LinkedIn

29 September, 2021

SIXTH ANNUAL PHILADELPHIA LEGACIES PORTRAIT AND COMMUNITY AWARDS: MEET US AT THE INTERSECTION OF ART, PURPOSE AND HISTORY




-MEDIA ADVISORY

 CONTACT:

Mr. Stephen Satell

Philadelphia Legacies

Founder/Executive Director

(215) 432-2898

E-Mail:  bridgingworldsprogram@yahoo.com

Website:  www.philadelphialegacy.org

 

MEET US AT THE INTERSECTION OF ART, PURPOSE, AND HISTORY – SUNDAY, 3 OCTOBER 2021 AT 5:30 P.M. AT THE VICTORIAN BANQUET HALL, 4809 GERMANTOWN AVENUE IN PHILADELPHIA

 

         PHILADELPHIA, PA (USA) In its sixth year, PHILADELPHIA LEGACIES WEEK was launched with a press conference on  Monday, 27 September 2021 that  announced all the events of the week including the new Legacy Signature Tours!  The week ends on Sunday, October 3, 2021 with the SIXTH ANNUAL PHILADELPHIA LEGACIES PORTRAIT AND COMMUNITY AWARDS   beginning with networking and hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 pm at The Victorian Banquet Hall on 4809 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


       Individuals headlining the Philadelphia Legacies Awards Ceremony include Reverend. Jesse Jackson, Sr. who will share a commentary on the late Ms.  Emma Chappelle; Third World Press Foundation Founder and iconic poet, author, and publisher Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti introduces Philadelphia’s own curator of the Charles L. Blockson Collection Dr. Diane L. Turner; and historian and creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga and Philadelphia’s Queen Mother Falaka Fattah meet again for the first time since the 1968 Black Power Conference he organized at Church of the Advocate. They will have a conversation about how her charge as a journalist to form the communication vehicle Umoja Magazine became the historical House of Umoja. Dr. Karenga never realized they were one and the same!


         The following 2021 Philadelphia Legacies Week Portrait Award Winners have helped us understand with more clarity who we are, our relationship to the world, and where we fit into its history: 

 

DR. MOLEFI ASANTE •

The Late MS. EMMA CHAPELLE •
THE HONORABLE JANNIE BLACKWELL

The Late MR.. JAMES SPADY •

The Late MR. SAM STATEN, SR.



   The full itinerary for the gala SIXTH ANNUAL PHILADELPHIA LEGACIES PORTRAIT AND COMMUNITY AWARDS can be found at www.philadelphialegacy.org.

 




22 September, 2021

UMOJA MAGAZINE ASKS THE DIASPORA’S “NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS”: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?




 5625 W. MASTER STREET * PHILADELPHIA, PA  19139 * (215) 473-5893 * WEBSITE:  www.houseofumoja.net * E-MAIL:  falakafattah@aol.com



P R E S S    R E L E A S E

For Immediate Release

 

 

CONTACT:


Queen Mother Falaka Fattah

President

House of Umoja, Inc.

(215) 473-5893

E-Mail:  falakafattah@aol.com

 

 

UMOJA MAGAZINE ASKS THE DIASPORA’S “NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS”:  WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?



           PHILADELPHIA, PA (USA) – Souls of African descent from ages 18 through 25 are the Diaspora’s “Next Generation Of Leaders”.  What are their concerns?  What are the most challenging aspects of their lives?  What is the vision they have for their future, their community’s future, and the future of the world they will inherit when their Elders pass the baton of leadership to them?  How will they create and nurture fully functional and sustainable family units, economically vibrant and self-sufficient communities, and a peaceful world?   Where do we go from here?  


 

            UMOJA Magazine was founded in 1968 by Queen Mother Falaka Fattah.  It is published quarterly  by the House of Umoja, Inc. (www.houseofumoja.net), an internationally acclaimed organization which has a fifty-three year successful track record in positively transforming the lives of adolescent male youths, is asking  the Diaspora’s “Next Generation Of Leaders” – souls from the ages of 18 through 25 – to provide their community with a blueprint for the future.   The publication has issued a “Call For Submissions” for its “Where Do We Go From Here?” Youth Edition which will be released on 1 January 2022, the last day of Kwanzaa – Imani – and the first day of the New Year.


 

          Submissions for the “Where Do We Go From Here?” Youth Edition of UMOJA Magazine should be forwarded by writers from 18 through 25 years of age on or by 30 November 2021 by e-mail to falakafattah@aol.com.  A panel of judges will be convened to select the best article and the writer of the best article will be the recipient of a scholarship.  In addition to writers UMOJA Magazine is searching for panelists to review incoming articles and select the best articles and sponsors to contribute to the scholarship that will be awarded to the winner of the best article which will be published in the “Where Do We Go From Here?” Youth Edition of UMOJA Magazine. 


           For further information about the House of Umoja, Inc., call (215) 473-5893, send an e-mail to: falakafattah@aol.com, or visit the organization’s website at www.houseofumoja.net.

 

 

03 September, 2021

ON ITS 53RD ANNIVERSARY THE HOUSE OF UMOJA CONTINUES TO PLANT SEEDS TO GROW PEACE



5625 W. Master Street * Philadelphia, PA  19131 * (215) 473-5893 * E-Mail:  falakafattah@aol.com * Website:  www.houseofumoja.net


CONTACT: 

Mr. Anthony Bannister-Fattah

Coordinator – City of Philadelphia National Million Father March

Queen Mother Falaka Fattah

Advisor – City of Philadelphia National Million Father March

Founder and President

House of Umoja, Inc.

(215) 473-5893

E-Mail:  falakafattah@aol.com

                            
Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. With A Moment of Silence Recognizes the Late David Fattah as Fathers Passionately Commit to Be Active in Their Children’s Education

            On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at 7:30 A.M. (E.S.T.) amidst the twists, the turns, and time changes of the launch of a new Philadelphia academic year within a pandemic environment, the House of Umoja, Inc. (www.houseofumoja.net)  in its leadership and organizing role for the 2021 National Million Father March in Philadelphia, joined fathers in escorting their child to school.  Led by Mr. Anthony Bannister-Fattah, the House of Umoja, Inc.’s Coordinator for the city-wide observance of the 2021 National Million Father March, fathers, children, and community members headed to  Overbrook High School at 5898 Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   As the march proceeded through the streets of West Philadelphia, Mr. Bannister-Fattah, the grandson of Queen Mother Falaka and the late Mr. David Fattah under the accompaniment of Mr. Hakim Starkey Tendaji, sings “Calling All Fathers” as fathers and surrogate fathers answer, “Get involved!”

           Cars were heard honking in agreement and support, School District of Philadelphia and SEPTA buses respectfully acknowledged and navigated around the march, while school crossing guards could be seen standing dutifully at their posts. The march stopped in front of Overbrook High School as messages of accountability, action, encouragement,  love, and hope were shared by The Honorable Curtis Jones, Jr., Curtis, District 4 Councilmember and Philadelphia City Council Majority Whip; Mr. Dante Leonard; a representative from Revolutionary Vision Community Resource Center; and numerous men from the community. 

 

             The march then moved across the street to Tustin Playground at 5901 Columbia Avenue where Mr. Bannister-Fattah outlined the objectives of Philadelphia’s 2021 National Million Father March.  The Honorable Curtis Jones, Jr. issued a reminder that Philadelphia’s observance of the National Million Fathers March is not just a yearly event, but an ongoing event that fosters a collaboration between Fatherhood and community organizations.  The “Read2Lead Bonding Initiative” was unveiled by  Mr. Bannister-Fattah – an initiative that encourages Fathers to read books with their child which helps improves their child’s literacy school and also strengthens the bond between father and child.  .  Non-Custodial fathers are especially encouraged to participate in the “Read2Lead Bonding Initiative”.  

         Poised in front  of the Tustin Playground banner, Mr. Bannister-Fattah brought the march to a conclusion with the announcement that Mrs. Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late Kobe  Bryant, is building two new basketball courts at Tustin Playground this fall in honor of Mr. Bryant and their daughter, the late Gigi Bryant.   The announcement comes on the heels of the late Mr. Bryant being honored as a devoted and “hands on” Father by UMOJA Magazine which is published by the House of Umoja, Inc.  Mr. Bryant’s photograph graces the front cover of the most recent  issue of UMOJA Magazine.

