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Black Liberation Movement: Connecting Mississippi, Dr. Mutulu Shakur and ‘Snowfall’

“Free the land, by any means necessary.”

Some of you may have heard this slogan said around Jackson. Maybe you heard it from the lips of the capital city’s current mayor, Chokwe A. Lumumba; or from his father, Chokwe Lumumba, who passed away while he was mayor in February 2014. You may have even said it a few times yourself while not being quite sure of what the phrase means, where it came from or what it is all about.

“Snowfall” is an American crime drama television series set in Los Angeles in 1983. The critically acclaimed series revolves around the first crack epidemic and its effects on the city. Graphic courtesy Hulu

I would like to briefly explain the phrase’s history and its connection to Mississippi, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, and, interestingly enough, “Snowfall,” the critically acclaimed FX television series presently in its sixth season.

The show explores the spawn of the crack epidemic during the 1980s in the United States. The the series’ premise: The U.S. government sponsored an endeavor to kill three birds with one stone: to wage war against poor and Black communities in its borders and to its enemies abroad, while securing itself as one of the biggest drug dealers and gun runners on the planet. 

Several writers have alleged that the CIA was involved in the Nicaraguan Contras’ cocaine trafficking operations during the 1980s Nicaraguan civil war. These claims led to many U.S. government investigations, including hearings and reports by the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, Department of Justice and the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General. Ultimately, the U.S. government investigated itself and subsequently concluded that the allegations were unsupported. No surprise there.

Resurgence of the Black Panther Party

During this time period, the Black community saw the resurgence of the Black Panther Party through the formation of other radical organizations. The Black Panther Party grew  out of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, whose work was based largely in majority-Black Mississippi and Alabama communities. Black SNCC members, such as Stokely Carmichael, who formed the Black Panther Party determined that non-violent direct action was not

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