[Ppnews] Tall Grass - Mondo & Ed

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Mon May 9 08:47:57 EDT 2005

Tall Grass, Short Memory: Part Two


Peace All:

As a child, I had a view of the Great Plains that was
mostly rooted in television and Eurocentered storybook

I knew that prairie fires could blaze out of
control-the intense heat of the summer produced this.
The little prairie dogs had to duck into their tunnels
to survive.

Nebraska and some of the prairie states of the US
midwest had mythical status in movies produced in
hollywood: tough but morally righteous Whites making
nature and the Indigenous people bow down to them and
their guns and their bible. Whites building railroads
west to California through the sweat and ingenuity of
just being Irish or some other Western European stock.
Now and then, these films included some towering,
handsome, physically strong and brainchained figure
such as the actor Woody Strode to be a dedicated
'Black loyalist' to the genocide. If an African woman
appeared in these fantasies, she was almost always the
brusque buxom 'Mammy'. She was even more concerned for
the White calvary officer and the slim White woman to
get married, than she was with her washerwoman duties.
Sylvia Stark, an African child during the wagon train
days through the prairies to the West, had a more
realistic existence, enduring racism everywhere and
including California, finally settling on Saltspring
Island, British Columbia in Canada. She lived to 105
but isn't a movie subject known to billions.

What was plainly slipped into this mentally poisoned
sandwich of lies was that Whites had the right to do
whatever they wanted-on land that Indigenous Oglala,
Pawnee and others had lived on for 8,000 to 10,000

The global satellite signals of corporations based in
Japan, Australia, the US, UK, and the EU, continue to
spread all over, the Little House On The Prairie,
Gunsmoke,John Wayne and any manner of human
sensitivity killing images.

When I grew to my teenage years, I began to get a
different picture, notably when the Wounded Knee,
South Dakota resistance of Leonard Peltier and others
hit the newswaves. I picked up a book called Bury My
Heart At Wounded Knee. The people, those that survived
and resisted the 1500-1900 eradication of thousands of
nations were still fighting! Though many had been
reduced to pacified groupings, there was the spark of
life. I learned from Nana, my mother's mother, that
she was as much as 1/8 Cherokee or Chickasaw. I got my
first glimpse of Seminole history. The Buffalo
Soldiers of Kansas, the Trail of Tears and the
injustice of Indigenous peoples, bantustans run by Red
servants to the US government, the Canadian
government, all governments in Central, South America,
a modern day blight on the Western world unfolded
before me in the 1970s. Mom retold stories of full
blooded Mr. Waw, who had lived with the family in
crowded 1940s South Side Chicago. The Red/Black
heritage we had as Africans born in America came

What I couldn't have easily put into perspective at
the time was that Africans had played a critical role
in the history and development of the US midwest.

I learned of Pap Singleton and the Exodusters trying
to establish all African settlements in Kansas, a
thrust for independence and solidarity. Places like
central Missouri's Little Africa, a cluster of
bustling villages prospering after the Whites could
not easily force labor from them in the 1870s-1900
period. The towns and locations are mainly gone,
ruined by American racism, and the forced migration
that defines any Black success. Even cities were
destroyed by Whites determined to stop African growth
as in the massacre and internment of thousands of
Africans in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. Black Wall Street
has barely been acknowledged by US courts and
reparations never paid.

African people during the mid 1800s built, either
under the whiplash or as peons in Reconstruction (post
American North-South War) railroads. This was after
the forced building of Southern rail lines-5,000
Africans physically pounded the spikes, lifted iron
rail into place and created the legendary 'gandy
dancer' singing and cultural legacy, in West Virginia
alone. These men and women were engine drivers, stoked
fire in the chamber, blacksmiths and signal operators.
Omaha headquartered Union Pacific admitted in a 2002
African reparations lawsuit in America that it also
exploited Africans on its railroads. The legal action
claims that Union Pacific, a major employer and
billion dollar corporation abused the Africans' Human

"It accuses the companies of conspiracy, human rights
violations, unjust enrichment from their corporate
predecessors' roles in the slave trade and conversion
of the value of the slaves' labor into their profits."

Yet, the dawn of the 1940s brought on the shake up of
apartheid US political and economic systems. A half
million Africans in uniform for the imperialist aims
of the US governmnet/corporate elite did not all see
the freedom promised. In Topeka Kansas, in 1954, the
Brown v. Board of Education case for effective and
balanced education standards between Africans and
nonWhites and Whites went to the US Supreme Court.

The children born in this era didn't see themselves
ending up as mental wrecks over the brutality and
suppression of their personality as a people held in
check for centuries.

In basic terms, the 1919 Omaha murder, lynching and
castration of William Brown, (hundreds of bullets shot
into his body) one of several that terrorized the
African population into accepting subhuman treatment
could never be tolerated. In 2004, Omaha politicans
outlawed a vigil to held for William's memory-at the
courthouse were he was killed by the White mob.

But in the 1960s, formations of Africans, some calling
themselves the Black Panther Party, came to the scene
of Omaha's social ills enforced by racists. One was
Mondo we Langa, born in 1949 in Omaha. At 20, he
joined the Black Panthers to defend his community.

