[Pnews] Richard Mafundi Lake transitions

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Feb 1 12:05:19 EST 2018

  Richard Mafundi Lake (from several sources)

Long Time Held Political Prisoner Mafundi Lake transitioned January 21, 
2018.  Mafundi was found on the floor of his cell on that day. His wife 
Carolyn says that Mafundi suffered from various health conditions and 
had suffered three strokes in the past.

Richard Mafundi Lake, Family Hour was on Saturday, January 27, 2018. 
Survivors are his loving wife, Carolyn Lake; children, Dr. Vanessa 
Anderson, Richard (Janice) Harris, Sonya (Patrick) Lloyd, Clinton 
(Vanessa) Hagler, Assata Lake, and Maia Lake; sisters, Veronica Lumpkin 
and Theda Craig; and brother, Stephen Lake.

You can leave a condolence message for Mafundi's family: 

There will be a public memorial for Richard Mafundi Lake on March 3, 
2018 in Birmingham, Alabama. More details will follow. 

Mafundi’s decades of schooling the youth in Alabama prisons makes him 
the progenitor of the Free Alabama Movement and the current, burgeoning 
prison abolition movement across the country.

Mafundi was one of our longest held political prisoners - 38 Years!

Mafundi served as the National Organizer for the African National Prison 
Organization in the late seventies and early eighties. He was also a 
main organizer of the Atmore-Holman Brothers inside the Alabama prison 
system. He was originally set up on a false robbery charge and convicted 
of a felony crime. He was a high school senior at the time. He turned 
his resistance into activism during that first prison term by organizing 
prisoners against attacking one another at the behest of the guards, 
establishing basic education and law classes for Black and white 
prisoners, and putting together a group called Inmates for Action. He 
remained an activist upon his release; he organized a defense committee 
for prisoners, support for their families, documentation of police 
brutalization of the community, corruption, graft – and presented the 
findings to the City Council and in public forums.

Mafundi was locked up again in September 19, 2001 for allegedly creating 
a security hazard by writing anti-American propaganda on the black board 
during an Islamic service. Mafundi stated that he was leading a 
discussion regarding reparations for Black people for enslavement and 
centuries of injustices. He was re-imprisoned as a consequence of 
anti-islamic hysteria after 9/11.

In a recent letter from Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, formerly known as Melvin 
Ray, of the Free Alabama Movement:

    *//*Our Elder Richard “Mafundi” Lake used to always express to us
    the importance of studying our history in our struggle. Baba Mafundi
    used to say, “Black people can find the answers to all of our
    problems by studying Black History.”

    Then he would say, “See, you got to organize the people.” That
    precept, ORGANIZE, is one of the pillars of civilization that our
    Ancestors left to us. They organized! every facet of their life.
    Indeed, the process of life itself, and all things in the universe,
    is organized. And if we are to achieve our goal within this
    movement, then we, too, must organize – because the opposition is
    already organized."


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