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Sekou Odinga is a globally recognized Black liberation activist, member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity, founding member of both the New York City chapter and the International Section of the Black Panther Party, and former US political prisoner who survived 33 years of state captivity before his release in 2014.

Prosecuted as one of the “Panther 21” in New York City, Odinga is a prominent historical figure, having been featured on Democracy Now! and numerous documentaries, albums, mass public events, and major news outlets. A survivor of state torture and the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), Sekou Odinga is both celebrated and admired by freedom and justice movements worldwide, exemplifying persistence, courage, and principled adherence to freedom struggle under the most repressive circumstances imaginable.

 

Join us for this highly anticipated conversation with Sekou Odinga on the meaning, context, and possibilities of Black liberation and revolutionary struggle over a long half-century (and beyond) of normalized antiblack state violence, intensifying freedom movements, and emerging abolitionist mobilizations.

 

Featured Roundtable Participants

 

  • Vonya Quarles (Starting Over, All Of Us Or None)
  • Terrance Stewart (UCR graduate student, Underground Scholars, All Of Us Or None)
  • Amanda Soto (UCR undergraduate student, Underground Scholars)
  • Alejandra Olvera (UCR undergraduate student, Cops Off Campus)
  • Steph Jones (UCR/UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • (emcee/host) Dylan Rodríguez (UCR faculty, Cops Off Campus, Co-Director of Center for Ideas and Society)

 

Bio

 

Sekou Odinga is a globally recognized Black liberation activist, member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity, founding member of both the New York City chapter and the International Section of the Black Panther Party, and former US political prisoner who survived 33 years of state captivity before his release in 2014. Prosecuted as one of the “Panther 21” in New York City, Odinga is a prominent historical figure, having been featured on Democracy Now! and in numerous documentaries, concerts, mass public events, and major news outlets. In addition to being featured in the widely circulated social movement texts Can’t Jail the Spirit (2002) and Hauling Up the Morning: Writings & Art by Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War in the U.S. (1990), Odinga has published his writing in Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st-Century Revolutions (PM Press, 2017) and Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party (Haymarket Books, 2020). A survivor of state torture and the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), Sekou Odinga is both celebrated and admired by freedom and justice movements worldwide, exemplifying persistence, courage, and principled adherence to freedom struggle under the most repressive circumstances imaginable. Since his release from political imprisonment in 2014, Odinga has earned a living as an invited speaker and lecturer at numerous universities, colleges, community organizations, and other institutions.

 

Sponsored by the Decolonizing Humanism(?) initiative at the Center for Ideas and Society, Blackness Unbound Faculty Commons Working Group, ASUCR, ASUCR External Affairs Office, and the Departments of English, History, and Black Study.

 

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User Activity

This discussion was extremely educational and inspiring, I can still hear Sekou saying "organize, organize, organize face to face, door to door." A huge thank you and appreciation to him and the entire panel.