Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

He was born Michael Allen Jones on December 14th, 1949. But many knew him by his movement name: I Abdul John, a long standing MOVE supporter, social activist and an around rebel.
As a young man, then a member of the US military, he was on his way state side, when he tossed into an officer’s quarters. Instead of coming home he was sent to the brig at Leavenworth.
In the 1970s at the height of MOVE conflicts with the police, MOVE member Pam Africa would often protest, standing alone. Abdul, seeing this, couldn’t bear to do nothing, so he would join her. Before long both would end up either jailed or in a hospital, often left with broken bones. No matter what, Abdul kept on rolling. That protective instinct stuck with Abdul and it never left. When people came from other cities to protest in Philly, when they left to drive home Abdul would often accompany them to their car. I Abdul John was a talented photographer. In the fall of 1981, Abdul and I went up to Rochester, New York, after a group of MOVE men and women were arrested on federal charges. Abdul and I were on assignment for the Philadelphia Tribune: he as photographer, I the reporter. His photos helped make the articles come alive. The articles revealed a stark dichotomy between MOVE’s treatment in Philadelphia and Rochester. MOVE was doing the same thing in both cities, but they were demonized by media in one city and left alone in the other. What a difference the media made!
I Abdul John was a father and grandfather of a real host of kids: David, Michael, Tariq, Malik, Samira, Braheeim, Yahmon, Karlin, Rashad, and Ibraheim. As Wadiya used to tell me often: “Abdul is a good brother.” He returned to the ancestors after 74 winters in America.
With love, not phear. This is Mumia Abu-Jamal