The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind

The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind

by Safiya Bukhari
     
 

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In 1968, Safiya Bukhari witnessed an NYPD officer harassing a Black Panther for selling the organization's newspaper on a Harlem street corner. The young pre-med student felt compelled to intervene in defense of the Panther's First Amendment right; she ended up handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police car.

The War Before traces Bukhari's lifelong

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Overview

In 1968, Safiya Bukhari witnessed an NYPD officer harassing a Black Panther for selling the organization's newspaper on a Harlem street corner. The young pre-med student felt compelled to intervene in defense of the Panther's First Amendment right; she ended up handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police car.

The War Before traces Bukhari's lifelong commitment as an advocate for the rights of the oppressed. Following her journey from middle-class student to Black Panther to political prisoner, these writings provide an intimate view of a woman wrestling with the issues of her time—the troubled legacy of the Panthers, misogyny in the movement, her decision to convert to Islam, the incarceration of outspoken radicals, and the families left behind. Her account unfolds with immediacy and passion, showing how the struggles of social justice movements have paved the way for the progress of today.

Born in Harlem, Safiya Bukhari joined the Black Panther Party in 1969. Imprisoned for nine years on a robbery and murder charge, Bukhari was released in 1999 and went on to co-found the New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition and other organizations advocating for the release of political prisoners. She died in 2003 at the age of 53.

Laura Whitehorn has been a political activist since the 1960s. She spent 14 years in prison for the Resistance Conspiracy case. Released in 1999, she lives in New York City.

Wonda Jones is the daughter of Safiya Bukhari.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There are speeches about political prisoners in the United States and memories of Safiya Bukhari's life in the BPP. Together, the sum is considerably greater than the parts. Like a well-composed musical tone poem, the reader leaves this book with a sense of understanding and fulfillment…"—Ron Jacob, Counterpunch.org

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558616103
Publisher:
Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,191,864
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 7.54(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author


Born in Harlem, Bukhari joined the Black Panther Party in 1969. Imprisoned for nine years, Bukhari then co-founded the New York Free Mumia Abu-jamal Coalition and was co-chair of the Jericho Movemnet to Free US Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. She died in 2003. Laura Whitehorn was a member of the Weather Underground, a supporter of the Black Civil Rights Movement, and the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. She worked to expose the illegal COINTELPRO of the FBI. Arrested in 1985, she became a defendant in the Resistance Conspiracy Case. She spent fourteen years in prison (released in 1999). She works at Poz magazine.

Born in Harlem, Jones is the daughter of Safiya Bukhari. Jones is the director of the Safiya Bukhari - Albert Nuh Washington Foundation, which raises funds for the families of US political prisoners. She is also a nurse and consultant to Field Up Productions, an independent film company that produces documentaries and dramatic features focusing on the Civil Rights era.

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