ALL THINGS CENSORED VOL. 1 is a collection of Mumia Abu-Jamal's commentaries about racism, the death penalty, life on death row, the privations of the prison system and the corporate control of the media, among other issues. In addition to Mumia's socio-political commentary, there are segments from Alice Walker, Howard Zinn, Dorothy Allison, Cornel West, Ron Hampton, Joycelyn Elders, William Kunstler, Judi Barri, Assata Shakur and more.
Personnel: Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dorothy Allison, Ronald Hampton, Sister Helen Prejean, Howard Zinn, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Alice Walker, William Kunstler, Ramona Africa, Juan Gonzalez, Martin Sheen, Robert Meeropol, Justice Bruce Wright, Assata Shakur, Sweet Roxanne, Manning Marable, Judi Bari, John Edgar Wideman (spoken vocals).
Engineers include: Mike Alcalay, Blangton, Ray Grott.
Liner Note Author: Noelle Hanrahan.
Recording information: 1997 Fighting For Life: Capital Case Defense Seminar, M (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); African American Studies Department, Harverd University (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Afro American Studies Department, Columbia University N (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Berkeley, CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); BRAVA! For Women In The Arts, SF, CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Cooper Union, New York, NY (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Death Row State Correctional Institute At Greene, W Par (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Death Row, Huntingdon State Prison, Huntingdon, PA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Death Row, State Correctional Institute At Greene, Wayn (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Haarvard Trade Union Building, Boston, MA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Harlem, NY (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Harvard Trade Union Building, Boston MA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Huntingdon State Prison, Huntingdon PA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); KPFA Radio, Berkeley, CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); KPFA Studios, Berkeley CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); KPFA Studios, Berkley CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Martin Luther King Junior High School, Berkeley CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Monterey CA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Office Of The National Black Police Officers Associatio (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Radio Havana Studios (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Radio Havana, Havana, Cuba (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); Springfield, MA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); State Correctional Institute At Greene, Waynesburg PA (08/16/1993-10/10/1997); The Offices Of The National Black Police Officers Assoc (08/16/1993-10/10/1997).
Photographers: Chris Cozzone; James Harris ; April Saul; Lou Jones; Nolen Edmonston; Jennifer Beach.
In 1994, journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was hired by National Public Radio's All Things Considered as a special commentator, only to be fired shortly before his series began due to political pressure from police groups and Republican Senator Bob Dole. This set from the ultra-leftist Alternative Tentacles label compiles these essays, recorded by Abu-Jamal in prison just before the state of Pennsylvania banned any journalists from visiting death row, essentially ending any recorded correspondence from the former Philadelphia journalist, convicted of murdering a police officer in 1982. Aided by vocal support from folks like Dr. Joycelyn Elders; Martin Sheen; famed attorney William Kunstler; authors Howard Zinn, Manning Marable, and Alice Walker; activist Cornel West; and MOVE survivor Romana Africa, Abu-Jamal focuses not so much on his own imprisonment but on the failure of the prison system as a whole, "the war on the poor," and the ongoing story of Philadelphia's MOVE. Some essays are fleeting, underdeveloped ideas ("It's Not Nice to Fool With Mother Nature" is a pedestrian statement of eco-apocalypse). Most, however, are remarkably insightful, and are served well by Abu-Jamal's concise, direct use of language, and calm, exacting voice. "A Rap Thing" criticizes that music's fixation on excessive materialism while knowingly pointing to the reactionary economic and social climate of Reaganism that fueled much of its development, and "Sweet Roxanne" is a loving eulogy to the late Roxanne Jones, renowned activist and state senator from Philadelphia. The echo of the concrete floors and cinderblock walls of Abu-Jamal's prison visitation room, together with the rough editing and production of the sessions, serve to highlight the immediacy of the recordings, and the timeliness of Abu-Jamal's message. ~ John Duffy