In the same Douglas County that William Brown perished
in, a 34 year old 'lynching in slow motion ' goes on
for two former Panthers who wouldn't be broken. They
felt they had to fight for freedom. In 2004, they
fight on.

Writer Leon Satterfield of the Lincoln, Nebraska
Journal Star is quoted:

"...the Rice-Poindexter case. It's the one that just
won't go away.

That's David Rice (who's since changed his name to
Mondo we Langa) and Ed Poindexter, both sentenced to
life in prison for the 1970 suitcase bombing that
killed Omaha police officer Larry Minard. They were
convicted largely on the testimony of a 15-year-old
boy named Duane Peak.

At a morning preliminary hearing Peak provided
evidence that seemed to exonerate Rice and Poindexter,
but after the noon break, he changed his story to one
that suggested their guilt. Prior to that testimony
Peak had been the primary suspect, having been the one
thought to have called police to report a woman
screaming at the address where the booby-trap suitcase
would later explode, killing Officer Minard.

Rice and Poindexter had been Black Panther activists;
former Gov. Frank Morrison, who was the Douglas County
Public Defender in 1970, later said that the two "were
convicted for their rhetoric, not for any crime they

Today, Nebraska's 3 percent African population (state
of Nebraska) makes up 40% of Nebraska's prison

Mondo we Langa (formerly known as David Rice) and Ed
Poindexter remain standing firm for court justice and
peoples' justice. FBI COINTELPRO and the mass US
dehumanization of Africans hasn't stopped them.

 >From exile, it is often difficult to explain to people
how much has been won in the Black Movement for
Justice in America. While there have been setbacks,
indeed crippling attacks, some of us carry on.

What has happened before is not taken lightly. It is
taking us further.

African people must recall the true history and deeds
of the present day freedom fighters, and ancestors!

Then the prairie fire, that of liberation, that need
not be feared , sweeps the world. Free Mondo we Langa
and Ed Poindexter!

Keep Strong,


http://www. geocities.com/exiledone2002

Addresses below at bottom.

More Information on Mondo and Ed at:

Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa (formerly known as
David Rice) has been a political prisoner in the
Nebraska State Penitentiary since 1970, when he and
fellow Black Panther Ed Poindexter were convicted for
the bombing murder of Omaha policeman Larry Minard,
and given life sentences. Both have consistently
denied any connection with the crime, and Amnesty
International, after reviewing the many
inconsistencies in the trial transcript, as well as
FBI files obtained through the Freedom of Information
Act, have called for either a new trial, or immediate

He was born in Omaha in 1949, graduated from Creighton
Preparatory School and took courses at Creighton
University. He wrote for the local underground paper,
Buffalo Chip, from 1969 to 1970 and joined the Black
Panther party. In the 32 years since his conviction,
Mondo has created art, written short stories, poetry
and journalism. He had five books of poetry published
between 1973 and 1978 and has contributed poems and
stories to such literary journals and magazines as
Prairie Schooner, The Black Scholar, ARGO, Black
American Literary Forum, Shooting Star Quarterly
Review, Pacifica Review, Obsidian, Black Books
Bulletin and over 30 more. In addition, his poem,
"Great Babaleur" was featured in Malcolm X: By Any
Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic, Inc,
1993). Two of Mondo's plays, Different Dances and We
Dance in Our Neighborhood, were performed by Ujima
Youtheatre in Nebraska, as well as in New York City.

Mondo is one of several co-authors (including
Yosef-ben-Jochannan, John Henrik Clarke, et al) of The
Race: Matters Concerning Pan Afrikan History, Culture,
and Genocide (Native Sun Publishers, 1992). He is a
contributor to Nebraska Voices, the anthology
commissioned by the Nebraska Humanities Council in
celebration of the sesquicentennial of Nebraska

In prison, he has continued his education, and now in
his 50s, is a mentor and exemplar to young inmates
just coming into the system. In all the years of his
incarceration, he has not committed a single act of
violence; he has, in fact, been an exemplary prisoner.

But he is an African-American, and to the authorities,
no matter what evidence is presented, he is a
"cop-killer." The Nebraska Pardons Board is made up
entirely of elected officials (the Governor, Attorney
General and Secretary of State), and election depends
on being "tough on crime."


Mondo on Education and the 1954 Brown case:

"In establishing our own schools, whether single-sex
or co-ed, we are taking responsibility for the
education of our children and youth and giving them
protection from the racist indoctrination offered by
the generally Caucasian-run public school system. Many
of us have come to realize that our children and youth
have been and are being put into a kind of cultural
and intellectual critical condition by the public
school system's Eurocentric curricula, racist
instructors, etc. And though it may sound cute to
compare separate schools for Africans that have been
established by African choice to the segregated
schools for Africans that were forced upon us by
Caucasian legislators and school boards up to and
beyond Brown vs. Board of Education, the comparison is
ludicrous. It is tantamount to trying to equate the
situation of a person who is lying down because he or
she desires to rest to that of a person who is lying
down because a four-hundred-pound person is sitting on
his or her chest."

Write Ed:

Ed Poindexter #110403
Minnesota Correctional Facility
7525 4th Avenue
Lino Lakes, MN 55014-1099

Write Mondo:

Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa (s/n David Rice) #
PO Box 2500
Lincoln NE 68542-2500
Share knowledge of realities, fear no one.

Bankole Irungu


The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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