On Episode 29 of the Activist Files, communications assistant Alex Webster speaks with TRANScending Barriers executive director Zahara Green and Abolitionist Law Center executive director Robert "Saleem" Holbrook about what Black August means to them and the ways that they continue its legacy in their work. They discuss the importance of honoring the solemnity of the month, how current and former prisoners are the embodiment of Black August, and how we must take this moment to remember those freedom fighters who are still inside. They also highlight the ongoing work to challenge transphobia in both prisons and in organizing, the impact of COVID-19, and how abolition is an undertaking that requires entire social transformation.
Black political and activist prisoners:
Ashley Diamond; Southern Poverty Law Center's prior case
Russell "Maroon" Shoatz; Abolitionist Law Center's case
Mumia Abu-Jamal; Abolitionist Law Center's case
Center for Constitutional Rights, Abolitionist Law Center, and others work together on a case challenging death by incarceration in Pennsylvania
Article on Zahara Green's case
Articles on Ashley Diamond's previous case
Articles on TRANScending Barriers' re-entry support work and sex work decriminalization advocacy
Article on Black Philly Radical Collective action calling for release of political prisoners
Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project
Writings and publications
Kuwasi Balagoon, A Soldier's Story (including article by Akinyele Umoja)
Dan Berger, Captive Nation
George Jackson, Soledad Brother
Zahara Green started their advocacy for transgender rights while incarcerated, and has been an advocate in the transgender community for over 10 years. The co-founder and executive director of TRANScending Barriers, Zahara also acts as board president of Black & Pink, and works with the National PREA Resource Center to end sexual abuse in confinement. Zahara spends most of their time working towards the liberation of their people.
Robert "Saleem" Holbrook is executive director of the Abolitionist Law Center. He is a co-founder of the Human Rights Coalition, an organization composed of family members of prisoners that advocates on behalf of prisoners' civil and human rights, and sits on the advisory boards of the Amistad Law Project and Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project.