What is the
Purpose of
An Interview with
Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Caught in the Game

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And so much more …

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APFFC Board of Directors
!"#$%&'# ')
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Toni Johnson

') 23$#/&"'01
Milagros Harris
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Akbar Pray

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Abdul Karim

The Akbar Pray Foundation For Change (APFC) is a not for profit grassroots organization, dedicated to redirecting the
lives of our urban at risk youth. It has been and remains our organization’s mantra that " we are the solution to our own
problems." It is our core belief that there are those within our communities, if so engaged, who can help turn the tide of
crime, delinquency and recidivism which grips the lives of so many our inner city youth.
Operating from the premise that to effectively attack or address any problem you must start at its root, we have begun a
program in some of our city’s schools and group homes, where we supply speakers, mentors, CDs and written material
from the organization’s founder, which cuts to the heart of the problem experienced by many of these youths. Some times
working with former gang members, inner city icons and others that have what is referred to as ‘street cred’, we have been
able to achieve remarkable results.
Expanding on our mission, we continuously recruit individuals from various work disciplines to aid in educating young
men and woman with marketable skills.
To those ends we have engaged people both inside and outside our community to come to our classes and or workshops to
share and discuss the ups and downs, ins and outs of a wide range of work disciplines and careers. Never favoring one
career path over any other, we have invited professors, urban fiction writers, successful members of the hip hop industry,
general construction contractors and a Superior Court Judge to these open discussions and Socratic Circle seminars.
Again, it is our core belief that "we are the solution, to our own problems." In closing. We invite your participation in this
noble undertaking.
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As a magazine that reflects issue and matters that are germane to the
urban experience, we will at times feature article or writers that have views far
different than those often expressed in our OP-EDS. We at The Urban
Perspective feel that it is our responsibility to bring to our readership, diverse
views from the mosaic of urban thought, some time mainstream, some times
from the fringe, but always meant to inform and enlighten. There is a saying
amongst many of the literati, " If, you are going to only read one newspaper,
then read the opposition.”
It is with that adage firmly in mind that we on occasion, bring to you
our readers views that you may or may not share, but that we hope you will find
thought provoking.
Akbar Pray

It's been said that in the 21st century if you don't have a Facebook presence, then you are basically
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In the United States alone nearly 128 million people use Facebook on a daily basis and that number is
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sometimes after years via this medium.

Facebook stats:
“Facebook passes 1.23 billion monthly active users, 945 million mobile users, and 757 million daily
users. As part of the financial results for its fourth quarter, Facebook today announced a number of new
milestones. The social network has now passed 1.23 billion monthly active users.”
Want a Facebook presence/page but don't have a host? Think that you can't afford it?

For $ 39.00 dollars for six months, BCP Inc. will establish and host your Facebook page, post your
photo, and renew that photo every 60 days, per your request, post your bio, forward your messages to
you every 48-72 hours, and cut and paste your replies. Additionally for a nominal fee of $ 0.50 cent per
page we will send to you via United States Postal Service First Class any pictures that have been sent or
posted on your Facebook page.

Forms of payments accepted are PayPal payable to brickcitypublications@yahoo.com via PayPal, postal
money orders, certified or BOP checks. Make checks or money orders payable to:
Brick City Publications
PO BOX 452
Bloomfield, N.J 07003

Make their Internet presence known!
“Have an incarcerated family member or friend that
wants a Facebook presence?”

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To my friends, associates, readers, but more particularly, those of you like myself who
still find themselves confined in state or federal institutions across this country, this is an
open letter to you.
Over the last several years, if, you were paying even scant attention, you could not help
but notice the sea of change taking place from one end of this country to the other as it
pertains to the criminal justice system.

For years, those of us on lockdown, our family members, friends and associates have
hoped for, fought for, indeed prayed for some change in the law, which might grant some
of us, if not most of us, some form of relief. In years gone by there have been glimmers of
hope. However, more often than not, they prove to be just that, mere glimmers, but rarely
any real or substantive relief. A few cases showed promise. There was Apprendi, Halper,
Singleton and Kyle v. Whitley. Each of them dangled promises that were tantalizing
within our reach, but frustratingly beyond our grasp.

So, we waited, we hoped and many or us prayed. And then as is the nature of change, the
pendulum that had for so long swung so hard to it's right, began to right itself. The
draconian 100-1 powder to crack cocaine ratio was readjusted to a more reasonable 18-1.
Fair Sentencing, Smart Sentencing, more relaxed requirements for Compassionate Release, revised commutation standards, two
point reductions from one's guideline sentence and the list goes on; Allenye, Holloway and a revisit of mandatory minimums. Yes,
there is caused for celebration. However, for me it is done with a caveat, and the caveat begs a fundamental question. " Now that
many of your prayers have been answered, that sentences have been shortened and new release dates set; ARE YOU

This is not a question for young boys, still salivating over twenty inch rims, laps dances or making it rain at strip clubs. This is a
question for a grown man, which demands a grown man's answer.

For those of you with children, now that you have received the answer to your prayers or wishes, what image do you want to give
to your kids? What or who would you have them emulate? A gangbanger, a balla, a thugged out nigga? I hope not. For those of
you in your mid-thirties or early forties and beyond, many of you if you are not now, then will soon one day be grandfathers. How
do you want to be remembered? Again, these are not questions for little boys. These are grown men questions, seeking…no
demanding a grown man's answer.

My brothers we are caught in a spin cycle that we can stop. Or would you rather wait to hear that there is a kid in the on the
compound, or in the hole, that says that you are his father or grandfather. There is nothing slick or gangsta about that. Yet this is
happening far more than many of us realize. My brothers, we have got to man up, to grown up.

Everyday regardless to where you are from, there are new accounts of the neighborhoods we left behind now spiraling out of
control; of former neighborhoods now turned into hoods; hoods where grandmothers and grandfathers are afraid to leave out of
there homes. Not in fear of the police, bit in fear of you, of us. Yet there are many of you now reading this article who await with
bated breath the chance to one again " bust you gun " and get a lap dance. My brothers we have got to dream dreams far larger than
this. We have to grow up, to man up.

The police can't stop the carnage. The churches can't stop the carnage. The solution to this problem lies in the hands of many of
you now reading this article. I reads once " there is nothing greater than an idea whose time has come. " You have been given a
second chance. The future of your children and no doubt your children’s children hang precariously on the thread of your decision
or indecision. Before my brothers you have shown examples of power, not I encourage you to this time show " The Power of
Example. " Become a part of the solution.
Akbar Pray,
Editor in Chief
L6 :86 456 =MN74?M; 4M M78 ML; <8M9N6D=

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The Urban Perspective Conducts
an Interview
Dr. Mutulu Shakur
TUP: Thank you Dr. Shakur for
the honoring us with this interview.
Would you please provide our
readers with some insight
regarding your early years and the
development of your role as an

Dr. Shakur: I was born on August 8,
1950, in Baltimore Maryland as Jeral
Wayne Williams. At the age of 7, my
mother ( who is blind), younger
brother and I moved to Jamaica,
Queens, New York. I never knew my
father. My social and political
awareness commenced early in life,
when like most Blacks in America
during the “Jim Crow” era, I
witnessed first hand, America’s racial
intolerance for Black people. I have
experienced hosing; dog attacks;
beatings with batons and the
courtroom injustices that we are
Black people were forced to brave in
our quest for human, civil and
Constitutional rights.
At the age of 16, I offered
my allegiance to the cause of the New
African Independence Movement. For
some years to follow, I studied the
complex culture of politics and drew
the conclusion that Black people
desperately needed to control the
institutions, which had a mental,
emotional and psychological impact
on our lives and the lives of our
children. Because of my mother’s
blindness, my understanding and
allegiance to this cause would evolve
into my role as a healer. In this role I
witnessed the correlation between
illness; unrest; calamity; crimes and
the political climate that underscores
it all.

TUP: How did you incorporate
political activism in to your role as a

Dr. Shakur: I sought to find a way to
counter the criminal imbalance that
reeked havoc in Black communities
across the U.S. As I witnessed the
negative impact that this country had on
my people; the violence towards us; the
drugs and lack of education in our
community; I knew well that there were
many forms of disadvantage and
sickness that I desired more than
anything to find solutions, which would
help us as a people, begin to heal.
In 1979, I volunteered at
Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx as an
assistant medical caretaker and Physical
Education instructor in the Lincoln
Detox department, which had come into
existence in response to the drug
problem that plagued New York City,
and in particular, the Bronx.
Community activists seized control of
the facility and began to operate what
came to be known as a “People’s
Program” to fight drug addiction. As
my experience grew, so did my role,
eventually as a counselor, then on to
assistant director where along with my
colleagues, we instituted the practices of
Eastern medicine, specifically
acupuncture, as it had been used in
China, to cure victims of addiction. It
proved so much more successful that
western medicine that no other hospital
or clinic throughout the U. S. even came
close to our success rate at Lincoln

TUP: How was the success of your
method received by other institutions?

