Must Black People Look At Each Other Through Prison Bars? Where
Is Our Freedom?”
BLACK PANTHER Newspaper,
September 18, 1971, Vol. 7, #4
revolutionary struggle for social, economic, and political justice
on behalf of every day people in this nation and throughout the
world is a long and protracted one, full of unending challenges
and real obstacles. Serious political struggle is not a leisurely
walk in the park. It requires dedication and sacrifice. It is
all too rare that we are given examples of individuals who have
waged, and continue to relentlessly wage this ongoing struggle.
Nevertheless, they can be found.
Panther Party veteran, determined political activist, radio programmer,
and published writer / journalist extraordinaire, Kiilu
Nyasha (aka Pat Gallyot), is a sterling example of a woman who,
since the late 1960s to the present, has served the people ‘body
Nyasha has, since the 1960s been a stalwart supporter of political
prisoners incarcerated in this nation’s prison gulag system. She
has written to and given encouragement to literally myriads
of prisoners, including the late George Jackson (former Black
Panther Party Field Marshal, Soledad Brother, and internationally
acclaimed author) who was murdered in 1971, by this de facto
fascist ‘American’ elite’s power structure. Kiilu has, and continues
in the year 2010, to send funds, stamps, books, and letters of
encouragement and comradeship, etc., to many political prisoners.
Contrary to the well perpetuated myth that there are no
political prisoners in this nation; there are in fact many.
The list includes Sundiata Acoli, Eddie Conway, Mumia Abul-Jamal,
Ruchell ‘Cinque’ Magee, Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell, Leonard Peltier, Russell
Shoats, Chip Fitzerald, Herman Wallace & Albert Woodfox, Kamau
Sadiki, Jamil al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown), Jalil Muntaqim, Veronza
Bowers, Jr., and Lynne Stewart to name but a few. Others
of this nation’s political prisoners have died in those prison
dungeons. Yet others, such as Assata Shakur, have been forced
into exile. Kiilu Nyasha, with every ounce of her strength and
revolutionary fervor, has long been a stalwart servant of every
day people, and most especially political prisoners.
blood, sweat, tears, and suffering of Black people
are the foundation of the wealth and power of the
United States of America.
- Huey P. Newton, THE BLACK PANTHER newspaper, February 17,
1969, Vol 2. #23
Black Panther Party with its many programs, including free breakfast
programs for children, free medical programs, free clothing programs,
free escort programs for seniors, and free food programs in
service to the people, incurred the wrath of the racist, avaricious
corporate government of the United States of America, and was
shamelessly, ultimately physically decimated by said government
and its many agents. However, the legacy of the Black Panther
Party still stands true and tall in the hearts and minds of conscious
peoples in this nation and around the world.
what is all too often missed is the invaluable role of
women in the Black Panther Party. Indeed, had it not been for
Black women there would have been no viable Black
Panther Party, for as Kiilu Nyasha correctly states; “Women were
the back bone of the (Black Panther) Party.” Kiilu
should know, for she functioned as an integral part of
that “back bone” of the Black Panther Party (BPP) while in New
Haven, Connecticut, and elsewhere.
Nyasha is a comrade’s comrade. She, like so many other
sisters, gave of herself in every way. When in 1970, as a direct
result of vicious and illegal U.S. Government COINTELPRO [Counter
Intelligence Program] activities, Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins
were on trial for their very lives in New Haven, Connecticut;
Kiilu was there performing the urgent and necessary grunt
work of coordinating legal and community efforts to rally support
for our beleaguered Black Panther Party (BPP) comrades. She opened
up her home to BPP activists and saw to it that their needs were
met. In so doing, she did not hesitate to rise in the wee hours
of the morning and work steadily throughout long and grueling
days in service to the people and the Black Panther Party. She
did not hesitate to give her all to the struggle.
the year 2010, Kiilu Nyasha has not stopped. Her voice
is still strong as she continues to deliver the clarion
call for uncompromising revolutionary struggle and systemic change.
She has written and continues to adroitly write for the San
Francisco Bay View newspaper and The Black Commentator.
In spite of physical pain and having to use a wheel chair for
mobility, her mind is sharp and her powerful voice is that of
a lioness for the people. As Kiilu so succinctly says it, she
remains a firm adherent to “plain living and hard struggle” in
her daily life. Her life has been, and is, in a word, exemplary.
get an important glimpse of Kiilu Nyasha’s ongoing work, go to
. It will be an inspiration and well worth your while.
we must always remember the enormous service to the people by
men such as Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby
Hutton, George Jackson, John Huggins & Alprentice ‘Bunchy’
Carter, Fred Hampton & Mark Clark, Billy X Jennings, and Emory
Douglas, etc., let us not even for an instant, forget
the day to day service to the people by Kiilu Nyasha and other
women who were, and remain, unsung giants in service
to Black people and humanity as a whole. Let them be unsung no
this period of deceit, exploitation, war, and mediocrity, Kiilu
Nyasha is still strong, still true, and still a revolutionary.
Thank you comrade sister Kiilu, thank you and all the brilliant
and powerful women who have struggled and continue today, this
struggle for the every day people!
Power to the People!
sisters and brothers. We can afford to do no less. Onward!
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran
of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of
the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the
only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political
rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in
opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed
in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known
as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney
see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and
Thinker, by William Mandel
[Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here
to read excerpts from the book). Click here
to contact Mr. Pinkney.
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