George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine

Episode 366

hosted by Shireen Hamza

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How did a poem by Palestinian poet, Samih al-Qasim, come to be known and published under George Jackson's name, in English translation? George Jackson, a Black revolutionary writer, was incarcerated in California for more than a decade, until he was killed in 1971 by prison guards. Among the ninety-nine books Jackson had in his cell at the time of his death, one was "Enemy of the Sun," a collection of Palestinian resistance poetry. For four decades, the title poem of the collection has circulated in Black Panther newspapers and other venues under George Jackson's name. In this episode, Professor Greg Thomas discusses his recovery of this shared history, and the traveling exhibition that emerged from his research.

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Contributor Bios
Greg Thomas, a “native” of Southeast, Washington DC, is a Black Studies professor in English at Tufts University. Author of books such as The Sexual Demon of Colonial Power (2007) and Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh (2009), he is also curator of the traveling art exhibition, “George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine,” an outgrowth of his current book projects on “Comrade George” and political captivity.
Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on the history of science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages, especially in the Indian Ocean World.


Episode No. 366
Release Date: 11 July 2018
Recording Location: East Hall, Tufts University
Audio editing by Shireen Hamza
Music: Special thanks to bANDiSTA
for the use of their song, Haymatlos/Sınırsız Ulussuz Sürgünsüz
Images and bibliography courtesy of Greg Thomas

Further Listening
Emily Drumsta 493
Nazik al-Malaika's Revolt Against the Sun
Anna Cruz 338
The Lyrical Archive of al-Andalus
Suja Sawafta 414
The Environmental Politics of Abdul Rahman Munif
Darryl Li 459
The Bosnian War, Jihad, and American Empire
Shay Hazkani 166
The Politics of 1948 in Israeli Archives
Beshara Doumani 170
Writing the History of Palestine and the Palestinians


Select Bibliography

Aruri, Naseer Hasan, and Edmund Ghareeb, eds.
Enemy of the Sun. Drum and Spear Press, 1970.

Al-Qasim, Samih. 2006. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Jerusal em: Ibis Editions.

Baraka, Amiri. 2008. “Enemy of Civilization.” In R. Kanazi (Ed.), Poets for Palestine (pp. 5–7). New York, NY: Al Jisser Group.

Brown, Liam. 2014. “Samih Al-Qasim and the Language of Revolution.” Middle East Eye [online] 13 May [accessed 8 May 2016]. Available at: .

Darwish, M., Al-Qasim, S., & Adonis. 1984. Victims of a Map: A Bilingual Anthology of Arabic Poetry. London: Al Saqi Books.

Jackson, George L. 1990. Blood in My Eye. Baltimore, MD: Black Classic Press.

Jackson, George. 1994. Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson. Chicago, IL: Lawrence Hill Books..

Muse, Daphne. “Literary Intersections in the Diaspora: How a Small Independent African-American Press Published the First Anthology of Palestinian Poetry (Book Review of Enemy of the Sun).” This Week in Palestine. [ accessed 11 June 2018 ]. Available at:

Salamanca, Omar Jabary. 2018. “The Palestinian 1968: Struggles for Dignity and Solidarity” [online] 31 May [ accessed 6 June 2018]. Available at:

Thomas, Greg. 2016. “Blame It on the Sun: George Jackson and Poetry of Palestinian Resistance.” Journal of Comparative American Studies (pp 1-18).

Exhibition History

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine.” At the Abu Jihad Center’s Museum for Prisoner Movement Affairs. On the Abu Dis campus of Al Quds University in Jerusalem, Palestine (w/Mohammed Jamoos). October 20, 2015 – Present.

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine: Colonialist Captivity and Revolutionary Struggles” (w/Art Forces) At Uptown (Oakland, CA). May 6, 2015 – May 27, 2016.

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine.” At the Black Panther Party 50th Anniversary Conference & Gala (Oakland Museum/Oakland, CA). October 22,0 2016 – October 22, 2016.

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine.” At Khashabi Theater in Haifa, Palestine (w/Khulood Tannous). October 28, 2016 – January 14, 2017.

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine.” At the African Community Center in the Old City of Jerusalem, Palestine (w/Mousa Qous). November 5, 2016 – November 12, 2016.

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine.” At Spektakel Wien (Performance Art Theatre) & AfriPoint (and Radio Afrika TV International) in Vienna, Austria (w/Viktoria Metschl). October 6-26, 2017.

“George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine.” At the “Processions of the Sun” – Eye on Palestine Arts & Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium. February 18-24, 2018 (w/”Under Construction).


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