Pam Africa, Our Revolutionary Daughter of the Dust, Her Life and Work
Public Event · By Anthony Monteiro and Tanay Lynn Harris
March 30 at 3:00pm until March 31 at 5:00pm
Charles Blockson Collection at Temple University and The Historic Church of the Advocate on 18th and Diamond Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
International Women’s Month is a special time to celebrate the lives of women whose lives have bettered humanity and have advanced the causes of peace, social justice and the cause of working people. The early women’s rights advocates were also fighters against slavery, for the betterment of the working classes, and for the freedom of political prisoners. By any measure Pam Africa’s life stands as a contemporary figure in this brilliant lineage. One need only reflect upon Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Assata Sakur and one’s mind goes right to the name Pam Africa as a modern day figure of this magnitude. Perhaps because she lives among us and we see her most days, or receive calls or other notices from her that we fail to recognize her significance. However, Pam is a world significant freedom and social justice fighter. For these and other reasons we are proposing a one day colloquium to scientifically and humanistically investigate the life and work of Pam Africa as a way to understand and explain to humanity the geography of this life, how it emerged, the social, racial and class dynamics that gave rise to it and the moral, religious, spiritual and ideological influences that shaped it. The colloquium is at once a celebration of an extraordinary life and a study of leadership. It is, also, a contribution to the younger generation’s knowledge of our common history and struggle, of how the extraordinary emerges from the life world of African American proletariat, and how political and moral courage springs from struggle.
A reception will take place on Friday, March 30, 2012 at the Blockson Collection in Sullivan Hall on Temple University’s Campus from 3pm until 6pm.
The colloquium will take place on March 31, 2012 at the Historic Church of the Advocate , at 18th and Diamond Streets in Philadelphia. It will go from 11AM to 5PM and consist of four panels that will investigate the following areas of Pam life: 1. Pam Africa as Jeanette Knighton: her life before Move and before The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal: 2. Move and The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal and the creation of a Revolutionary Activist and Strategist: 3. Pam Africa as a Fighter for International Human Rights: 4. The Spiritual, Religious and Moral Foundations and Influences on the Life of Pam Africa.
The Colloquium will feature a special keynote address by Mumia Abu Jamal and a final reflection by Pam Africa. Among the invited speakers will be Mumia Abu Jamal, Ramona Africa, Phile Chionesa, Dr. Angela Davis, Dr Cornel West, attorney Michael Coard, Suzanne Ross, Jamila K Wilson, Iresha Picot, Tanay Lynn Harris, Dr Johanna Fernandez, Dr Marc Lamont Hill, Buck, Michael Abdul and Betsy Piet.
Some might ask, “Why study Pam?” or “Aren’t you being too intrusive, and aren’t you objectifying a person we know and live with everyday?” The answer is we want to understand Pam in order to replicate her, to for the future reproduce leaders such as she. As such , as we look at Pam Africa we will also be looking to future struggles for peace and social justice and to our common future. Also we wish to say to the world that she is part of us and we recognize her and her extraordinary contributions to humanity.