           The 2021 Million Father March launches the 53rd Anniversary  of the House of Umoja with UMOJA IMPACT WEEK which will celebrated under the theme, “commUNITY”.  UMOJA IMPACT WEEK will be punctuated by an event for the entire family on Thursday, 2 September 2021 from 3:00 P.M. (E.S.T.) through 6:00 P.M. --  THE F.I.R.E. A DAY OF INNOVATION for and culminates on Saturday, 4 September 2021 with the RAHK THE BLOCK commUNITY FESTIVAL & CONCERT from 12:00 P.M. (E.S.T.) through 8:00 P.M. (E.S.T.)’. All events are at the House of Umoja, Inc.  on the 1400 Block of N. Frazier Street.

            Funding for The Million Fathers March and UMOJA IMPACT WEEK has been funded by the City of Philadelphia Activities Fund (https;//www.phila.gov/documents/philadelphia-activities-fund-grant-aplication/) and the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy (https://www.creativephl.org) and facilitated in collaboration with, among others, Revolutionary Vision Community Resource Center, AHARI - A Home Is A Right, Inc., and Women of Freedom Radio.

           Established in 1968, the House of Umoja, Inc., an internationally acclaimed organization, was selected by the Black Star Project to lead and organize the National Million Father March in Philadelphia due to its successful track record of transforming the lives of and working with over 3,000 youths.   The House of Umoja, Inc.’s successful track record moved universities and institutions that include, but are not limited to, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Prevention and the Center for Disease Control, to seek the expertise of Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her late husband Mr. David Fattah in the areas of gang reduction, youth programming, and community organizing.  Former United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and the late Ronald Reagan have recognized the House Of Umoja, Inc. for its pioneering work which has been documented in published articles such as A Summons To Life, by Robert Woodson of the American Enterprise Institute in 1981 and The Violent Juvenile Offender by Paul DeMuro and Richard Allison of the National Council On Crime And Delinquency in 1984.

           For further information about the House of Umoja, Inc. and UMOJA IMPACT WEEK, contact Queen Mother Falaka-Fattah or  Mr. Anthony Bannister-Fattah by calling (215) 473-5893; sending an e-mail falakafattah@aol.com; or visiting www.houseofumoja.net.

           Men may commit to the Million Father March pledge and register to participate with the ongoing activities of Philadelphia’s Million Fathers March at https://houseofumoja.net/mfm.

 

          For further information concerning the National Million Father March and Fathers Incorporated, visit its website at www.fathersincorporated.com or send an e-mail to:  info@fathersincorporated.com.

           


25 August, 2021

2021 NATIONAL MILLION FATHER MARCH IN PHILADELPHIA: HOUSE OF UMOJA, INC. ISSUES "CALL TO ACTION"

 5625 W. Master Street * Philadelphia, PA 19131 * (215) 473-5893 * Website:  www.houseofumoja.net * E-Mail: falakafattah@aol.com

 

P R E S S    A D V I S O RY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT:

Anthony Bannister-Fattah

Coordinator for City of Philadelphia – 2021 National Million Father March

Queen Mother Falaka Fattah, Advisor – 2021 National Million Father March

House of Umoja, Inc.

(215) 473-5893

E-Mail:  falakafattah@aol.com

 

HOUSE OF UMOJA INC. ISSUES CALL TO ACTION:

2021 NATIONAL MILLION FATHERS  MARCH

 

          PHILADELPHIA, PA (USA) –  In its organizing and leadership role for the 2021 National Million Father March for the City of Philadelphia, the House of Umoja, Inc. (www.houseofumoja.net) is issuing a “Call To Action” for all Fathers throughout the City of Philadelphia to join Fathers in hundreds of cities throughout the United States in taking a proactive role in their child’s education.  Fathers throughout the City of Philadelphia can take a first step in positively influencing their child’s academic performance by escorting him or her to school on Tuesday, 31 August 2021, which is the first day of the 2021-2022 academic year for the Philadelphia School District.

            On Thursday, 26 August 2021 at 10:00 AM a press conference will be convened at 5625 West Master Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  by the  House of Umoja, Inc..  Drawing upon the national theme for the 2021 National Million Father March (www.nationalmillion fathersmarch.com) of “Code Blue:  Exploring The Mental Health Of Today’s Dad”, trauma will be the focus of Philadelphia’s 2021 National Million Father March.

