Archive for May, 2012

The soundtrack for Chris’ course: Cultures of the African Diaspora taught at Hampshire College in Spring 2012. Enjoy! CSI 116 Cultures of African Diaspora SYLLABUS

CSI 116 Playlist Tracklisting 2012

Over the past two years incarcerated men and women in some of America’s most notorious prisons including Georgia, Ohio, California (on two occasions), and now in Virginia, have organized in protest to a range of human rights abuses behind bars. In most of these cases, incarcerated men and women have issued their protest in the form of hunger strikes. On Tuesday, May 22nd, prisoners at Red Onion State Prison in Wise County, Virginia went on hunger strike; today is day four of their strike. Red Onion State Prison is Virginia’s first super-maximum security facility, which began admitting incarcerated individuals in 1998. In 1999, just a year after its opening, Human Rights Watch reported that, “the Virginia Department of Corrections has failed to embrace basic tenets of sound correctional practice and laws protecting inmates from abusive, degrading or cruel treatment” at Red Onion. For insight into the strike and the strike demands, we are joined on the phone by ADWOA MASOZI of the Institute for Policy Studies, and MAC GASKINS, a former inmate at Red Onion State Prison. They are two organizers with a newly formed coalition called Solidarity with Virginia Hunger Strikers. Visit the site to read the HUNGER STRIKE DEMANDS.

Part 1: VA Hunger Strike

Part 2: Exonerations, Brian Banks, Black Male Unemployment, Mumia

Guest Bios:

Mac Gaskins is from Richmond, VA. He considers himself a liberated prisoner, having spent 14.5 years in prison with 4 of those years being inside Red Onion State Prison. Mac is anti-prison/PIC activist and organizer, and a founding member of Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change (SPARC).
Adwoa Masozi is from Newark, NJ. She has been an organizer since the age of 9 when she started a food program feeding the homeless in the cities of East Orange and Newark, NJ. Since then, she has been active in NJ groups like People’s Organization for Progress and NJ Peace Action. Currently, she’s a member of Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change (SPARC) and EMPOWER DC.