Poems by renowned Black leader and activist Julia Wright

The late Ralph Poynter
The late Ralph Poynter.


in police-staffed schools
now called “soft targets”
because mass shootings
take place there
our children are taught to stick to their guns
in their textbooks
they learn that
the Nobel Peace Prize
was funded
by the inventor of dynamite
which is by the way
a word we use to say
how beautiful a woman is

in our Black streets
a gun
is called
a piece
not to be confused
with our call for Peace

westerns, cloak and daggers,
army action flicks
bulldoze their way
to a cinema near you

death by
capital punishment
derives chillingly from
the Latin – head

the capitalists say
you make a killing
at the stock exchange

war games
go viral

just beneath the soil
of our language
are planted
the verbal land mines
that lead to
and genocide –
the NRA and the Pentagone
prey on our taxpayers’ money
to advertize state terror
and blow Peace
to pieces

(c) Julia Wright. December 25 2023. All Rights Reserved to the Children descending from the 1919 Elaine Massacre, Arkansas, to thank them for their poem on Gaza.




brother comrade Ralph
you chose Christmas day
to leave us

with your inimitable smile
and always with a purpose
you rose from your sickbed
and joined
our most recent ancestors –
your comrades,
Ruchell Magee
and Ed Poindexter

the three of you,
beyond white supremacist hubris,
heads held proud,
our ancestral Kings
bearing the magnificent gifts
of Unity
and Revolutionary Love
have arrived
in war-scarred Bethlehem
the sacred site
Israeli barbarism has now
turned into
a ghost town

but spirits
come home to roost

little does the IDF know
and the racist checkpoint soldiers
cannot see you
the three of you
bearing your perennial offerings
are on your way
to Gaza
to preside
over the rescue
of thousands of Palestinian babies
to break
the ancient cycle
of a genocide
you were opposing
from within
the belly of the beast –
and know so well

like your gifts,
the legacy of your
freedom fighter wisdom
is infinite
and we
who are blessed
to behold
the three of you
know you are everywhere
each dawn
walking at our side

(c) Julia Wright. December 27 2023. All Rights Reserved to Betty Davis and the families of Ruchell Magee and Ed Poindexter




“It was a brief visit because Mumia was expecting family. He ate fresh salad pausing with reverence when it came to the grape tomatoes. He closed his eyes while chewing them and said he could feel the nutrients nourishing him”.
Jennifer Black on her New Year visit to Mumia

To Marc Lamont Hill, Mark Taylor, Noelle Hanrahan, Johanna Fernandez, Pam Africa, Ricardo Alvarez – and for all those who visit Mumia and take his words out to share them with those like us unable to visit


you are not only
sensorily deprived
you are denied
the only cardiac diet
that will help you survive –
fruit, vegetables
and no white bread,
white rice
or white potatoes
as you
like to joke

your visitors
are the only occasion
for you to sample
the vending machine salads
full of the nutrients
that will feed your heart –
and we remember
how in LeHigh Hospital
you could only marvel
when you were served
raw veggies and balsamic vinegar
making you feel like a King,
you said –
and you sent us your thanks
for this royal treatment
which was only human
because prescribed
by your surgeon
back then

back then
is two years and a half ago –
and the prison
still refuses the diet
you have a right to
and could ensure your real progress

and we
who cannot visit you
are deprived
of the fresh salad of communication
and shared words
we need the nutrients of
to keep going
and save you

(c) Julia Wright. January 4, 2023. All Rights Reserved to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s children.


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