Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Young Minds - Two Offerings
3.18 MBs, 3:58
at the urging of the late activist, Susan Burnett, this writer periodically
released a booklist, which Susan promptly put up on the Web, and
readers, especially young people, frequently wrote and commented
about various books, some of which had a deep impression on their
growth and development.
that process ceased, for various reasons, among them, the passing
book, or booklet, comes along which makes this writer think about
young persons, or even folks who aren't so young, because they are
well-written, offer insights into contested arenas of history or
politics, or offer a radical view of these areas. I especially think
of young folks when the texts are relatively brief (probably because
I remember my own phobias about big, thick books when I was a youngster).
If the books are illustrated, or made in comic form, so much the
a booklist, I want to discuss two relatively recent works, in the
hope that young readers will acquire them, and hopefully learn from
them, and maybe--just maybe-- discuss them with their friends and
to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism,
by Joel Andreas (illustrator & writer): As America
has recently embraced the path to what appears to be global war,
in the face of mass protests against such wars, it is important
to expose young folks to alternative views of the roots and reasons
for war. Addicted to War is funny, brilliant, skillfully drawn
in black ink, and even footnoted with pages full of references.
If you are a young person who suspects everything you've heard
on the news, or read in the newspaper isn't on the up and up,
Addicted is for you. It'll explain, not just recent wars (Gulf
War I, Vietnam, etc.) but will reveal the economic andmilitary
forces that advocated war, and the weak excuses they utilized
to get into foreign countries. It also illustrates the impact
of war on average American people, from housewives, to schoolkids,
and, of course, to those almost uncountable poor souls who bore
the brunt of American war fever: the peoples of the world (mostly
the so-called Third World!). Youngsters (and some older folks)
will never look at war in quite the same way after reading this
69-page book. Addicted to War is now available in Japanese, and
will soon come out in Korean, Spanish, and other languages.
Black Holocaust for Beginners, by Sam E. Anderson: Unlike
Addicted to War , Anderson's The Black Holocaust is not a comic
book. It is heavily, and expertly illustrated, yet what drives
the book is the text, as raw as new wounds on the skin of the
psyche. It is a brilliant telling of, not just the trans-Atlantic
slave trade, but the equally monstrous Arab slave trade along
the eastern shores of Africa, which lasted some 600 years longer,
and lasts up until our age. It is written in matter-of-fact style,
straight forward; a chilling portrayal of foreign rapes and exploitation
of Africa. It shows that the trade in human bondage was a global
process, which involved and impacted millions of people. It uses
both classical texts (like Cheikh Anta Diop's Civilization or
Barbarism ) and numerous records from the period to give the speech,
and flavor of the times to illustrate how economic, political,
and social forces converged to justify slavery, and exploit the
labor of millions. It's not 'fun' (it's not supposed to be), but
it is informative. It really is the roots of America and much
of the West.
both of these works to young readers in the spirit of learning why
things are the way they are (which I consider the very essence of
to War is published by AK Press (US), 674-A 23rd St., Oakland, CA
94612-1163. It's available from firstname.lastname@example.org. The Black
Holocaust for Beginners is published by Writers and Readers Publishing,
Inc., P.O. Box 461, Village Stn., New York, NY 10014. It is part
of the For Beginners Documentary Comic Book series, which produces
books on a variety of complex subjects. They may be reached at (212)
Check out Mumia's
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.