discussing a variety of political issues.  Acclaimed by several political prisoners and movement veterans, its a must read.

The art exhibit accompanying the book is amazing.  All of the original works produced by Johnson will be available for viewing.  The art was produced within the confines of a small solitary confinement cell at the Red Onion in southwest Virginia where Johnson has been held 23 hours a day for years.  Drawn with only paper and a ball point pen, it reflects inspiration by many leading revolutionaries and thinkers, such as George Jackson and Che Guevara.

Featured speakers for the event are Mack Gaskins and Kate Piper.  Mack is the Minister of Information for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter and was in neighboring cell while he was at the Red Onion maximum security prison with Rashid.  Kate Piper, a prison activist, befriended Rashid and transcribed the letters and writings that make up the book was instrumental in getting it published.  Moderating the event will be Naji Mujahid of the Black August Planning Organization and WPFWs “Voices With Vision”.

Book description:
Follow the author’s odyssey from lumpen drug dealer to prisoner, to revolutionary New Afrikan, a teacher and mentor, one of a new generation rising of prison intellectuals. This book consists primarily of letters between Rashid and Outlaw, another revolutionary New Afrikan prisoner, smuggled between the segregation wing and general population over a period of months. These comrades educate themselves – and us as well – on Marxism and Maoism, the Five-Percenters, Dialectical Materialism, Dead Prez, Capitalism, Racism, Imperialism, Class Struggle, Revolutionary Nationalism, New Afrikan Independence, Psychology, and a host of other subjects, as they grapple with how to promote revolutionary consciousness in the most hostile of environments. Rashid has been in prison for twenty years – the past eighteen of which in segregation (solitary confinement). Shortly after this correspondence between himself and Outlaw, he and his comrade Shaka Sankofa Zulu founded the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. The NABPP-PC has since developed branches in various prisons across the U.S. empire and has its own newsletter, Right On! A number of Rashid’s essays written as Minister of Defense of the NABPP-PC are also included in this book.

“Your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to buy multiple copies of this book, read it carefully, and then get it into the hands of as many prisoners as possible. I am aware of no prisoner-written book more important than this one, at least not since George Jackson’s Blood In My Eye. Revolutionaries and those considering the path of progress will find Kevin Rashid Johnson s Defying The Tomb an important contribution to their political development.” –Ed Mead, former political prisoner, George Jackson Brigade


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