Sunday, July 15, 2012

Black Arts Poets Unite for Freedom and Justice

Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Marvin X and Everett Hoagland, some of the leading voices of the Black Arts Movement of the Sixties, will be featured in Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander. The ultimate purpose of the book is to raise funds the justice campaigns of both cases and to raise awareness about the persistence of racial injustice.
“We are honored and excited to have these legendary world-renowned poets involved in this important project, says Ewuare X. Osayande, creator and editor of the book. “These poets have spent their entire careers as writers doing exactly what we are attempting to do with this book – speak truth to power and to empower the people. Their involvement is an affirmation of the mission and aim of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander.”

Marissa Alexander Offers Support and Encouragement to Stand Our Ground

In a hand-written letter dated June 21, 2012 Marissa Alexander, African American mother unjustly serving a 20 year sentence for defending herself in Florida, extends her support and appreciation to Ewuare X. Osayande, creator and editor of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, a project that seeks to raise $50,000 for both cases.
“I am so blessed to have your support. I think that what you are doing for Trayvon and I is absolutely phenomenal! …

Stand Our Ground Seeks Poems, Organizations and Donations

The Mission:

1. Raise Funds
  • Raise $10,000 to publish the book. This will enable us to print 3,000 copies of the book.
  • Raise $50,000 from sale of the book. All the proceeds will go to both families to aid in their pursuit for justice.
Your donations will make this possible! Join us! Donate today!
2. Raise Awareness
Trayvon Martin is the unarmed 17 year-old African American young man who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February this year while walking home from a neighborhood convenient store. It took a national outcry before Zimmerman was arrested a month later. He is currently awaiting trial. For more information on the case, click here.
Marissa Alexander is an African American mother currently serving a 20 year sentence for defending herself against her then husband Rico Gray in 2010. She was denied the controversial “Stand Your Ground” defense although she didn’t kill anyone and had a license to carry the gun she used to fire a warning shot against Gray who had earlier attempted to strangle her. For more information on the case, click here.
Both of these Florida cases expose the duplicity and ingrained racial/gender bias of a criminal justice system that continues to deny African Americans equal justice before the law.
With the publication of this book, we seek to rouse the conscience of this nation and rally consistent attention on these cases and cases like them across the country. We believe as the great activist Ella Baker once said, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”
We hope you will join us. Currently, we have initiated an international call for poemsorganizations and donations. Check out the site and learn how you can show your support.
Thank you!

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