David Gilbert – NO SURRENDER: writings from an anti-imperialist political prisoner. Arm The Spirit/Guillen. 2004. 284p. Paperback book. $20.00
Zolo Agona Azania – Money & Power: Hook or Crook. Kersplebedeb. 2004. 53p. Pamphlet. $3.95
In the 1960s it was common for protesters on the streets to get their ideas right through the bars–from the fiery scribes of the prison revolutionaries like George Jackson, Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X. Now, in a fresh 21st century when everything including prisons are morphing, prison revolutionaries are still tugging on our coatsleeves. These two writings are alike in being strong-minded, in being anti-imperialist, but the authors come from different worlds.
David Gilbert’s book, No Surrender, is a collection of his prison writings, from after his capture in 1981. But it doesn’t feel claustrophobic because Gilbert roams the political world in these pages, from Chico Mendez and the class eco-war in the Brazilian rain forest to the political struggle against the AIDS plague inside the u.s. prison gulag (which automatically means inside the Black community as well, since one is an extension of the other).
With the exception of his ground-breaking “AIDS Conspiracy Theories”, the writings here are short and reader easy: short essays, book reviews, short interviews. A middle-class white kid from the Boston suburbs, who came of age in the student Anti-Vietnam War movement at Columbia University, Gilbert’s voice remains serious & quiet. No big rhetoric, no ego trip, just a radical guy talking about human suffering and the economic system that inflicts it.
The far-ranging book reviews are my favorite part, and since i missed many of them originally it was a pleasure to catch them a second time around. As all revolutionaries know, too many good books pile up unread on your table and on our guilty “should-read” lists. David Gilbert’s reviews of everything from a sickening tale of old racism in “OTA BENGA: The Pygmy in the Zoo” to key feminism of color books to Manuel Castell’s analysis of the new globalized society in “The Informational Age” are like quick education pills (Gilbert did the hard work, we get the mental vitamins).
And what revolutionary prison writing has a chapter on humor as well as one of children’s stories? Gilbert’s sense of humor is often “corny” (as his comrade Marilyn Buck smilingly says), but his “Transfer Request” (to the Bronx Zoo!) might make any anthology of the world’s best prison writing.
Here Gilbert’s good characteristics really show up, such as his intellectual curiosity. What will surprise some who don’t know him is the absence of that ideological stuff, for better or worse. There is no discussion of things like Marxism-Leninism, Anarchism, Social Democracy or Maoism. While Gilbert is clearly someone influenced by Marxism & its type of analysis, as he once said: “I didn’t become a revolutionary because of socialism or Marx. I became a revolutionary because of rock & roll and the Black Sit-Ins.” Remember, this was a young activist with the Weather Underground, with its counter-culture “tribes” and its football helmet-wearing fights with the pigs and collective “liberated sex” and theatrical nonviolent bombings (except for that bad one that blew themselves up, which Gilbert talks about).
What also stands out is Gilbert’s courage as a revolutionary. Not only crossing the line into illegality, or in standing by his politics in years of imprisonment, of still being an activist in every way he can, but in his sometimes lonely fight for revolutionary honesty. As the Korean communist Kim San once wrote: “It is pleasant to be alone on a mountaintop, but it is hard to be alone in a party.” Everyone in the movement is for honestly criticizing mistakes and worse–as long as it’s someone else’s shit. But it’s real hard to publicly confront your own shit.
Unlike some well-known former “Weather” associates, Gilbert painfully goes into not just the mistakes the WUO (Weather Underground Organization) made but the fundamental weaknesses that increasingly undermined them. After the WUO’s political disintegration, or “implosion” as Gilbert terms it, he joined the “Revolutionary Armed Task Force” under the leadership of B.L.A. survivors. That last campaign itself crashed into national headlines in the failed Brinks robbery/bloodbath at Nyack, N.Y. on October 20, 1981. Even in the harsh glare of defeat, when a lengthy critique of RATF appeared in the underground book, False Nationalism, False Internationalism, only Gilbert and his co-defendant, anarcho-Black nationalist Kuwasi Balagoon, publicly welcomed the criticism as part of a necessary reevaluation (although, as is only natural, they disagreed with parts of that critique & felt parts were factually incorrect).
