Tag Archives: George Jackson

Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay

SQ6 defendants Fleeta Drumgo; Hugo Pinell; and David Johnson stage an impromptu sit in at San Quentin in 1975 when trial jurors toured the prison
SQ6 defendants Fleeta Drumgo; Hugo Pinell; and David Johnson stage an impromptu sit in at San Quentin in 1975 when trial jurors toured the prison.


Last Wednesday we co-sponsored Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay with Shaping San Francisco. 518 Valencia was standing room only with the space packed to capacity. The four panelists all shared interesting perspectives and drew important connections between historical and contemporary prison resistance. If you missed it, or just want to hear it again, follow the link below to a podcast of the entire event. We’ve also included the approximate timing for each panelists if you want to jump around. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event!

Prisoners and Politics Podcast

Author of Captive Nation Dan Burger (08:00- 32:00); original member of SQ Six David Johnson (32:30-48:00); original member of SQ Six Luis “Bato” Talamantez (48:00-54:30); National Lawyer’s Guild attorney Caitlin Kelly Henry (54:30-1:12:00); Q and A (1:12:00-end).



Preservation of the Past: George Jackson at San Quentin

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One of the many things the Freedom Archives did in 2014 is we transferred George Jackson/San Quentin to digital video from a 16mm film “work print” made in 1971–1972. This extraordinary video contains never-before-seen footage from San Quentin of George Jackson. It also includes footage of Angela Davis, then in the Marin County Jail, and the powerful comments of Georgia Jackson (George and Jonathan Jackson’s mother).

Watch Film Here

This film is a powerful visual complement to our other one-of-a-kind audio materials on George Jackson and the San Quentin Six. The preservation of such amazing, previously unknown historic materials is essential to deepening our understanding of struggle and resistance, and affirms our mission.

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Its Bigger Than Hip Hop

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dead prezWhat an incredible show!  Last Thursday’s Benefit Concert for the Freedom Archives at the New Parish was an amazing experience. Intimate venue, wonderful crowd, positive energy, conscious messages and world class musicians. The night opened with impactful spoken word from YGB Gold (Young Gifted and Black), a youth creative arts group from Oakland. Their selection Don’t Shoot was specifically powerful and unfortunately relevant as protests for Michael Brown (in Ferguson, MO) and Eric Garner (in NYC) continue. Bato Talamantez, one of the San Quentin Six, followed with a moving tribute to George Jackson. Sellassie was up next and represented the Bay while delivering a fiery performance evoking Africa, police brutality and black history. Ja’hi as PE 2.0 ripped the mic and incorporated most of the original elements of hip hop as he DJed, MCed and featured a break dancer on stage. Jennifer Johns rocked the crowd with her soulful and vibrant voice and was joined onstage for a couple cuts by Ryan Nicole Austin, a very talented Bay Area female MC. Kev Choice was next and brought a DJ and live drummer to complement his vocal and keyboard skills. DJ Leydis kept the crowd rocking throughout the night.  All this really grounded the evening in the Bay Area progressive community and brought the energy to a peak. Finally after midnight headliners Dead Prez took the stage. They did not disappoint, ripping through their catalog, speaking on political prisoners, discipline, health, revolution, love and activism. In all this was a great benefit, we’re happy so many folks came out to support and a big thanks to all the people who made this possible especially Ankh Marketing. Stay tuned for more information about our 15th anniversary on October 16th at the African-American Arts and Cultural Complex, 762 Fulton Street in San Francisco!

Extraordinary New George Jackson Footage

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Preserve the past – illuminate the present – shape the future.

George Jackson was a revolutionary theoretician, political prisoner and organizer. This extraordinary video is from a 16mm film “work print” made in 1971–1972, and includes interviews with George Jackson, Georgia Jackson (George and Jonathan Jackson’s mother) and Angela Davis, while she was still in the Marin County Courthouse Jail, before her acquittal.  The discovery of such amazing, previously unknown historic materials always leaves us thrilled and in awe, deepening our understanding of those times and affirming the mission of the Freedom Archives.

We are also excited to announce The Freedom Archives Benefit Concert featuring Dead PrezKev Choice, Jennifer Johns, Jahi As PE 2.0, Sellassie, DJ Leydis and more.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE. $15 Early Bird – $25 DOS

Thursday 8/21 @ The new Parish – Oakland – 579 18th St
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Hope to see everyone there!!


Our Experience at the 11th Annual Ethnic Studies Conference

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Last Friday the Freedom Archives led two sessions at San Francisco State University for the 11th Annual Ethnic Studies Conference geared to high school students. We brought two films – A Tribute to George Jackson and Attica is All of Us. The first session was packed while the second session was not as well attended however both workshops generated important conversations and the students were very engaged with the subjects of the films. Prior to our workshops, few students had heard of George Jackson and even fewer had heard of the Attica Rebellion.

It was quickly apparent during the opening conversations in both sessions that few students had much basic background information or had given thought to imprisonment on a regular basis, so it became important to talk about prison and mass incarceration in general to contextualize the Attica and George Jackson films. In one session, it was even necessary to teach a bit of US History to provide explanation concerning the beginning of the war on drugs. It soon became clear that the students wanted having their questions about prisons addressed rather than focusing solely on the videos. Topics included the parallels between the Oakland gang injunctions, which the students were definitely aware of, and the process of gang validations behind prison walls. They understood the centrality of racial solidarity as a strategy of resistance in prison as well as in their own lives and in their own neighborhoods.

Feedback from the students was very positive, and they were very engaged in the issues. Students willingly participated, brought interesting personal experiences into the conversations and were adamant that they were never taught about these topics in school, but should be, as mass incarceration and violent policing affects their communities and their everyday lives.


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