George Jackson (Black Panther)

George Jackson (Black Panther)

George Jackson (September 23, 1941 – August 21, 1971) was a Black American militant who became a member of the Black Panther Party while in prison, where he spent the last 12 years of his life. He was one of the Soledad Brothers and achieved fame due to a book of published letters.


Born in Chicago Illinois, Jackson spent time in the Youth Authority Corrections facility in Paso Robles because of several convictions. He was convicted of armed robbery, a felony, for robbing a gas station at gunpoint and at age 18 was sentenced to serve one year to life in prison.

While at San Quentin State Prison in 1966, he founded the Black Guerrilla Family, a Marxist prison gang with political objectives.

On 16 January 1970 along with Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette he was charged with murdering guard John V. Mills as retaliation for the killing of three black activists by guard O.G. Miller at Soledad prison. Miller had not been charged with a crime, as a grand jury had ruled the killings to be justifiable homicide Specify|date=February 2007 ). Incarcerated in the maximum security cellblock at Soledad Prison, Jackson and the other two inmates became known as the "Soledad Brothers".

Isolated in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, Jackson studied political economy and radical theory and wrote two books, "Blood in My Eye" and "Soledad Brother", which became bestsellers and brought him world-wide attention.

Marin County incident

On 7 August 1970 George Jackson's 17-year-old brother Jonathan Jackson burst into a Marin County courtroom with an automatic weapon, freed three San Quentin prisoners, and took Judge Harold Haley, Deputy District Attorney Gary Thomas and three female jurors hostage to demand freedom for the "Soledad Brothers".

Judge Haley and prisoners William Christmas, James McClain, and Jonathan Jackson were killed as they attempted to drive away from the courthouse. Eyewitness testimony suggests Haley was hit by fire discharged from a sawed-off shotgun that had been fastened to his neck with adhesive tape by the abductors. Thomas, prisoner Ruchell Magee and one of the jurors were wounded.cite web |author= |url=,9171,909547-1,00.html |title=Justice: A Bad Week for the Good Guys |accessdate=2008-06-04 |date=August 1970 |publisher=TIME] The case made national headlines.

Ruchell Magee, the sole survivor among the militants who attacked the court, was convicted for Haley's kidnapping and murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, which he is serving in Corcoran State Prison. Now 56 years old, he has lost numerous bids for parole.

Jackson's death

On August 21, 1971, three days before he was to go on trial, George Jackson was gunned down in the prison yard at San Quentin during an escape attempt.

According to the state of CaliforniaFact|date=June 2008, lawyer-activist Stephen Bingham had smuggled a pistol concealed in a tape recorder into the prison to Jackson, who was housed in San Quentin's Adjustment Center time awaiting trial for the murder of a prison guard. On August 21, 1971, Jackson used the pistol, an Astra 9-mm semi-automatic, to take over his tier in the Adjustment Center. In the failed escape attempt, six people were killed, including prison guards Jere Graham, Frank DeLeon and Paul Krasnes, two white prisoners, and Jackson himself.

Some prisoners who witnessed the event claim that there was no weapon and that Jackson had not been planning any escape or rebellion.Fact|date=June 2008

Following the incident, Bingham fled the country, living in Europe for 13 years before surrendering in 1984 and returning to the United States to stand trial.

The Bingham trial

In the Stephen Bingham case, defense attorney Gerald Schwartzbach (Schwartzbach later successfully defended Robert Blake on murder charges) courted the media in the run-up to the trial. A Bingham Defense Fund was established by sympathizers, allegedly by some who had enabled Bingham to stay on the run for 13 years, having furnished him with a counterfeit passport and money. Bingham attended fund-raisers, where he spoke about his upcoming trial and his years as a fugitive. He explained that he had fled the country and remained on the run for so many years as he had believed it would have been impossible to receive a fair trial since the crime of which he was accused resulted in the death of prison guards.Fact|date=February 2007 (Critics heldFact|date=February 2007 that the argument was disingenuous as Angela Davis had been acquitted of similar charges within two years of the incident.) The alternative press in the San Francisco Bay Area was sympathetic to Bingham, as were the jurors at his trial.Fact|date=April 2007 Bingham was acquitted.


There is a non-album single released by Bob Dylan about the plight and death of George Jackson. [ [ Bob Dylan: George Jackson ] ] The song made the American charts peaking at #33 in January 1972. [ [ CASEY KASEM AMERICAN TOP 40 - 1/8/72 ] ]

Steel Pulse, who performed Bob Dylan's composition "George Jackson," on the album "African Holocaust" also sang about "George Jackson, Soledad brother" in the song "Uncle George" on their much earlier critically acclaimed "Tribute to the Martyrs" album.

J P Robinson, A Florida based Soul & R&B singer cut a version of 'George Jackson' that appeared on the Atco label (6298) in 1972. This is available on Kent/Ace Cd 'Change is Gonna Come: The Voice of Black America'

Archie Shepp, a leading light in the free jazz movement of the late 1960s, recorded a tribute, "Blues for Brother George Jackson" on his 1972 album "Attica Blues". The album was widely praised.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood, on their 6:15 second cover version of the song "War" entitled "War (..and hide)" which is found on the original UK 12" vinyl version of their LP album "Welcome to the Pleasuredome", the song has a voiceover artist imitating Ronald Reagan who says "Then of course there is revolutionary love. Love of comrades fighting for the people, and love of people. Not an abstract people but people one meets and works with. When Che Guevara talked of love being at the center of revolutionary endeavor, he meant both. For people like Che, or George Jackson, or Malcom X, love was the prime mover of their struggle. And love cost them their lives. Love, coupled with a man's pride."