             “Philadelphia’s gun violence emergency is creating a high level of trauma that impacts the mental health of Fathers and their child  As a result, a Father’s ability to positively shape the mind and soul of his child and a child’s ability to achieve academic excellence must be looked through a trauma-informed tinted lens.  In the African American community, we are dealing with two levels of trauma – gun violence trauma and academic trauma.   On 11 February 2020, the Philadelphia School District released the results of the 2019 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment achieved by 4,990 students from all ethnicities enrolled in the third grade.  Third graders were tested on their proficiency in English and Mathematics.  Let’s keep in mind that the ethnic student population in Philadelphia is predominantly African American.   Now we find that African American third graders had the lowest proficiency test results.  According to the data released by the Philadelphia School District, 34.8% of African American third graders attained a ‘below basic’ proficiency test result in English, while 59% of African American third graders attained a ‘below basic’ proficiency test result in Mathematics.  Only 1.9% of African American third graders attained an ‘advanced’ proficiency test result in English.  The ‘advanced’ proficiency test result in Mathematics was only 3.8% for African American third graders.  What I have just described constitutes academic trauma.  Thus, the focus for Philadelphia’s 2021 National Million Fathers March, which is a ‘Call To Action’, is two-pronged.  It is advocating for the creation and delivery of trauma-informed mental health resources to Fathers and the creation and delivery of resources to children that address their traumatic academic health,” explained Queen Mother Falaka Fattah, President of the House of Umoja, Inc.

              Leading by example, the City of Philadelphia’s Coordinator for the 2021 National Million Father March, the House of Umoja, Inc. (www.houseofumoja.net), on Tuesday, 31 August 2021, will join fathers in escorting their child to school to Overbrook High School at 5898 Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ring in the 2021-2022 academic year.  Fathers are being asked to assemble at the House of Umoja, Inc.’s office located at 5625 West Master Street In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 7:30 A.M. (E.S.T) through 8:00 A.M. (E.S.T) in preparation for the march to Overbrook High School which will commence at 8:30 A.M. (E.S.T).  on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.   

           The brainchild of the late Mr. Philip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago, Illinois-based Black Star Project (www.blackstarproject.org) which offers academic and mentoring programs for children, workforce development projects, and school services, the National Million Fathers  March was created in 2003.  Observed in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, the National Million Fathers March encourages Fathers to take a proactive role in the education of their child. The national leadership mantle for the National Million Fathers March has been donned by Fathers Incorporated (www.fathersincorporated.com) which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

          Established in 1968, the House of Umoja, Inc., an internationally acclaimed organization, was selected by the Black Star Project to lead and organize the National Million Father March in Philadelphia due to its successful track record of transforming the lives of and working with over 3,000 youths.   The House of Umoja, Inc.’s successful track record moved universities and institutions that include, but are not limited to, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Prevention and the Center for Disease Control, to seek the expertise of Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her late husband Mr. David Fattah in the areas of gang reduction, youth programming, and community organizing.  Former United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and the late Ronald Reagan have recognized the House Of Umoja, Inc. for its pioneering work which has been documented in published articles such as A Summons To Life, by Robert Woodson of the American Enterprise Institute in 1981 and The Violent Juvenile Offender by Paul DeMuro and Richard Allison of the National Council On Crime And Delinquency in 1984. 

              For further information about Philadelphia’s observance of the 2021 National Million Father March, contact the House of Umoja, Inc. at (215) 473-5893 or send an e-mail to falakafattah@aol.com, or visit the organization’s website at www.houseofumoja.net.

            For further information concerning the National Million Father March and Fathers Incorporated, visit its website at www.fathersincorporated.com or send an e-mail to:  info@fathersincorporated.com.

 

 

15 August, 2021

IS AN AGING MODEL PRISONER AND REENTRY THOUGHT LEADER SERVING 50TH YEAR OF A "DEATH-BY-PNEUMONIA" LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE SENTENCE?