Dr. Shakur: The government neither
approved of, nor acknowledged the
success of acupuncture detox treatment at
Lincoln. The government’s response was
to close Lincoln Detox Acupuncture
Clinic in the Bronx. We were however
able to pursue our agenda of healing
addicts with acupuncture by opening a
Harlem Clinic called B.A.A.N.A (Black
African Acupuncture of North America),
the first of its kind in Harlem, where we
equaled and even excelled our results in
the Bronx. I went on to become Director
of Acupuncture Protocol at Lincoln
Hospital; licensed in state of California;
taught the procedure all over the country;
and ultimately opened my own detox
treatment center. I received much
national and international support and
acclaim from within the New African
Independence Movement and other
national and international organizations
who shared our objectives. Ultimately, it
garnered the attention of the FBI’s
infamous Counter-Intelligence program,
aka, COINTELPRO, designed to
neutralize progressive revolutionary
organizations, irrespective of the good
works we did.

Continued on page 8…

“My social and political
awareness commenced early in
life, when like most Blacks in
America during the “Jim Crow”
era, I witnessed first hand,
America’s racial intolerance for
Black people.”

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sides can effectively come to terms with
the events of the 1960 through the 1980s.
Such a commission would provide the
mantel under which peaceful resolutions
and solutions could be devised.
I and others were targets of a
highly developed low intensity warfare
program of imprisonment and
annihilation, as we were dedicated to
securing freedom and equality for Black
Americans, oppressed minorities and
classes in this country. It was the reality
we existed in, yet unfortunately, many of
the population at that time refused to
recognize that existence.
To cure injustices, you must
expose, document and acknowledge
abuses before the light of human
consciousness and the bar of public
opinion if we are to transition to a truly
democratic society. In the age of social
media where the tragic dramas are
presented in testimony to a broad base of
the American public, such a commission
would hopefully inform and expose the
present and future generations to lessons
this country need not repeat.

TUP: Where do you stand in the fight
for you son Tupac’s legacy?

Dr. Shakur: Over the years the
mainstream culture has forced the popular
culture to use unthinkable maneuvers to
attempt the destruction of Tupac’s
essence. The media has been a tool and a
sidekick of the political order to destroy,
characterize and quiet a voice they
oppose. Thus far Tupac and his legacy
with the help of his fans and family have
defeated their strategy. The death of his
persona should not be left in the hand of
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“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The
greatest loss is what dies inside while still
alive. Never surrender.”
! Tupac Shakur

TUP: Is there any validity to the
rumors that you will be coming home

Dr. Shakur: In 2000, The National
Committee to Honor Black Heroes
requested that Congressman Charles
Rangel submit a Petition for
Commutation from then President
William J. Clinton. To his credit,
President Clinton did commute the
sentences of other defendants in my case.
However, omitted from his pardons were
any Black political prisoners.
My supporters are currently
seeking relief though the process of
Presidential Clemency and hope that a
full review will show the motives of
defining political prisoners as myself not
as criminals, but through a peaceful
resolution for the future. The trial court
denied relief but concluded and supported
my belief that the political environment
influenced the events as witnessed and
noted in the trial findings of Judge
Charles Haight:
“Concluded as a matter of law,
this case has an American tragedy of
broader dimension that the government is
willing to acknowledge. He also found
that while exercising his constitutional
rights, Dr. Shakur became a target of the
COINTELPRO program, illegally.”

TUP: You often speak of America’s
need for a Truth and Reconciliation
Committee as utilized in post-apartheid
South Africa. How can this aid in
creation of a post-racial society in the

Dr. Shakur: Surely this country is not
the same socio/political entity it was at
the time of my conviction. I also
understand the historical discredit that the
struggle for equal rights has been
awarded. It is my hope for the
establishment of a Truth and
Reconciliation Commission, so that both
those who rejected him.
The tradition of doing a play on
his birthday is distinguished by the
Broadway play (
). Broadway does
not diminish the very real importance of
grassroots and street theater all over the
Tupac represented the tragedy
of change, the triumph of change and the
joy of change. He gave us hope; he gave
voice…not to the voiceless, but to the
voices that were rejected crying out for
comprehension and a new tomorrow.
He truly felt that pain. Tupac’s art and
his lyrics represented those who wanted
in and yes, those who wanted out and
wanted to be left in their own space. His
represented the movement of the people
in a free-spirited direction, searching for
answers to represent us all who are in the
chains of the struggle.
Tupac, the invisible man Curtis
Mayfield predicted will come, is still
here. Whether he becomes invisible
depends entirely on us. I prevail on you
to support this play now what it would
mean for the future renaissance. “Right
on to the Darkness”
Long live the words of Tupac
Dr. Mutulu Shakur