As the Plague exploded in the 1980s, David Gilbert became a prison AIDS activist, a daily caregiver & counselor. Even something as should-be-simple as small classes to train inmate peer-counselors involved uphill struggles against the prison administration, to say nothing of the mountains of homophobia and ignorance. Perhaps the most impressive writing in the entire book comes of of this activism: his extended essay/pamphlet, AIDS Conspiracy Theories: Tracking The Real Genocide, which closely examines and then debunks the wide-spread conspiracy theories that HIV was a secretly developed biological warfare weapon either accidentally let loose in African field testing or deliberately implanted in “undesirable” target populations.
Many of us initially assumed back then that the C.I.A. was behind the AIDS Plague. The whole thing came out of nowhere, an instant plague conveniently targeting hated & oppressed populations. One paper in particular made a big impression. By a physician, it circulated in the Black nationalist community giving a “scientific” genetic explanation proving that HIV was artificially caused & spread. It was very convincing to me, certainly. David Gilbert saw the same paper, but because of his life-long interest in biology & evolution was more suspicious. (Can you imagine trying to do research and writing on a medical controversy while you are locked in a sweltering, maximum security prison?). AIDS has always been a crisis that has as much to do with mass politics as medicine.
A misdirecting mythology about AIDS had sprung up (quietly encouraged & even slightly financed by the u.s. government). The pull of emotionally satisfying conspiracy theories was strong, as was the worldwide desire by men to believe that safe sex was unimportant. Black cultural nationalist propaganda circles, such as the nation of islam’s Chicago center, were saying not only that the C.I.A. had artificially created HIV, but that it was being spread by a conspiracy of Jewish doctors slipping it into medical injections of Black youth. We can almost feel the heavy flak that Gilbert was wading into.
As the author points out, conspiracy theories aren’t the free ride that everyone naively assumes. That misleading mythology about AIDS helped murder untold thousands of New Afrikan youth. Why bother with safe sex, after all, if the C.I.A. would just slip it into your antibiotic injection or soft drink anyway? We heard many young guys saying just that. And since AIDS is historically intertwined with homosexuality, drug use and patriarchal religion (“AIDS is God’s judgement” blah blah), the whole subject became a twisted zone of ignorance & inaction. When you add in the fact that the nation of islam was selling what they said was a complete cure for AIDS, young guys had even less incentive to confront their own behavior and the real dangers of the epidemic. Black people were encouraged to believe that you couldn’t do anything to prevent getting it, but if you did get it AIDS was completely curable. No problem.
Gilbert’s “AIDS Conspiracy Theories” was a real jolt. We learned that Dr. William Campbell Douglass, the author of that much-circulated “scientific” paper laying out AIDS as a biowar conspiracy, wasn’t a Black physician as i & many others had naively assumed. He was, in fact, a far right-wing white racist propagandist, with many nutty conspiracy theories. Like his claim that the three famous Mississippi civil rights martyrs (Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner) weren’t killed by the Klan at all, but by Black people to gain sympathy for their evil cause of civil rights. Quietly, in a well-organized way, Gilbert goes into the claims of AIDS conspiracy theories and evaluates their scientific merit for us. And the political background. It’s a serious read, puting light on a difficult subject.
Not that the heat around this controversy which has so much to do with sex, queerness & responsibility has disappeared. We all know life isn’t that easy. i had many conversations with Albert “Nuh” Washington as “AIDS Conspiracy Theories” was originally being published by us in 1997. An ex-B.L.A. prisoner and a Muslim counselor to younger inmates, before his death even called “the dean of Black political prisoners in New York”, Nuh’s endorsement of “AIDS Conspiracy Theories” would carry weight. And he generally agreed with Gilbert’s essay. But it was hard for him to step out publicly on this. “It just isn’t something I feel I can do,” he would say as we politely argued. But one day there was a letter from Nuh in our mailbox, with a statement putting himself on record, putting his arm around Gilbert’s stand. As David Gilbert reminds everyone in the essay, AIDS is still a political battleground fought out every day. He ends that paper with his analysis of “the real conspiracy” around AIDS by imperialism, in deliberately denying health knowledge & care to the oppressed.
