Fayemi Shakur is a freelance writer, creative consultant and the managing editor of HYCIDE Magazine. She has been working on behalf of the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign for many years. Walidah Imarisha is a poet, writer, educator and organizer. She has been involved in the movement for political prisoners since her first protest at 15. She currently teaches at Portland State University and Oregon State University.
Political Prisoner: Sundiata Acoli, one of the longest held U.S. political prisoner of war, is a mathematician, and computer analyst. He was born January 14, 1937, in Decatur, Texas, and raised in Vernon, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A & M College of Texas in 1956 with a B.S. in mathematics and for the next 13 years worked for various computer-oriented firms, mostly in the New York area. During the summer of 1964, he performed voter registration work in the notoriously racist State of Mississippi. In 1968, he joined the Harlem Black Panther Party where he took up community work around political issues of schools, housing, jobs, childcare, drugs, and police brutality. In 1969, he and 13 others were arrested in the Panther 21 conspiracy case but two years later he and the others would be acquitted, by a jury deliberating less than two hours. However Sundiata Acoli could never get back the two years he spent in jail where he was held without for a crime he did not commit. Sundiata is 75 years of age and has been in prison 39 years resulting from a driving while black stop of his car by state troopers on the NJ Turnpike in 1973. The incident led to gunfire that resulted in the death of his passenger, Zayd Shakur, and NJ state trooper, Werner Foerster. Sundiata was wounded at the scene, captured in the woods 40 hours later and subsequently sentenced to life in a NJ State prison. He is now the longest held prisoner in New Jersey's history of similar convictions having long ago satisfied all requirements for parole. He is a political prisoner.
More info on Bro. Sundiata, including his writings, artwork and ways to provide support are at http://sundiataacoli.org.