Book Reading: A Disjointed Search for the Will to Live

Posted on April 25, 2003

The Human Rights Coalition, Books Through Bars and the Pan-African Studies Community Education Program will sponsor a book-reading of A Disjointed Search for the Will to Live and a panel discussion featuring former prisoners. The event will take place on Thursday May 8th from 6-9 pm in 821 Anderson Hall on Temple University?s campus.

A Disjointed Search for the Will to Live is the first prisoner novel to be published by Soft Skull Press. The books is written by Shaka N?Zinga, whose political pamphlets and essays have been influential within various prison activist movements. Shaka, imprisoned since the age of 16, presents a narrative focused on a character who grows up in a Baltimore ghetto and is grasping to understand his environment and his role within it. His perspective on the racial politics of the growing prison-industrial-complex is critical to working towards substantive change. Robin D. G. Kelley (esteemed author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics and the Black Working Class and author of the foreword of A Disjointed Search) describes Shaka N?Zinga by saying, ?Like Malcolm, Assata Shakur, George Jackson, Angela Davis, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Antonio Gramsci, Mr. N?Zinga is not just a cause celebre, but one of our theorists, a deep thinker and critic whose reflections about fascism offer fruitful insights for the coming struggles.?

Excerpts from the book will be read by former prisoners, who will then engage in a panel discussion about various aspects of imprisonment and its affects on communities.

The Human Rights Coalition (HRC) is a recently formed organization comprised of family members of Pennsylvania prisoners. They work to support each other, their imprisoned family members, and all Pennsylvania prisoners while also educating the public about imprisonment in an effort to stem society?s reliance on solely punitive measures as a response to crime.

Books Through Bars (BTB) is an all-volunteer organization that works to support prisoners by providing them with tools for their self-education. Each month the organization receives more than 1,100 letters from individual prisoners all over the United States. In addition to sending used books to individual prisoners, BTB provides books to libraries in 12 states, to facilities in the Philadelphia County Prison System, and to local halfway houses.

The Pan African Studies Community Education Program (PASCEP) is a low-cost, non-credit continuing education service. Today the vast majority of PASCEP?s courses are taught by volunteers from the community whose purpose is to give back to others what was given to them in knowledge, skill, inspiration and example.

For more information, contact:
Nicole Meyenberg
home: 215-724-4211
cell: 215-917-7000
Books Through Bars office: 215-727-8170
New City Writing office: 215-204-2041

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