Kuwasi Balagoon was a participant in the Black Liberation struggle from the 1960s until his death in prison in 1986. A member of the Black Panther Party and defendant in the infamous Panther 21 case, Balagoon went underground with the Black Liberation Army (BLA). Balagoon was unusual for his time in that he combined anarchism with Black nationalism, broke the rules of sexual and political conformity, took up arms against the white supremacist State—all the while never shying away from critiquing the movements's weaknesses. The first part of this book consists of contributions by those who knew or were touched by Balagoon; the second consists of court statements and essays by Balagoon himself, including several documents which have never been published before. The third section consists of excerpts from letters Balagoon wrote while in prison. A final section includes a historical essay by Akinyele Umoja and an extensive intergenerational roundtable discussion of the significance of Balagoon’s life and thoughts today.
About the Author
Kuwasi Balagoon was a defendant in the Panther 21 case in 1969 and a member of the Black Liberation Army. Captured and convicted of various crimes against the State, he spent much of the 1970s in prison, escaping twice. He died of an AIDS-related illness on December 13, 1986.
"We have to get our jewels where we can, for this is how we carry on from one generation to the next, it's revolutionary cross-pollination. To paraphrase Che, we need one, two, three, many more Kuwasi Balagoons in order to get free of the chains that bind us." —Sanyika Shakur
"The words in these papers and letters speak important truths to our current situation, and will provoke heated debate on both theory and practice, as we move into a new and dangerous era, ever rekindling the hope of radical transfomation.” —Mark Lance, professor of philosophy, Justice and Peace Studies Program, Georgetown University; general director, Institute for Anarchist Studies