Forty years after his death, George Jackson continues to reflect different things to different people depending on their ideologies and experiences.
To some, Jackson was a renowned author, Marxist, and activist truth-teller who brought the injustices of the American experience in and out of prison into harsh light as the once-vibrant ‘60s faded to a disillusioned and bloody end.
To others, he was a career criminal and prisoner turned violent radical whose acts and incitements brought misery to many and resulted in the kind of revolutionary martyrdom now worshiped by Islamicists and Tea Party extremists.
In a society that both thrives on a fundamental class-based inequality and manages to keep its prison population of 2 million over 40% black, Jackson remains a figure of some relevance, however legendary. Perhaps the best way to get a picture of the man is to read his words in Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson
On the ideological side of things, here’s George Jackson - 40 year commemoration, a video produced by Jonathan Jackson Jr:
During the 30th anniversary of Jackson’s death in 2001, San Francisco Bay Area journalist Belva Davis produced Day of the Gun, a rather in-depth presentation by someone who was on the ground at the time. Although YouTuber superkool223 should be commended for his or her act of preservation of this piece, be aware that this upload is ironically replete with plenty of commercials to fast-forward through. It’s worth the inconvenience.
Playlist of the rest of Day of the Gun...
Finally, here’s the little-known and suprisingly gospelly paen to Jackson that Bob Dylan recorded in 1971:
Thanks to King Gondo…