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pump fresh blood to the brain, the liver,
the lungs, the legs and so forth.
However, should the heart refuse to pump
blood to certain parts of the body, those
parts will begin to whither and die.
Likewise, certain ethnic communities
whither and die when these central banks
refuse to pump money into them.
Understand that we aren't talking about
mere honest mistakes by decent God
fearing Christians, Jews or Muslims, but
coldblooded calculating super criminals
with billion dollar bank accounts, palatial
homes and million dollar private jets, and
who own and control our so-call elected
leaders. Again, this is why I call them
The Ultimate Gangsters.
Directly or indirectly, all banks are
linked through the BANK OF
The Bis is located in Basel, Switzerland.
It functions as a clearinghouse for other
banks and make wire transfers of trillions
of dollars to corporations, banks and
businesses. It also make short-term bridge
loans to troubled banks and supervises
them on how to rape "underdeveloped
nations" in Africa, Asia, Central and South
To continue with the heart analogy,
these colossal, octopus banks that are
owned by The Ultimate Gangsters have
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By” Dr. Ru”
Rudy Williams

Ultimate Gangster
No, he's not "your mama or your
daddy or that nigga in the alley", nor
is he Nino Brown, Al Capone or
Myer Lansky. He's the Rothschilds,
the Rockefellers, and the Benjamin
Bernankes of the world's central
banks, and their political flunkies
inside Congress and the White House.
Yeah, the Rothchilds and their crime
partners are the villains who wiped
you out, not only for your precious
cars, homes, pensions and life savings
that you blindly entrusted them with,
but also your hopes, visions and

The IMF, The World Bank and
The Federal Reserve are the big dogs
of loan sharking. They lend our
savings and deposits at 3% to smaller
banks who then turn around and
charge us mere mortals interest rates
of between 5 to 15% on sub-par,
adjustable mortgages whose
survivability depends on all kinds of
arcane economic hocus pocus that
only the banks and mortgage
company lawyers pretend to
understand. The global banking
industry, in my humble opinion, is
nothing more or less than a massively
glorified Continuing Criminal
Enterprise: Title 21USC 848.

If we liken the economy to the
human body, the IMF and the World
Bank would be the heart, and, as we
know, the function of the heart is to
veins, blood vessels and arteries that
extend to every corner of the earth.
Merely by cutting off loans, their powers
are so great that they can reduce even the
largest nations to their knees almost over
night. Governments depend on these loan
sharks to finance wars that are good for
them and the Rothchilds, the Rockerfellers
and the Kennedys, et. al., but not for the
people who truly work for a living.
Family and individuals need banks to loan
them money -- their own money!-- to
finance houses, cars, credit cards, etc.
Thus, by controlling the lifeblood of the
global economy, The Ultimate Gangsters
in Europe and America can wreak havoc
on any nation, group or individual who
oppose them in any way, shape or form.
Through their banking networks, they can
cause the flow of money to trickle to a
halt, and, notwithstanding CNN and FOX
NEWS lies and propaganda to the
contrary, they are real terrorists and are
responsible behind-the-scene, directly or
indirectly, for all the "terrorism", wars,
lost of homes, cars, lives, etc., here and
around the world. They love to make
outrageous loans to poor nations and
communities so that they can sink their
fangs into them and suck them dry of their
wealth and natural resources, literally.
They call this vampire ritual "austerity
measures" but I call it what it is:

Until next time…Peace,
Dr. Ru

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The Effects of World Religions
On People of African Descent
Part 1: Islam
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By M.T Hender

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There May Be a Cancer Treatment
Right in Your Medicine Cabinet.

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Social Interventions That Work

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by Linda Marsa

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45 6

“We are close to delivering a true
fountain of youth that could
potentially extend our productive
lifespan into our hundreds – it’s no
longer the stuff of science fiction.”


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“the more states and cities
demand in commissions, the
more it will charge inmates.”

