Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: It’s not September yet, so it’s still “Black August,” the month when we pay respect to political prisoners held by the United States. The Black Is Back Coalition recently held a national conference on political prisoners. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee runs a project and twitter account that empowers political prisoners to tell their own stories. And, a long-time prisoner of the state of California reports on how incarcerated people on coping with Covid-19.
But first – David West played for 15 seasons with the National Basketball Association, and is a two-time NBA All Star and NBA Champion. West is now living comfortably in California, serving as chief operating officer of the Professional Collegiate League, which aims to put money in college athletes’ pockets and prepare them for a future outside of sports. It’s long been common to hear Black folks say that high paid athletes should pool their capital to develop a stronger Black American economy and politics. We asked David West his take on that line of thought.
August is political prisoners’ month – a time to remember those captured while resisting U.S. government oppression, and to step up efforts to free those prisoners that are still behind bars. Jihad Abdulmumit is a former Black Panther who spent 23 years in prison. He’s now co-chair of the Jericho Society, and a member of the Black is Back Coalition for Peace, Social Justice and Reparations. The Coalition recently held a conference under the banner, “Fight for Black Power” and “Free All Political Prisoners.”
YOUR-gen Ostensen is the son of a former political prisoner. Ostenson is with the New York chapter of IWOC, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. He’s part of IWOC’s “Inside Prison Journalism” project and edits the organization’s twitter page, #PrisonsKill.
U.S. prisons are among the worst places to be during a pandemic. But Vice television news reporters recently shined a light on Covid-19 behind bars, and their revelations seem to have made a difference. Prison Radio has this report from the California penal system.