From Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row

Marilyn Buck: ¡Presente!

Published Aug 29, 2010 10:30 PM

For nearly 30 long, tortuous years, Marilyn Buck was a political prisoner of the state; a captive in the federal prison system for her role in the liberation of former Black Panther Assata Shakur. She wrote gripping lines of radical poetry, often about the lives and plights of her fellow imprisoned women, as well as of prisoners who were active in the Black freedom and nationalist movements.

For example, back in 2000 she wrote “Black August,” an excerpt of which follows:

Would you hang on a cliff’s edge
sword-sharp, slashing fingers
while jackboot screws stomp heels
on peeled-flesh bones
and laugh
“let go! die, damn you, die!”
could you hang on 20 years, 30 years?
20 years, 30 years and more
brave Black brothers buried
in US koncentration kamps
they hang on
Black light shining in torture chambers
Ruchell, Yogi, Sundiata, Sekou,
Warren, Chip, Seth, Herman, Jalil,
and more and more they resist: Black August

Marilyn wrote that poem in 2000. She was released in July 2010, and recently passed away from the ravages of cancer.

Marilyn Buck was imprisoned so long because of her support of the Black liberation movement, which made her a traitor, of sorts, to the white nation. Like John Brown, she fought to free the unfree. Her spirit of resistance never left her. Marilyn was 62.

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The extended friends and family of Marilyn Buck, 1947-2010
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