Prisoners write:

“What is really worth living and Dying for?”



We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

We invite prisoners—and all our readers—to write us on these and related topics. Send correspondence by email to; prisoners, send to: Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF), 1321 N. Milwaukee Ave. #407, Chicago, IL 60622.

“What is really worth living and Dying for?”

To me the answer seems obvious now; but I know there’s a lot of People whose motto has become “Get rich or Die trying.” And look, I understand, the environment a lot of us come from is of poverty, and money is understood as a tool for survival. Without it you don't eat and you can't Provide Shelter for you and your family. So like the Hunter-Gatherers of ancient times, who would all go out there to the unknown in search for the sustenance for life (food, etc.). Some impulse draws a lot of us to go out there and hunt for money and gather coin, the “new” sustenance for life. It is that impulse, why a lot of People would go through extremes and life-threatening measures in the hunt for cash, coming up with slick and innovative ways to gather coin. It’s what Society demands of the human race today.

See that’s the difference, whereas back then, nature demanded the human race to hunt and gather its necessities for life. Today it’s society, meaning it’s People and the System they organize around. Society that demands such actions from us today. That being the case, such systems are susceptible to change. We as People can change them. I know it may sound crazy to you, but think about it! We are so advanced in human civilization that we have the means to mass produce everything. The necessities of life are mass produced every day 100 X’s over, enough to provide for the world’s children and its children’s children. But society and the system of capitalism its organized under Dictates you go through all these loops and hoops and life risking stunts to acquire a Dollar, not the necessities, but the coin. So they can sell you the necessities. And there we go, giving up our lives in the Pursuit of the Coin. Some of us driven to the extreme of picking up Guns and Knives to rob some place or somebody, risking death or imprisonment (which is almost like Death) for a Dollar. We sell poison to our fellow human to swindle them out of their coin (again) risking death or captivity for what? A dollar, a green piece of paper which has no physical value other than the promise it holds. When the promise can no longer be kept, that piece of paper means nothing! So we really out here killing, Dying and risking captivity for nothing! Yeah we say it’s for survival, and once upon a time you couldn't tell me otherwise. Until I realized that Humans made this system of capitalism. Humans organized society around that system. It’s Humans that are upholding that system, for their own personal interest. If that’s the case, Humans can change such system, we can organize society differently, this time to better serve humanity and the Planet. It’s not some omnipotent being that enacted these “facts” of life. It’s not a law of nature that organized society the way it is today. It’s Humans. So if it’s humans that did it, we can undo it and Place Something better. We as Humans have the Power to do so. We are damn near the only species on earth that can change and manipulate our environment to better serve us. 

I'm not saying it’s easy, we are going to have to be about that action. If you’re about that action when it comes to block claiming, color banging and paper chasing, which amounts to being about that action over nothing really! Why is it so hard to be about that action when it comes to the betterment of you, yours and your fellow human race? I get the whole Bourgeois Propaganda that’s been instilled in you since birth, the Bourgeois Culture that’s drilled into your head every day. But we must see it for what it really is and break from it! Those pretty, glittery lights capitalism and bourgeois culture promises were not meant for everyone, and that road will only lead you to disappointment, misery, death or stuck in some Concrete Dungeon somewhere forever.

Whereas we can use that ingenuity, bravery, and Action to fight for something that actually holds weight, that actually means Something. We can be that lever that turns the tide of human history, change the course of humankind, that from the road of destruction we are on to that of emancipation and Glory for the human race.

It won't be easy, I know. You have a lot of people upholding this System that would rather destroy the earth than to give it up. But if there’s a lot of us, and if we fight hard and smart, our chances are better than none. And to the pessimist who says we will fail as our comrades in the past failed, know that their sacrifice brought with it lessons. Our deaths or failures will do the same, the next generation will learn from our mistakes, and with that, our life and death meant something as did our past fallen comrades...

...When you weight it all out, fighting for a Communist Revolution, a break from the bourgeoisie mind state, and fighting for the Emancipation of Humankind from the chains of capitalism/Imperialism, it’s something that’s truly worth living and dying for...

with a lot of Love & Respect

On Black History Month

In 1926 Carter G. Woodson started Black History week as a celebration for a Black population that was being marginalized and oppressed. He felt it was important that Black people define themselves and celebrate their accomplishments, in the face of a society that often portrayed Blacks like animals, and around a half century later it was extended to a whole month.

Now Black History month is celebrated in a few ways. Most often we celebrate the month by doing exactly what this country wants us to do, and that’s by shining a spotlight on the few Blacks who have "made it" and reached the American Dream of either being accepted by the elite, or by becoming rich, all done while we ignore the overwhelming majority who suffer under this fascist and imperialist country.

We also celebrate the so called legal victories, like the 13th amendment which was supposed to abolish slavery; the civil rights act of 1964; the voters rights act of 1965; affirmative action; which are all slowly being chipped away as we speak.

Finally Black History month has become a big commercial win for the system. They have restaurant discounts, Walmart deals, and special Nike shoes and clothes, all designed for you to celebrate by spending all your money and strengthening the very same capitalist system that is oppressing us every single day.

I recently read that in February 1919 W.E.B. DuBois convened the first Pan African Congress to urge Black people globally to unite and fight against european imperialism. Black people worldwide need to regain that same purpose and use Black History month to focus on uniting, not just with Blacks, but with oppressed people all over the world, to fight an even more brutal and refined form of American Imperialism. And with that being said I'm going to end this with a quote from the BAsics Chapter 2 A Whole New—and Far Better—World, #11:

"Put the advance of the world revolution above everything, even above the advance of the revolution in the particular country—build the socialist state as above all a base area for the world revolution.”

