Heart of the Struggle: A Love Letter to All Political Prisoners

By admin February 19, 2024

words by Tara Tee

an article from WARTIME: SPECIAL EDITION (FALL 2023)

Photographed by Kirby Griffin

It’s all political when you in prison sentenced to 8 years
Cause they wanted to see another quicktrip go up
You know, for the sensation
Convicted of arson and burglary, but you ain’t set no fire
Unless we talking about the one in me every time I pulled up
And saw you with the cape
Ah, we on our superhero shit today

It’s all political when you in prison and a chance at 
Expungement and $2.90
They enlist you to risk it all
Extinguishing burning trees while folks still inside
For burning trees
But that’s legal now, in all but 6 states

It’s all political when you in prison in a pandemic
And hefty pretrial cash bails don’t come with PPE
In a drafty ass complex called the Justice Center that ain’t
Ever actually seen justice
With no way to be social or distant, now how they supposed to
Fight the virus and the CO?
Jimmie called them violent individuals and I’m calling him the
Pot and the kettle
Cause the work of white supremacy ain’t peace

It’s all political when you imprisoned on the shittiest island
For 3 years of innocent until proven guilty
Around the same time you should be getting your drivers’ permit
Forced solitude and finally sentenced to suicide for poverty
A crime wholly created and committed by the system

It’s all political when you tryna check
But the balance don’t ever add up
Cause Baba Mutulu has been denied parole 9 times since 1986.

It’s all political when attacks at sunrise start with shouts like attention MOVE…this is america.

It’s all political when a cornerstone of the carceral state is a
mass movement aimed and implemented at stunting entire
generations of your people.

But, we do not consent to mass incarceration.

We are vehemently opposed to the imprisonment of our elders,
leaders, teachers, mothers, fathers and babies. 

We are forever indebted to those who have given their life and
freedom the struggle of Black liberation.


Read more from WARTIME: SPECIAL EDITION (FALL 2023): www.blackmen.build/wartime