Stanley Williams dedicated his 1998 book "Life in Prison," in part, to George Jackson. In Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's response to Williams' appeal for clemency, the governor claimed that this dedication was "a significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems."

Dead Prez, an Alternative rap pair mention George Jackson in their song "Together": "Anything can happen if you make it so, I'm like George Jackson .45 in my afro".

In the Rage Against the Machine song New Millennium Homes, George Jackson is mentioned: "Tha spirit of Jackson Now screams through tha ruins". Jackson's Soledad Brother is also one of the many books photographed in the liner-notes to the album Evil Empire.

Underground hip-hop artist Zearle describes the fatal 1970 Marin county jail break attempt by Johnathan Jackson and George Jackson's subsequent killing by prison guards in his song "Manchild".

Hip-hop artists Digable Planets make reference to George Jackson in the song "Jettin'" from their 1994 album "Blowout Comb"-- Pendulum Records, Thorn EMI, now being called The EMI Group.

Tupac Shakur's controversial song "Soulja Story" on the album "2pacalypse Now" was dedicated to George and Jonathan Jackson.

There is a George Jackson Poster on the back of a door in the famous Blaxplotation film 'Foxy Brown' about 1:10 into the film.

Nas pays tribute to George and Jonathan Jackson in his song "Testify" from his latest Untitled album.

ee also

* Cointelpro
* Black Panther Party
* Black Guerrilla Family
* Maoism
* Huey Newton
* Angela Davis
* Franz Fanon
* Hugo Pinell
* San Quentin Six


Further reading

* "Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson" (1970) ISBN 1-55652-230-4
* "Blood In My Eye" (1971) ISBN 0-933121-23-7
* Min S Yee. "The Melancholy History of Soledad Prison; In Which a Utopian Scheme Turns Bedlam" (1973) ISBN 0-06-129800-X
* Eric Mann. "Comrade George; An Investigation into the Life, Political Thought, and Assassination of George Jackson." (1974) ISBN 978-0060803186

External links

Jackson's writings, interview, advocacy of his views

* [ Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson] – online text of Jackson's 1970 book
* [ Remembering the Real Dragon: An Interview with George Jackson] – by Karen Wald, May and June 1971
* [ George Jackson: Black Revolutionary] – pro-Jackson article by Walter Rodney, November 1971

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • George Jackson (Black Panther) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir George Jackson. George Jackson (né le 23 septembre 1941 à Chicago dans l Illinois ; décédé le 21 août 1971 dans la cour de la prison de San Quentin) était un militant noir américain qui devint en prison (où… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George Jackson — may refer to:;People: * George Jackson (Black Panther) (1941–1971), U.S. Black Panther * George Jackson (Canadian politician) (1808–1885), Canadian mill operator, MP from Ontario * George Jackson (MP) (1725–1822), British politician and MP *… …   Wikipedia

  • George Jackson — (* 23. September 1941; † 21. August 1971) war ein schwarzer Militanter , der im Gefängnis der Black Panther Party beitrat. Er war einer der Soledad Brüder und wurde durch die Veröffentlichung einer Sammlung seiner Briefe an seine Familie sowie an …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Black Panther — Black Power Emanzipation Mitte der 60er Jahre Die Black Panther Party (ursprünglich Black Panther Party for Self Defense) war eine afro amerikanische Bürgerrechts und Selbstschutzbewegung in den USA. Ihre Hauptaktivität hatte die im Oktober 1966… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Black Panther Party — Le Black Panther Party (à l origine le Black Panther Party for Self Defense) est un mouvement révolutionnaire afro américain formé en Californie en 1966 par Bobby Seale et Huey P. Newton qui a atteint une échelle nationale avant de s effondrer à… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George Jackson (song) — Infobox Single Name = George Jackson |thumb|Sleeve cover for the West German release of the single George Jackson. The photo used is from The Concert for Bangladesh] Artist = Bob Dylan Album = Masterpieces A side = George Jackson (Big Band… …   Wikipedia

  • Black Panther Party — Logo der BPP Die Black Panther Party (ursprünglich Black Panther Party for Self Defense) war eine afro amerikanische Bürgerrechts und Selbstschutzbewegung in den USA. Ihre Hauptaktivität hatte die im Oktober 1966 von Huey P. Newton und Bobby… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Jackson —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie différentes personnes partageant un même nom. George Jackson (né le 23 septembre 1941 à Chicago dans l Illinois et mort le 21 août 1971) est un militant noir américain qui devint en prison membre du Black… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jackson (name) — Jackson is a common patronymic family name in English language speaking countries (see List of most common surnames), meaning son of Jack . In the 1990 United States Census, Jackson was the thirteenth most frequently reported surname, accounting… …   Wikipedia

  • Mark Clark (Black Panther) — Mark Clark Black Panther Born June 28, 1947(1947 06 28) Peoria, Illinois, U.S. Died …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”