If i had any disappointments after reading No Surrender, it wasn’t so much with what’s there but with what isn’t. The brief section on SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and “Weather” itself near the book’s end is so short of political background as to almost be a dry hole. It’s good that Gilbert avoids the white cultural ego-trips of the memoirs of former SDSers like Tod Gitlin and Billy Ayres. In contrast, his autobiographical essay earlier in the book, “Coming of Age Politically at Columbia”, is really rewarding to the reader. We get a fuller sense of how he first set foot on this journey. In his defense, the two short essays on SDS & WUO were up against limits, written in a hurry against deadlines for an anarchist magazine.
Beneath the media hype, WUO was very different from what many were led to believe (both for better and worse). Gilbert, for example, was much respected on a personal level by those underground, in part for the on-going research he did on the capitalist economy & the discussions he would lead for small underground groups of “Weather” activists.
The main problem here is the acid fog of forgetfulness deliberately generated by capitalist mass culture. Where revolutionaries like Gilbert are falsely misdefined as politically deranged extremists or “terrorists” (while today’s Jewish stormtroopers in Palestine and their fellow settler GIs in Iraq, who both routinely kill women and children wholesale and use rape as a tactic, are called “anti-terrorists” in the crazy, Orwellian, “false is truth” logic of imperialist propaganda). It’s hard without being specifically informed & reminded to grasp how fully the times he came of age in were a time of mass illegality on all sides.
After all, in the great Los Angeles “Riots” of 1963, white National Guardsmen admitted that the New Afrikan death toll would never fully be known since they often threw the Black people they gunned down into burning buildings to permanently lose the bodies. i remember one night driving through an eerie, empty landscape on Chicago’s West Side in 1968 after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The massive Black uprising had emptied smashed-up storefronts and burned out blocks. And, at night, roadblocks of u.s. Army troops in jeeps with machine-guns enforced a curfew on deserted streets. A few of us were going to the SDS National Office, which was smack in the middle of that West Side, to retrieve some papers (“Hi, Sergeant, just going up to make sure our business is still ok.”). To be young then in amerikkka was to feel like you were at the convulsive, violent birth of some more interesting new civilization.
Nor did SDS itself spring full-blown from simple reaction to Vietnam or Mississippi. SDS indirectly built itself on the earlier15,000 student anti-nuclear war organization called the Student Peace Union, which had begun in the late 1950s. And it’s aura of moral self-sacrifice and personal illegality had come not just from the Black Sit-Ins but also from the white Draft Resistance, the first leftist movement in u.s. history built on individual illegality. On campus after campus, by ones & twos, small numbers of white boys appeared before equally small gatherings of their friends and the curious to read statements against the war machine–and then burn their draft cards (which we all had to carry under law). This improbable moral movement spread from school to school, and resisters started trickling into federal prisons (if even straight-arrow young white boys on the way up, like William Jefferson Clinton, were swayed by the Draft Resistance’s moral heroism, you can guess the impact it made) .
It was all mixed up back then, 1960s down and dirty, not nice and neat like in the lying Ken Burnsy, Hollywoody documentary films and tv specials. Two of our leaders in the fight for school desegregation on Chicago’s South Side had gotten involved because the City, in clearing a lot for new segregated “mobile home” classrooms, had bulldozed their little local business–a marijuana patch. Our two heroes, “Sweet” and “Oak”, became aroused 24-7 activists, leading Sit-Ins and illegal takeovers of City offices. At national conferences they connected with like-minded young militants and quietly joined RAM, the first national Black revolutionary underground dedicated to armed uprisings. There were even rumors that the two guys moonlighted at equalizing monetary fluidity using hand-held devices for accelerating metal. It was like being civil rights militants, getting arrested all the time, was…the cover story?
For real, the so-called nonviolent civil rights movement back then was a lot more violent, a lot more armed, than capitalism likes admitting. Maybe he didn’t have armed body guards on that day in Memphis, but the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had Black guards with rifles around the houses where he slept in many Southern towns. In the South everyone was armed anyway, you know. In towns like Cairo, Illinois and Birmingham, Alabama there were nightly gun battles between Klan drivebys and defending Black fighters (in Cairo, the firefights grew so intense–with the police and FBI helping the Klan, of course–that Black communist teenagers in the Disciples street gang organized “united front” car caravans of youth from different Chicago gangs to go down on weekends to Cairo to help with their guns). In Birmingham there was an unwritten code, if a Black person were killed anonymously, then some white man would be taken down and dumped on the railroad tracks. In one of the early major civil rights struggles, in Fayette County, Tennessee, in the “tent city” of homeless farm workers evicted from their plantation housing for daring to register to vote, armed Black guards not only kept the White Citizens Council types from terrorizing everyone but protected their own Black democracy,too. When a power-tripping, Northern would-be leader tried to organize a dramatic (because it would have been suicidal) grammar school children’s sit-in against the local police, he kept it secret from their parents. When the scheme was unmasked, the local activists visited him with shotguns in hand, and suggested that if he wanted to keep his slick voice he’d better be on the highway Northward mighty soon.
