I’m so honored that the Center for Arab American Philanthropy has chosen me for their series “Arab Americans Who Care,” wherein they state they “can’t wait to see what waves Stephanie Abraham makes next!” Alhamdililah!!! Check out their generous feature, “Stephanie Abraham and a Passion for Helping Others.” (Also pasted below.)
I first learned about Mumia Abu Jamal in 1998 when I was a student transferring from Pasadena City College to UCLA. At that time, the movement to free him was gaining steam, particularly on college campuses and I took it on wholeheartedly. I marched in protests in LA, San Francisco and Philly, shouting, “Brick by brick, wall by wall, we gonna free Mumia Abu Jamal.” I did an internship with a nonprofit wherein to communicate the urgency of his situation, we organized a national day of art on September 11th (two years before the Twin Towers fell) entitled “Mumia 911.” Inspired by his writings and those of other former Panthers like Assata, I focused my World Arts & Cultures degree on the links between social justice movements and art.
At that time, his case was an example of how people get railroaded by the state and sentenced to death with unfair trials — especially Black, poor people. It still is. Now, it’s also an example of how the state denies prisoners medicine and medical care.
Originally, Prison Radio asked me to write the script for this PSA–but then they asked me to read it as well! How could I refuse? I needed to communicate how dire the situation is, but I hardly recognize myself with such a serious tone.
Mumia continues to publish and to speak out as a voice of the voiceless. The movement to free him has taken some hits, but we’re still fighting for his life and freedom. Join us.
Print is ALIVE! The feminist magazine Make/shift is only available in print, so to read my review of the titles below, double click here: make/shift–Palestine
Make/shift creates and documents contemporary feminist culture and action by publishing journalism, critical analysis, and visual and text art. I had the great pleasure of founding the magazine along with its two co-editors and co-publishers back in 2006. Here’s to celebrating its 18th issue!
This essay was published by Medium: The Development Set. To read it on their site, click here.
To read the article on Bitch, click here.
The beautiful and challenging new film Mustang looks at the lengths that people will go to crush female independence and sexuality, and the varied responses young women can have in the face of strangling sexism and male domination. It’s notable that the film, which takes place in Turkey with a Turkish cast, is France’s official entry to the Academy Awards—the director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, is Turkish and French.
Mustang’s story is told through the eyes of Lale (Günes Sensoy), the youngest of five orphaned sisters who are being raised by their grandmother in a small Turkish town. Lale is only nine years old, but is wise enough to see injustice and sassy enough to renounce it. The film opens with her as narrator saying, “It’s like everything changed in the blink of an eye. One moment we were fine, then everything turned to shit.” (more…)