Bro. Charles (1951-2010)
[col. writ. 7/25/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal
His name was Ali Shabazz, but most people called him Bro. Charles.
Born Leslie Charles Beasley, in June, 1951 in Phila, PA, he was drawn, like many boys his age, to gang life.
As anyone knows, gang life is a hard life, and Charles, despite his relatively short stature, was as hard as they come. Few saw his sensitive side, but he had a wonderful sense of humor, a rich belly laugh, was a talented artist with a caring heart for younger people.
In 1980, after a series of stick-ups that went badly, he was sent to Death Row, and it was there that Bro. Charles died, not by the hangman's noose, but by "natural causes" (as if any death or life on death row could be considered natural)
His health deteriorated seriously in the last few years, and substandard treatment by prison health personnel certainly didn't do much to arrest that deterioration.
He was a longtime member of the Nation of Islam, from whence came his names: Charles X, and Ali Shabazz.
Bro. Charles was 59.
--(c) '10 maj
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"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
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