Reflections on the passing of Wadiya Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal and Wadiya Jamal in 2012.

When I read the email message from Black Alliance for Peace on Dec. 27 stating Mumia Abu-Jamal’s wife, Wadiya Jamal, had transitioned, I was deeply saddened. 

I recovered from my state of shock, reading the many replies expressing love, light, and well-wishes to the family and friends of Wadiya and Mumia. I realized that I had to be strong, stay focused and continue the fight to bring Mumia home.

I grappled with how I was going to spread this news, and just talk to people about this tragedy without breaking the spirit of our fight to release Mumia and all political prisoners. It was a couple of days later when I checked Prison Radio, thinking that Mumia may have written something about Wadiya that I could share. I listened to the commentary below:

“Wadiya Jamal, my beloved.

“She was a spring baby, born in the first week of April 1953. A West Philly girl whose beauty made her shine in a crowd. She loved fiercely like a lion. This love blessed the lives of five beautiful children, and it blessed me.

“As mother and grandmother, she really shone like a sun over her planet, and when anyone was lost, her mighty love was cracked by such loss—her mother and father, her brother Jimmy, and perhaps deepest, the loss of the family’s baby, Samiya, was the deepest crack, the deepest past.

“After that, every December was a trial through darkness. We were all waiting for the first light of spring, for this dark fog to break. But it was not to be. Just after the holidays, her heart, her mighty heart, gave up. She loved like no one else ever.

“I love you, I will always love you. All the children and grandchildren love you and will always love you. Your smile was the only sunshine we ever needed, and we need it now. We love you, Wa-Wa. We miss you.

“With love, not fear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.”

How inspiring, how thoughtful. Hearing Mumia’s words turned on a light inside of me. How fortunate it is for me to be a part of this fight to release Mumia. I truly believe this fight is for his release, because Mumia is free. He is the freest person I know, and I know him only through his writings.

I have learned so much from this brother and there is always more to learn. I remembered reading and listening to his commentaries in “Father Hunger” and “Mother Loss” from “All Things Censored.” I recall the initial sadness, and as I continued reading, I felt some comfort when I thought of my own mother and father in a different way. His commentaries were filled with compassion and love.  

Mumia’s commentaries on his sister Lydia Barashango in 2011, and his daughter Samiya Abullah in 2015 (“Samiya makes her Transition” and “The Visit”) had a similar effect on me. Now his wife of over 40 years has made her transition and Mumia is writing words of wisdom, teaching us in his words how we should live our lives and be remembered and loved. 

We should live, love and be the best that we can be.

Mumia will be released. We the people will release him.

With love, not fear!

Send Mumia bereavement or condolence cards for the loss of his beloved wife, Wadiya Jamal, to:

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
Smart Communications/PADOC
SCI Mahanoy
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

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