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Copyright 0 1976 by the North Carolina Women's Prison Book Project First printing, November, 1976 1,000 copies Second printing, April, 1977 1,200 copies
This material has been copyrighted to prevent use by profiteers. If you want to use anything from the book, just write and let us know what you're using it for. Photographs provided by Big Mama Rag, Frank Cuthbertson, and The News and Observer. We encourage people to write to the sistas at: Bragg St., Raleigh, N.C. 27610.
Copies of this book are available at $2.00 each from: P.O. Box 27, Durham, N.C. 27702. Make checks payable to: North Carolina Women's Prison Book. Please add 25
The members of Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists decided to work on this book because of our continuing interest in the struggle at. Women's Prison. A coalition between a group of Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists members and several members of the North Carolina Hard Times Prison Project made it possible for the book to be published. Our part of the work included collection and arrangement of articles, fundraising, layout, typing, paste-up, printing, collation, binding and distribution. The initiative for the book came from the women at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women who are fighting for the liberation of all oppressed people. Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists Prison Book Project
Greetings my Sistas/Bruthas/Comrades, I extend total greetings of unity, solidarity, struggle, strength and dedication. Originally, We had planned to have no introduction for the book, as We just wanted to let the sistas speak for themselves. However, as the book developed, the sistas asked me to write one. So, i'll now attempt to briefly explain my feelings about the book, and of course the sistas. Last January, the sistas and We discussed the possibility of printing a book containing all their articles, poems, and drawings done since June of 1975--the turning point for them--when they demonstrated to be treated and recognized as human beings. We, out
people are free! So, this is now the direction/path for which they are preparing themselves. The sistas have given their support to various struggles, locally, nationally, and also internationally, in the forms of boycotts, fasts, and letters of unity. Some heavy examples are the liberation struggles in Africa, the Marion bruthas, the San Quentin 6, Assata Shakur, Cheryl Todd and Dessie X Woods, and also their Death Row sistas and bruthas in North KKKarolina, and in all amerikkkan cages. Their various timedated articles are clear manifestations of their spiritual/mental growth. Working with these strong, beautiful and determined sistas has definitely been a give and take experience. They've taught me a great number of things, like organizing, and most importantly, to identify as much as i can with their day to day changes/experiences, even though i'm out here in minimum custody. The very small way i've tried to contribute is to aid in their political development and lend as much support as i can. I also feel that i've gained some very solid comradeships with the sistas, which hopefully will be eternal ones. Even my young comrade/daughter has gained many new comrades from whom to learn. Many sistas and bruthas have also learned much from the sistas. Since June, hundreds of caged sistas and bruthas have communicated with the sistas and have become united with them. They've all given the sistas many typed of support. These communiques have come from all over the kountry; places like California, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, and of course, this state. Comrades in minimum from all over, even Holland, have now established bonds with them, and have lent much concrete support. In behalf of the sistas, and also myself, We extend deep thanks and much gratitude to everyone. All of you, in your own way, have greatly contributed to the book's formation. One more brief important point/aspect of this book is a call for unity and solidarity that is definitely needed to achieve our final goal--total liberation. In Unity, Strength and Struggle, Jinni M. Stroman N.C. Hard Times Prison Project June 30, 1976
June 15, 1975. This protest was spontaneous on our part, contrary to many opinions. It had not been preplanned or pre-arranged. Unless a person has been confined and subjected to the cruel environment in which we live, it would be difficult for them to comprehend our reasons for wanting to be recognized as human beings and not as animals in a cage The ludicrous aspect of the whole situation is that none of the staff at the Center asked that we go to our dorms at the usual 8:00 p.m. lock-in time. A sergeant on duty finally asked what our problem was and we stated that he could not handle it; we preferred to see the Governor. By this time news reporters, along with a group, Action for Forgotten Women, had arrived at the fence. Both of the above had no previous knowledge of the demonstration; they had been contacted at approximately 5:30 p.m. by us to request their support. Our acting Superintendent, Morris Kea, called from Charlotte to let us know he had heard about the protest and he was leaving then to return to Raleigh. Lt. Dickens and Capt. Moreland, Heads of Custody, made no appearance on the grounds. What made them so afraid of the people who they heretofore had rushed to put in punitive segregation? The answer is the strength of a united people protesting for our humangiven and constitutional rights. About 12:00 midnight, Mr. W.L. Kautzky, Assistant Director of Prisons, came on the grounds. After listening to our grievances he made no attempt at negotiation either, but tried to shift the blame onto us and Mr. Kea. We refused to accept the responsibility because letters had been written to Governor Holshouser, Mr. David L. Jones, Mr. Ralph Edwards and Mr. Kautzky, informing then of the existing conditions and requesting that someone come to the Center to discuss the matters with Mr. Kea and us. Important and.relevant to this is the fact that Mr. Kautzky had come to the institution about two months previous to re-
Yes he had been given a title as Manager of Institutions, and yet, he was given no authority with that title. Had he been given the chance, Mr. Kea would have made the necessary changes which might have prevented the protest. Most of us went peacefully to sleep awaiting the so-called "negotiators 1 ' to meet with us the next morning. About 4:45 a.m. Monday morning we heard footsteps and we saw Mr. Kautzky and Mr. Kea coming to the circle we had made with the benches. Mr. Kautzky asked that we peacefully go to the auditorium and that if we refused he would order the guards to move in. None of us moved and the guards came at us with riot sticks. Some went on their own, others were carried by the guards. The first blow was struck by the guard to a prisoner while on the front lawn. Others were carried by guards and thrown in the auditoroum on top of one another. Those of us who were already lock-in the gym found mop handles , brooms and concrete blocks. Yes, we fought our way out because the state had first used violence on us. Mr. Kautzky, who states that he "...Hive me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning To Breath Free..."
cause the cowardly oppressors (the ex T.V. and refrigerator repairman and the ex newspaper reporter) cannot deal with our intelligence. It is important for all prisoners of W.C.C. to take heed and lend their support. The Department of Corrections' door is now open for the public to enter. The Correctional Center will never return to what the bureaucrats term "normal." Although the newly appointed Superintendent, Louis Powell, is going back 200 years to try to get the Center functionally "normal," they will no longer capitalize on our incarceration because we will not become slaves again. They had a nice playground before this, and we were the toys. However, they can no longer move the toys so that they win all the time. Keep us locked-in 24 hours a day, keep threatening us with sticks and tear gas, and keep thinking we will crawl to them, albeit, they will be the losers because from now on the toys will not move as they want them to. We have strong minds, deep determination and we will remain united in our struggle for justice. ANNE C. WILLETT
Inmates talking to supporter during week of protest
Today marks the sixth-6th- week of my incarceration here at Western Correctional Center. I, along with 25 others, who fought and stood for our lives on June 15-19, 1975 at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women. We have stood patient throughout this political experiment performed by the N.C. Correction Department staff. We have not changed our position or determination in our attempt to expose the department and it's deceit to the people. We were not willing to stop for the many pacifers that have been offered us, instead we offer ourselves as guinea pigs to be used as the tools of the people, to destroy the now corrupt political ballgame of the corrections department that uses the oppressed people as equipment. Despite of all the temporary defeats, the discrimination, the prejudice, the deceitful efforts of the keepers to alter or prevent us, we will educate the people of the political corruption and misconduct of those who make the governing policies of the system. Our intentions are to convince the people these actions taken against us were politically motivated, to maintain the silence that has persisted in the department for years. Our hopes are that the unjust actions the state has performed against us (the representatives of the oppressed) will motivate the people to counter-attack and seek justification for their murderous deeds. We have staked our very lives on the continuation and further development of the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed. Our "love" for the people strengthens our decision daily, this motivation is greater than the materialistic one that our keepers have. It's a feeling that makes you feel the blows aimed at your sister's head, a feeling that assures you each day you sit in this 7 by 6 foot cell, it's a contribution to the people, a feeling that makes you feel pride in your loyalty to your sistas, a feeling that lets you say with confidence, I am somebody, a feeling that brings a tear of happiness to receive word of a minor victory, a feeling that you are free, at least in the mind, a feeling of pride in the strong unity that grows daily and this love is a feeling that makes you know the life you have devoted to the struggle will not be in vain. 6
July 25, 1975
What's going down? Nothing hey? Like, it's all going up. Taxes up, cost of living up, and pain up. Yeah Amerikkka, something is going down. But you are blind, and fail to see. More death, more crime, more discrimination, more deceit, more murder, more enslavement, and countless When more — mores of this and that. Oh you pitiful Kountry of Amerikkka. will you learn??? Will you ever learn??? I have heard many people say--"Amerikkka-home of the free and the brave". How can this statement even be spoken? Amerikkka may contain brave peoples, but very few could I even begin to classify as free, except maybe the rockefellars, the late onnasis, Jackie kennedy, the duponts-then I say they are truly not free, for they chain themselves to greed, ignorance, discrimination, their own private luxuries, hindering them from living like people, they live as they are kings and queens, so they too are enslaved by their own doings, and ignorance. When I first came to visit North Karolina, I noticed the license tags on the cars--"First in Freedom"--Amerikkka, how could you let one of your states deceive people so??? You are guilty of letting your state deceive, lie, print fictional quotes as mottos--you are guilty of so much. "First in Freedom"--has 88 persons on death row, out of 149 in the entire U.S.--"First in Freedom"--has prisons open to young men of only fourteen years of age, young women sixteen years of age. "First in Freedom"--needs to be changed--maybe to "Last in Freedom/Life" would suit the state better. Amerikkka, do you know your death is in the making?? Your entire destruction?? You can't possibly continue like this. Some of your people Amerikkka, spend thousands and even millions of dollars "$" on furs, pretty diamonds, clothes--some of your people, AmeriKKKa, run barefooted in the wintertime, have no clothes on their backs, some have no food to eat. Do you not claim them, Amerikkka, or do you feel they belong elsewhere?? Over six billion dollars you spend making air ships to go to strange planets, yet what about Amerikkka itself?? Your rich Amerikkkan has seven and eight homes, big vast kountrysides all to themselves? Why??? Some of your people live in the gutters, some eight or ten share little one room, rat-infested shacks, yet you think about the unknown.
