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American political activist Omali Yeshitela on 18 March, 2023. Photograph Source: The Burning Spear The FBI’s Long History of Criminalizing Dissent

In their 1999 song “Police State,” the rap duo Dead Prez took a disturbing look at the prison system, poverty, economic exploitation, and domestic surveillance of the Black community. In keeping with Dead Prez’s revolutionary Black socialism, the song opens with a spirited speech describing the state as “a repressive organization” and observing the connection between one’s economic class and his subjection to America’s abusive criminal justice system. The voice delivering the speech belongs to Omali Yeshitela, who helped found the African People’s Socialist Party in 1972, and who remains its Chairman today. …

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