’48 years is enough’: activists and celebrities call for release of ex-Black Panther

Seventy-five public figures sign letter to New York governor asking for release of Jalil Muntaqim after nearly five decades in prison Leading civil rights activists, academics, actors and writers are calling on Andrew Cuomo to release Jalil Muntaqim, a former Black Panther who has been in prison for 48 years for one of the most high-profile killings of the 1970s black liberation struggle. Seventy-five prominent public figures have 11 times since he first became eligible in 2002 on a sentence of 25 years to life. He will be 68 at his next hearing. He was arrested in 1971 at age 19 for the ambush and murder in Harlem of two police officers, Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones. Days after the …

Smooth, angry, cool, powerful: how we talk about blackness

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye has encountered endless labels all of which have informed his experience of being black and British today. Here, he unpicks their meanings BLACK Ive been black since about 1988, when I was colouring in pictures of priests at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic primary school in Brixton Hill, south London. I remember it well. We were sharing tables and colouring pencils and I looked up to find that there were no more skin colour pencils available in the pencil pot. By skin colour, I mean a shade of pinkish beige that was a pretty spot-on facsimile of what we can call white, European skin. Caucasian colour. With a hint of tan. Tea with an overgenerous splash …