Glover, and his mourning mother think about your starving, naked, illiterate children . Think about your racist/fascist/capitalist system, and then ask yourself--"Am I a free and brave Kountry"????
Medium custody dormitory
From one sister--who feels she speaks for many peoples, A Sister struggling for change, TARISHI MAISHA (Shirley Herlth)
You will survive.
SUZAN STUARTSept. '75
The Window Volatile opening, cavern of light-Freedom is endless flight. I cannot even flick a cigarette out through the bars to reach the open window-of my soul, of course, but mainly of the prison within what passes for the heart of mankind. They keep it locked and they have a morbid fetish for keys. They jangle power instead of money in their pockets. America — where have you gone? Land of the free, corrupted by the pigs and rusting by the wayside, a junkie ford on the road to ruin that we are herded along upon like sheep. All except the ones who do not go willingly and we are locked up. Let me out! SUZAN STUART
Facts Destroy Fantasy Salamu Rafikis; To every Struggle there is only one goal, but to every event that stages the growth of the Struggle there are many points to be observed, opinions to be considered, facts to be pondered and guilt to be exposed and given to the deserving individuals. So it is, with our recent struggle for liberation from the humanity exposed to us during our physical incarceration at North Carolina's Correctional Center for Women (NCCCW). After centuries of inhuman treatments and conditions came a new breed of Oppressed People...Not people afraid to speak for their rights...Not people who accept any/everything because we have been labeled by the system as misfit/convicts. No!...this breed will not accept injustice by the supposedly "Just," we will not accept the brainwash that we are misfits to society...We will not be silent while our Oppressors constantly humiliate us...Nor will we be frighten into silence by the many acts of "terrorism" by our keepers or their superiors. We know your various tactic Amerikkka, they are not new, neither are they feared. My People have lived in Terror, since our first existance on your bloody shores. Your deciet is shown as the angry waves retreat to the sea to expose your milky white thighs, in attempt to lure the People with your indecency. We know the truth of your supposeingly streets of gold and valleys of milk and honey, your trickery, your land of opportunity. But you forgot purposely Amerikkka to tell us...we must not be from another country and you must be a puppet, to get reconition...Qualification is no good!...Perhaps I overlooked a few...you do have a mixture in your position today "1975"...Over 400 years late. So what do you want for your good deed Amerikkka...a brownie medal?... Sorry miss lady...no deal. Any mixture you have is yours in a position to serve/help only you...bought with your currency ($)...trained with your brainwash...caught in a whirlpool of your deciet...and dancing to the strings held by your puppet men. All this Amerikkka exposes your deciet, trickery...and terrorism. When the truth is known and its detrimental aspects absorbed into the victims (oppressed People) membrane, it cause one to act in their defence. Then we are shoved various pacifier, when we do not suck them accordingly, the oppressor then resorts to acts of terrorism. Terrorism is the unconscious admittance of guilt and ignorance in dealing ability. We have witnessed the full reality of you and your acts of terrorism Amerikkka, tho even this will not alter our determination to receive liberation from your decietful ways. Patiently we wait (yet not long) for you to realize the inhumanity you cause us to endure does not testify to our inferiority but to your fear and guilt. When you do realize this Amerikkka (or N.C. Prison officials) we are ready to deal... do not take too long to accept this reality...as you know...the Struggle must/will continue! Often history repeats itself, tho in order to progress it is often necessary to change the course of history...Kahili Gibran once said of his people and today over a century later...so it can be said of My People, I quote: 11
My people died of Starvation... The tragedy of My People is without music or parade. If my people had revolt against the tyrants and died in defiance...! would have said that death for liberation is better $ than a life of starvation. If my people had been destroyed by a wild hurricane I would have said death by a hurricane is better than a life in the arms of old age. If an earthquake had swallowed my people, I would have said it is the law of nature directed by the laws beyond the comprehension of man. But my People did not die by a rebellion, did not die by a battle and were not buried by an earthquake. My People died on a cross. My People died with their arms stretched towards east and west, their eyes seeking the darkness of the skies. They died in silence because the ears of humanity had become deaf to their cries. They died but they were not criminals. They died because they were peaceful. They died in the land that produced milk and honey. They died because the hellish serpent seized all their flocks and the harvest of their fields. I love you my countryman, yet love for you distressed me and did not benefit you.... So it was then...now history changes...No longer will we stand by and be robbed till we are forced to starve and meet death a coward ...No longer will we stand by and see the rich get richer and the poor, poorer...No longer will the unjust be given supposingly justice and the just (Oppressed) be given injustice. We the third world People also have a dream Tho not like Bro Martin Luther King. Our dream is to expose/destroy the Oppressor scheme And get justice by necessary means. Be it negotiations or M-16! Tuta Shinda Bilashaka!
Revolutionary in Arms M-16 Bang! M. MARSH 8-19-75
In response Observer, articl John Bailey for analize the real Life/A Life for considered her o supposingly just Sheila Ferrell i Could Bailey hav considered her a (Remember Sheila above issure is motivated by rac oppressed. Bail into his own, he As Sheila h many other , and people let it. Delaware and she
ensured by the s How long will th daughter/mother/ stop the raging, not say you're n oppressed! Mass and got slaughte of another victa protest the beach with the oppresso murder. In Jacks because he look held--yet you vi ors. Raleigh, N. stand (June 15-1 subjected to, in stood for life i people is essenti complain. Can yo Stand my people!
Life for a Life—Unity to Live In response to the news medias-Workers World and Raleigh News and Observer, article on Sista Sheila Ferrell murdered by racist prejudice John Bailey for a "peach"-(supposeingly) takeing this scene in, let's analize the realistic natures/motivation of this issure-"A Peach for a Life/A Life for a Life." Sheila Ferrell was 13 year old tho John Bailey considered her or acted by her as a vicious criminal with a gun. By supposingly justice the manner in which John Bailey chose to deal with Sheila Ferrell is suppose to be reserved for criminals, assultants etc, Could Bailey have been threaten/assulted by Sheila or could he have considered her a criminal as Al Capone, Jesse James, Billy the Kid etc. (Remember Sheila is 13 yr. old-Bailey is 24 yr. old) Surely neither above issure is the motivation of Bailey's actions, his action were motivated by racial prejudice, hate, barbaric desire to prosecute the oppressed. Bailey chose to omitt the supposingly "LAW" and take matters into his own, he judged and prosecuted to. As Sheila has been murdered by an agent of the oppressors so has many other , and the beat goes on! Because you the mass of oppressed people let it. Sheila Ferell was Black, from the ghetto of Wilmington, Delaware and she was oppressed--John Bailey is white, and is the salvage oppressor who took Sheila's life, the questions now: will justice be ensured by the supposingly just? A life for a peach--A life for a_ life! How long will the masses let this one sided war rage on? Must it be your daughter/mother/father/son before you take a stand? Unite now my people stop the raging, salvage, brutal slayings of the oppressed people. Do not say you're not involved, you were borned involved, you were borne oppressed! Mass unite is the key. people stood with Martin Luther King and got slaughted to ride in front of a bus, is Sheila's life or the life of another victam of oppression not more/just as important? The people protest the beaches of Boston subjecting their very lives for a swim with the oppressors but they turn deaf ears on a cry for help to end mass murder. In Jackson, Mississippi Brutha Simmie Johnson Jr. was murdered because he look like (mistaken identy) the sorted man--no protest was held--yet you wish to sit, swim, ride buses etc, with these same oppressors. Raleigh, N.C. Koncentration Kamp (prisons) women division, took a stand (June 15-19) against the inhuman conditions and treatments we were subjected to, in short we stood so that we could/may continue to live--we stood for life itself. To ensure these needed changes the support of the people is essential. Many were brutalized during our stand; but we do not complain. Can you/will you continue to turn deaf ears on a cry for help. Stand my people! Save a life and end oppression! "MARJORIE MARSH" Morganton, N.C. 13
in order to penetrate our minds, but with every inhumane treatment, our strength intensifies. we yell to other sisters across "security" and "C" dorm, and unity spreads everywhere, although our bodies are apart. this cell getting cold again, dark again, and silence is taking space, in this god-forsakkkan place. we are strong, i know this, and no matter what they do, we gonna continue struggling, till our victory shines thru. yeah, no matter how many sticks, or guards come on the run, we gonna keep our asses here, until we overcomelll
SHIRLEY J. HERLTH October 5, 1975
