This piece is painfully personal! Behind every life lost to police terrorism, are family members forced to pick-up the pieces of their shattered spirits. In this piece from Gwen “Mama” Woods and Kiese Laymon, you will read about how the SFPD executed her son, Mario Woods. You will feel the permanence of a mother’s pain when they are forced to bury their child. You will walk away understanding why Mama woods feels like the, “Police kill people that they believe don’t deserve to live,” and one of those people was her beloved son.
Dr. Mark Anthony Neal’s piece offers a clear-eyed look at copaganda, or, in his words, “the reproduction and circulation in mainstream media of propaganda that is favorable to law enforcement — has long been a tool to disrupt legitimate claims of anti-Black violence.” Dr. Neal argues that “copaganda actively counters attempts to hold police malfeasance accountable by reinforcing the ideas that the police are generally fair and hard-working and that Black criminals deserve the brutal treatment they receive.”
Please take a few minutes to read Dr. Simone Browne’s brilliant essay on the history of anti-Black surveillance and resistance to it. Dr. Browne forcefully argues that technologies of repression have always been used inventively to undermine anti-Black repression itself.
Take a look at Dr. Angela Davis’s powerful introductory essay to this collection that outlines the contours of the history of abolition and why efforts at reform have always “provided the glue” that guarantees the continued presence of these repressive structures.
This article is part of Abolition for the People, a series brought to you by a partnership between Kaepernick Publishing and LEVEL, a Medium publication for and about the lives of Black and Brown men. The series, which comprises 30 essays and conversations over four weeks, points to the crucial conclusion that policing and prisons are not solutions for the issues and people the state deems social problems — and calls for a future that puts justice and the needs of the community first.
In the wake of the state-sanctioned lynchings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the United States…