           An aging model prisoner and “inside-out” Reentry Thought Leader  Mr.. James Taylor (#AF-4120) is serving his 50th year of a life without parole sentence for a murder he did not commit at SCI Phoenix, the largest male maximum security prison in Pennsylvania.  In December 1971, my client and Mr. Robert Morgan, a 50 year old Caucasian man sat on a park bench talking and drinking wine. After consuming the bottle of wine, the two inebriated men walked to a Wine and Spirits store.  Mr. Taylor purchased, with his own funds, a bottle of Taylor’s Port which he intended to share with Mr. Morgan.  During their return to the park, Mr. Taylor stopped, gave the unopened bottle to Mr. Morgan, turned his back, and relieved himself.   Mr. Taylor was surprised that  Mr. Morgan had already drank a considerable amount of the wine he had just bought.   An altercation ensued.  During the fracas, Mr. Morgan fell and injured himself.  He was rushed to a hospital and during his two-week stay, apparently due to medical malfeasance, Mr. Morgan died from pneumonia.  Mr. Taylor – an African American -- was arrested, charged with first degree murder – a murder that never occurred -- by a Caucasian prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, convicted of first-degree murder  - - a murder that never occurred -- by a predominantly Caucasian jury,  and has served 50 years of a life without parole sentence mandated by a Caucasian judge.

 

         The real cause of Mr. Morgan’s death was never raised at Mr. Taylor’s trial due to his legal counsel’s incompetence.  Further, exculpatory evidence was willfully withheld by the prosecutor assigned to Mr. Taylor’s case.  For the past 20 months,  the Commutation Support Campaign for Mr. Taylor has I have been working to obtain his release through a variety of avenues.

 

            So, was a murder committed?  No!  When one looks at (A) the definition of murder; (B) the events that transpired between Mr. Morgan and Mr. Taylor; (C) the fact that Mr. Morgan was alive when he was transported to the hospital immediately subsequent to the altercation with Mr. Taylor; (D) the fact that both gentlemen were disoriented due to a respective diminished capacity produced by the consumption of alcohol; (E) the fact that Mr. Morgan lived for two (2) weeks after the fracas while hospitalized; (F) the fact that Mr. Morgan contracted and died from pneumonia while in the care of the hospital and its employees agents, and assignees; and (G) the nonexistence of premeditation on the part of Mr. Taylor, a flood of questions comes to mind:

 

·         How can a prosecutor charge and convict Mr. Taylor of murdering Mr. Morgan when a murder never occurred? 

·         Is Mr. Taylor serving his 50th year of a life without parole sentence for “death by pneumonia” of Mr. Morgan caused by the malfeasance of medical professionals at the hospital who were responsible for Mr. Morgan’s care?   

·         Why hasn’t commutation of Mr. Taylor’s life without parole sentence occurred?

·         What role did systemic racism play in Mr. Taylor’s being charged with a murder that never happened, his conviction, and his sentencing to life without parole?

Let’s remember that Mr. Morgan did not die at the hands of Mr. Taylor  When Mr. Taylor left Mr. Morgan, he (Mr. Morgan) was alive.  Mr. Morgan arrived at the hospital alive. He stayed at the hospital for two weeks.  It was during those two (2) weeks at the hospital that he contracted pneumonia.  He died at the hospital. 

 

08 August, 2021

"ESSENTIAL BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH (B.I.B.L.E.) – WEB OF LIFE" : A PATHWAY TO ECONOMIC, LEGAL, POLITICAL, AND SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT


          A school of thought exists which espouses the philosophy that each of the 7.8 billion souls with whom we share this space and place we know as Planet Earth are Spiritual Beings having a human experience.   If billions of Spiritual Beings occupy Planet Earth, why does poverty, Global Warming, hunger, homelessness, genocide, physical and mental disease, racism, xenophobia, gun violence, crime, social injustice,  the “school-to-prison” pipeline, hopelessness, desperation, and chaos exist?   Community Radio Broadcast Journalist at Philadelphia’s WPEB 88.1 FM Radio (https://sites. google.com/view/wpeb881fm), Executive Director of the United Block Captains Association Community Trust for Family Life Improvement (http://www.god-econonics-webs.com), and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Mr. Jasper  Jones offers profound answers through an instructive literary work he has penned, “Essential Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E.) -Web Of Life”  (www.amazon.com; http://www.god-econonics-webs.com) that creates a pathway to economic, legal, political, and spiritual empowerment.