entwined, in a silken nook of pleasure, and laughing, after love. Each daylight brought a new beginning into the heart of me. And when I slept, my night was endless and peace was deep. But now, I've changed. I do not mean to say that my heart has stopped caring or desiring to be at peace. It is only that these days when I dream, it is of blood running from the wounds of my enemies. And when I sleep, there is no rest, For always, always--! await the moment of extinction. Night is now a hidden time when filthy things get done by viscious people, who fear the eyes of those who see. And daylight sees the system, grinding exceedingly small, both the victors, and the victims, after all. SUZAN STUART Sept. '75
of the infirmary in reference to the equipment, the new beds, new lockers bedside tables, etc. He speaks of the removal of antiquated equipment, replaced by the shinny new equipment!! (that is still shining!) The new equipment is irrevelent to our demands. We did not ask for a softer bed, a night stand, a locker , etc. , WE ASKED FOR LIFE!.' i.e., someone qualified to operate these various aides to medical attention. A new dental chair with no dentist is useless; a newly installed examining table with no doctor is useless; new improved drug methods are useless unless there is a qualified nurse to dispense them. Holshouser commended approved this report in hopes of pacifying the people to the external appearance of the infirmary. The new equipment is a cover-up to the truth of the dehumanizing conditions/treatment the residents here witness The equipment is one step but without proper usage or proper operators it too is of no use to the residents--it only makes the hospital appearan more pleasant. Though we do not complain of its ugly appearance, we complain of its ugly/barbaric dealing and function to the residentsT.' The investigating team consisted of doctors not of the people's choice, but appointed/requested by governor J. Holshouser. The doctors are Dr. Phillip G. Nelson (chairman), Dr. Ros"e Fully and Dr. George C. Debnam. These doctors were chosen to work, not in the interest of the residents or the oppressed, but on the contrary, in the best interest of the governor, the director of prisons and the secretary of corrections. These doctors work hand in hand with the people responsible for the conditions here at N.C.C.C.W., their job and attempt was/is to convince the public that our demonstration was invalid, wrong and unjustified. They have attempted to discredit the resident's voices against inhuman treatment and conditions; but soon I am sure you, my people, will show them that their attempts to pacify you (the public) have been in vain. The three said doctors in their words were "impressed" with everything- -professional staff, medical distribution, services rendered, conduct of staff, qualifications of staff, etc. The only area the investigating team found below their expectation was the psychiatric area, where there is one psychiatrist working only 5-10 hrs. weekly, supposedly treating the 450 residents on the camp. The report also attemps to discredit the residents by saying, "The majority of the residents need psychiatric help or else they/we wouldn't be here." This is greatly over-emphasized!! The majority of the residents here chose to survive instead of to die by exploitation or starvation, that's why they're here. 17
nal infections she has had over a period of 3-4 years, and which she was deInjured prisoner after first night of nied treatment by prison officials. assualt by guards (Many, many other cases could be discussed, as a hysterectomy is a common diagnosis for any female trouble.) Only a few, like two or three people interviewed by this team, were truthful and told of personal experiences with the medical staff's neglect. The investigating team was evidently impressed with the staff, also. Their statement was..."The quality of the staff is excellent.":: Perhaps the medical staff is qualified in their field, like a lab technician is qualified only as a lab technician"! A dermatologist's assistant certainly is not a nurse. This is some incite on what/who is filling the nursing positions. Here on the medical staff there is only one nurse other than Lois McDonald. (Two nurses for 450 women). Is this what the team refers to as a "qualified/excellent staff"???:: Sure some staff members have the necessary degrees but are their services to the residents complimentary of those degrees? NO! My people do not be mislead by these various tactics of trickery/ deceit/exploitation. The truth will not be exposed by the officials of the system, because the truth will surely destroy their game and expose the makers/enforcers of the corrupt policies governing its prisons'. With knowledge concerning the truth of this system, I have no doubt that we cannot come together and educate the masses to what's happening. This truth will destroy and expose the tyrants that wish to conceal the misconduct, deceit, and human ugliness of this penal system. Our lives depend on your support because ACTIVE SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL'.: Money for our defense fund is also needed:: For further information contact: below). Thank you!
Marjorie Marsh (address listed Servant of the oppressed people, "Comrade MARJORIE MARSH" 1034 Bragg Street Raleigh, N.C. 27610
where one woman prisoner was being held. I saw the guard push the matron back as they entered that hole. I know there is a state policy specifying that all guards are to have a matr6n with them while in the presence of women prisoners. Because the brutality at this kamp has been so paramount since our peaceful protest in June of 1975, I became concerned about the prisoner being in the hole alone. My sistas and I who have been on lock-up since June yelled to the guards to get out and leave the prisoner alone. They hurriedly came out and entered the punishment cottage where we shouted, "Pig, oink-oink" and sang "We Shall Overcome." As a result, two sistas were forcibly carried by five male guards to the hole and I was taken to Isolation. I was stripped of everything and did not even have a mattress. The next day, a foam rubber mattress was given to me and so it was in this cell that Max Barbour and Supt. Powell came while the female, Sgt. Sattlewhite, stood by and watched. With a wild look in his eyes, Max Barbour pulled out his knife and cut a piece of my mattress in the shape of a heart, put his fingers across my lips and told me that I talked too much and I saw too much. Suppose I had panicked and jumped on Max Barbour when I saw the knife. This would surely have meant death for me. Revolutionary strength and courage prevented this. I was indeed fortunate that horrifying day to overcome the tactics of the oppressors' warped, perverted minds. I am now in the hole with my other two sistas where we have bee,n for forty days. Death still lurks around us. We cannot get to one another. Who then is to help us?--The support of all oppressed people. This prison system has to be changed; the warped, perverted minds of these keepers have to be replaced with people who care for the oppressed! I am alive together; the next time Max Barbour pulls his knife out to passively assault me, I may not have the strength to overcome. Your help is needed now. Your Sista in Struggle ALICE WISE, Prisoner
day and night, you lie to faces, you turn the damn key, but baby you done fucked up, watch and see, it's a new breed of sistas, on this mutha-fucking kamp, and we ain't gonna be, your bitches and tramps, we gonna fight your asses, till our asses turn blue, and wherever you walk, we'll be a step ahead of you, you're all no good, a disgrace of your birth, you filthy bitches, are the scum of the earth, but this is a warning, i extend to you all, you better be cool, cause ycur ass gonna fall, and if my foot, can get it's place, i'll smear my shit, in your god-damn face, so listen here whitteys, i think it's time you pass, cause you got a whole lot of sistas, on your mutha-fucking ass, and we ain't giving up, and we ain't gonna run, we gonna keep on trucking, till we overcome.
•SHIRLEY J. HERLTHOctober 6, 1975
look at, and you know how that is!!! I'll sure be glad when mail comes, maybe for at least a moment I'll have a clean-cut thought. Ole' sis having another crumb-snatcher, and Mom's just down all the time trying to work like hell to keep food on the table. Damn, there goes that sista at the end of the crying again. You think after five years someone would bring her babies to see her. Poor child done excaped three times to see her own children. Night-time coming on, the cell getting dark, and I can see those damn rats playing in the hall again, They big as my feet!!! Well, I guess I'll lay my ass down and hope that sleep will help me escape from these four walls with cracking-up paint awhile. Who knows; maybe I'll even have a good dream tonite, or maybe even one day...I'11 go home!!! TARISHI TAMAA MAISHA s/n Shirley J. Herlth-#90956-OS
Armed agents of the state holding back supporters prior to attack on June 19th. 21
other sistas feet by dragging them across a cement walk. Two of us were searched § locked in this dungeon with nothing but a dirty mattress. Our other sista was locked in an isolated area of the infirmary without even a mattress. After five days, our sista was brought to this rat-infested hole with us. We were then given our toothpaste/brush, comb/ a showerAs of now we have been confined here for 17 days. We have had three showers, no sheets, one blanket, no exercise period, food cold, no warm water in our cells, 5-hour period one day with no checks to see if we were all right. Our sista, who was first put in isolation, was subjected to the Superintendent and his assistant pulling out a knife and cutting a piece of her mattress. These are the desperate actions of the officials to break our love and unity. We remain strong as do our sistas locked in Dorm C. All of us prisoners who are still in lock-up because of our peaceful protest in June will not surrender to frightened officials because we are winning and will risk our lives for justice and equality for all our oppressed people. Sistas/Bruthas everywhere join in our united efforts to break the chains and bars of Injustice,, If the officials are afraid of 3 sistas who collectively do not weigh even 300 pounds, the love and unity of all our oppressed/repressed people will surely overcome and the oppressors will fall! ANN WILLETT Your sista In the Struggle 22
