Are you innocent of being a revolutionary, or are you guilty of being a revolutionary? Rather an absurd question, especially if put to the many political prisoners in the US, fourteen of whom are former Black Panthers. Yet it seems like so many of us on the outside have fallen into the government’s criminal injustice trap of placing so much importance on whether our political prisoners are guilty or innocent of the crimes the government has charged and convicted them of. Could this be the reason why so many of these brave elders, who have sacrificed their entire adult lives for the revolutionary ideals espoused by the BPP, have received so little support and recognition over the forty-plus years of their imprisonment?
As we all recognize the tremendous courage, brilliance, and achievements of the Black Panther Party on its 50th anniversary, we should honor those who risked their lives for the Black liberation movement and continue to pay such a high price for their ideals. They were courageous as youth in the community. They are now elder political prisoners and tremendous Afrikan role models to the many thousands of Black people forced to live their lives behind prison walls. One of them, Herman Bell, has just written and recorded a piece especially for the occasion of the BPP’s 50th Anniversary. It’s an 11-minute message – so kick back and take a few minutes to listen to what our brother has to say.