Panther Vision: Essential Party Writings and Art of Kevin Rashid Johnson

panthervisionKevin “Rashid” Johnson entered the u.s. prison system over 20 years ago, one of countless young Black men consigned to lifelong incarceration by the post-civil right policies of anti-Black genocide. While behind bars, Rashid encountered the ideas of revolutionary Black nationalism and Marxism-Leninism, and of the people and organizations who have used and developed these ideas in previous generations, foremost amongst these being the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Along with other Black/New Afrikan prisoners, Rashid helped found the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, while using both his artwork and his political writings as avenues to advance the cause of liberation for all.

Here, collected in book form for the first time, are Rashid’s core writings as Minister of Defense of the NABPP-PC. Subjects addressed include the differences between anarchism and Marxism-Leninsm, the legacy of the Black Panther Party, the timeliness of Huey P. Newton’s concept of revolutionary intercommunalism, the science of dialictical and historical materialsm, the practice of democratic centralism, as well as current events ranging from u.s. imperialist designs in Africa to national oppression of New Afrikans within u.s. borders. And much more.

As Professor Jared Ball explains in his preface,

“Rashid represents the fear expressed by COINTELPRO’s fearful question: What happens if this radicalism reaches successive generations and then explicitly calls for the same and more in their time? He both articulates to his contemporaries and those coming behind him the context in which their art exists, the shifts in the landscape that take us from African medallion hip-hop to the bling era. He can also demonstrate with wondrous skill the power artists have in articulating those same ideas, critiques and concepts of revolution. Rashid in this sense becomes the problem he has himself warned is necessary.”


Foreword by Jalil Muntaqim, introduction by Jared Ball; afterwords By George Katsiaficas and Tom Big Warrior.


What People Are Saying

“The original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense challenged the prevailing socio-political and economic relationship between the government and Black people. The New Afrikan Black Panther Party is building on that foundation, and Rashid’s writings embrace the need for a national organization in place of that which had been destroyed by COINTELPRO and racist repression. We can only hope this book reaches many, and serves to herald and light a means for the next generation of revolutionaries to succeed in building a mass and popular movement.”
Jalil Muntaqim, Prisoner of War

“All Praise due to Brother Kevin Rashid Johnson, for his courage, determination and commitment from deep within the belly of the beast. For using his pen as a weapon to put forth his vision and perspectives, to inform and enlighten, to be discussed and evaluated.”
Emory Douglas, Revolutionary Artist & Former Minister of Culture, Black Panther Party 1967–1981

“The U.S. is a society that originally based itself on a form of prison labor called slavery. Then it based itself on a form of slavery called racial segregation. Now it sets at the core of its political culture a form of racial segregation called the prison industry, run by a judicial machine. Each of these phases of U.S. history has used its racialization of class relations to render its class exploitation extreme. As with all exploitation, there is resistance. Today, Rashid’s is one of the most powerful voices of that resistance.”
Steve Martinot, author of The Rule of Racialization

“Kevin “Rashid” Johnson’s Panther Vision is an extraordinary testimony to the human capacity to struggle against oppression.  Johnson, a Virginia prisoner, who has been moved to Oregon and Texas, is a radical writer, artist, and organizer and co-founder and current Minister of Defense of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC). The theme of struggle against capitalism and white supremacy as central to revolutionary change runs throughout this collection of thirty-eight articles (written between 2005 and 2015) and fifty-five, often extraordinary, drawings – most done with only a pen. Panther Vision breaks out of the walls of physical imprisonment to treat such topics as politics, history, theory, organization, Troy Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown. It discusses well-known figures such as Marx, Lenin, Mao, Angela Davis, George Jackson, Ella Baker, Huey P. Newton, Assata Shakur, Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Howard Zinn, George Jackson, and lesser known, but important writers such as Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen. “Rashid” Johnson’s Panther Vision is a remarkable achievement — the power of his writings, art, and thought cannot be jailed and will continue to reach wider audiences and grow in importance.” — Jeffrey B. Perry, author, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

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