The uncounted numbers of New Afrikans killed by white terrorism during the civil rights struggle wasn’t exactly met with a turned cheek, although the very unequal tactical situation and the needed propaganda advantage of Gandhi-like saintliness kept things restrained.
The underground book on race & armed struggle, False Nationalism, False Internationalism , quotes a liberal social critic:
“In the spring of 1968, when bombs were first used by the white left, there were ten bombing instances on campuses; that fall, forty-one; the next spring, eighty-four on campus and ten more off-campus; and in the 1969-70 school year (September through May), by an extremely conservative estimate, there were no fewer than 174 major bombings and attempts on campus and at least seventy more off-campus incidents associated with the white left–a rate of roughly one a day…
“It is important to realize the full extent of the political violence of these years–especially so since the media tended to play up only the most spectacular instances, to treat them as isolated and essentially apolitical gestures, and to miss entirely the enormity of what was happening across the country…It was initiated by a sizable segment of the population–perhaps numbering close to a million, judging by those who counted themselves revolutionaries and those known to be involved in such acts of public violence as rioting, trashing, assaults upon buildings, and confrontations with police…”
And after the Kent State massacre in May 1970, when National Guardsmen shooting into an unarmed Anti-Vietnam War demonstration killed four and wounded nine, the political storm of young white rebellion hit hurricane force (as David Gilbert points out, in contrast the police attack shooting up the Jackson State dormitory in Mississippi at the same time, in which several Black students were murdered and many wounded, received relatively little white interest):
“In the next four days, from May 5 to May 8, there were major campus demonstrations at the rate of more than a hundred a day, students at a total of at least 350 institutions went out on strike and 536 schools were shut down completely for some period of time, 51 of them for the entire year. More than half the colleges and universities in the country (1350) were ultimately touched by protest demonstrations, involving nearly 60 percent of the student population–some 4,350,000 people–in every kind of institution and in every state of the Union.
“Violent demonstrations occurred on at least 73 campuses (that was only 4 percent of all institutions but included roughly a third of the country’s largest and most prestigious schools), and at 26 schools the demonstrations were serious, prolonged, and marked by brutal clashes between students and police with tear gas, broken windows, fires, clubbings, injuries and multiple arrests; altogether, more than 1800 people were arrested between May 1 and May 15.
The nation witnessed the spectacle of the government forced to occupy its own campuses with military troops, bayonets at the ready and live ammunition in the breeches, to control the insurrection of its youth…Capping all this, there were this month no fewer than 169 incidents of bombings and arson associated with campuses and another 36 at government and corporate buildings, the most for any single month in all the time government records have been kept; in the first week of May, thirty ROTC buildings on college campuses were bombed or burned, at the rate of more than four every single day…”
“Violence”, H. Rap Brown told everyone back then, “is as American as apple pie.” The world has changed a lot since then, international yuppieism is in and the state socialism that ruled one-third of the world has collapsed & blown away to dust. Yet the struggle of the oppressed still goes on at the grassroots of the world. When the undercover cops (one a very cute, curly-haired Middle Eastern looking young guy in a camouflage army parka) busted a kid with a bag of coke in our laundromat parking lot, dummy him ran inside to try and swallow the bag. Of course, the two cops were on him like wolves, slamming him to the floor and choking him around the throat to stop him from swallowing. A few minutes later, the kid cuffed and crying in the old crown victoria, the cop in the army parka came back inside to ask the Indian laundromat operator if he had seen the dealer with any customers before they got there. The cop walked right by fifteen or so of us washing our clothes, Black and Mexican except for me, didn’t even bother asking us any questions–because he knew that nobody here was going to say anything to cops. And at my daughter’s old high school, the neighborhood school where half the students were born outside the u.s.a., hundreds of students and faculty stormed a community meeting this Fall to protest the Bored of Education’s new, imperialistic plans to convert part of the school into a high school naval military academy(!!!). One sophomore yelled at the bureaucrats on the stage, “We need to learn how to read and write, not how to shoot guns.” Yeah, some of them already got that.
