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Free the Soledad Brothers
Maker: Soledad Brothers Defense Committee
Date Made: circa 1970
Place Made: United States: California, Berkeley
Measurements: 57 cm x 44.5 cm; 22 7/16 in x 17 1/2 in
Main Subject: African Americans; Political Prisoners; Prisons & Prisoners; Viet Nam War Era
Materials: paper (fiber product); wrapped, corners
Free The Soledad Brothers George Jackson Fleeta Drumgo John Clutchette "People who come out of prison can build up the country. Misfortune is the test of the people's fidelity. Those who protest at injustice are people of true merit. When the prison doors are opened the real dragon will fly out." from "Prison Diary" Ho-Chi-Minh Send Donations To: Soledad Brothers Defense Committee P.O. Box 68, Berkeley, Calif. 94701
Acquisition Number: 1990-007
Copyright status unknown; may be protected by copyright law.
GEORGE JACKSON / SOLEDAD BROTHERS George Jackson was born in 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. He entered prison at age 15 to serve a sentence of one year to life for stealing $70 from a gas station. Repeatedly denied parole, Jackson found hope and a certain freedom in his writings. His works include the Prison Letters of George Jackson, Soledad Brother and Blood in My Eye. When Nolen Jackson, George's mentor, was murdered by a prison guard who was later found innocent of the charge, inmates retaliated by beating to death another guard. Known as the Soledad Brothers, Jackson along with John Cluchette and Fleeta Drumgo, were found guilty of the murder. This rebellion started the prison protests against arbitrary killings and beatings of African American inmates. Jackson was transferred to San Quentin, a maximum-security facility. He spent the last eleven years of his life in prison and seven of those years in solitary confinement. He was appointed field marshal for the Black Panther Party and dedicated himself to the political struggle in order to escape the gas chamber. In August 1970, Jackson's younger brother Jonathan orchestrated an armed attack on the Marin County Court House, with the intent of taking hostages to exchange for his brother George and the other Soledad Brothers. Jonathan, two prisoners, and the judge were killed in the court house battle. A police infiltrator was later revealed to have provoked the attack. Angela Davis was accused of being one of the key co-conspirators in the kidnapping attempt. In 1971, George Jackson was killed while lying wounded in a prison yard. He was allegedly attempting escape following a violent fight with guards. In 1988, trial testimony disclosed a setup by the police to silence the revolutionary author and speaker, George Jackson.