This week, Mwalimu Shakur calls us from inside Corcoran prison in California to share his experiences in the Secure Housing Unit. He’s been on the show before, talking about the gladiator fights used by guards to punish and control the imprisoned population. Housed in Corcoran for decades, he describes how he kept going under such extreme isolation. We will have links to our previous episodes with Mwalimu on our website.
Last week, on December 17th, Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz passed away. In 1970, Shoatz was convicted for the murder of a police officer in Pennsylvania and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On February 20, 2014, Shoatz was returned to the prison’s general population after being held in solitary confinement for over 22 consecutive years. Shoatz was granted compassionate release on October 26, 2021, while suffering from a terminal illness. He was a founding member of the Black Unity Council, a former member of the Black Panther Party and a soldier in the Black Liberation Army.
Today, we share part of an interview with Shoatz, recorded on August 15th 1996, at State Correctional Institution-Greene in Pennsylvania. The interview was originally aired on the Peoples Video Network, and was conducted by Dhoruba Bin Wahad.