David Gilbert and his comrades were one wave among many in a great tidal surge against the old order. It gave him permanently different eyes with which to see the political world. You don’t have to agree with everything Gilbert writes in this book (and certainly many will have disagreements with him) to appreciate his hard work here to share a lifetime of fighting injustice.
It’s strange, but getting into Zolo Agona Azania’s Money and Power made me think of Gilbert’s book all over again. There i was one evening, watching suave old Peter Jennings on ABC Nightly News to check out the day’s capitalist lies, when their final segment came on–and it was the Manhattan Upper West Side “launch party” for Gilbert’s No Surrender. That was a shock. ABC News’ human interest spin, of course, turned out to be Gilbert’s son, Chesa. A young Rhodes Scholar from Yale now at England’s Cambridge University, who had flown back just to help celebrate his father’s book. And sure enough, a few days later a friend sent me a clipping from the New York Times arts & culture section–a story on that same Manhattan “launch party” with wine and cheese and leftists (there were several such parties in different cities), complete with a nice color photo of Chesa with his father’s book. Definitely a score. David Gilbert’s comrades & friends have stood by him, and are doing him proud here.The Federation Of Pork-KKK may hate him, but David Gilbert even in prison is still a presence.
In contrast, Zolo Azania has been for most of his years almost unknown even among political prisoners, definitely not anything like a celebrity. He could almost say, as one of the Pontiac Brothers on trial in Illinois for their lives at the same time as Zolo, said succinctly: “I’m just another nigger doing a bit.” Almost. While Gilbert’s No Surrender is really a beautifully published book, as well-packaged and slick as any commercial trade paperback, Zolo’s Money & Power is your very basic small rad pamphlet, stapled together, not any different from the homemade ones we used to crank out ourselves back in the daze in the Anti-War movement’s tiny garage printshop. But Zolo isn’t “just another” anything, because he has already done 23 years in the gas chamber, so to speak. His case is a real piece of work, and if i had to convey the surreal reality of his story i’d say:
IF SADDAM HUSSEIN HAD A HUMAN RIGHTS ARTIST ARRESTED, BEATEN UP, IMPRISONED FOR 23 YEARS–AND THEN EXECUTED HIM–WOULDN’T WE ALL BE REVOLTED?
But that’s what America is trying to do right now to Zolo Agona Azania of Gary, Indiana, in a classic case that proves how the death penalty can only be an open door for hated & injustice.
Zolo Azania thought he had his life together as he walked down the street near his home that day in August 1981. Along with so many others, Zolo had successfully campaigned to make the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday a national holiday in Gary. His artwork was on the pin used locally in the King campaign. Just a few days before the local newspaper had printed his picture as the valedictorian of his job-training class. He was rehabilitating his life, and working his way out of a childhood imprisoned in extreme poverty and high-crime environments.
But before he got home, the police had stopped and arrested him. On trial for bank robbery and killing a veteran police lieutenant that day, the cops and persecutors demanded and got the jury to give Zolo the death penalty (Zolo has always maintained his innocence). Remember, 1981 was at a time when other Black political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal were getting the death penalty. At the same time in Illinois, after a prison rebellion in which three white guards were killed, the state put 10 Pontiac maximum-security Black prisoners on trial for murder (the first batch in an incredible government plan there for mass Black executions unseen since slavery days ). It was the largest death penalty trial of Black men in Illinois history. Even though the trials were accompanied by intense media hysteria about heroic dead men in blue, a strong defense committee was formed of families and Black nationalists and anti-imperialists, led from afar by the New Afrikan nationalist Atiba Shanna of the Spear & Shield Collective. In a stunning rebuff to the state, in 1981 Chicago juries found the evidence ultra-flimsy and ultra-cooked-up and all of the men were acquitted. It was such a fiasco for them that the state of Illinois dropped all their special plans for mass executions of Black men for that rebellion. Final Score: Black Community10 State 0. But the kinds of strong radical defense efforts sometimes found in major cities were missing in small town Indiana.
