In 1968, Safiya Bukhari witnessed an NYPD officer harassing a Black Panther for selling the organization’s newspaper on a Harlem street corner. The young pre-med student felt compelled to intervene in defense of the Panther’s First Amendment right; she ended up handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police car.
The War Before traces Bukhari’s lifelong commitment to the struggle of African people. Following her journey from middle-class student to Black Panther to political prisoner, these writings provide an intimate view of the legacy of the Panthers, misogyny in the movement, her decision to convert to Islam, the incarceration of dedicated revolutionaries, and the families left behind.
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