Item description for All Things Censored, Volume 1 by Mumia Abu-Jamal...
Here are the radio commentaries, the last of them recorded just two days before Pennsylvania prison authorities instituted a media ban to further silence the most famous death row prisoner in the US. To hear his voice is to understand why the State is going to such extremes to silence him. Included are an NPR commentary by the late, great William Kunstler---also banned by NPR---and brief statements or readings of Mumia's work by Alice Walker, Dorothy Allison, Robert Meeropol, Howard Zinn, Sister Helen Prejean, and Judi Bari.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.62" Width: 4.93" Height: 0.45" Weight: 0.17 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2001
Publisher AK Press
ISBN 1902593065 ISBN13 9781902593067
Availability 0 units.
More About Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award-winning journalist, is America's best-known political prisoner. Sentenced with execution, Mumia has lived on Death Row since 1982. Ever since he wrote for the Black Panther Party's national newspaper as a youth, Mumia has reported on the racism and inequity in our society. He soon added radio to his portfolio, eventually recording a series of reports from death row for NPR's All Things Considered. However, NPR, caving in to political pressure, refused to air the programs. Mumia Abu-Jamal is still fighting for his own freedom from prison, and through his powerful voice, for the freedom of all people from inequity.
Mumia Abu-Jamal currently resides in Philadelphia.
Reviews - What do customers think about All Things Censored, Volume 1?
The Death Row Columnist Sep 26, 2006
I'll grant that Mumia Abu Jamal is a gifted writer, and that he has plenty of important things to say. The problem is that after an hour of pontificating on a few select subjects, he starts to sound like a broken record. He's also so incredibly one-sided that his writing hasn't even a smidgen of balance to it.
These short editorials were made from his prison cell on Pennsylvania's death row, where he was then incarcerated for the alleged murder of a Philadelphia cop. His death sentence has since been overturned, but not his conviction. The recording reflects a romanticized notion of how society should be organized, combined with an inability to accept the way power operates. Mumia speaks from the extreme left, where facts and statistics account for little and where utopian ideology fails to take human selfishness into account. He harps on and on about how certain groups are victims of a callous and racist society, while never once mentioning the need for initiative and responsibility. Sure, the justice system is flawed. Sure, the poor do not get a fair break, and there is certainly a great deal of racism smoldering within American society.
All of that is tragic, to say the least. The majority of us wish things were different, but we know they never will be. On the other hand, it is possible for impoverished African-Americans to transcend their circumstances without becoming gangsters or drug dealers. People do it everyday. In fact, Abu-Jamal had done as much himself before getting caught up in his legal woes. So why is it that his writing has the subtext that poor blacks are passive victims who cannot do more for themselves? And why hasn't this equally racist view been noted and excoriated by more people? Probably because its easy to buy into.
The thing that really irks me about this collection, though, are the guest spots made by people like Martin Sheen, Alice Walker, and other left-leaning celebrities, whose involvement with poverty and justice activism border on nil. Their sole purpose is to reiterate the theme that Abu-Jamal has been imprisoned for his 'courageous voice' and for the 'danger he poses to the system.' The death of the Philadelphia police officer is merely a trumped up excuse to 'silence' the 'voice of a prophet.' There are plenty of other radical voices at work out there, so why haven't they been imprisoned? I would say it is because they haven't been involved in an outrageous murder. I do not know whether Abu-Jamal is guilty or not, and it isn't my place to say so. I hope he's innocent and I hope he one day walks. But I wasn't there, and neither were any of the mouthpieces who have turned his presumed innocence into a fashion statement.
The good news is that this audiobook is mercifully short. Abu-Jamal's editorials only run about 3 minutes each, and they are interspered with the superfluous celebrity endorsements I mentioned above. One or two of them are quite powerful, to say the least. There's a touching homage to the strong-willed mother who raised him and his siblings in poverty, and an insightful condemnation of the materialism found in modern rap. On the whole, though, its a relentless flurry of leftist ideology, based on shoddy generalizations and unsupported by any sound facts. Mercifully, the entire audiobook only lasts about an hour and a half, and its an easy listen. I suppose Mumia is recording from his prison cell, which explains the annoying echo that mars the sound quality. Overall, though, its a worthwhile listen, but it certainly is no masterpiece.
A worthwhile listen-Very incisive views Oct 7, 2005
Let me be clear initially: I have no idea whether this man is innocent or guilty of the crime. Further: I think he deserves a scrupulously fair trial and let the chips then fall. On the subject at hand, however, it is clear that this is a very intelligent and articulate man in a very bad situation. I enjoyed the no holds barred nature of the segments.
What I did not enjoy was the "rah-rah" segments by other people. Eliminate these and put in more by Jamal and this is a very desirable CD set. Fortunately, my CD player has a very efficient skip button.
This guy is a murderer May 11, 2003
Are you people kidding me? This guy should be fertilizer by now not selling CD's. Welcome to bizaro world.
Eloquent...Informative...Compelling... Nov 1, 2002
The one and only criticism I have about this work is that Mumia's oration invariably sounds vapid, but not so much that it detracts from the overall value of this album. I highly recommend it to anyone who seeks to hear the actual voice of the "Voice of the Voiceless". The substance of all the essays is ever absorbing and compelling. I stand in reverence to the man who has been able to maintain such a resilient spirit in the face of ongoing horrendous treatment and wrongful imprisonment. I also highly recommend reading Mumia's "Death Blossoms", a collection of vignettes he has written while in prison, and a work that is perhaps the best peek one can steal into the soul of the internationally known political prisoner.
The range of issues Mumia addresses in "All Things Censored" is impressive and informative and a testament to his penchant for analyzing crucial issues from a fresh and thoughtful angle. The conclusion of each piece recited by Mumia is cleverly punctuated by the sound of the slamming of a cell door behind the hook, "From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal".
Some of the best minds in America have joined Mumia on this CD to speak on his behalf and in favor of justice and against the Prison Industrial Machine. Ramona Africa speaks with characteristic fire and conviction, in a speech that was dubbed on a track of the Seeds of Wisdom album (get this CD!) The spirit of slain freedom fighter Judi Bari lives on in her cameo on the album. Anyone who has taken an honest, serious and open-minded look at Mumia's case will do well to get this as a collector's item. If you do not get this CD, at least check out the Refuse & Resist website for the full body of facts on the case. Also check out Mumia's three books and newest CD.
The Voice for the Voiceless Jan 8, 2001
Mumia Abu-Jamal has come to national spotlight under charges of improper judicial prodeedings and the national tilt toward a moratorium of the death penalty. While I am still unsure about the guilt of Mumia, this CD is vital to those who profess his innocence, those who are anti-death penalty -- and even those who are pro-death penalty. Mumia speaks with a voice of reason on issues ranging from prison brutality to the lack of objectivity in the mass media.
Most of these essays were to be aired on National Public Radio, but shortly before the first air date they were cancelled because NPR's sponsors did not agree with what Mumia was saying. That is a common theme throughout this CD: the people in charge are trying to keep Mumia silent by punishing him for writing his books ("Live on Death Row," "Death Blossoms," and "All Things Censored") and recording these sessions.
Buy this CD and learn what the higher-ups don't want you to know about. This CD is harmful to their very existance and if only for that reason you should listen to it.