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By Marvin Ellison

Read more by Marvin Ellison on

Marvin Ellison’s The Cookie Strolls is
available through: Black and Nobel
Ask for it at Source of Knowledge, as
well as Etched in Stone, and other book
stores and book sellers!
“We're not caught in the so-
called "game". We're stuck
in a self-perpetuating

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The beloved god-son of '88's Who's Who
Regarding religious leaders, toppling Bishop Tutu.
I am he - 1 in 16.9 quintillion,
Arithmetic, Grammar, and Logic helps to negate feelings.

Mid-day today, I dozed off, and had a daydream,
I witnessed Langston Hughes and Donald Goines debating me.
"He should stick to poetry." "Nah... I'd say novels."
Then Moses said, "Why not mix the two without a choice to

I woke up with a smile, and a soul driven mind,
Like an extra vertebrae was installed in my spine.
I brushed my teeth, washed my hands, then started fondling my
A spewing of its bodily fluids started to begin.

My mother's choice not to have an abortion,
Was her way of flippin' off the world and to carry out her
Weaned by a bosom scorned is how my nonchalance was born,
Life's a rose; and naysayers are nothing more than its thorns.

Why I'm extremely focused? Greatness won't come by hocus-
Either outlast or get passed like plants by locust.
I often get an itch in my hand when I begin to write,
Proverbs 22:29 is joyous to recite.

I have a great amount of sense, but don't possess all of it,
There's still some things that baffle me - take this for instance.
How can I not be of the world, isn't that from which I came?
If I unconscientiously sin, I can't confer the blame?

To the congregation of lost (and not sought after) sheep,
Just know, you are not alone; you'll always have me.
Despite my tainted breath of life via disorderly lungs,
The war to be a literary god has just begun......

written by: Semaj "Saint" Thomas '14
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Power Moves by Linwood Rudy Williams
Power Moves by “Dr. Ru” Rudy Wi l l ams Now avai l abl e on Amazon. com

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I am a heterosexual man. I usually implore most women not
to take me at my word. As a practice, I don’t spend a lot of
time worrying about how other people seek and attain sexual
fulfillment, and I sure as hell do my best not to lay my
judgments and prejudices on them. We all judge others. It is
impossible not to, because judgment is an intellectual
process. Being able to evaluate and choose is part of what
makes us rational and reason is what makes us human. Being
able to realize we're not always right and what works might
not be someone else's recipe for success, is what makes us
socially evolved humans.

No one is responsible for what they think or feel. However,
everyone is responsible for their actions associated with those
thoughts and feelings. If, I woke up tomorrow and found
myself deeply and irretrievably in love with Michelle Obama,
that's not my fault. However, if I start mailing her erotic
sonnets and try and break into the White House an organ
unicorn on her desk-that I am responsible.

Equally a person becomes accountable when they try to force
their beliefs factual or fantastical-on others, when they brand
and condemn others for no cosigning their version of reality.
Case in point: the militant homosexual. As I alluded to above,
I could care less about how two consenting adults finds
satisfaction as long as it does not involve square dancing or
incest. However, the M-H wants everyone to know the
minute details of his sex life and insist that I not only
proclaim it acceptable and normal, but that I celebrate it- "
way to go. " Further, I am told that none of his sexual actions
are of volitional, that he was born hard wired homosexual" I
was born this way. "

That’s when my reason can no longer remain silent; to do so is
no less than a tacit endorsement of a ludicrous statement, a
statement whose origins are political and biological. Gestation
and birth is a solely biological process. To say that one was born
with particular biological trait-blue eyes, darkly complexioned or
gay is functionally saying that that trait is part of one's genetic
makeup. In effect the gay person is saying that he has a gene that
instructs the organism (him) not to reproduce.

This begs the question, from whom did he inherit this gene? The
human genome has been in development for over a million years,
beginning with our humanoid ancestors. It would be
mathematically impossible for a gene that instructs the organism
not to reproduce to survive because the gene could not passed on.
Homosexuals would have become extinct tens of thousand of
years ago.

I'm not a hater. Do what you want, have fun, time of your life,
just don't ask me to cosign your pseudo scientific hub bub.
Heterosexual really were born this way but we don't go around
putting the world on notice. We don't have to. The fact the
humans exist is an elegant statement. I say this with an open
heart and absent malice. Believe me I love this idea of gay men,
because it means at least in theory more woman for me.

