Mumia Abu-Jamal will be calling the store to talk to Dr. Cornel West and Professor Patricia Fernandez-Kelley and to take questions about his new book, Jailhouse Lawyers, in which he tells the stories of fellow prisoners who use the court system to represent other prisoners.
In Mumia's words, "This is the story of law learned ... in a stew of bitterness, under the constant threat of violence.... It is law learned with stubs of pencils, or with four-inch-long rubberized flex-pens, with grit, glimmerings of brilliance, and with clear knowledge that retaliation is right outside the cell door. It is a different perspective on the law, written from the bottom, with a faint hope that a right may be wronged, an injustice redressed. It is Hard Law."
And in Angela Davis's words: "Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of the most important public intellectuals of our time.... Jailhouse Lawyers is a persuasive refutation of the ideological underpinnings of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The way he situates the PLRA historically -- as an inheritance of the Black Codes, which were themselves descended from the slave codes -- allows us to recognize the extent to which historical memories of slavery and racism are inscribed in the very structures of the prison system and have helped to produce the prison-industrial-complex."
Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Live From Death Row, Death Blossoms, All Things Censored, and We Want Freedom. He has been living on death row in a Pennsylvania prison since 1982. Dr. Cornel West is Class of 1943 Professor at Princeton University. He is one of this country's premier champions for racial and social justice and long-time critic of the American incarceration system. He is the author of many seminal books including the contemporary classic Race Matters and, most recently, the memoir Brother West: Living Out Loud. Patricia Fernandez-Kelley is Professor of Sociology at Princeton and has published widely on issues of race, immigration, and gender. Among her forthcoming publications are Art in the Life of Immigrant Communities in the U.S. and The Hero's Fight: Endurance and Survival in West Baltimore.
This event is co-sponsored by ABC Prison Literacy, Princeton University's Center for African American Studies, and the Carl Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding at Princeton.