"My name is Sekou Odinga. Some of us have never agreed to be American and have struggled to free and build the Republic of New Afrika. Under international law, oppressed people have that right... the right to be free of the oppression and to build a nation that will protect their right to be free and independent."
Sekou Mgbozi Abdullah Odinga grew up in Jamaica, Queens. He is a husband, father of eight, grandfather of nineteen+ and a great-grandfather.
He was inspired by the revolutionary principles of Malcolm X when he joined the Organization of Afro-American Unity, followed later by the Black Panther Party (BPP) . In 1970, he was asked to go to Algeria to help set up the international section of the BPP. After the split in the Party, caused by the Cointelpro program, he decided to come back to the u.s. to continue the struggle.
Sekou continued that work until he was captured and charged with attempting to murder police in October of 1981. He was not attempting to murder the police, he was in fact, running away from the police with his brother/comrade, Mtayari Sundiata fearing for their lives. That fear proved well deserved when Mtayari was captured and murdered (executed) while lying face down on the ground. He was captured a little while later; by then lots of people had gathered around so he was taken to a police precinct where he was beaten and tortured for the six (6) straight hours. The local police and FBI were trying to find out information about Assata Shakur and Abdul Majid. "Where they were? Who they were with? Did I know them? When was the last time I saw them, etc. etc.?" That torture left him in the hospital for the next three months with physical damage that he still suffers from. He was snatched out of the hospital before completely healing, forced into two trials (state and federal) for the next 2½ years.
After many lies and prejudicial judge rulings, he was found guilty in both courts, and sentenced to forty (40) years and $50,000 fine by the feds, and 25 years to life by the state. The feds found him guilty of the Liberation of Assata Shakur and the expropriation of an armored-car. The state found him guilty of attempted murder of police. One sentence to start after the other one finished. He was paroled by the feds in 2009, and is now in NYS doing the 25 to life.
He is 68 years old and not eligible for parole in the state until 2033.
Sekou Odinga is one of almost two dozen members of the Black Panther Party who have spent the last thirty years or more unjustly held in the dungeons of the u.s. prison system as political prisoners for having stood up to the state power structure in defense of poor and working-class Black people across to end poverty, police terror/murder, unemployment, hunger, lack of quality education, housing, healthcare.
These members of the BPP have served a combined total of more than 800 years as a legacy of the targeting, assassinations, frame ups and snitches carried out by Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI Cointelpro War on the Black Liberation Movement. Read about them»
Statements & Essays by Sekou Odinga
For "Occupy the Hood Week," School to Prisons Pipeline 2012, read».
Others speak about Sekou Odinga.
Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners
Edited by Matt Meyer, PM Press/Kersplebedeb, 2008
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The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison & Fighting for Those Left Behind
Written by Safiya Bukhari. Editted by Laura Whitehorn.
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Over forty years later, there are still over a dozen members of the Black Panther Party (BPP) unjustly imprisoned!
COINTELPRO represents the state’s strategy to prevent movements and communities from overturning white supremacy and creating racial justice. COINTELPRO is both a formal program of the FBI and a term frequently used to describe a conspiracy among government agencies—local, state, and federal—to destroy movements for self-determination and liberation for Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous struggles, and other progressive movements and organizations. Read more.
"First it must be recognized that we were brought here against our will, thereby, making us, en masse, Political Prisoners…Ours has been a continuous struggle starting with the capture, the Middle Passage, slave revolts and each successive generation of revolutionaries. The Black freedom fighters who resisted militarily in the 1960's, '70s and '80s follow in the tradition of Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, and Malcolm."
"…when I think about the ultimate sacrifice that many others have made, I realize I have not done enough. There is so much more that needs to be done. As we have fought and struggled, the forces against us have continued to organize and develop strategies to keep us under them. In some ways we are now worse off than we was when I consciously started struggling in the mid '60s. Unemployment is higher, fewer Blacks are owning their own homes, a lower percentage are going to college. A higher percentage is going to jail. A much higher percentage are killing and maiming each other, especially our youth…."
"… our enemies recognized the positive potential of our struggles and made organized counter efforts to keep the status-quo, and they were successful…."
"Because our national cultural revolution was defeated and instead of us becoming a free independent Afrikan people, we remained colonized, ignorant Black subjects of the mother country (usa) ignorant of who we are and who we can and should be."
"I am afraid that we New Afrikans are not passing the torch on fast or soon enough. Not enough youth are brought into the struggle — especially on a leadership level. And it can't or I doubt it will happen accidentally. It needs to be an organized planned effort. We need to identify young sistas and brothers 13 to 18 with leadership potential, and train them to take over, and then we must move over and let them lead. …of course, the elders will always have jobs teaching and advising."