84-year-old Black Panther Sundiata Acoli is currently serving a life sentence for murder – stemming from the same situation that forced Assata Shakur to seek asylum in Cuba!
It’s been decades; why haven’t they let him out already? According to his attorney, “...they’re denying him parole … because a state trooper was killed.”
According to the parole board, they haven’t released him because he didn’t apologize or admit to the crime, and hasn’t received enough psychological counseling. But that doesn’t add up – he’s been teaching classes to youth inside prison for years! So, how could he be incapable of rejoining society?
His classes focus on how to avoid recidivism, or the tendency for formerly incarcerated folks to end up back in prison. In other words, Acoli knows he might be in prison forever – so he decided to teach our youth how to avoid that same fate.
Acoli dedicated decades of his life to our people. Not only do we need to dismantle the system that works to incarcerate people for their entire lives, but we can also take notes from Acoli himself. He’s challenging the criminal legal system by educating Black folks around him – even while in prison.