           Through “Essential Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E.) – Web Of Life”, Mr. Jones unabashedly points out that we have lost our spiritual compass.  As a result, collectively, we have become rudderless ships being aimlessly tossed about in spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally toxic and turbulent waters.   The good news is that “spiritual rudderlessness” can be resolved.   Mr. Jones exhorts us to understand, experience, develop, and manifest our spiritual nature and capacities as human beings “in harmony with our physical nature”.  He explains that engaging in this exercise will help us “fully understand the ancient spiritual truth that ‘the hurt of one, is the hurt of all and the honor of one, is the honor of all’.” Our collective “spiritual rudderlessness” subliminally drives our decision making and behavior – decision making and behavior that perpetuates poverty, crime, out-of-control gun violence, the “school-to-prison” pipeline, powerlessness, and desperation.  An “Action Plan” designed by Mr. Jones resolves collective “spiritual rudderlessness”.  How?  It creates an “Ownership Agenda”  that is fueled by a “literacy skill set development by-doing program” encompassing spiritual literacy, financial literacy, technology literacy, basic skills literacy, and political, civic, social, and legal legacy through a myriad of solutions-based initiatives.  

           “Essential Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E.) – Web Of Life”  provides each of us with key pieces of the puzzle to reclaiming our spiritual compass and eradicating “spiritual rudderlessness” which has created the dire set of circumstances that dangerously marginalizes our communities.

22 June, 2021

JUNETEENTH, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, AND CREATING PATHWAYS TO PEACE THROUGH “A CONVERSATION BETWEEN BROTHERS”

contact:

Queen Mother Falaka Fattah

President

House of Umoja, Inc.

(215) 473-5893

E-Mail:  falakaffatah@aol.com

Website:  www.houseofumoja.net

 

 

“A CONVERSATON BETWEEN BROTHERS”

AUTHOR:  Mr. Ahmad Jabal Shabazz

COPIES CAN BE OBTAINED BY SENDING E-MAIL TO:  redeemshep54@yahoo.com or CALLING (215) 594-6918 ”

 

          On Monday, 19 June 1865, United States Army General Gordon Granger traveled to Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 in the State of Texas, signed into law by late United States President The Honorable Abraham Lincoln.  The Emancipation Proclamation  made slavery illegal and freed 4,000,000 enslaved souls of African descent in the United States.   African Americans throughout the United States celebrated with great fanfare on Saturday, 19 June 2021,  the historic and momentous event, known as “Juneteenth” that occurred 156 years ago in Galveston, Texas.  On 17 June 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday as a result of legislation passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by United States President The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

  . 

           As souls in Philadelphia’s African American community convened and participated in observances of Juneteenth, they find themselves grappling with how to resolve out-of-control gun violence that is snuffing out the lives of family members, friends, and neighbors.  As of 20 June 2021, there have been 255 homicides least 758 nonfatal shooting victims in the fourth largest metropolitan area of the United States.   The city’s African American community is also impacted by a racially subjective criminal justice system.  Although African Americans only comprise 12% of the United States’ population, they comprise at least 33% of the nation’s prison population according to statistics compiled in May 2021 by the Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org).  An article published by the Penn Political Review on 11 March 2021, “The Other Death Penalty:  How Philadelphia Leads American In Life Without Parole Sentences,”  (http://pennpoliticalreview.org/2021/03/the-other-death-penalty-how-philadelphia-leads-america-in-life-without-parole-sentences/), reveals that Philadelphia has the dubious distinction of leading France, Germany, Russia, and 45 of the 50 states In the United States in life without parole sentences.  The article also points out that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of incarcerated souls serving life without parole sentence, the majority of whom are African Americans from the City of Philadelphia. 

 

             Prisons in the 21st Century are managed and operated in a manner similar to plantations.  Incarcerated African Americans find that their treatment by prison officials mirrors the dehumanizing  treatment endured by their enslaved ancestors at the hands of plantation overseers and owners.  As an example, Angola State Prison in Louisiana, one of the nation’s most violent and abusive penitentiaries, is built on land formerly occupied by a plantation.   Many African Americans incarcerated at the Angola State Prison offer harrowing tales of being forced to pick crops, including cotton, on fields under the watchful of shot-gun toting and horse-riding prison guards.   Refusal to engage in this type of work can result in parole denials or being placed in solitary confinement known as “the hole”. In “Why American Prisoners Owe Their Cruelty To Slavery,” published by the New York Times at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14 /magazine/prison-industrial-complex-slavery-racism.html, a straight line is drawn to slavery and the American criminal justice system. 

