Apr 24, 2022
This is part 2 of a 2 part conversation with the editors and contributors to a book called How We Stay Free: Notes on a Black Uprising. This book is edited by Christopher R. Rogers, Fajr Muhammad and the Paul Robeson House & Museum and is a great testament to the local dimensions of the Black uprising in Philadelphia in the months after the murder of George Floyd.
In this part of the conversation we talk to Gabriel Bryant and Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. These conversations were recorded separately, just due to availability, but are presented here as a unified whole.
Gabriel Bryant is an organizer and youth advocate for groups that have included Sankofa Community Empowerment and Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.
Abdul-Aliy Muhammad is a Philadelphia-born writer and organizer. They often write about Blackness, bodily autonomy and medical surveillance.
In this conversation both Gabe and Abdul-Aliy offer reflections on the Philly Black Radical Collective and on the long work of organizing outside of the spectacle of the mass mobilization. Gabe talks about some of the nuts and bolts of community organizing and building power as well as some recent developments in solidarity organizing for political prisoners including Mumia Abu Jamal’s latest campaign #LoveNotPhear.
Abdul-Aliy talks about their piece from How We Stay Free, which is titled “Black Trans Lives Matter.” They talk about organizing in defense of Black Trans and Black Queer lives and working with Dominque “Rem’mie” Fells’ family after Dominque was murdered in 2020.
Featured in this conversation are also two songs from Gabe, whose stage name is Gabriel Prosser, a nod to the enslaved abolitionist who planned a massive slave rebellion in Virginia at the turn of the 19th Century. We’ll include links to Gabe’s bandcamp in the show notes.
After the interviews with Abdul Aliy and Gabriel, How We Stay Free editors Christopher Rogers and Fajr Muhammad rejoin a discussion of other struggles ongoing in Philadelphia.
In the show notes, we’ll include links to buy How We Stay Free, and possibly get a solidarity copy for a student, elder, organizer or political prisoner.
And if you like what we do, we’re still trying to get our patreon back where it was a few months ago. We’re only down about $20 this month as we release this episode, so if a few of you can commit to $1 a month or more, or a small yearly pledge, we should be able to make that up.
Songs featured in the episode: