Toward the United Front | Blood in my Eye

By admin February 19, 2024

words by George Jackson

an article from WARTIME: SPECIAL EDITION (FALL 2023)

“Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act.”

George Jackson, affectionately known as “The Dragon,” became a revolutionary figure while serving an indeterminate sentence for stealing $70 from a gas station in 1961. During his time behind bars, he wrote Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson and Blood in My Eye. These works are a pivotal part of our education at Black Men Build. Below is an excerpt from Blood in My Eye, written in 1972. George Jackson finished writing this novel days before he was killed during an escape attempt from San Quentin State Prison on August 21, 1971. 


Toward the United Front (An excerpt from Blood in my Eye)

“A new Unitarian and progressive current has sprung up in the movement centering on political prisoners. How can this Unitarian conduct be developed further in the face of determined resistance from the establishment? How can it be used to isolate reactionary elements? Unitary conduct implies a “search” for those elements in our present situation, which can become the basis for joint action. It involves a conscious reaching for the relevant, the entente, and especially, in our case, the reconcilable.

Throughout the centralizing authoritarian process of Ameri-kan history, the ruling classes have found it necessary to discourage and punish any genuine opposition to hierarchy. But there have always been individuals and groups who rejected the ideal of two unequal societies, existing one on top of the other. The men who placed themselves above the rest of society through guile, fortuitous outcome of circumstance, and sheer brutality have developed two principal institutions to deal with any and all serious disobedience—the prison and institutionalized racism. 

There are more prisons of all categories in the United States than in all other countries of the world combined. At all times, there are two-thirds of a million* people or more confined to these prisons. Hundreds are destined to be legally executed, thousands more quasi-legally. Other thousands will never again have any freedom of movement, barring a revolutionary change in all the institutions that combine to make up the order of things. One-third of a million people may not seem like a great number compared with the total population of two hundred million.* However, compared with the one million who are responsible for all the affairs of men within the extended state, it constitutes a striking contrast. What I want to explore now are a few of the subtle elements that I have observed to be standing in the path of a much needed united front (nonsectarian) to effectively reverse this legitimatized rip-off.”

Read more from WARTIME: SPECIAL EDITION (FALL 2023):