others labeled with psychotic names of "activists, ring-leaders, militants," were transformed to the sixteenth floor of a male prison unit in Morganton, N.C. to undergo punishments of various natures. Now...20 weeks later... All transferred sisters are at the Women's Priosn in Raleigh, N.C. All who refuse to submit to the slavery and behavior modifications are either in "Dormitory C" or an isolated segregation "Security". Physical barricades are built on behalf of their racist Keepers to hinder the sistas from communicating with other sisters, other prisons, family, outside persons, etc... Mail has been delayed for 2 weeks at a time, never mailed, never recieved, destroyed, as some visits are denied, others terminated. Food has sat over 2 hours before being brought to the sistas, and then it is clearly "unedible." Sistas are warranted disciplinary action for taking over 5 minutes in the shower-sistas have been charged for threatening officers by merely singing "We Shall Overcome." Punishments for these most-ridiculous charges do not simply end at more stricter confinement, or more hardened regulations. Sistas have been bodily injured, one threatened with a knife by the assistant superintendent with the superintendent of the prison present, and still placed in segregation. The Security building is roach and rat infested, and... Everyone must unite and stand their ground! Stand the ground for w is rightfully ours! We just can't sit and ask for equality-humanityjustice-or freedom. We must stand the grounds of amerikkka and seize these things. I ask you my brothers, sisters, parents, children...to stand with us, stand with all oppressed people, stand and fight with us till Victory Is Won! Umoja is the only way!!! Pamoja Tutashinda Bila Shaka-Sister At ArmsTARISHI TAMAA MA1SHA s/n Shirley J. Herlth 23
who walk the streets and who sit down to a table filled with hot, nourishing food; but who forget the oppressed people. I have not forgotten I am a prisoner, but I have remembered I am a human being. On the sixteenth day, I was given sheets, my third shower and I discovered there were guards/matrons who felt my pain and attempted to ease it. What gives me the courage to endure this? The beautiful love and unity of my sistas who are locked in a Punishment Cottage up the hill. Why are the oppressors treating me in such a degrading manner? I am very articulate but most importantly, I participated in a peaceful protest June 15-19, 1975 at Women's Prison, the result of which has thrown more focus on this prison system than anything in the past. We who protested are being punished while the prisoners who were not involved are reaping the benefits. How long will this punitive treatment be meted out to us? The answer - until the free and the incarcerated become united in our efforts to bring about justice and equality for all. This is my twenty-first day in this hole. The food is still cold. I am away from everyone and powerless to get help, the guards/ matrons continue to make their periodic checks to see if I am breathing, the rats still squeak, and the shadow continues to follow me. How long can I endure this torture? Death will come but I will meet it like a woman or these walls will crumble, the shadow will disappear because someone cared and shared my pain. If this should sound incredible or exaggerated, there are three other prisoners who were placed in cells just like mine in this hole. And for the same reason. I cannot see them but I yell to make sure they are all right. The shadow also follows them, they have experienced the cruelty of the oppressors and they also WEEP. The love of our sistas up the hill and our love for each other is strong enough to crack this steel, but we need your help and support too* •ANNE WILLETT24
year-old schoolboy? Bei'ng j T^C? an f^year-old^frot^er •-: .;. tj on a car? Struggling for^-a.Jl/oplf'essed fpople?"'* OT being Black??? amerikkka; you call yoursel)mH£ and b ^ave your people! kountry for all! You're supposed Where is the love??? seej her husband How do you tell a woman, wh blown away, she is free? What fatherless children? What of the mother who still w%eps r her young? What of the brothers and sistasfwho jw^lk, nly to listen to the chains rattling behind Jpem? f the child who runs from trash can to gutter t ay, in search of food/shelter? Tell me amerikkka; what/of all t s? I As I lay tile. "Free here, I come to the same concfusiom ea the people, or the only Freedpm...frill e Diath!!!!" Death; _HA ey f 5, 1975 P.S. amerikkka, in your opinion, would you mind telling me "Who Is Free???"
then you give it right back to the ruling class by patronizing their investments. What happened to the poor grocer who fed you when you had nothing; the poor who gave you money when the kapitalists did not consider you worthy of their recognition? This is why the rich become super-rich and the poor get poorer. A group of women prisoners awakened to the reality of the horrifying fact we were/are being used/kontrolled by the kapitalist swine of the establishment in order to make it easy for them to gain more power. Most of us are here because our only means of survival was to take what was/is rightfully our share of Amerikkka's crop. We are, however, being held in cages because the rich feel we are a threat to their over-abundance of wealth and power. We took a stand against this korrupt system on June 15, 1975 and have received nothing but cruel/sadistic punishment since that time. Struggle, risk and even death have become a way of life for us. In order to gain victory over the racists/fascists/kapitalists, our Struggle must be a World Struggle. Just as we are imprisoned, so are you, our people in minimum, and will continue to be prisoners until we all awaken to the cold bare facts of imperialism. Become united with us to overthrow this racism/fascism/kapitalism. The Cause—the prevention of systemized suppression of human rights; the resistance to deciet, hypocrisy and lying compromises. With this victory we can all share the prosperity of a socialist government. Your Devoted Sista in Struggle, ANNE C. WILLETT November 2, 1975
When -• Every since that peaceful demonstration which occurred here, June 15-19, 1975, terrorism, discrimation, selectivity, and pacification techniques have become great. We, the women on I.N.S. (lock-up) are the results of such tactics as those stated and used by the oppressor. Several of our comrades have been subjected to terrorism and selectivity. Sis. Anne W i l l e t t e , a 89 Ib. woman, shoulder has been dislocated by these goons who strive off the kindness of our people. You let them t h r i v e off your given consent to use their authority. How long will you let them continue? They abuse our bodies as well as use our bodies for personal gain. When will you put a stop to this torture they take us through? Where are you my people? We need you now, for without you we stand alone against this capitalistic system that governs you, as well. What is behavior modification? It is a mind destroyer and a body weakener. Right now drugs are being given to us/your children. Renee Lambright is on 600 mgs. a day of thorazine, prescribed by the doctor here. She is 16 years old and the drugs have d e f i n i t e l y affected her mind. She sits day/night cry ing/1aughing , talking to herself in one voice - answering in another. She knows not time or day. She did not need thorazine nor was she insane/crazy. They are murdering her definitely. The system cannot cope with a mind of an individual who can think for herself. We have the love for one another that they (the sysAnd anything they can't understand, they get tem) do not understand. rid of, someway, somehow, by any means necessary. North Carolina penal system is a "corrupt, cline, clandestine, click" (N.C.C.C.W.) of all oppressed people governed by prejudiced, sadistical pigs. Why do you continue to let these facades of our oppressors blind you? The pressure is on us because we stand tall. Will you stand tall with us and live for once in your life before your life is gone? Live for a cause and not for a dream. One of our sistas, Rosa Hairston, walks around these grounds with a bag on her stomach that will be there for the rest of her life. That's one reason why. we stand tall. No longer will we accept this system, because it is against us/all oppressed people. Struggling to be free and free the OPPRESSED!!! BESSIE BOULER
Open Letter to the People During my incarceration here at N.C.C.C.W. I along with others have been rejected the proper medical treatment. When I first came here, I was in pretty good shape until I was classified to the laundry's washroom. That's where all my troubles began. I worked there (washroom) nearly nine months before the germs consumed my body. I along with others had to handle infested clothing from sanitoriums, local hospitals and various institutions along with N.C.C.C.W.'s clothes. We had no protection what-so-ever from any such germs that came in those clothes. And with our bare hands we sorted those clothes because we were forced to. Several complaints were made and nothing was done about it. As the days grew by my body grew with germs, which I knew, but was unable to do anything about it, but complain. I/we complained until they gave me/us a pair of rubber gloves that eventually tore up and never was replaced. Germs, germs, germs, took over completely until my intestines were infested with millions of germs. I became ill, I then turned to the hospital for aid and they turned me away and others as well. The week before we took our stand I turned to the hospital for aide but none was offered. I was again rejected by Dr. Broughton and Mrs. Lois MacDonald (R.N.) head of hospital here. I am still seeking aide from the infirmary but no help is offered. I still bleed internally and I'm having bad headaches from the beating and stomping received during the stand I along with others took in June protesting the inhumane treatments here and conditions which the laundry was one of them. Now, I/we turn to the doctors of our so call Amerikkka for your assistance. I/we call on your most needed help once again until I/we are helped. But until I am/we are heard, I/we continue on. Strength is needed: ! .'
