October 22 noon to 4pm.
H and H Catering
2036 E. Haines Street
Philadelphia, PA 19138
Lydia Barashango, 64; nurse, sister of Mumia Abu Jamal
September 29, 2011
Lydia Barashango, 64, a nurse and social worker who was the sister of Mumia Abu Jamal, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Maryland after a long battle with breast cancer.
Mrs. Barashango was a strong defender of her younger brother, Mumia Abu-Jamal, 57. The former Philadelphia radio reporter and Black Panther who was born, Wesley Cook, was convicted and sentenced to death by a jury in 1982 for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
On Dec. 9, 1981, Officer Faulkner was conducting a traffic stop on a vehicle belonging to William Cook, Abu-Jamal’s younger brother. During the traffic stop, Abu-Jamal’s taxi was parked across the street. Shots were fired and both Abu-Jamal and Faulkner were wounded. Faulkner died. Police arrived on the scene and arrested Abu-Jamal, who was found with a shoulder holster, a revolver and spent cartridges in his revolver. He was later charged with first degree murder. Supporters and opponents disagree on the appropriateness of the death penalty, whether Abu-Jamal was guilty or whether he received a fair trial.
Mrs. Barashango was interviewed in 2000 for an A&E documentary about the case. She said the day after the shooting she didn’t recognize Abu-Jamal at the hospital because he had been “brutalized” by police. When she him if he was all right, he told her, “I’m innocent. I’m innocent.”
In 1999, Mrs. Barashango participated in a march around City Hall in Philadelphia with 10,000 of her brother’s supporters, many waving “Free Mumia” signs. She told the crowd, “This rally takes our struggle to a whole new level.” We aren’t playing anymore. We are demanding a new trial.”
Mrs. Barashango was married to Ishakamusa Barashango, a minister and African American scholar. He died in 2004.
According to friends, she had recently been living in Baltimore. Arrangements for services in Baltimore and Philadelphia are pending.
Listen to Mumia’s tribute: