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PM Press

We Want Freedom (Common Notions)

We Want Freedom (Common Notions)

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Mumia Abu Jamal, America’s most famous political prisoner, is internationally known for his radio broadcasts and books emerging “Live from Death Row.” In his youth Mumia Abu-Jamal helped found the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party, wrote for the national newspaper, and began his life-long work of exposing the violence of the state as it manifests in entrenched poverty, endemic racism, and unending police brutality. In We Want Freedom, Mumia combines his memories of day-to-day life in the Party with analysis of the history of Black liberation struggles. The result is a vivid and compelling picture of the Black Panther Party and its legacy.

Applying his poetic voice and unsparing critical gaze, Mumia examines one of the most revolutionary and most misrepresented groups in the US. As the calls that Black Lives Matter continue to grow louder, Mumia connects the historic dots in this revised/updated edition, observing that the Panthers had legal observers to monitor the police and demanded the “immediate end to police brutality and the murder of Black people.” By focusing on the men and women who were the Party, as much as on the leadership; by locating the Black Panthers in a struggle centuries old—and in the personal memories of a young man—Mumia Abu-Jamal helps us to understand freedom.


"An important and timely read, now as much as ever. In this new edition of We Want Freedom, Mumia provides with clarity and force the historical context for the Black Lives Matter movement—anchoring Black struggle in a long history of militant self-defense. This book is both a guide and a light: full of hope, lessons, challenges, and profound insight into our collective struggle for freedom. I encourage all organizers, new and seasoned, to read and discuss with your people."
—Page May, co-founder of Assata’s Daughters


"The republication of Mumia Abu Jamal’s We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party has come right on time. Mumia’s wonderful book is not only about the Black Panther Party and his experiences within it, but it is an urgent exposition of the long history of the Black Radical Tradition. Rich in historical detail and still attuned to ongoing contemporary discussions concerning Black liberation, We Want Freedom provides a new generation of activists, radicals, and revolutionaries with the politics and clarity necessary to sustain today’s movement. Mumia’s critical voice, experience, and analysis in We Want Freedom—written originally from death row—embody the courage and commitment necessary for any social movement to succeed."
—Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
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