Long live the black communist guerrilla!
Long live the Panther!
Long live George Jackson!
In 1960, at 18 years of age, George Jackson was convicted of stealing $70 from a gas station. Though there was evidence of his innocence at trial, with a couple prior convictions for petty crimes to his name, his court-appointed lawyer encouraged Jackson to take the charge in exchange for a light sentence. He received an indeterminate sentence, and never got out.
Jackson would spend the next ten years in Soledad Prison, most of them in solitary confinement – not for stealing $70, but for standing up to the sadistic terror of Amerika’s concentration camp prison system, returning blow-for-blow the violence meted out by the prison pigs, and most importantly, becoming a black communist.
With the publication of Soledad Brother, Jackson would emerge as a leading theoretician and ideologue of the Black Panther Party, would go on to inspire the Marin County Rebellion led by his younger brother, Jonathan Jackson, on August 7, 1970, who was martyred that same day. And with the assassination of Jackson by prison guards on August 21, 1971, the Attica rebellion was set off within a month’s time, many other cities and prisons burned with the word of his death.
Jackson’s theoretical writings stand tall at the commanding heights up the revolutionary upsurge of the 1960s and 1970s. His works are brilliant and original expositions on urban guerrila warfare, American white supremacy, revisionism, and cultural nationalism, and should continue to be studied by all.