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Sekou Odinaga, Black Liberation Activist Who Helped Free Assata Shakur, Dies at 79

HeadlineJan 16, 2024

The longtime Black liberation activist Sekou Odinga has died at the age of 79. He was a member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity, as well as the Black Panther Party in New York City and the Black Liberation Army. After spending years underground, he was convicted in 1984 of charges related in part to his role in helping Assata Shakur escape prison. Odinga served 33 years in state and federal prison before being released. In 2016, Sekou Odinga appeared on Democracy Now! and talked about why he initially joined the Black Panthers.

Sekou Odinga: “What attracted me more than anything else was the stand against police brutality, because, like all the other ghettos in this country or Black areas of this country, police brutality was running rampant. … That was the attraction, the big attraction, for me, personally, and many of the comrades that I came in with, because they really — we were not part of the civil rights movement to turn your other cheek. We was mostly followers of the Malcolm X position that if someone smack you, you smack him back; if someone punch you, you punch him back; that your life was the biggest and best thing you had, and you had a right to not only protect it, but to defend it by any means necessary.”

Black liberation activist Sekou Odinga, speaking in 2016 on Democracy Now! He has died at the age of 79. Click here to see the full interview.

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