“Revolution was something I wanted to be a part of…”

To: P.R.L.F. & Revcom,

Within that article in [Revolution] issue #628, I couldn't help myself but, lay back and look at the ceiling, silently thinking: I'm 34 years old, from Philadelphia. Sadly to say "North Philly," one of the worst neighborhoods where struggle are really real, where 60 percent of every prison upstate in PA (and there over 20+ state prisons in Pennsylvania.) are from, North Philly! We all know each other, are related, or heard of each other, but, that area had so much of an individuality.

I could only speak for my section of North, that’s all it was, a Me, Myself mentality! I didn't really know what a revolution was, didn't even hear the word until my incarceration! Then self-realization came into my life, I was fighting oppression.... The more times I fought the staffs against abuse and abuse of power, it's heightening my perception of purpose... Every time they spray me with chemical, cell extraction, physically assaulting me! and destroying my personal property and transferring me to another state facility, I wasn't fighting for myself!... I fought for mental health, for the ones who couldn't fight for their-self, I was their poster boy, (their voice!), have handcuffs scars and shackle scars on me all over, light spots on brown skin, bruises all over me... you would think I would be full of hate by now. But, I'm not, I can't hate people that’s programmed, that was desensitize by the system or military!

My action isn't an individual action, it’s for the collective. People ask me all the time, saying: "Your acting like you got life in prison." "You got a family that love you, f*** these dudes, go home." "You getting short now, go home, f*** these dudes!" I could go on.... even the correctional staffs say the same thing, but, people or my family don't realize this, what if I was in their mental condition, I would want somebody to stand up for me against oppression!

Yes, I spent 15 years of my life incarcerated but, it wasn't wasted! I self-educated myself, from philosophy, mythology, psychology, audio books, and regular books, learnt from other autobiography!, read poems and poetry to not lose my sensitivity side, 'cause this place could harden a person, desensitize anybody if you allow them to break you, worst most of us included myself was already broken before entering the system!

…There's no comfortabilities in solitary confinement, that's when somebody call to the cell and introduce me to the "Revolution." It was my first time ever hearing about P.R.L.F. So, he actually was hoarding y'all articles, 'cause, this was the first time I saw him fishing "a line getting throw out the cell with a piece paper at the end for weight, to catch whoever line out there with that weight." Fishing.

He sent a couple of them, I was reading them and I remember asking him, "Yo, Fam, what the different between this Revolution paper and the other ones?" He just said, "Read it XXX, you would see gradually, it’s us, for us, and about us. You would understand with time." As time went on with me and him, he sent me y'all address. Said, "It's time you get your own."

…I understood this was something I wanted to be a part of, this felt so right to me! I don't care about my name or reputation, I would rather be a part of something worthy of dying for, than a part of something that only got a name, with no substance behind it! (meaning: gangs!)

I believe people mean good with their opinions, but, Revolution!!! isn't about just writing words, it’s also about action. It’s an "action word." No matter in a non-verbal movement or verbal movement! Silent or hunger strike! Sit-in or sit-down! Taking highway hostage or city hall hostage in a peaceful sit-down or stand-up to stop traffic! Verbally petitioning or writing petitioning the courts about injustice! There's no special way about it when unity is involved! (cause, we're one!)

Religion, doesn't matter!

Race, doesn't matter!

Sex, doesn't matter!

Gang ties doesn't matter!

Geographic, doesn’t matter!

Everything!!! out one window, only thing that matters are what we're fighting for, what’s all this hard work & time is invested on, the dearly silent protest or screaming our lungs out protest! The marching, flyer passing-out, blood, sweat, and tears.

…I close my eyes, rubbing my temple, with every waking morning I’m refresh for whatever round I’m on that day! I’m a firm believer that you don’t start nothing, if you don't have any plans in finishing it!!! (if you fail to plan! your plans would fail!)

Every time, I see the Revolution slide into the door at 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm (mail time) I know the fighting is still on and real, now that it’s fuel my inner-flames! Knowing there’s people who still believe in something! Who’s willing to take the time out their life to participate in something bigger than them! I smile in a place that there's nothing to smile about! Y'all manifisto, y'all memoirs, y'all writing feel like y'all speaking inside my head, soul, and heart! Y'all inspire me when I'm saying to myself (the world is selfish, nobody fighting no more,) then y'all literature come, and bring cause back to the light!

Every day, is a blessing if you live to see it. Even from a prison cell, try to repress my past, but it cannot be repressed!

Glad I was introduce to y'all movement & ideology. It’s re-lit my faith. I could say more about me, but one thing for sure, I'm not perfect, just trying to right some of mine wrong since I can't right all of them!… Just wanted y'all to know I'm very grateful to y'all for allowing me a chance within movement and life!

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

Bob Avakian

The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard

By Bob Avakian

One of the things that I see, something that I haven't lost sight of, is this: I see all the strength of the ruling class, but I also see all the way through all this shit, all the contradictions in society—I actually see a force in this society that, if it were developed into a revolutionary people, actually could have a go at it, could have a real chance of making a revolution, or being the backbone force of a revolution, when the conditions were ripe. I see a force of millions and millions and millions—youth and others—for whom this system is a horror: It isn't going to take some cataclysmic crisis for this system to be fucking over them. The ruling class, ironically, sees them too. It is those who once had but have lost—or those who never had—a revolutionary is they who can't see this.

Read more




Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.