Profound meditations on life, death, freedom, family, and faith, written by radical Black journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, while he was awaiting his execution.
"Uncompromising, disturbing . . . Abu-Jamal's voice has the clarity and candor of a man whose impending death emboldens him to say what is on his mind without fear of consequence."—The Boston Globe
"A brilliant, lucid meditation on the moral obligation of political commitment by a deeply ethical—and deeply wronged—human being. Mumia should be freed, now."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor & Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University
"A brilliant, powerful book by a prophetic writer . . . his language glows with an affirming flame."—Jonathan Kozol, author of Death at an Early Age and Rachel and Her Children
During the spring of 1996, black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was living on death row and expecting to be executed for a crime he steadfastly maintained he did not commit—the murder of a white Philadelphia police officer. It was in that period, with the likelihood of execution looming over him, that he received visits from members of the Bruderhof spiritual community––refugees from Hitler's Germany––anti-fascist, anti-racist, and deeply opposed to the death penalty. Inspired by the encounters, Mumia hand-wrote Death Blossoms—a series of short essays and personal vignettes reflecting on his search for spiritual meaning, freedom, and truth in a deeply racist and materialistic society.
Featuring a new introduction by Mumia and a report by Amnesty International detailing how his trial was "in violation of minimum international standards," this new edition of Death Blossoms is essential reading for the Black Lives Matter era, and is destined to endure as a classic in American prison literature.
Praise for Death Blossoms, Expanded Edition:
"For years in my classrooms I have watched Death Blossoms do its luminous work. It has awakened the conscience of so many of my student readers. Once awakened, they begin to shoulder the disciplines of its revolutionary knowing, moral passion, historical precision and clarity of reason. No wonder repressive powers seek death for this prisoner of conscience. Alas for them, Mumia still lives. From streets to classrooms and back, Death Blossoms keeps opening up consciences, hearts, and minds for our revolutionary work."—Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World
"Targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO for his revolutionary politics, imprisoned, and sentenced to death, Mumia found freedom in resistance. His reflections here—on race, spirituality, on struggle, and life—illuminate this path to freedom for us all."––Joshua Bloom, co-author with Waldo E. Martin Jr. of Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
"In this revised edition of his groundbreaking work, Death Blossoms, convicted death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal tackles hard and existential questions, searching for God and a greater meaning in a caged life that may be cut short if the state has its way and takes his life. As readers follow Mumia's journey through his poems, short essays, and longer musings, they will learn not only about this singular individual who has retained his humanity despite the ever present threat of execution, but also about themselves and our society: what we are willing to tolerate and who we are willing to cast aside. If there is any justice, Mumia will prevail in his battle for his life and for his freedom."––Lara Bazelon, author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction
"Mumia Abu-Jamal has challenged us to see the prison at the center of a long history of US oppression, and he has inspired us to keep faith with ordinary struggles against injustice under the most terrible odds and circumstances. Written more than two decades ago, Death Blossoms helps us to see beyond prison walls; it is as timely and as necessary as the day it was published."––Nikhil Pal Singh, founding faculty director of the NYU Prison Eduction Program, author of Race and America's Long War
"For over three decades, the words of Mumia Abu-Jamal have been tools many young activists have used to connect the dots of empire, racism, and resistance. The welcome reissue of Death Blossoms is a chance to reconnect with Abu-Jamal's prophetic voice, one that needs to be heard now more than ever."—Hilary Moore and James Tracy, co-authors of No Fascist USA!, The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today's Movements