Incarceration Zine collection, 1995-2007 and undated

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Collection of incarceration and anarchist publications produced by South Chicago ABC Zine Distro. Collection consists of 103 zines and drawings which include works most notably by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Ashanti Alston Omowali, David Gilbert and his son, Chesa Boudin, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, Dennis Kyne, Anthony Rayson, Bobby Sands, Sean Swain, and Harold H. Thompson.
0.8 Linear Feet
107 Items
Material in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Incarceration Zine Collection covers 1995 to 2007. Contents are almost exclusively produced by the South Chicago ABC Zine Distro publishing group, led by Anthony Rayson. A significant portion of this collection include essays by Rayson. The collection is predominately zines, most of which are written by Anarchists. Additional items are ABC Zine Distro catalogues and a few pieces of inmate art.

Most zines are original creations, though some pieces are reproduced texts by other authors. These works include Anarchist Morality by Peter Kroptokin, chapter 1 of Black Panther Party (Reconsidered) edited by Charles E. Jones, and The Diary of Bobby Sands.

Zines include republished pieces of famous inmates, including poetry and writings by Weather Underground member David Gilbert and political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Harold H. Thompson. Some pieces have an international focus, covering topics such as Vietnam, the Russian Revolution, and the El Mozote massacre. Domestic issues covered include race in the prison system, the resurgence of the Black Panther Party, revolutionary organizing in prison, Native American rights, and growth of the prison-industrial system.

Noted authors in this collection in Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, David Gilbert, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, Dennis Kyne, Ashanti Alston Omowali, Anthony Rayson, Bobby Sands, Sean Swain, and Harold H. Thompson.

Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive (Duke University).

Biographical / historical:

Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook, 1954 Apr. 24) was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death. He has been described as "perhaps the world's best known death-row inmate." Before his arrest, he was an activist and radio journalist who became President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) until October 1970.

Sundiata Acoli (born Clark Edward Squire, 1937 Jan. 14) is a former member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), a member of the indicted Panther 21, and current member of the Republic of New Afrika. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1974 for killing a New Jersey state trooper.

David Gilbert (born October 6, 1944) is an American radical leftist organizer and activist who is currently imprisoned at Clinton Correctional Facility. Gilbert was a founding member of Columbia University Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and member of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO). After ten years underground, he was arrested in October 1981, along with members of the Black Liberation Army and other radicals, for the Brinks robbery.

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson is the defense minister for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter and an active jailhouse lawyer. His writings and artwork are prominently featured in the Incarceration Zine Collection.

Dennis Kyne is a leading anti-war activist and prominent member of Veterans for Peace. He is based in San Jose, California.

Ashanti Alston Omowali is an anarchist activist, speaker, and writer, and former member of the Black Panther Party. Alston refers to himself as "the @narchist Panther", a term he coined in his @narchist Panther Zine series. He was also a member of the Black Liberation Army and spent more than a decade in prison for an armed robbery conviction.

Anthony Rayson is an American anarchist activist and author. He runs the South Chicago ABC Zine Distro and publishes many zines and pamphlets. He is a co-founder of and an officer for Shut This Airport Nightmare Down (STAND), a resident's group in Peotone, Illinois who oppose the proposed Chicago south suburban airport.

Robert Gerard "Bobby" Sands (1954 Mar. 9–1981 May 5) was an Irish volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and member of the United Kingdom Parliament who died on hunger strike while imprisoned in Her Majesty's Prison Maze (HR Prison). He was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike in which Irish republican prisoners protested against the removal of Special Category Status. During his strike he was elected as a member of the United Kingdom Parliament as an Anti H-Block/Armagh Political Prisoner candidate. His death resulted in a new surge of IRA recruitment and activity.

Sean Swain (born 1969 Sept. 12) has been serving a life sentence for aggrevated murder in Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio. While incarcerated, he has run for a number of political offices, most notably for Ohio Governor in 1006 and 2010. He ran as an anarchist write-in candidate under the banner of the Zapatista Party.

Harold H. Thompson (1942 Apr. 9-2008 Oct. 11) was an Irish-American anarchist activist and prisoner. Thompson received a life sentence after being found guilty of killing his son's mother's convicted murderer. Thompson served in the Vietnam War before being discharged for being wounded, and became an anti-war and anarchist activist associated with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War during the 1960s and 1970s.

Acquisition information:
The Incarceration Zine Collection were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift. They were originally acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture zine collections.
Processing information:

Processed by Carrie Mills, July 2011

Encoded by Carrie Mills, July 2011

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2008-0041

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Incarceration Zine Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.