Video: Black-Palestinian Solidarity in Arts

By Nour Qudeimat

Greg Thomas, an English Literature professor at Tufts University in Boston, has been on a two week visit in Palestine to hold a unique exhibit, George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine, which features resistance leaders and Black-Palestinian solidarity against racism and apartheid.

The youth professor was inspired by the African-American leader, convict and symbol of resistance, George Jackson, who became an activist, Marxist, author, member of the Black Panther Party, and co-founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison organization, according to the Black Agenda report.

Jackson achieved global fame as one of the Soledad Brothers before his assassination by prison guards in San Quentin Prison, 1971.

On the day of his assassination, the prison discovered poetry in his cell which had major resemblance with the works of Palestinian poet, Samih Al-Qasim (1939 – 2014), especially a poem titled Enemy of the Sun.

The poetry and writings of Jackson represented solidarity between the Black and Palestinian communities which came out of the same struggle: apartheid and colonialism.

The exhibit included a collection of poetry, books, paintings, political posters, and historic photos, all about the black resistance leader. 

It took place in three Palestinian universities including Birzeit University, Al-Quds University, and Al-Najah University.

The Gallery brought out the Black-Palestinian bond, especially in the light of escalating violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

For the past month, Israeli Occupation Forces have killed at least 60 Palestinians. The majority of the victims were innocent and executed with cold Israeli blood. The Israeli forces brutality against Palestinians does not seem to be calming down.

The ongoing resistance of oppression shows the universality of the human struggles under occupation or apartheid, regardless of location or color. It is a ray of hope of unity for both communities, to rebel and reject the oppression in all its forms, which can be done through a political, humane, cultural, artistic and intellectual dialogue.