Also gay criminals are starting to fill up our prisons. The day is
coming when a heterosexual prisoner will file a suit, alleging
cruel and unusual punishment. The U. S Constitution says that all
criminals must be confined under the same conditions, allowing
on for security. If, homosexual are not denied romantic, social
and spiritual contact with possible mates, then heterosexuals
should be confined under similar conditions. After all, fair is fair.
And this is not about sex. It's about finding and experiencing the
spark of the universe, which I can only find in a woman through
romantic, social and spiritual contact. If homosexual are not
denied this wonder during incarceration, then neither should I.
So rock on homosexuals. Fuck your buddies wherever
you find them. In the mean time I'll be looking for a good lawyer.

Signed. Parker Grayson
“The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value
whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be
to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His
soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And,
above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any
way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated
by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the
law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He
may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true
! Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
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many obstacles socially, culturally and
politically. The Free Iraqi Movement is
this minority’s first official entity. It
was founded by Jalal Diab and other
Iraqi Africans in 2007, and is a secular
civil gathering aimed at achieving their
rights away from racism or
discrimination, as expressed by the
founder of the movement.
In the book “Minorities in
Iraq,” edited by Saad Saloum, there is
a chapter titled “Black Iraqis: Scarred
Memory and Recovered Identity” in
which Diab tackles discrimination and
racism against slaves, including
religious mythology, social behavior
and political participation. Blacks were
increasingly treated as inferior, which
undermined their humanitarian value
in a culture that was racist against
black people. This is with the
knowledge that a few of the old
thinkers tried to criticize this
phenomenon, like al-Jahiz (AD 869),
who did so in his book, "The
Superiority of the Blacks to the
The popular stories taken
from the Book of Genesis say that
blacks originate from Ham, the son of
Noah. According to these stories, Ham
Continued on page 33
intensity of racism and injustice. The
rebellion started in Basra, included half
a million slaves and swept across a vast
country. The rebellion continued to
Mecca, where slaves stole the black
stone of the Kaaba, seeing it as a
symbol of the values of their masters,
who had legalized the trade. The
rebellion was eventually put down, as
thousands were killed and many
displaced and brought back to slavery.
African-Iraqis originate from many
countries of Africa, and they have been
brought to Iraq in different periods up
until the beginning of the last century.
They were used in farms and homes,
and sometimes in combat confrontations
in the ongoing disputes between the
princes and aristocrats in the south and
center of the country, within the
aristocratic structure of Iraqi society at
the time. They are still used as servants
in the houses of clan elders or employed
in very low fields of work.
Collective awareness about the
identity challenges facing the black
minority in Iraq rose after the fall of
Saddam Hussein in 2003. Black Iraqis
started to form associations and
organize social events to demand their
rights to participate in political and
social life, but they continued to face
-(0012#$3 456 789:; <68=<6>4?@6 ?==76 AIC:*3*). /FAG
By Ali Mamouri

Many people are surprised to hear that
there is a black minority of African
descent in Iraq, particularly in Basra, and
they are even more surprised to hear that
this minority is being discriminated
against and is falling victim to racism.
Their first reaction would be to repeat that
the era of racism against blacks ended
decades ago, or with the advent of Islam.
But those ideas conflict with the societal
reality in Iraq. Although racism has been
illegal under the Iraqi legislative system
since the founding of the state in 1921,
this minority is trapped by different types
of discrimination and racism within
society. The legislative and educational
systems, as well as the official Iraqi
media, need to give special attention to the
issue by passing laws that criminalize any
form of racism or discrimination, while
educating the community in this regard.
Iraq, like other countries in the ancient
world, witnessed a wide slave trade, as
Baghdad was the capital of the Abbasid
Caliphate for over five centuries. The
trade was at its peak back then, and slaves
of different races were brought to Iraq to
be sold in the slave markets.
The Zanj rebellion (869-883 AD)
paints a historical picture of the spread of
slavery at the time and reflects the

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them, the legalization and enforcement of
clear and express laws that forbid and
criminalize any sort of persecution against
them, different treatment in the public
sector, the integration of social awareness
programs in the school curriculum to call
for the respect of all races, colors and
religions. This would pave the way for
public representation in local councils, the
parliament and all governmental
departments, and finally shed light on
them in the media, leading to a share of
the state’s official media being dedicated
to them.
It is noteworthy that Diab, the
founder of the Free Iraqi Movement, was
assassinated on April 26, 2013, in the
wake of the local council elections in Iraq.
Before the incident, the movement had
presented two electoral candidates, some
of whom withdrew immediately after the
assassination. Opposing parties or
regional sides might be blamed for this
This movement was influenced by the
American civil rights movement, and
widely celebrated the victory of Barack
Obama in the American presidential
elections. Diab himself had hung photos
of Obama and Martin Luther King in the
movement’s affiliated schools and
centers, thus provoking anti-US political
and religious parties. Moreover, several
political and social figures expressed their
irritation with the events of the movement
and described their demands as
exaggerations and political bargaining.
Ali Mamouri is a researcher and writer
who specializes in religion. He is a former
teacher in Iranian universities and
religious seminaries in Iran and Iraq. He
has published several articles related to
religious affairs in the two countries and
societal transformations and sectarianism
in the Middle East.

