The whole country is in upheaval as a vast Movement for Black Lives continues to challenge white supremacy and the institutions of policing and prison. As monuments fall and precincts are seized in Minneapolis to Seattle, the lies and hidden truths of American society are being revealed. We’ve been reminded of James Baldwin’s line that “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” On this Juneteenth, the movement is forcing America to face the persistence of anti-black racism, and we are amplifying the words of prisoners in struggle against the persistence of prison slavery.
We share Keith “Malik” Washington’s 2018 Juneteenth statement on organizing in Texas against forced prisoner labor, as well as updates from the mother of another Texas prisoner. Additionally, we highlight other struggles at the intersection of the current uprising and the prison system, including those of Greg Curry, serving life for the multiracial uprising at Lucasville in 1993, and of Josh Williams, serving eight years for his courageous role in the Ferguson rebellion of 2014. We end with the beautiful poems – including one for Father’s Day – of James L Morgan, Jr, held inside a North Carolina prison.