Senses of Freedom: Poetic/Hip Hop Day of Action for Sundiata Acoli Event List

Senses of Freedom - National Flyer (for event pages and social media)

The Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign (SAFC) is coordinating a poetic/hip hop day of action for former Black Panther, former NASA mathematician, poet and political prisoner Sundiata Acoli on September 22, 2014. We have 10 cities across the country hosting events on this day.

Because Sundiata Acoli, in addition to his many other accomplishments, is also a poet and painter, we are calling for organizations and individuals to plan writing workshops and/or poetry readings/hip hop performances across the country and around the world recognizing the need to address issues concerning police brutality, political prisoners and mass incarceration in the United States.

Sundiata created this writing prompt:

Sense(s) of Freedom: What would Freedom feel, look, taste, smell and sound like to you after the Revolution?

Sundiata will write a new poem based on this prompt as well.

The schedule of events across the country is below, and will be updated regularly.

Poetic Postcards
For those who can’t make it to an event, but would like to participate, you can write a poem or verse responding to Sundiata’s prompt and mail it directly to him (if it’s short enough, put it on a postcard – Sundiata loves to receive postcards!):
Sundiata Acoli
#39794-066 (Squire)
FCI Cumberland
PO Box 1000
Cumberland, MD 21501

Please also send your poems via email to, if you would like it shared publicly.

We also have a specific Senses of Freedom postcard we have created here.
The Senses of Freedom postcards have to be printed double sided on cardstock. You cannot glue two sheets of paper together, the prison will not let it in.

Scheduled Events (all events are on Sept. 22, 2014 unless otherwise noted):


Poetry Reading

New location for Baltimore
BALTIMORE, MD 21217-3536

3-6 pm

Brooklyn, NY

Medgar Evers College

Library Performance Space

1650 Bedford Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11225

11:30am to 12:45pm

Poetry Reading

Detroit, MI

Sept. 19, 2014

7701 Harper St.

7 pm

Poetry reading in conjunction with Ferguson reportback

Houston, TX

National Black United Front – Houston Chapter

2428 Southmore, Houston, Texas 77004
7-10 pm
Open mic and card signing

Newark, NJ
Essex County College, Siegler Hall (2132)
303 University Avenue

6pm to 7pm Poetry Workshop

7pm to 9pm Readings

Co-Sponsored by The Student Entertainment Club, The Hip Hop Student Association and The Africana Institute

New Orleans

Rae House

1212 St. Bernard Ave

6-8 pm

Teach-in/poetry workshop/open mic

Oakland, CA

Sundiata Bookstore and Cafe

5329 Fairfax Ave, Oakland, California 94601

6-10 pm

Philadelphia, PA


4722 Baltimore Ave.

6-8:30 pm

Writing workshop and Poetry reading

Portland, OR
Enjoni Restaurant
910 N. Killingsworth Ave.
5 -6 pm – Writing workshop
7-9 pm – Open mic/poetry reading
Co-sponsored by Oregon Jericho, KBOO Radio, and All African Peoples Revolutionary Party

Washington, DC

Poetry Reading

Sankofa Video Books and Cafe

2714 Georgia Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

7-9 pm

Haikus for Sundiata
The Poetic/Hip Hop Day of Action follows and builds on the very successful  May 2nd Haikus for Sundiata,  a social media event that resulted in hundreds of haikus inspired by Sundiata (you can read them here:

Sundiata himself wrote two new haikus for the occasion, and other participants included journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal; poets Jessica Care Moore, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph;  Charlotte and Pete O’Neal (former Black Panthers currently in exile in Tanzania);  hip hop artists Sticman (from dead prez), Rebel Diaz, Kiwi Illafonte, and Gabriel Teodros.

Background on Sundiata’s Case
On May 2, 1973, former Black Panthers Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur were pulled over by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike and a tragic shootout ensued. Assata was wounded and Zayd was killed. During the gun battle a state trooper was shot and killed in the crossfire. Sundiata was tried in an environment of mass hysteria and convicted.

Sundiata is 77 years-old and has completed his sentence serving almost 40 years in prison. Despite having a clean disciplinary record and the fact that the recidivism rate for senior citizens is almost nonexistent, Sundiata has been denied parole numerous times. Currently we are waiting to hear back from the New Jersey courts on an appeal on the last parole hearing. He is one of many human rights activists from the Black Power Movement and Civil Rights generation still incarcerated today.


Checks or money orders can be made out to the Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign and mailed to:


PO Box 766 Harlem Station

New York, NY 10027

You can find more information on Sundiata’s case at:
Facebook: Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign
Twitter: SundiataAcoli