Read more: http://www.al-
develop the social situation of blacks.
For this reason, it is very rare for
black Iraqis to hold degrees and
occupy intermediate ranks in the
army, police or official departments,
even in their own regions.
Third, their political
participation in the country has been
largely undermined, and not one of
them has reached the level of minister,
MP in the national parliament,
member of the municipal councils or
general manager or such. It is
noteworthy that their marginalization
persists although they exceed about
1.5 million, according to the Free
Iraqi Movement Vice President Salah
Ruhais Salman, or 2 million,
according to a statement made by the
secretary-general of the movement,
Abdel Hussein Abdel Razzak. They
have presented candidates more than
once to the Basra provincial council,
but they have not won any seats.
According to a document published
on Wikileaks, the director of the US
Embassy’s regional office in Basra,
Ramon Negron, said, “The black
community suffers disproportionately
under the government’s patronage-
based political system. …
[Otherwise,] a unified black
community would easily have enough
votes to win at least one seat on
[Basra’s Provincial Council].”
The black community in Iraq
aspires to legitimate rights, including
the recognition of their existence, an
official apology for the long history of
discrimination and racism against
Black Iraqis, Continued from page 32

mocked his father and God then punished
him by making his descendants enslaved
blacks. Moreover, religious holy books did
not declare the abolition of slavery, but
rather approved it — directly or indirectly
— and have even helped to broaden and
deepen the culture of slavery.
First, religious texts discriminate
between slaves and freemen in several
issues, including that of punishment of
their murderers or lack thereof, if they
were freemen. Many insulting expressions
like describing black people as holders of
the keys to hell (Ashab al Jahim) and
white people as holders of the keys to
heaven (Ashab al Janna) are also used.
Second, social habits and norms
expressly distinguish between freemen and
slaves. The vast majority of Iraqis are
opposed to mixed marriages between
slaves and the “Sadah,” who are the
descendants of the Islamic Prophet
Muhammad, considering that there is a
difference in lineage and purity. The word
“slave” is still attributed to black people in
cases of conflict, mockery or even in their
absence when someone wants to introduce
them and distinguish them from white
men. An example of this discrimination
would be an anecdote from Marwa, who
told Al-Monitor that she was asked to hand
over her passport during a trip to the Iraqi
Kurdistan region. The police considered
her a non-Iraqi foreigner, and she
complained of being sarcastically
addressed as Michael Jackson and Bilal
ibn Rabah al-Habashi (the black muezzin
of the Prophet Muhammad). Moreover,
there is no common social hub that aims to
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't
matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.”
! Muhammad Ali

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(CNN) -- Say "urban poor," and
the image that most likely comes to mind
is one of young black men caught up in a
swirl of drugs and violence and
irresponsible single women having
babies. But this pervasive stereotype
overlooks a surprising reality: Many
whites live side by side African-
Americans in some of the country's
poorest urban neighborhoods.
Because white poverty is less
expected, less recognized and less
studied, we often exclude poor whites
from our discussions. That masks a
fundamental truth about economic
inequality: Poverty is colorblind. But
neither is it the same for everyone, as the
white poor benefit from a lifetime of the
hidden perks of white privilege.
As our nation continues down
the road of economic recovery, this is a
reality our local and national
policymakers cannot afford to ignore as
they seek to address employment and
income inequality.
We traced the experience of
nearly 800 children in Baltimore for
more than 25 years, from the time they
entered first grade in the fall of 1982 in
20 Baltimore public schools to well into
their third decade. Half their families
were low income, according to school
records, and the typical low-income
parent hadn't finished high school. What
might be surprising is that of that half,
40% are white.
Looking at where these
children started in life and where they
ended up, the study results are troubling
but clear: At 28, hardly any of the
children from a disadvantaged
background, black or white, had finished
But even without the benefit of
a college degree, whites, and white men
especially, had vastly better employment
outcomes. At every age, the white men
experienced shorter spells of
unemployment, were more likely to be
working full-time and earned more.
Baltimore, like so many other
American cities, suffered immensely
under the ravages associated with de-
industrialization: the loss of industry,
population and wealth. Under such
circumstances, many of the city's
disadvantaged youths stumbled along
the way.
But the consequences have
been especially dire for African-
Americans. As young adults, African-
American men had fared much worse
than whites in the job market, even
though they and their white counterparts
had about the same levels of education
and the whites reported higher rates of
marijuana and heavy drug use and binge
Take, for example, the types of
jobs the men in our study held. At 28,
nearly half of the white men who had not
attended college were employed in the
industrial and construction trades, the
highest-paying sector of blue-collar
employment. By contrast, only 15% of
African-American men worked in these
sectors, and even within that small group,
annual earnings were less than half that
of whites -- $21,500 versus $43,000.
This disparity is no accident. It
fits a broader pattern evident as far back
as high school: About one-fifth of white
men who grew up in disadvantaged
families had after-school and summer
jobs in these industries -- important
experience that can help secure a full-
time job -- while not a single African-
American person did.
Indeed, throughout the course of
our study, it was clear that African-
Americans face greater barriers to
Continued on page 35…
Urban poverty,
in black and white
By Karl Alexander and Linda Olson

