Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?


Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
City Lights Books
Publish Date
5.0 X 6.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL is an award-winning journalist and author of two best-selling books, Live From Death Row and Death Blossoms, which address prison life from a critical and spiritual perspective. In 1981 he was elected president of the Association of Black Journalists (Philadelphia chapter). That same year he was arrested for allegedly killing a white police officer in Philadelphia. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982, in a process that has been described as an epic miscarriage of justice. In 2011, after spending more than 28 years on death row, his death sentence was vacated when the Supreme Court allowed to stand the decisions of four federal judges who had earlier declared his death sentence unconstitutional. He is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. In spite of his three-decade-long imprisonment, most of which was spent in solitary confinement on Death Row, Abu-Jamal has relentlessly fought for his freedom and for his profession. From prison he has written seven books and thousands of radio commentaries. He holds a BA from Goddard College and an MA from California State University, Dominguez Hills. His books have sold more than 100,000 copies and have been translated into seven languages.


"When enough time has passed, as in when what was staring us in the face can actually be acknowledged, it will be significant that one of the clearest voices on the injustice of our justice system has spent much of his life in prison, and by many accounts, wrongfully. Here Jamal directs his attention at other people who have suffered at the hands of justice, and tells their stories. What a remarkable thing to be doing from the heart of one's own ongoing travesty."--John Freeman, Literary Hub

"The columns list the roll call of victims in real time, from Abner Louima to Travyon Martin and beyond. This is a book containing examples of, as one column called it, 'legalized police violence, ' killings and abuse 'you pay for . . . every time you pay taxes, endur[ing] this every time you vote for politicians who sell out in an instant.' To Abu-Jamal, 'Americans are blind to everything but color' because 'United States history is a history of denial.'"--Todd Burroughs, "Drums in the Global Village"

"Capsulizing the history of white slave patrols, their relationship to today's police departments and a justice system that preserves immunity for officers who kill, Abu-Jamal goes on to suggest how and why we've arrived at such a horrific place in American history."--Denise Sullivan, Down With Tyranny

"With the recent acquittal of two more police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men, the question posed by the title of this book is as relevant as it ever was. Through a series of concise, clear essays, Mumia Abu-Jamal details the racism against blacks, comparing today's behaviors with the lynchings that were common in the south prior to the decade of the sixties. . . . Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? is powerful, disturbing, well-written, and an important book for our day."--Robert Fantina, New York Journal of Books

"In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?, a recently published book by Abu-Jamal, he writes from his prison cell, taking readers on a journey from slavery's traumatizing past to the brutality of today's police state."--Roqayah Chamseddine, "Shadowproof"