 

          “Our Ancestors’ elation over their newfound freedom one hundred fifty -six years ago was short-lived.  Although the Thirteenth Amendment which was passed by the United States Congress on 31 January 1865, ratified on 6 December 1865 by 27 of 36 states, and proclaimed on 18 December 1865, on the surface, abolished slavery, it also opened the door for the massive warehousing  of souls of African descent in prisons that we witness today.    How?  Section 1 of the Thirteenth Amendment reserved  ‘slavery and involuntary servitude’ as a punishment of souls convicted of crimes  ‘within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction’.  In 1865, Southern States enacted a series of laws known as ‘Black Codes’ to ensnare our Ancestors into becoming a source of cheap labor for Southern landowners. African Americans were forced to sign annual employment contracts.  If they refused, they were arrested, fined, and imprisoned. Once imprisoned,  they were forced to provide free labor.  African Americans were not allowed to testify against Caucasians in court cases, serve on juries, vote, serve in state militias and could not seek new employment without the consent of their current or former employer.  In 2021, the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ is the modern day ‘Black Code’.    As much as Juneteenth is a cause for celebration, Juneteenth must also serve as a vehicle of reflection, collaborative implementation of solutions that address the causative factors of gun violence, the school-to-prison pipeline, poverty, recidivism, unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness, and physical and mental health issues that marginalizes African American communities.  Juneteenth must serve as a pathway to creating solutions-based intergenerational dialogues, healing, and peace.  The signing by President Biden of making Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States has created a momentum,” observed Queen Mother Falaka Fattah, the President of the House of Umoja, Inc. (www.houseofumoja.net) .

 

        The House of Umoja, Inc., an internationally acclaimed institution established in 1968 is utilizing the momentum created by the enactment of legislation that has transformed Juneteenth into a United States federal holiday to create pathways to peace and healing through:

 

·         An expansive and historic solutions-based collaboration with SCI Phoenix, Inc. (www.lifersincpa.org), an “inside out” Restorative Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Reentry, and Social Justice think tank established in 1989 , comprising several components designed to reduce gun violence, save lives, and bring healing and peace in the City of Philadelphia

 

·         Facilitation of a conversation that moves the African American community and the City of Philadelphia toward healing and a recommitment to peace through the purchase of “A Conversation Between Brothers,” a literary work that offers a pathway to healing and peace authored by Mr. Ahmad Jabal Shabazz.  Copies of “A Conversation Between Brothers” can be obtained by sending an e-mail to: redeemshep54@yahoo.com or by calling (215) 594-6918.  SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc. has pledged to donate US$2.00 to the House of Umoja, Inc. when purchasers of “Conversation Between Brothers” say the phrase, “For Umoja” at the time of their purchase.

 

·         Sign the Imani Peace Pledge™ which is published on the House of Umoja, Inc.’s website at  www.houseofumoja.net. 

 

·         Support the mobilization of a gun violence zone by becoming a volunteer.  Contact

the House of Umoja, Inc at (215) 473-5893 or send an e-mail to:  falakafattah@aol.com.

 

            To learn how you can participate in the momentum created by Juneteenth becoming a national holiday in the United States and the historic collaboration between the House of Umoja, Inc. (www.houseofumoja.net)  and SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc.  (www.lifersincpa.org) to resolve gun violence in the City of Philadelphia and bring healing and peace to the United States’ fourth largest metropolitan area, contact the House of Umoja, Inc. at (215) 473-5893 or send an e-mail to falakafattah@aol.com. 

           To contact SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc. (www.lifersincpa.org)  directly concerning this historic collaboration, correspondence can be sent to Mr. Kevin Saleem Mines, the organization’s President as follows:

 

SMART COMMUICATIONS/PA DOC

Mr. Kevin Mines #AY591

SCI Phoenix

Post Office Box 33028

                                                         St.. Petersburg, FL  33733      

#       #      #


SIXTH ANNUAL PHILADELPHIA LEGACIES PORTRAIT AND COMMUNITY AWARDS: MEET US AT THE INTERSECTION OF ART, PURPOSE AND HISTORY

- MEDIA ADVISORY   CONTACT: Mr. Stephen Satell Philadelphia Legacies Founder/Executive Director (215) 432-2898 E-Mail:   bridgingworldsprogr...