Viewing page 2 of 36

FREE THE SAN QUENTIN SIX

A few weeks after George Jackson was shot down by white guards at San Quentin prison, six black and brown prisoners were indicted for the deaths of two inmates and three guards. The prisoners, now known as the San Quentin Six, are: Fleeta Drumgo (formerly one of the Soledad Brothers), Johnny Spain, Hugo Pinell, Willie Tate, Luis Talamantez, and David Johnson. No one, as of this writing, has been indicted for the murder of George Jackson; and it will be a long time, if ever, before anyone finds out what really happened in the adjustment center of San Quentin on August 21, 1971. Novelist James Baldwin said at the time that "No black person will ever believe that George Jackson died the way they tell us he did." 

Yet the San Quentin Six are charged with five counts of murder, conspiracy to attempt escape, conspiracy to possess a firearm, and conspiracy to kidnap correctional officers. Additionally, some are charged with assault and attempted murder of prison guards.

The brothers were indicted by a bare minimum vote of the Marin County Grand Jury. In an unprecedented move, one grand juror resigned in protest over the indictments, assailing "the inequities and injustices of the secret indicting process." Two other grand jurors also walked out on the session, one declaring that "what this Grand Jury does is not justice but vengeance."

Still, the San Quentin Six will soon stand trial without counsel of their choice for the alleged murder of the three prison guards and two convicts who died along with George Jackson on August 21, 1971.

The Six have chosen skilled, experienced lawyers capable of mounting the type of defense that has acquitted the Soledad Brothers and freed Angela Davis. But in a cruel perversion of the Constitutional guarantee of counsel, the trial court has deliberately appointed counsel whom these defendants neither want nor trust. In fact, the appointed attorneys themselves want no part of this task.

The people must guarantee that the San Quentin Six will have lawyers who will expose the real criminals in this trial: the "cruel, vindictive, dangerous men" who run our prison dungeons. Up to now, the people have been slow to move. Part of the problem is that few know about the case - or, if they do, confuse it with the Soledad Brothers, Angela Davis or Ruchell Magee. This is understandable, since all these cases originated from the oppression of California's Adjustment Centers.

It is important to understand why the authorities are trying to stop all communication between prisons and the outside community. A few years back they were able to carry out any kind of torture and the people did not hear anything about it. Now, growing outside support has given strength to the prisoners.

But the prosecutions continue in a set pattern. Whenever the corruption and brutality of prison life surface into public view, the prosecutor turns on the victims, selects so called militants and revolutionaries (usually black or brown), and charges them with assault on their white keepers. This has been the misfortune of the San Quentin Six. Their fate is in the hands of the people. Your help is needed now. To volunteer help of funds, contact:

San Quentin Six Legal Defense Fund
c/o National Lawyers' Guild
558 Capp Street
San Francisco, California 94110


Staff
Publisher Nathan Hare
Editor Robert Chrisman
Associate Editor Robert L. Allen
Executive Secretary Glory Bevien
Book Club Allan Ross

Contributing and Advisory Editors
Akbar Muhammad Ahmed, African People's Party, Cleveland, Ohio
S.E. Anderson, Science and Technology, Old Westbury College (SUNY), Long Island
Lerone Bennett, Historian
Andrew Billingsley, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
J. Herman Blake, Ph.D., Dept. of Sociology, UC, Santa Cruz
John Blassingame, Ph.D., Dept. of History, Yale Univ. 
Reverend Albert Cleage, Shrine of the Black Madonna, Detroit, Mich. 
Price Cobbs, M.D., Dept. of Psychiatry, University of California Medical Center
Bernard Cushmeer, Minister, Muhammad's Mosque #32, Phoenix, Ariz.
Ossie Davis, Actor and Playwright 
Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture, Black Panther Party
Harry Edwards, Dept. of Sociology, UC, Berkeley, Calif.
Herman Ferguson, Minister of Education, Republic of New Africa
Howard Fuller, Malcolm X Liberation University, Durham, N.C.
Carlton Goodlett, M.D., Ph.D., Publisher, The Sun-Reporter
Charles V. Hamilton, Ph.D., L.L.B, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
Vincent Harding, Ph.D., Institute of the Black World
Michael S. Harper, Dept. of English, Brown University
Milton Henry, L.L.B, Detroit, Michigan
Charles Hurst, Ph.D., President, Malcolm X College, Chicago, Illinois
Nelson N. Johnson, SOBU (Student Organization for Black Unity)
Maulana Ron Karenga, Founder-Chairman, US
John O. Killens, Creative Writing, Columbia University
Joyce A. Ladner, Ph.D., Dept. of Sociology, Howard University
Don. L. Lee, Poet, Publisher - Third World Press
David Llorens, Chairman, Black Studies, University of Washington
Acklyn Lynch, Dept. of Social Science, Federal City College, Washington, D.C. 
W.H. McClendon, Director, Black Studies, Reed College, Portland, Ore.
Floyd McKissick, L.L.B., President, McKissick Enterprises, New York
Gerald McWorter, Ph.D., Dept. of Sociology, Fisk University
Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Dept. of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Max Roach, Musician and Composer, New York, N.Y.
Sonia Sanchez, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Robert Staples, Ph.D., Dept. of Sociology, Howard University
Chuck Stone, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mike Thelwell, Chairman, Black Studies, University of Massachusetts
James Turner, Director, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University
Ronald Walters, Ph.D., Chairman, Political Science Dept. Howard University
Sidney F. Walton, Jr., Author, Educator, Consultant
Joseph White, Ph.D., Director of Black Studies, UC, Irvine, Calif.
Preston Wilcox, Chairman, National Association of Afro-American Educators
Reverend A. Cecil Williams, Minister of Involvement and Celebration, Glide Urban Center
Gwen Patton Woods, Community Organizer

THE BLACK SCHOLAR
Journal of Black Studies and Research
Volume 4 Number 2
October 1972
Contents
3 We Are All Prisoners of War
  MUHAMMAD AHMAD
6 Overturning Ourselves: From Mystification to 
  Meaningful Struggle
  RON KARENGA
15 The Case of Billy Dean Smith
  MARK ALLEN
18 The Black Family and The Prisons
  JOHNNY SPAIN
35 Episodes from the Attica Massacre
41 Ruchell Magee: Slave Rebel
  RUCHELL MAGEE COMMITTEE FOR BLACK PRISONERS
46 Counselor, Community and the Black Prisoner
  MARTIN C. JONES AND MARTIN H. JONES
56 POETRY
  I Bear Witness
  BY PAULINE COLLINS
59 POETRY
  Take Me to Your Home
  BY RONALD EMMONS
60 THE BLACKBOARD
62 BLACK SCHOLAR CLASSIFIED

THE BLACK SCHOLAR is published monthly, except July and August, by The Black World Foundation, a non-profit educational organization. All correspondence should be addressed to P.O. Box 908, Sausalito, CA 94965. Phone (415) 332-3130/31 and 332-3134. Subscription rates: $10 per year, $25 for 3 years; single copies $1.25. Foreign rates on request. Please allow six weeks for processing subscriptions or changes of address. Second class postage paid at Sausalito, California and additional entry at San Francisco, California. Copyright 1972. All rights, including translation into other languages, reserved by THE BLACK SCHOLAR. All issues with advertising available on microfilm from University Microfilms, Inc., 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106. Newsstand distributors: B. DeBoer, 188 High Street, Nutley, N.J. 07110 and L-S Distributors, 1161 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94109. Printed in the U.S.A.



Transcription Notes:
Start on second page.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.