ercise and air which means we go out in 35-40 degree weather; sometimes raining. There is a gym, but these pigs will not let us use it. Our cold food is passed along floors with filthy drainholes; we wash with cold murky water in cells; we have to wear pajamas which are threadbare; there is no privacy and there is daily harrassment by staff to rile us to the point that they can give us infractions. Two of our sistas are in the--hole--on "INS." This is supposed to be non-punitive. I would hate to see what treatment would be doled out to us if we were on punitive segregation. It would probably be DEATH!! What are these dumb, sick and frightened pigs trying to prove? It is so obvious that they are afraid and they should be! INS may represent "Indefinite Non-Punitive Segregation" to them, but to us our title "INS" has shown them that we are "Indestructible Non-Programmed Sistas." We will remain so, and we continue to demonstrate to these ignorant pigs that we are strong women determined in our plight and that we will triumph over their weak minds ! ! ! Sistas/Bruthas/POW's!! Stand strong with us; not behind us; but beside us, and LET US MARCH ON TILL VICTORY IS WON!! Your Devoted Sista in Struggle ANNE C. WILLETT, Prisoner
To once again prove themselves reactionaries, representative of the system, sec. of prisons, David Jones, appeared on TV and radio announcing that charges of "assault on guards" would be brought against the inmates here. This series of speeches began on Dec. 8 and lasted thru Dec. 13. This tactic employed by the enemy must be analyzed and understood. The purposes of these speeches are to further mislead the people, to terrorize the inmates in hopes of getting us to withdraw the suit and also to control the inmates, hopefully, into submission. This false propaganda is to attempt to justify the brutal attack that was launched by the riot geared goons on June 15-19, 1975. Though our suit will be heard in the courts of the establishment, we do not look to these courts for our relief from these political attacks. We look to the people! One can only have faith in justice where "justice" has been proven! The people have yet to witness justice from the courts of the establishment. Policies and agencies of the establishment protect first the interest of the establishment; it is up to the people to protect the interest of the people! Now, the N.C. Legislation are holding sessions dealing primarily with the N.C. Correctional Center for Women! Where have they been? Why hasn't their attention not been focused here before? Why?? Because there has never been pressure from the people before; because there was never a political power game involved before; because the interest of the establishment was not threatened before! But as steam rises from the pot once the lid is lifted so has steam risen since the lid has been lifted to expose the deceitful play of the officials of N.C.~ Do not be lured into further falsehood my p e o p l e . S e e w h a t I s happening here. The politicians have everything to loose by being exposed. We have nothing to loose and everything to gain. We now appeal to you for your support, which is essential in our up-coming suit. Do not let David Jones succeed in his attempt to create a prejudicial atmosphere on our up-coming suit. We have demanded equal time on radio and TV to expose these vicious political attacks and intimadating statements. As yet, our demands have not been responded to. We are aware of the detrimental attacks by Jones and the lackeys of the system, and we wish to also educate you, the People, to their corruption! Servant of the People MARJORIE MARSH 30
"Food" being brought into Dorm C
What Next? Every morning I awaken to a cold breakfast sitting on a styrofoam tray on the iron door. My present housing is the Security building(segregation) of the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women. This building has housed me for three months because I, along with othere sistas, sang "We shall Overcome." We received charges of "threatening language towards the officers." After charges were dropped, one sister and myself remain confined in this belly of the beast. Because of a peaceful demonstration staged at this koncentration kamp on June 15 thru 20 (which was staged because of what tortures we were forced to endure), we were beaten, clubbed, maced, transfered to men's prisons, and dealt numerous more tortures. Upon return to the Women's Prison, we again met lock-up cages. Today, I truelly realize the extent of their determination to break us. As I was up waiting for the normal ration of breakfast, I heard lawn mowers outside my window. I watched sistas working and just took it naturally (the fact that the food was late), because we've become accustomed to cold food. I never received any food. The other sista and myself were deprived of our food while two white women, on the other side of this building were fed. There is no limit to what these doggish maggots will do; our lives lay in the hands of the people. If they stop feeding us...What Next? Continuously in the Struggle, TARISHA MAISHA s/n Shirley J. Herlth and ALICE WISE
onward whether we're in here or out there in the world where the struggle to resist continues against this imperialistic Western colony, Amerikkka. Our struggle is your struggle/your struggle is our struggle. We're one, let's unite, Now.'!! Wake up people, Amerikkka's killing you, me, all of us with one blow. Save your people, you'll save yourself Till death shall we be free!!! Comrade BESSIE BOULER Dec. 5, 1975
A A A A A A A
ray of fresh morning sunlight cloud of bursting warmth gentle gleam of love tender spirit with compassion deep want for attraction rainbow of mysterious colors sea of flowing smoothness The The The The
eyes of an idol wisper of an angel glow of beauty itself making of a wizard REJOIS BOULER Feb. '76 32
one's life. These people fail to realize that the inmate cannot be confined forever, and will be released someday, and if he has gained nothing from the Correctional system, the crime will inevitably be repeated. I was convicted of Armed Robbery and sentenced to thirty years. There was a weapon involved, but I neither touched this gun, nor fired it. There were no witnesses and the injured party did not appear in court. The prosecution had no corroborating witnesses. No evidence was presented in open court. The co-defendent received 25-30 years, while I got a flat sentence of thirty years. We were tried in Wilson, North Carolina. I did not know anyone in Wilson, nor did I know anything about the law. I had never been in trouble before, so I believed my court appointed lawyer when he told me to plea bargain. He promised if I pleaded guilty, I would be probated. I was given a sentence of thirty years. I could not believe the verdict, and racked my brain trying to figure out why this had happened. Was the trial unfair? Was the judge prejudiced? Did the fact that I am affiliated with the Black On Vanguard affect my sentence? Could it be that society has programmed the courts to dispose of any and all offenders, regardless of their innocence or guilt? The questions are many; the answers few. This kind of sentencing can be stopped, if the public dictates to its legislature that judges should be elected rather than merited into office. Currently there is even a bill to be introduced called the "Shock Treatment" where an inmate would be confined for a period of months and then suddenly released on probation. This country is in a recession. It would be far cheaper to put the inmate on the streets than to keep him confined. There are so many offenders that the state's prisons are over-crowded and conditions here have become deplorable. What does society expect me to gain? What is there to gain from sleeping in a cellblock that houses anywhere from 50-80 women? There are roaches, falling plaster, hazardous heating systems, and old, worn, and uncomfortable bunks. What is there to gain from working forty, maybe fifty hours a week without positive reinforcement? Eating meals that are so greasy and starchy that it upsets the digestive tract? What is there to bs gained from being hassled by the matron because you want a clean sheet, or you want to go outside for 33
tions, never the things that should be seen (i.e., Isolation, Security, Dorms G, A, B, B2, and Dorm C). For too long the Correctional Department has taken the job of "correcting" in its own hands. It is time the people did something about this. Just because we are inmates does not mean we are animals. After all, this could happen to anyone; your son or daughter, maybe even your mother or father. As for me, I need help desperately. I need help in finding the proper authorities for my case and the course of action I should take. I am appealing to any, and all, concerned citizens, who want to see real Justice triumph after all. I am young, and I do not have anyone in the free world to help me help myself. The Corrections Department does not offer the proper kind of rehabilitation or the proper services that would be of any real help or use to the inmate, such as Psychiatric Services, Counseling, Analysis, or the like. We have a program known as Diagnostic Study, but for all the help they do, it is a waste of money and manpower. Diagnostic Study is in charge of the Honor Grade System, which recommends home Since I passes, classification to work projects and counseling. have been here, this program has only served to be the cause of a lot of animosity and excess red tape. They never help the inmate, as they are too busy with paper work and "priorities." The inmate usually gets lost somewhere in between. There just are not enough people here who are sympathetic to our needs. In fact, this article is going against the Corrections Department and unfortunately will probably become a permanent part of my file. In conclusion, I would like to say that there are many other young women like me who need help and who would like to see changes made within the system. If there is anyone out there who can aid us, please contact me at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women, 1034 Bragg Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. I need help very badly, so please open your eyes and hearts to my plea, for I am innocent and want to help others who may also be. Thanking you sincerely, ELLEN AMANA PORTER 34
a) If women employees were qualified, they could handle any crisis occurring at this Center. 2) The uniforms which the correctional officers now wear should be changed. a) Uniform represents authority. b) Personal clothes create a better relationship/communication between staff and prisoner (i) All progressive institutions in other states require that personal clothing be worn by staff 3) Correctional officers should refrain from discussing prisoners with other prisoners a) should be suspended for doing so. II.
Prisoners Community (Prison) Inasmuch as this is the prisoners' community, it should be run as such 1) Administration Guidelines/Policies should always be discussed with prisoners before they are put into effect, a) Presently, prisoners are not aware of policies until an infraction is given at which time the'prisoner is unaware of such rule/policy, (i) prisoners are being punished now for violating rules about which they are oblivious To prevent the high rate of recividism, prisoners' community should be operated as much like the out community as possible. 1) Personal clothes should be worn a) savings to the state (i) other states permit this b) prisoner has feeling of individuality 2) Prisoners' families should be permitted to send in lotions, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc. a) the prisoner has to buy everything from the canteen here which is more expensive than the outside community's prices, (i) prisoners without funds should get welfare every week instead of once a month 3) Prisoners' families should be able to bring food from home every week. 36
prisoner is honor grade potential, then treat him/her as such; begging for different levels is wrong and dehumanizing. 8) The Diagnostic Center should be more clearly defined. Presently it is inaffective and does not function according to its title. a) A select few benefit from it 9) Classification should function solely to classify prisoners' work assignments a) The prisoner should have input as to where he/she chooses to work III.
Medical Department A. The entire staff should be revamped, This department does not serve the prisoners. ij A doctor is purported to be on call 24 hours a day. However, he is never called, a) prisoner has to wait 2 or 3 days before seeing doctor. 2) Every prisoner should have the right to see an outside doctor if they so choose. 3) A prisoner has to have a fever in order to be admitted to hospital a) many prisoners have been seriously affected from the lack of proper medical treatment. 4) There should be no vaginal searches 5) Prisoners should see the psychiatrist alone if they so choose a) Lois MacDonald, Director of Nurses, sits in on every spychiatric interview. This should be confidential between doctor and patient b) Mind-controlling drugs are prescribed by Dr. Ralph Massengill, Psychiatrist, too excessively. (i) If the patient needs psyciatric help, they should be sent to Dorothea Dix rather than have their minds ruined through these medicines 6) Prisoner should be seen by doctor at the time they are sick a) prisoners' complaint has to be evaluated by nurse before sh< is able to see doctor (i) other states have a doctor at their disposal at all time ;.T
One of the p r o f i t a b l e prison industries: the sewing room
F.ducat i onal /Vocational Programs, A. Certainly, educational/vocational should have priority over all programs. For prisoners without a high school education they should be encouraged to attend school. 1) Teachers should be genuinely interested and qua!i f ied 2) For those wishing college courses, they should be permitted to enroll in outside colleges a) All progressive institutions have t h i s opportunity available at their local schools/colleges 3) Vocational Training is a must. a) Welding, Teaching, Secretarial, IBM, Licenses Nurses' training are but a few of the ones offered by other states 4) Prisoners should work 1/2 day or school and be permitted to have some leisure time to study or to use as they feel would be beneficial. a) Slave labor should be abolished. Disciplinary Committee W.This community thrives on punitive treatment. Prisoners are being denied due process of law every time they have to appear before Disciplinary Committee. 1) A prisoner should be allowed to have a prisoner represent him/her at the hearing. 2) The Committee is never impartial because it is made up of staff from this unit. 3) The Committee's final decision is not litigated but has to be approved by the superintendent 4) It is a kangaroo court as the prisoner always gets punishment of some kind meted out even though they are innocent. 5) A complete and thorough investigation should be made of the entire Disciplinary Hearings 38
rationale for granting parole. 2) Past records should not be considered. 3) A parole officer should come in and get to know the prisoner prior to release B. A pre-release cottage should be used as a stepping stone to the outside community. Those prisoners eligible for parole should be moved to that cottage at least 60 days prior to their interview C. More halfway houses should be established 1) Prisoners who are eligible should be sent to halfway houses as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming institutionalized , D. The prison and parole board should work as one entity; their objective being to return the prisoner to society a better and stronger person for having experienced their institutionalization. The whole concept of this prison should be to help and to return prisoner to society as soon as possible. Keeping them caged does nothing but make them hardened toward their keepers and society. Also, utilize the prisoner by having them work in key positions when confined. More emphasis should be placed on employing the ex-prisoner within the Department of Corrections upon their release. Respectfully submitted, MARJORIE MARSH A. WILLETT P.S. Security, which is the hole, should be condemned for human habitation. 39
overthrow your government? Presently, there are femals caged in the N.C. Korrectional Kenter for Women v.ho are alcoholics/addicts/emotionally disturbed people. Why can't you offer them the same clemency/leniency that you afforded Nixon? Taxpayers, its your money these government officials are taking to become superrich. You wonder why we rebel-becuase of the facism/ racism/imperialism that exists in this state and country. My people grow tired, citizens, of paying for the bigger mans' crime. How long are you going to permit this to continue? Before it is too late, awaken, observe your dollar as the kapitalists grab it and slide it into their pockets. The women at NKKKW were strong enough to take a Stand against the System. Where is your strength?? Your Sista in Constant Struggle, ANNE C. WILLETT -Prisoner Feb. 26, 1976
Yet you ignore The Bloated tummies Of mal-nutrition, That are in need Of nourishment.
An old car.
Is this what you say Amerikkka?
Is this What you say, Amerikkka?
I ask you, What do you say To a hungry child? A child hungry For an education?
I ask you, What do you say To a hungry child? A child hungry For love?
"Oh no! no! no! You don't come here. We don't allow colored people."
"Get out of here, I ' m busy. Go Play.
Yet you ignore A human being Trying to develop His mind Into a professional Field.
Yet you ignore His l i t t l e heart breaking, The tears he cries, His loneliness, Of having no one.
Is this what you say, Amerikkka?
Is this what you say, Amerikkka?
Part V. Part I I I .
I ask you, What do you say To a hungry child? A child hungry For a job?
I ask you, What do you say To a hungry child? A Child hungry For a home? 41
M Part VI.
(Is this What you say Amerikkka?)
I ask you, What do you say To a hungry child? A child hungry For peace?
Part VII. I ask you, What do you say To A hungry child? A child hungry For Freedom?
Uncle Sam needs You for his kountry. Now go Fight in Vietnam, And get A useless medal."
"If you'd have Been Good, Didn't steal that car, Rob that bank, Or killed that man, You wouldn't Be Here With chains on your wrists. You should Have lived a Good, Quiet life, and stayed Out of trouble."
Yet you ignore That this Same kountry, His kountry? Refused To let him live. He merely Existed. (Is this What you say Amerikkka?)
Yet you ignore That you are to Blame. You put Those chains on him Before he was born His Daddy Wore them too. And all because
Part VI. I ask you, What do you say To a Hungry Child? A child hungry For Equality?
My bruthas/sistas TARISHI MAISHA
Revolution In Our Time 43
M W Monday morning June 16th: Inmates gathered in yard after first clash.
The women prisoners at the N.K. Koncentration Kamp in Raleigh took a strong stand against the corrupt , clandestine clique that exists in the world today. We were heard and our people are still listening/ supporting as we continue in our plight for equality. Where are you, my sistas? Join the women's movement now. Become a part of the beautiful army of comrades/sistas such as Harriet Tubnam, Sojourner Truth, Assata Shakur, the sistas of N.K. Koncentration Kamp. Let us show these imperialists we are proud of our womanhood and will fight to keep it. We must pave the way for our children of tomorrow. Your Sista in Struggle § Arms, ANNE C. WILLETT, Prisoner 44
Cells- are so incredibly little and I am small, but sometimes this one shrinks and I think about my brothers, who are larger, in cells- so terribly small. Cells with no lights, no books, no music; cells with cold food § colder lookscells where the threats fill up the walls, where the brutality is commonplace; Cells for 20 years in chains, cells until death. Man, who has set the endurance record, except us? We read our names in the newspapers- when we get one. They talk about us on the TV, § sometimes somebody lucks up § gets a lawyer § some money § the People get us out. But mostly it's cold comfort § cockroaches § watching your back. And mine, dude. I mean, here we are. And yeah, those people outside know we are here, now. And the pigs have been hip to this for awhile. But there is still some scuffling to do, man. Before that big, fat smile. Come catch my hand, brother-together we can really give them hell SUZAN STUART Mar '76 45
cut down low and we're sent to bed like children. As the nights creep slowly by, the tension grows greater. Tension increased by the edging keepers of us (the kept) . Apprehension heavily hangs in the air, we dread the minutes or hours of solitude before the peace of sleep. This is the hardest time of the day. Especially when the walls seem to be closing in on us. During the day, there is work, intrigues, millions of little things to keep us moving, busy, stirring and our minds always occupied. But at night, there's nothing but the silence and our thoughts. Our cries are still left unheard. They are only heard by deaf ears with no response. We are the captives of society's dungeons. Our problems are your problems; no matter how much independence our fellow continents get, for Amerikkka is the tomb of oppression. Psychological humilitation and physical mutilation is an every day occurrence in our lives. Your problems will never be fully solved until and unless we are also recognized and treated as human beings. Our problems are your problems. It is not a Negro problem, White problem, nor an American problem. This a world problem. Raise your banners high and fight or have you forgotten how to? The struggle is a continuous one with no stopping, only Freedom/ Liberation is certain. We all exist to resist the power of oppression. Power to the Oppressedl Comrade AMINAH ALIYAH s/n Bessie Bouler March 15, 1976 46
s s h g
n n h o b a
s t m p w
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SUZAN STUART Mar. '76
From my cellblock window where five of us are caged in maximum security cells because of our peaceful protest in June 1975, I saw our sistas who once stood strong with us, reverently hold brick in their hands as the ground was broken and dedicated for a bicentennial garden on the grounds of NKKKW. Words became empty instruments when I attempt to express my hurt/rage which penetrates my innermost being. When does a brick become more valuable than a human life? During our protest, we asked for our human rights; instead we got brightly painted doors, a yard filled with roses and more fences; lock-up 23 1/2 hours a day. Legislators, I am addressing you, especially those of you who now turn to prisoners for assistance in proposals for the greatly needed changes. Where were you ten months ago when we asked to be heard by sensible/responsible individuals? This is election year and once again, the political in-fighting begins; however we will not become the victims of a power play which is breeding fascism/imperialism across the nation. We have 106 human beings on death row; use this/your power to save a human life rather than destroy one. There is no democracy in this kountry but there does exist racism/kapitalism. This U$ government has enjoyed freedom from pressure from all oppressed/exploited people for 5,000 years and yet, it is celebrating 200 years of freedom which prevails for the Select Few Capitalists. When will you taxpayers ever l e a r n ? D o not participate in a bicentennial with these imperialists; let us walk this land together in our quest for total liberation from oppression/repression/discrimination. We all have this human right, to arms, Comrades! Your Devoted Sista In Struggle ANNE March 20, 1976 47
Even without medical (adequate) attention, we continue to struggle on. Slavelabor is of abundance here; still making the sick sicker and the poor poorer, and worthless healthwise. We are helpless against our oppressors' force without the support of our people. You, You You!: Now that we are in the hole more trumped up charges are being forwarded to us, keeping us here. Since Pauline Caldwell has been here in the hole, she has sustained multiple bruises; fires have erupted, very little has been done to help her as far as medical attention is concerned. Her wrists and face are swollen from the beating she received Tuesday night--3/23/76--by six guards (racists) on route from She has been placed on Dorm C to the hole while she was handcuffed. the other side of this building to separate her from us; all alone so that she can be their victim of torture to let out all the animal in them. Janice Hammond, Tomasina Carter, and Sherly Bunch, while their stay in the hole, have been subjected to the petty harassments, threats, and trumped up charges. We're being smothered with such charges. We're being smothered with these charges over and over again to keep us away from the general population, and so have the five remaining sistahs on INS, who are being held captive in Dorm C. Something drastic is forming, either against us or for us--which? I have 15 days in this hole on one charge and another 15 days suspended on another charge, ana another charge in the making for disciplinary actions which I will know the results of my charge next Thursday. I am still in pain and nothing is being done about it. I've been on lockup ever since 3/10/76, after finally being released 1/14/76 by the ccb from "indefinite nonpunitive segregation". Now it don't look like I'll ever get off or any other of us. Our only release is from our people/you. For too long we have been used and abused by this so-called Amerikkka, a land of bondage. How long our/my people-- shall we be tortured this way before you render any help ????? Our/your struggle is one in one, we're all'oppressed by the same monster of oppression. We have yet to take a bath/shower, to get a drink of good cold water, any privileges, or access to any legal library materials, etc. 48
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Se.rvant of the People Salutes with a clenched fist; Down with oppression, up with our liberation; Comrade AMINAH ALIYAH f/n s/n Bessie Bouler March 25, 1976
An Open Letter to the Taxpayers of N.C. Here within the environs of Womens' Prison exist conditions that would shock and appall the citizens of this state. The forced labor, inhuman treatment, and total disregard of human dignity that created the Peaceful Protest of June 15-19, 1975, still exist. Contary to recent press releases, there is little difference in minimum or maximum custody levels and housing. This is the only prison camp in the state where "honor grade" inmates live with "maximum custody" inmates, where young women in their teens are housed with women who are middle aged, where old women in their 70's live in cell blocks and cottages with younsters. There are no divisions of age, offense, health, or any other classification. The behavior modification practices recently brought into play of fencing off various sections of this camp and shuffling the women around arbitrarily serves no useful purpose. We are all women, but we are seen only by the police who operate this institution as criminals, convicts, less than animals. Besides the cruelty that is shown to us, cruelty that people hate to believe exists, we are systematiclly starved. Within the past month, 2 women have been placed in Dorm C, the punishment cottage, for taking respectfully, a sandwich and a carton of milk from the dining room. The Corrections Department, by its own figures, admits to making over $13 million in the fiscal year 1974-1975, from the forced labor of convicts within this state. In addition, you, the taxpayers, allocated $3.4 million toward the running of the state's prisons. With 49
being denied the food necessary to existence. Within this prison are many of the mothers and daughters of this state. They are hungry. They have been prevented from working to feed their own families, forcing this burden on the taxpayers, while the state denies them the joy of caring for their own. The incarcerated mothers and daughters of this state still ask for but one thing; your awareness . Find out what your tax money is supporting. Find out where your money goes. These are hard times for all the people. But the women within this prison will continue to struggle for our basic human rights and we believe that the taxpayers of this state also have the right to demand to see proof of where their hard earned dollars go. Somehow, we feel the people of North Carolina do not want anyone to starve. Sincerely, SUSAN A. STUART April 2, 1976
Revolutionary Style It's the style now to be black, to cry a fake love for the people It's the style to rap revolutionary rhetoric, but still rip off the people It's the style to feel sorry for the prisoners, yet feel us inferior Is revolution to become a farce of style Is pity to be e$capeism for fear We do not want your sympathy, nor outstretched hands that tremble We want strong hands extended to join us in the Inevitable Revolution! Revolution has no style — color or sentiment! M. MARSH March '76 SO
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separated physically from the sistahs on kamp and a pyschological warfare is attempted daily. We/the oppressed people of the world must recognize the various attempts to break the already established unity and come together in one common bond to defeat one common enemy-"Racist Kapitalism". Race, Religion, Culture, or which is correct is not the issue — the issue is life and death—for life is assured only thru organized revolutionary struggle and Death in bondage is certain without the organized masses in armed struggle. The legislators/Congress/Presidents/Po-lice/Government, etc. all profess to be servants of the people, but do they serve the people???? I think not. Right now Congress is discussing the S-l Bill tTTat will make public assembly, peaceful demonstrations, freedom of speech, a felony by the law of the land (which is also a contradiction to the U$ constitution). My people, we must recognize the essence of their law and to whom these laws are directed. The S-l Bill does not affect the ruling class/the legal hit men (po-lice) , or the president, cuz they have nothing to complain about. They are the agents who police/enforce these genocidal tactics. My people, the S-l Bill is exclusively designed for the poor/black/third world people. It has been proven the power of the people caused the Chief Genocidal tactic (Death Penalty) to be ruled unconstitutional in 1972 by the U$ Supreme Kourt. As retaliation for the abolition of the death penalty, 30 states upheld the death penalty and made it mandatory for certain crimes and certain people (the poor people), but Nixon, Johnson, etc. did not get death row for murdering the millions of black/poor/ Vietnamese. There are approximately 500 on U$ death row; N. Karolina has over 109, the largest in the kountry, most of whom are under the age of 25 years old. These people are guilty only of being corrupted mentally (as we all have been) to the miseducation of kapitalism. Can 17 yr. old Gary Tyler of Louisana who sits on death row, for allegingly killing a white youth be a murder-or the victam of the murderer's plot??? Can Faye Brown, 22 years old who sits on No. Karolina death row be guilty of allegeingly killing an Aryan State Trooper, when one 51
Workers' World, N.Y., were small but strong. An immediate injunction to get the remaining sistahs off lockup, to close the prison laundry, and a complete, independent investigation of the medical dept. has been denied by the presiding judge dupree but the original suit is still pending. This was expected as pressure moves a mountain, but if no pressure of the People on the kourts to give us the relief we seek! We are not discouraged but yet strong § look for relief not from dupree or the kourts-we look to the People!!! Our plea is to you My Peoplenot limited to our situation here but to the oppressed People § repressive situation we are all forced to endure the world over! We fail only if we surrender!~ Thank You Comrade MARJORIE MARSH April 19, 1976
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this is what I received: "hungry for food:" three cold meals that are pushed over the floors where drainpipes overflowed, and rats and roaches play." "hungry for shelter:" a cold cell surrounded by iron bars and a locked door." "hungry for an education:" you thru me solidarity confinement and told me to think ." "hungry for a job:" you made me slave at a man's job and paid me nothing." "hungry for love:" you instilled my mind with hatred." "hungry for understanding:" you beat me with clubs, mace, and gangs of men, and spilled my blood over the grounds." "hungry for justice:" gave me twenty yrs. because I had no money, food- or home." "hungry for humanity:" you've caged me like a wild beast, yet expected me to act like a woman." "hungry for equality:" you told me I wasn't the right kind." "hungry for freedom:" you chained me to the walls of destruction." "hungry for life:" you stripped me of it, and have left me to die." You have nourished me amerikkka; just as you have nourished millions of others. My nourishment and theirs has been hatred-violencedehumanization-agony-torture-degradation-exploitationWhen will you ever feed your children with a true life, amerikkka? Ten years from now, what will you say to your hungry children? A hungry child who will die to save others from such savage nourishment: Comrade TARISHI MAISHA s/n Shirley J. Herlth May 1, 1976 53
The people walk quick in the streets-they roll their eyes, they flash their teeth, they shake hands. They sit at home in their kitchens, in their bedrooms § shake their heads. The people iron their clothes § stand in the unemployment lines. The people give their children a soda § tell them to stay inside § in the streets, the beast kills the children. The beast clicks its heels, climbs in the bandwagon, salutes the flag. Authority sickness prevails. The decay § corruption flourishes. Mother earth is ripped § gutted § the carrion feed, shaking their gold bracelets § preening in the mirror of a million dying eyes. The machine clicks into action. "Law ij order is the call of the day. Starving people fight each other for food. The machine condemns them both to death § confiscates the food. Tonight the beast will eat. Underneath the city, something stirs, High in the hills, the silence gathers § the wind blows over the corn. In the cabins, in the mountains, in the bayous--men look at each other. Women shift their babies from their hips. In the cities, the people stir. The sun beats down. The land is bloodless, rancid, grey. Cold steel fills up the skyline--all the buildings have bars on the windows. Inside the bars the people shift in their chairs. They sigh. Listen-In the country, the people raise up from the fields, they shift their burden. Listen-In the city, crashing steel bars slam § close--more grist for the mill. The furnaces work furiously--so much fuel to burn. Is there no end to their coming? The beast is greasy § replete. It's machinery whirs in silence § its' grin is full of teeth. Listen-The authority sickness is everywhere. Power is money. Power is 54
in the streets. Something stirs--shifts, stirs, flows-Listen- Listen, brothers—do you hear me? Listen, sisters--do you hear me? Listen, People--do you hear me? My cry is the cry of your heart-Listen-Slowly, oh--so slowly-something stirs-The People raise their heads All Power to the Oppressed! All Power to the People! S. STUART May-'76
Work Release Been in prison one year Got a big 5 to do Kept my mouth shut and obeyed Now I'm in top Honor Grade Guess I'll try to make some money Work Release? Won't be on prison grounds all day Gonna have fun, while I'm away On Work Release! 55
Three months later Body broken down Treated like a dog-shit-cat-hole On that damn job Never thought anything Is worse than prison But Oh! Look again! Underpaid, over worked Gonna go to my officials Never seen such people.' I'm gonna ask them, "What The Hell Is Going On"! "On Work Release". Excuses, Excuses From them and from they "Better keep bringing us that money in0-Girl." They say. Stay on Work release! $300 a month I'm paid But my account says I have $100 The rest I pay to the prisonfor Work Release! Very sick and can't see a doctor Bout to kill myself But I get a pat on the back A Half slick grin And a -0 girl you'll be okay You're on Work Release 56
Even a mind at ease Locked up! But I'm happy Yea! I CAMEOFF THAT BULLSHIT W 0 R KR E L E A S E
Dorm C. Other prisoners on kamp forbidden from this area.
This canteen is the only place prisoners can find the option for "better" food, if they can afford it.
pressed by Kapitalism, that we are not victams of kapitalism, that we (in U$) are free-ier than the bro/sistah of other imperialist kountries.. but i ask you, are there degrees of freedom!? Can we have partial freedom? Can some of us consider ourselves "free" (the petty bourgie This kapitalist) when others continue to starve/be brutalized/murdered? imaginary freedom is one of facist/Kapitalisms many methods of control., divide § conquer and pacification. He who refuse to reconize his oppression is a fool, yet in the US, it's projected as the direct opposite. The alleged bourgie intellectual who intellectualizes/compromise his bid for partial freedom ie. intergration/civil rights etc. has been viewed as the leader of the people/ the righteous people spokesman, and the poor uneducated man (or at least uneducated in the kapitalist school system) who rejects this intergrational pacification is called the fool/ the illerate crazy militant, but who is the fool? The man who clings to the U$ facist dream or the man who exposes this dream as the night mare it is? There are no degrees of freedom, there is no partial freedom, freedom/liberation from facism/kapitalism must be total, anything less will only be pacification! Facism/Kapitalism can not be reformed, nor can a true revolutionist be pacified! Very little change under facism or kapitalism, a new coat of misleading varnish is applied. In 1831 it was mandatory to execute one for murder (or any other crime if you were blackslaves) in 1976 still the same genocidal law is mandatory, but only for the poor black/third world people. Death penalty is the chief genocidal tactic of the kapitalist government., the big word for the death penalty is capital crime--meaning Kapitalistic Crime/legalized murder! But the judge/legislators/prison officials charged with premediated murder or murder? No! How can they obtain a license to murder another man/woman..did the people give them this power? No!!'. But still they are judges over the people! They are conspiritors in the murder of the people. Many times and for too long the people cry rehabilitate the prisoner so he/she can return to society, but they never cry rehabilitate society! Would it not be useless to rehabilitate the prisoner to return to the same corrupt society of U$ ghetto! Mi people no man is borned criminal, no man is borned a murder, they are the product of a society/an environment! U$ society is a criminal society/built on crime § violence, thru the U$ government under kapitalism..As long as the government the people are subjected to is a criminal government so will society breed criminal 60
many guises of fascism. As in the days of the Nazi/Mussolini bloody/ fascist regime, this movement has never been defeated; mass killings/ starvations/deprivations continue to depopulate the oppressed/repressed people. Fascism per se is the destruction of all socialism; its aim is the subjugation and enslavement of the poor/black/working class. Kapitalism could/cannot survive without fascism. Prisons today are clear manifestations of the kapitalists' plight to kontrol through fascism which has held us in bondage because we have imposed a threat through our ever-increasing knowledge/movement for human rights and equality. To combat the power of these racists/fascists/kapitalists, it is necessary for oppressed people in minimum/maximum to unite to kill kapitalism before it completely destroys us through repression. The man-made rules/laws are applied only to the poor/black/middle class; the kapitalists' legalized justification for killing/enslaving. The U$ government reaps unknown wealth through its constitution which is for the ruling class and against the oppressed. Is this not the epitome of fascism? Who determines that a life of a senator/kongressman/prison official is more valuable than the life of an oppressed person? Why can the ruling class and their subordinates justifiably kill anyone? The answer--the DICTATES OF FASCISM! There are more people in prison today than ever before in history. As we become more aware of our oppression, we become a invincible threat to this imperialistic society. With each rebellion/retaliation, the oppressed people's movement becomes stronger. All over the world today, people are struggling to determine their own destiny and with the uniting of all oppressed people, the fascism is becoming weaker which is causing the kapitalists to falter as they run insanely wild to regain the paradise--IMPERIALISM--they once enjoyed. DEMORALIZE/DEKAPITALIZE/DESTROY all imperialists be dividing their strategies-fascists and kapitalists. With this victory will our peoples' government rise up; we will walk this land together in liberty or death. Let us Live TO MAKE ALL SISTAS/BRUTHAS FREE! Your Devoted Comrade/Sista-In Love, Struggle § Arms, ANNE 61
But the pigs had sticks and tear gas all standing in a line It wasn't until we were exshalted and finally fell asleep That the pigs came in and beat us and kicked us with their feet! Some screamed and cried and ran for protection, some even had to fight in defense. But this only left us helpless and bound for more torment. Yes... the pigs took some to Morganton Put others in lock up and behind bars But left us still with our lawful needs and the beating that left terrible scars. Well now... they think its over, but its only just begun For we shall still stand for our rights and we shall overcome! The majority of us is on camp again and some has even gone home But there's four comrades still on lockup for those damn pigs wrong Its been a hassel and more of a struggle and still no fulfillment But the pigs are now entering into their day...of Eternal Torment! We need the unity of all the land for its time for Revolution Kill the pigs now at hand, they're nothing but Pollution! JESSIE TAYLOR I am not a Sista of great wealth and I do not believe in all materialistic things. But Freedom is Justice to all! 5/16/76 62
The North Carolina Concentration Camp for Women is still destroying people. The degradation and cruelty of the keepers and their superiors increase daily. What good does it do for the people to demand that the Dept. of Corrections let the Health Dept. in to eradicate the rats and vermin that overrun our cells, when these officials are either afraid to act because of political pressure or "on the take"? Filth is only one of the inhuman conditions in this slave-labor camp. Starvation is only one of their methods. Desperately ill women are being punished because their bodies have broken down from forced labor. When a woman is sick, she is told to continue to work or else suffer being locked in Dorm C, the punishment cottage, or sent to "the hole". These facilities are a nightmare of cruel and unusual punishment, that has become all too usual at this prison. A woman scheduled for surgery is denied any antibiotics to deal with painful infection, and also denied pain medication. I listen to her cry at night. The so-called nurse refuses to even come and check
An elderly woman is locked in one of the cages of Dorm C because she is too feeble to labor and therefore useless to the keepers. A woman who complained repeatedly of side pain was given aspirin while forced to continue working for weeks, until her appendix ruptured. Still, she was not treated until approximately 300 women on this camp sat down on Sunday, June 15, 1975, to protest conditions here. Only then was the woman rushed to an outside hospital where an emergency colostomy was performed. Her life was saved, but her health is ruined for the rest of her days. For 2 years a woman complained of headaches, with no results. She was discharged after emergency surgery revealed a brain tumor that would end her life. 63
tax money for such practices? Do you want to keep people in office who make their money by such practices? Do you want to be their next victim? Help us. Help* .yourselves. Help this state, this country, 11 •_ J-^-.__ , before it is too late. Sincerely, SUZAN ANDREWS STUART 60743-32 18 May '76
'My 23rd Psalm of the Revolution!" The revolution is my life, liberation I shall allways seek; It maketh me stand against all injustices, and leadeth me to educate the masses. It strengthens my soul; it leadeth me to fight the dehumanization of/for my people. Yea; tho I walk thru the battlefield, I will fear no evil: for my M-16 is with me; my love and devotion to the oppressed leadeth me to strive onward. Thou preparest the electric chair before me in the presence of amerikkka's kapitolistis, they strap my entirity to it's electric currents; my life beith destroyed. Surely the revolution shall follow me eternally, as I dwell in the hearts of my people forever. "War till liberation" COMRADE TARISHI MAISHA S/N Shirley Herlth 64
a mere farce of rebellion. Through articles/letters we have attracted much attention both nationally and internationally. We wish to thank each person/group/ organization for its support/contribution/solidarily; without all of you, surely faith would long before have been lost by many. Too, we have been contacted by alleged liberal sympathizers in hopes of pacifying us...they have come to us with trembling outstretched hands and these we reject. We do not cry for pity/sympathv/hands that tremble; we seek hands that will teach us and learn from us; hands that know no boundaries in the/our bid for total liberation. During the course of meeting so many beautiful comrades, and the many part time revolutionaries, we have observed/learned much. Our experience can never be forgotten nor can the knowledge acquired from these rewarding situations. The pseudo revolutionaries and the dedicated one have contributed to our growth; the many disappointments in chosen sistahs and bruthas ; the traitorism, the escapism...all were educational. At times it seemed that the few of us stood alone, but we never quite accepted this as reality. Many times we stumbled but never fell ; after the stumble \ve learned a straighter walk and stronger commitments, not to this situation we suffer, but to the universal oppressed peoples' struggle. Our oppression/exploitation is but an atom in the nucleus of the bomb that can free us/you. Until the big explosion from the fire we have kindled is heard/felt throughout the world can we cease in our plight for complete/total liberation. It is essential that we not only think/study/share our ideologies/dialectics, it is necessary that we strive toward a United Front. We fail only if we surrender. Revolution is a profound feeling...once we have tasted the bitterness o'f pain/suffering/sacrifice, our/your bodies will tremble with rage; our/your souls will cry out for equality and human rights. With this experience and the strenght of our minds, we will savor the sweetness of freedom. In conclusion, our assurance is to you, our people that we remain unyielding yours always.. . In Love, Devotion and Continuous Struggle, Com. M. MARSH Com. A.C. WILLETT 65