author Soul on Ice
National Prisoner Book Day
Bay Area Black Authors and the Post Newspaper Group are calling for a National Prisoner Book Day to bring awareness to the 2.4 million incarcerated men and women in American prisons, the largest prison system in the world. BABA organizer Marvin X and PNG publisher Paul Cobb say the National Prisoner Book Day should be declared ASAP to assist in the transformation of the incarcerated. Pending a General Amnesty, we must work to increase the literacy and appreciation of literature among our brothers and sisters locked down in the American Gulags.
We know the majority of the incarcerated include persons with minimum education. Most suffered drug abuse at the time of arrests and many qualify as dual diagnosed, i.e., suffering drug addiction and mental illness. The jails and prisons are now serving as mental wards without proper mental health treatment.
The February 16-22, 2011, edition of the Post Newspapers featured a front page article entitled
Men Who Read Books in Prison and Transformed Their Lives. Since Malcolm X or El Hajj Malik El Shabazz is the best known example of a man transformed by reading, we suggest National Prisoner Book Day be established May 20, the day after his birthday.
Stanley Tookie Williams
We call upon all writers, publishers, educators, media persons, religious leaders to help in the designation of May 20 as National Prisoner Book Day by disseminating books into jails and prisons on this day throughout the United States.
If needed, we should gather signatures, especially from authors, to have President Obama make the declaration.
Until we are able to liberate the captives, we can at least help them liberate their minds with conscious literature.
Bay Area Black Authors