Dr. Safiya Omari on Black August and Geronimo Ji Jaga

Black Agenda Morning Shot


Monday, September 5, 2011

Dr. Safiya Omari speaking on Geronimo Ji Jaga and the legacy of Black August Resistance

at the Black August Resistance Commemoration program in Jackson, MS on Sunday, August 28, 2011,

organized by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

NAPO/MXGM statement on the passing of our Comrade Geronimo ji Jaga

Jun 11, 2011

The New Afrikan Peoples Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement salute the life of our brother and comrade Geronimo ji Jaga. The life of Geronimo, or “G” as he was affectionately known, represents a freedom fighter that sacrificed and loved Afrikan people and humanity.

Geronimo was given the name Elmer Gerard Pratt at birth on September 13, 1947, in Morgan City, Louisiana. He was born into a loving family that would nurture him and provide support throughout his life. He grew up in a community where he and other youth had to fight white supremacists from the “other side of the tracks.”

Geronimo said he was encouraged to go into the US military by his community Elders, who had roots in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Deacons for Defense. His objective was to learn military skills to be utilized for the defense of our community and our people. “G” was a decorated soldier in the wrong army, earning two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. He distinguished himself as a Sergeant and Ranger in the 82nd Airborne of the US Army.

His Elders would redeploy him, after returning from two Vietnam combat tours, to the greater Los Angeles area. There he would work with Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, the principal organizer of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Carter and Geronimo both became students at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). They participated in the Black student movement and the formation of the Black Studies department at UCLA. Geronimo rose to leadership of the Southern California Chapter and National BPP after Carter and John Huggins were murdered in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) COINTELPRO inspired internecine conflict between the US Organization and Panthers on the UCLA campus, in September 1969. He quickly became a primary target to be eliminated by the FBI and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) due to his organizing ability, military skills, and the popularity of his comrades. Continue reading

Celebrating the Life of a Revolutionary, Geronimo ji Jaga

July 15th @ Eastside Arts Alliance, Oakland, CA

It’s About Time
Emory Douglas
Curtis Austin
Eastside Arts Alliance
Collision Course Video
Leslie and Marty Citizen
Angola 3 Committee
The BPP Commemoration Newspapers”

Involves proj-ect PRO:JECT.

Elmer G. “Geronimo” Pratt dies at 63; former Black Panther whose murder conviction was overturned

Geronimo ji jaga (Pratt), a former Black Panther whose 1972 murder conviction was overturned after he spent 27 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, has died at 63

By Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times

Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, left, with attorney Johnnie Cochran in 1998. Pratt, a former leader of the Black Panther Party, spent 27 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

June 3, 2011
Elmer G. “Geronimo” Pratt, a former Los Angeles Black Panther Party leader whose 1972 murder conviction was overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he said he did not commit, has died. He was 63.Pratt, whose case became for many a symbol of racial injustices during the turbulent 1960s, died Thursday at his home in a small village in Tanzania, said his sister Virginia. The cause was not given.

May, 1980: Edwin Drummond and Stephen Rutherford climb a third of the way up the back of the Statue of Liberty with a protest banner reading, "Liberty Was Framed - Free Geronimo Pratt." Pratt, a former Black Panther, served 27 years in jail before his conviction in a 1968 California murder case was vacated. He was released in 1997.

Pratt’s case became a cause celebre for a range of supporters, including elected officials, activists, Amnesty International, clergy and celebrities who believed he was framed by Los Angeles police and the FBI because he was African American and a member of the radical Black Panthers. Pratt maintained that the FBI knew he was innocent because the agency had him under surveillance in Oakland when the slaying was committed in Santa Monica.”Geronimo was a powerful leader,” Stuart Hanlon, Pratt’s longtime San Francisco attorney, told The Times. “For that reason he was targeted.”Pratt was arrested in 1970 and two years later convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 1968 fatal shooting of Caroline Olsen and the serious wounding of her husband, Kenneth, in a robbery that netted $18. The case was overturned in 1997 by an Orange County Superior Courtjudge who ruled that prosecutors at Pratt’s murder trial had concealed evidence that could have led to his acquittal.A federal judge later approved a $4.5 million settlement in Pratt’s false-imprisonment and civil rights lawsuit.

Pratt, who also went by Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, was born on Sept. 13, 1947, in Morgan City, La., a small town about two hours from New Orleans. The youngest of seven children, Pratt was raised as a Roman Catholic by his mother and his father, who operated a small scrap-metal business.

Growing up in the segregated South amid a tight-knit black community had a profound effect on Pratt, he later told interviewers. Continue reading