Ebony Magazine Pens Article Criminalizing Mumia Abu Jamal

I’m reading about this sad scenario of some writer who sounds like he’s trying to spark things off by being ‘outrageous’..In this case he takes a shot at Mumia..which is not cool on a number of levels..Why add to putting a man’s life at risk? Would this same writer smash on say the neighborhood dope dealer who has a Suge Knight type rep and temper?  Would he pen an article lambasting, dry snitching or etc to a person like that?

 I guess one shouldn’t be shocked.. its all about making the bottom line for folks.. We saw that with Philadelphia’s new Black DA Seth Williams who campaigned on putting Mumia to death and got the endorsements of the policeman’s union. We see that with this writer who may be trying to make name for himself and doesn’t care if his words in a publication like Ebony Magazine carries weight and used to validate a course of action one might wanna take.. Here are some of the letters of objection that were written to Ebony Magazine..

-Davey D-



Sis. Fatirah and myself have raised our voices against Jam Donaldson’s recent column which appeared in Ebony Magazine’s February 2010 issue (viewable at http://www.conversateisnotaword.com/?p=167). Please read our letters and let your voice be heard as well! — Sis. Marpessa.

Jam Donaldson

Terry Glover, Managing Editor
Ebony Magazine
Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.
820 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

To whom it may concern,

I’m writing in response to the ‘article’ in Ebony magazine by Hot ghetto mess Jam Donaldson. As I read it, I thought ‘uh oh; here is another self hating young Black person, who thinks they are designated to point out our faults and present our failures to the world (ala hotghettomess.com), all the while appearing just a little bit better than the rest of us. I have seen the messes in various emails and while they bring a shake of the head, I wonder why someone would go to the trouble of exploiting the worst in our community instead of high-lighting the best?

Then I come to the last paragraph where Ms Mess states that “One day I’m like, ‘Free Mumia’ and other days I’m like, ‘That n***** probably did it.’ And I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m not afraid to write about it.”

Of course you’re ‘not afraid to write about it’, you are aware that there is an audience for just such words: The FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) for one will probably use your words in some of their propaganda and I’m sure that will make you proud.

Self-serving pseudo journalism at it’s worst.

If you ever choose to be a responsible journalist, you will find that there is much information about Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case, done by upstanding reporters who have DONE THEIR HOMEWORK, and are not looking for a pithy little ending.

Mumia’s life is on the line, and for you to be so cavalier about it shows either your naivete, or your deliberate attempt to ingratiate yourself with those who are seeking to murder an innocent man.

If you find yourself looking for some excellent articles from a man whose body has been locked down for years, but whose mind and heart are as free as the wind, you can follow any of the links below for more information.

I doubt you will, there’s nothing ‘sexy’ about the truth.

Fatirah Aziz



Jam Donaldson

Terry Glover, Managing Editor
Ebony Magazine
Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.
820 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

The Ebony Magazine February 2010 article entitled: “Sisterspeak – Did I just CALL YOU OUT? YEP. I did. Deal with it. One writer tells the truth,” by Jam Donaldson concludes by proclaiming, “One day I’m like, ‘Free Mumia’ and other days I’m like, ‘That n***** probably did it.’ And I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m not afraid to write about it.”

You succeeded in ending your article with controversy but was the pay-off worth carelessly toying with a man’s life? This isn’t a Gen-X’er spreading your wings in defiance of the status quo or clowning somebody for having their behind hanging out and rainbow-colored weave as you regularly do on the web, you made a flippant and highly irresponsible condemnation purely for shock value!

“Free Mumia” is not a catchprase to be spouted according to your mood swings and supposings, nor a litmus test by which you should make reckless statements as a way to poke out your chest and feel special. To believe that Mumia should be free is to fight to uncover the truth that has been smothered by the courts for 28+ years. It’s not about a gimmick for your self-promotion by using Mumia’s name for flava, hype or to raise your google-ability — this is a demand for a constitutionally guaranteed fair trial before a jury of ones peers instead of a hate-filled feeding frenzy of racism, coerced testimony, fabricated, distorted and hidden evidence. It’s about trying to get justice in a court where an entire police union (FOP) carries picket signs in protest and packs hearings with t-shirts emblazoned with “Fry Mumia” over their highly visible guns — before a judge who himself is a lifetime FOP member! It’s about an outrageous frame-up of a Black man who the COINTELPRO targeted as early as his teenage years.

This zinger with which you ended your article crosses the line from an attempt at being clever to an outright attack. The slightest bit of research would have shown you that at this very critical juncture in history Mumia is in the midst of extremely intensified court pressures and the campaign to release him is in the midst of a knockdown, drag-out battle to stop his legalized lynching! Unfortunately your witless assertion now carries weight because it has been so incredibly elevated by Ebony magazine, of all places! The appalling way in which you chose to end your piece may have given you a smirk of personal satisfaction but the only people you have impressed are those who are salivating at the prospect of murdering Mumia, or don’t you get that?

As for Ebony magazine, has your more than half-century of publishing come down to this, such a desperate yearning to attract young readership that you showcase an article that debases a Black man fighting for his life on death row as a “NIGGER” (why bother with the asterisks at all?)! Is that really where it’s at with Ebony nowadays? Freedom of expression is one thing, but gross negligence is quite another! As one of the most well-respected Black publications in the US and world, surely you must realize that much of Black America views the case against Mumia with a healthy amount of skepticism, not to mention his being an internationally recognized author, scholar and champion of human rights. Someone with maturity should have pointed out to this “blogger and cultural commentator” that this was an extremely reckless and slanderous statement to make regarding anyone at all, let alone a colleague and fellow practicing journalist!

Right now there is a major campaign to urge Attorney General Eric Holder to open a civil rights investigation into the frame-up of Mumia. Ebony Magazine should agree to maintain at least the appearance of fairness and give space to the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal to provide balance to this smear against Mumia which you printed in your publication. They must, at the very least, be given the opportunity to discuss the current state of the campaign to free Mumia and be able to point your readers toward resources to reach their own opinions regarding his case as soon as possible to refute Ms. Donaldson’s commentary.

Marpessa Kupendua

Mumia Abu-Jamal on-line resources:
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal: http://www.freemumia.com
Academics for Mumia: http://www.emajonline.com/index.php?action=4&content_id=311
Information and Analysis: http://abu-jamal-news.com/
Some of Mumia’s journalism: http://www.prisonradio.org/mumia.htm

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Fat Joe, Ice Cube, Immortal Technique & Alex Sanchez Talk about Black & Brown Unity


In addressing the issue of Black/ Brown unity we caught up with popular rappers Fat Joe & Ice Cube and asked them to address the issue.. Fat Joe spoke at the Hip Hop summit in 2001 and explained the political importance of the two groups coming together…

Ice Cube spoke to the history of unity between Black and Brown peoples in California. He taks about how the Brown man helped the Black man escape slavery..Cube also weighs in on the immigration debate.

We caught up to Immortal Technique at the Malcolm X day parade in Harlem in may of 2006 and talked to him about Black and Brown Unity… He gave us a lot to think about in the areas of colonization and divide and conquer techniques used by those who have enslaved us or colonized us..
Former gang member turned peacemaker Alex Sanchez spoke at Laney College in Oakland during the Critical Resistence conference in 2007 about Black Brown unity and how we should beawre and ideally unify around the issue of immigration. He said we need to understyand the inhumane treatment many are experiencing and focus on this being a human rights issue.. He stressed that both communities need to be more educated about struggles we are going through…
Former gang member turned peacemaker Alex Sanchez talks about solutions for establishing Black/ Brown unity..He talks about the role people in peace and social justice movements must play and the language they must use and not use.. He also talks about regional tactics.. He notes Black-Brown relationships are different in California compared to places like NY and we need to not have a one size fits all strategy.. He also talks about how there are powerful forces within prison that have made unifying difficult because of politics from behind the walls..
We sat down with San Antonio based Professor Mario Salas and talked to him about ways in which Black and Brown communities have worked together. He talks about the Black Panthers and Brown Berets

Goodie Mob, Jacka, Umi of RBG Drop Pearls of wisdom around Violence in the community


Last night, a historic gathering took place in san Francisco at the 330 Ritch club. That was the locale for the  Stop the Violence panel and townhall featuring reknowned artists like the Goodie Mob, Tha Jacka, Umi of RBG, Elaine Brown of the Black Panther party  and a host of others..

The  panelist spoke to the issue of violence within and outside of the community. They also spoke about political prisoner Chip Fitzgerald a former Black Panther who has served 40 years..

 T-Mo of the Goodie Mobb addressed the audience with his insight on the role he and his group can play on bettering the community..


Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo drops pearls of wisdom on the Stop the Violence panel. He talks about his responsibility to the communityalso talks about how and why Goodie Mob has managed to remain  together over the years..


Goodie Mob members Khujo and Big Gipp address the issue of community violence. They talk about their role as artists, noting that they’ve always put the community first.. The noted that they were activists more than artists..


Umi of RBG/ dead prez  speaks to the audience on the Stop the Violence panel about being revolutionary and having love for the community. He talks about how its important for us to turn that love into action and do things that will benefit the group and not just the individual..


Oakland rap star Tha Jacka talks about not glamorizing our faults and staying connected to the community as a way to set examples for those who look up to him.. Rudy Corbuz of United Playaz laces the audience with the importance of staying grounded and seeing the best within the people of the community.. Both men give us real food for thought


Former Black Panther chair Elaine Brown addressed the packed house for the Stop the Violence panel to talk about how the state places violence on us and we respond by turning on each other. She also talks about Black-Brown violence and lets us know how this has been orchestrated by the police and other law enforcement outlets that deliberately do things to ratch up tensions.. She offers the solution that the Black Panthers, Young Lords and Brown Berets used to come together…
We continue lacing people with inspiring words and solution at the Stop the Violence panel. Here Julio aka Gold Toes and Khujo of the Goodie Mob talk about empowering the community.. Julio talks about unting La Raza and teaming up with Jim Brown and folks from the NOI among others.. Talks about the gang enhancement laws and how the police are smashing on folks..by accusing people of gang banging

Khujo talks about how each person in the community has to be an inspiration and not to wait on and soley depend upon rap artists..

We conclude this Stop the Violence series with words of wisdom from former lifer Gerald of Not Without Tears talks about the gang situation in LA and how a lot of it is oftwen instigated by the police.  He talks about the influence of the Black Panthers and the Black on Brown conflict inside prison..

Nicco talks about the challenges young women are facing and how we must be aware of the hurt people are dealing with and help them heal..