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As if for not a moment too soon,
Would you have not a moment to care,
Like the sun gives light to the moon,
Would you have not a moment to spare?
If, time were the healer of wounds, would I heal or would
you leave me to bleed?
For time unattended consumes, for it has drained the life
out of me.

As for time marching on to the end,
it has seem to be held back at bay.
As for the moments of time that we spend,
sometimes the are just moments wasting away. "

Jimmi, James Banzaca 06866-017


Having an arrest record or failing to
complete high school were less
consequential for white men than for
African-American men: 84% of whites
without a high school degree were
employed at 22; among African
Americans, just 40% were.
Racial inequality also is
embedded in hidden ways in other spheres
of life, including discrimination in housing
and banking practices that have kept white
and black Baltimore substantially separate
and cut off working class African-
Americans from potentially valuable social
Why do differences in employment track
so sharply with color lines?
The race-based privilege that benefits
working-class whites over working-class
African-Americans has its origins in the
discriminatory practices that excluded
African-Americans from the skilled trades
during Baltimore's booming World War II
and post-war industrial economy.
Although overt racial
discrimination has lessened since then, the
deep structural inequalities these barriers
helped establish continue today through
word-of-mouth hiring, employer attitudes
that limit opportunities for African-
Americans and segregated social networks.
The differences in how these
young people found jobs illustrate the
invisible ways race-based privilege is
institutionalized in the job market.
When asked at age 22 how they found their
current jobs, whites more often mentioned
help from family and friends, while more
African-Americans found jobs "on their
own." The white job seekers in our study
had family, friends and neighbors who
could help them access good-quality,
higher-paying jobs.
And what of those women having babies?
Most of the women of
disadvantaged background, white and
African-American, became mothers as
teenagers, worked sporadically and when
working, their employment was
concentrated in the low-pay clerical and
service sectors.
The difference, though, is that
many more white women were married or
in a stable co-habiting relationship. An
additional earner in the household makes a
vast difference in economic well-being,
which means that white men's workplace
advantages benefit white women as
As Americans, we like to think that we
are all on a level playing field. Our
society treasures rags-to-riches stories
of individuals overcoming their
humble origins to achieve the
American Dream. But, the harsh reality
we witnessed in Baltimore is that race
and class place severe limitations on a
child's ability to achieve that dream.
Too often, our policymakers
focus on colorblind solutions, such as
the Earned Income Tax Credit, to help
the urban poor. Such programs only
help those who already have jobs and
fail to address chronic unemployment
among African-Americans.
Amid the growing national
conversation on economic inequality,
now is the time for our leaders to
recognize that race matters and
develop creative programs, such as
President Barack Obama's "My
Brother's Keeper" initiative, to address
the different challenges facing poor
Tracking the lives of Baltimore
children for 25 years, we witnessed all
too clearly how family conditions and
poverty early in life cast a shadow that
follows children into adulthood and
how that shadow extends much further
if you are African-American.
Only by facing this reality
head on with proactive programs and
policies can we offer young African-
Americans a fair shot at achieving the
American dream.


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On July 18, 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make the two-level reduction in drug
guidelines retroactive so that prisoners serving drug sentences can apply for a sentence reduction.
Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions:

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By Spencer S. Hsu

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Continued on page 39…

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45 6

"First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then they lose."

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Urban Literature
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