(Note: Published by request from our incarcerated comrade)
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, HE has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, restore sight to the blind and set the Captives Free.”
— The Book of Luke 4:18
The Holy Bible
Peace & Blessings Sisters and Brothers:
Well it does not get any realer than this. On the front page of the USA Today (December 27th, 2018) we saw a shocking headline: Grave discovery un-earths legacy of Black Convict Labor(Discovery of African-American graves in Texas highlights ‘moment of reckoning’ ) . The unmarked graves of 95 ‘Prison Slaves’ were found on a construction site in Sugarland, Texas. These black men, aged between 14 and 70 years old, were our Ancestors and the first victims of what we have come to know as PRISON SLAVERY in Amerika!! These contract convict laborers were subjected to this form of slavery because the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution still allowed slavery but now the name has changed!!
Sisters and Brothers, there is a ‘back-story’ here that the journalist for the USA Today did not choose to tell–perhaps Monica Rhor did not dig deep enough? You see, this land where our Ancestors’ remains were discovered was owned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (sic!) only a couple of years ago; it was the location of a prison facility known as the Central Unit or Ellis Camp 1.
A few years ago the Prison Agency sold the land. However, one of TDCJ’s very own employees, this courageous activist named Reginald Moore who was featured in the USA Today article, told TDCJ prison officials and many others that there were bodies of prison slaves buried on that land!!! Reginald Moore had been telling this truth for nearly 20 years–pleading with the State of Texas to honor and preserve the Sacred Burial Ground in Sugarland, Texas but as we have learned: BLACK LIVES REALLY DO NOT MATTER TO TEXAS STATE PRISON OFFICIALS! Before this land was ever sold and chosen as a location for a technical educational center– High Ranking Prison Officials and Public Officials knew the Souls of Black Folk were present on this hallowed ground.
However, as I said in the past in my essay: End Prison Slavery in Texas Now!—”The State of Texas was founded on the precept of White Supremacy!”. Whether we analyze the actions of Greg Abbott, the current Governor of Texas, his Lieutenant Dan Patrick, or Brian Collier, the Executive Director of TDCJ, they all subscribe to a Eugenic Philosophy. The same philosophy embraced by their confederate ancestors and set forth in this quote from the Vice President of the Confederate States, Alexander Stephens, in a speech he gave in 1861. Stephens said:
“The confederacy’s cornerstone rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and moral condition.”
So the framers of the U.S. constitution purposely created this exception Clause in the 13th Amendment so they could allow their Southern Partners to subjugate BLACK PEOPLE to the institutions of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude in Amerika!! And this–Sisters and Brothers– is what we are up against in Texas and many other Southern and Northern States as well as the East and West in Amerikkka!!
IT’S TIME FOR SOME ACTION!!!
In the year of 2019, the struggle to completely Abolish Slavery in Amerika rages on. The movement ebbs and flows like a river. At times the waters are still and then there are times like now when the ‘current’ flows like raging rapids and truthfully all we really have to do is tap into the Power of the People and ride the ‘wave’ to victory! This is such a time.
Sisters and Brothers, I am teaming up with my fellow comrades in struggle in the Free Alabama Movement and we are sending out a Call to Freedom Fighters and Prison Abolitionists of every Race, Creed, and National Origin. We are requesting that all of you contact the Governor of Texas–Mr. Greg Abbott, as well as the NEW incoming Attorney General of Texas–Mr. Justin Nelson, and demand that the State of Texas declare this burial ground in Sugarland, Texas a Historical Site. We want to ensure that our African Ancestors are given proper burial rites. We are requesting that all of you stand with Activist Reginald Moore so that the legacy of the Sugarland-95 is Honored, Protected, and Preserved!! We want people to remember what these former Confederate Officers meant to do to OUR PEOPLE! And we want to Remind You All–that the Work is far from Done!!
In the USA Today article, Brother Reginald Moore claimed that he was, “the lone voice in the wilderness,” but I say this: Mr. Moore you were never alone in regard to crying out for Justice. Perhaps your years of working as a prison guard for the State of Texas obstructed your hearing or possibly made you blind to a MOVEMENT which has been growing in Momentum for Decades!!
WE THE FIGHTERS AGAINST SLAVE PLANTATION SYSTEM IN AMERIKA ARE MANY!! In Texas we continue to struggle and honor the legacy and the work of: David Ruiz, Bobby Brown aka Muhammad, Derrik Frazier, better known as Hasan Shakur, Kenneth Foster continues to fight, Thomas Miller-El, Nanon Williams, Reginald Gordon aka ‘OG-1’, Jason Renard Walker, Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson, and I, Keith ‘Malik’ Washington, have fought for Decades to End Prison Slavery in Texas. Now is our time to Fight for the Honor of our Ancestors and to push forward our struggle for Freedom, Justice, and Equality for All Humyn Beings subjected to this modern form of Slavery. Won’t you please help us? The only thing we have to lose is our chains!!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!
Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement; he is a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter).
Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view his work at comrademalik.com or you can also read articles and essays that he regularly writes for the San Francisco Bay View- National Black Newspaper. You can read his articles at: https://sfbayview.com/?s=keith+malik+washington or you can write Malik directly at:
Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
3001 S. Emily Dr.
Beeville, Texas 78102