The link was that Zolo was also open in his political beliefs as a revolutionary Black nationalist. Calling himself a “Conscious Citizen of the Republic of New Afrika”, Zolo was then & is now among those who hold that Black people in America are a separate unfree nation of their own. That made him a target.
This may not be a view seen on mainstream media, on “Cops” or “CSI: Miami”, but it is an opinion held by millions of people since before there was a USA. Historian Andrew Burstein reminds us that way back in the Founding Fathers days, even slaveowner-u.s. president Thomas Jefferson privately believed that Black people were “a captive nation…requiring and deserving national independence” (emphasis in original). The largest single political organization in Black history–the Nation of Islam of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X–had Black nationhood as their core platform. During the stormy 1960s, Newsweek magazine found in a national opinion poll that 27% of Black youth interviewed then wanted “a separate black nation”. Over the years since then many thousands of rebellious youth–like the hip-hop great Tupac Shakur–have taken the oath as conscious citizens of New Afrika.
So Zolo’s views are a strong cup of coffee, but they are neither unique nor justifying of the death penalty. No matter what racist police want.
A QUICK TOUR OF ZOLO IN WONDERLAND
1993: After years of hard work by Zolo himself and a volunteer attorney, the conservative Indiana Supreme Court found that the prosecution had hidden evidence favorable to Zolo until after his death sentencing. Further, the Court found that his original court-appointed attorney was so “ineffective” that it was like Zolo had no legal counsel at all. The death penalty was overturned and a new sentencing trial was ordered.
1996: At his 2nd sentencing trial Zolo was again given the death sentence, by a jury in which Black people were conspicuously absent.
2002: Indiana Supreme Court for a second time has to overturn Zolo’s death sentence, after it is revealed that Allen County secretly had a computer program which kept Black jurors out of the jury pool (the settler government said that it was only a 15-year “computer glitch”).
Right Now: Zolo Azania is once again preparing to fight the death penalty in what will be his 3rd sentencing trial. As one of his lawyers said, “First, you spend 23 years imprisoned on death row–and then you get your trial!”.
So, like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Zolo could justly name his writings, “Live From Death Row”. But they are different from Mumia’s or David Gilbert’s. Zolo’s scribes are not literary but straight ahead. Very direct with a capital “D”, plain words strong & hot as he wants them. This is the kind of language that might slip into hip-hop raps.
Both Gilbert & Mumia write to a broad “progressive” audience, which in this metropolis means often middle-class and white. Zolo writes to Black people. And mostly to the poor & oppressed “street force”. The eight short essays–”eight socioeconomic-political essays”, as Zolo terms them–deal with racism, but racism is not their main subject (as some might presume). Zolo’s opposition to capitalism & its decaying civilization is at the center of his thoughts.
“The U.S. economic system, and all governments similar to it, cannot live without crime. It is the Am-Way or American Way, and the United Way. Crusader Amerikkka, where corruption runs rampant, is one of the most dangerous psychopaths (criminally insane) that anybody in the history of the world has ever encountered. It is a canine in sheep’s clothes, a devil that pretends to be your friend; it is everything that speaks danger at home and abroad.”
Like Malcolm X, Zolo is as much concerned with the internalized capitalism burrowing within peoples lives: “ A castle is a fort or fortified, stronghold building dominating the surrounding country and held by a subservient of a ruler in feudal societies, especially in medieval (Middle Ages) Europe. Many castles were converted to residential use and mansions. Some people make-believe they live in castles in the air to insulate themselves from reality. But there is no such thing as safety from the double cutting edge of truth. In other words, you can run, but you cannot hide from yourself. Nobody can escape truth, because We are the physical body of it.”
The eye-opening surprise in Money & Power for me were the few collages included, especially “MAFIA KING-PIN” which is reproduced in full color on the rear cover. Beautiful, complex teachings, that’s what they impressed me as. It is in his art that the full complexity of Zolo’s observations & feelings come out. More of an artist than a writer. So until you can see an exhibition of his paintings and collages, this small pamphlet of words and pictures will at least give you a taste of the vibrancy & anger that are Zolo Azania’s contribution to the whole world from between the bars.