Hey y’all, on the MOVE.
Thanks Brandon for inviting me back to Temple. You know, years ago, I sold Black Panther newspapers here. I also worked on Temple’s radio station, the jazz icon known as WRTI, doing commercials and commentary.
Can students have an impact not just on campus, but in the community? My answer: of course, because most students are young. They don’t yet have kids. Because of that, you’re now living your freest selves that you will ever be. For many, it’s your first time being away from home. Also, you’re reading about facts, ideas, histories, narratives that you never heard of in high school nor ever saw on TV, so I say enjoy that freedom, relish it, but also use it.
What you learned today will cast light or shadow on your lives to come, so dare to learn, dare to study, dare to question, then dare to act. In many ways, schools seek to mold you, to tame you, to teach you obedience and acquiescence. There’s a reason why fields of study are called disciplines. It’s not by accident.
I think education should be for liberation. It should lead you to ask questions and then to answer them for yourself. For blacks in America, the simple act of reading was once a serious crime. Education opened the cages of bondage, so study, dare to study, dare to learn, dare to act: study as if your life depended on it, for in a way, it does, for your life is your mind, and the struggle for freedom in America has ever been the right to think your own thoughts, to swim in your own ideas.
Remember this: youth make the revolution. Almost always. Castro in Cuba was a very young man when he began the struggle. Huey P. Newton, who co-founded the Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale, was all of 24 years old, 24! So don’t say what you can’t do. Do what you want to do. Think on this: education is for liberation. So thanks, Brandon, thanks to the black and brown coalition, the black student union, the Haitian students union, the Asian students, and black law students. I love you all. Keep working, keep doing what you’re doing.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.