‘Stand Our Ground’ Raises $1350 at Rutgers University

Osayande Rutgers 2014 SOG3 On March 31st Ewuare X. Osayande gave a presentation at Rutgers University on his book Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander. The event was held at the Camden campus and was sponsored by the Africana Studies Program. The event raised $1350 in book sales. All of the proceeds have been donated to the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander and the Trayvon Martin Foundation. During his talk entitled "Standing Our Ground: Resisting the State-Sanctioned Assault on Black Life," Osayande addressed the Stand Your Ground law and the role of the state. "It is not just the fact that Black people are being killed left and right that has us outraged. The issue is the state's failure to go after those that kill Black people with the same vigor they show when the victim is white. Black people were not in the streets in the thousands just because Trayvon was murdered. We were in the streets because they let his killer go the night he was murdered. Remember, it would take an entire month of protest before the state intervened and arrested Zimmerman. And to those that would now say, 'Well, Zimmerman was found not guilty,' please remember that the murderers of Emmett Till were also found 'not guilty'." Osayande went on to discuss the Marissa Alexander case. "They are now trying to lock up Marissa for 60 years! That is the same amount of time Michael Dunn received and he actually murdered someone! The racism we are living under is absolutely outrageous!" Osayande concluded his presentation reading some of the poems in the book to a packed assembly of Rutgers students, faculty, staff and the public. He encouraged students to get involved in organizations working for social justice. The event ended with a engaged question and answer period. Dr. Wayne Glasker, Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University and host of the event remarked that, "We can curse the darkness or light a candle. Every candle helps. Osayande's Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is such a candle against the darkness." Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is available online at Standourgroundbook.com.

ALERT!: FLORIDA SEEKS TO LOCK UP MARISSA FOR LIFE!

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Angela Corey, Florida State Attorney, has recently announced that she will seek a 60 year sentence for Marissa Alexander when she goes to trial in July. If Corey is successful, this would equate to a life sentence for the 33 year old mother from Jacksonville, FL. This action on the part of Corey and the State Attorney's office must be seen for what it is - a flagrant abuse of authority and the public trust. Corey's actions are a clear case of "cruel and unusual punishment" in this case of an abused mother who fired a warning shot to fend off her then estranged husband who is on record as having threatened to kill her. Corey's actions and efforts against Alexander send the wrong message to battered women all over this country and the men who abuse them. Corey must be fired and prosecuted. It is time for the U.S. Department of Justice to step in and charge Corey with violating Marissa Alexander's civil rights.

This past September Alexander was given a new trial after an appellate court dismissed the initial court ruling that placed the burden on Alexander to prove that she had been abused and was acting in self-defense. Alexander was found guilty in that case and was serving a 20 year sentence although she killed no one. Since September Alexander has been under house arrest awaiting the new trial. Originally scheduled for March 31st, the trial is now set to begin on July 28.

With this recent decision, Corey has shown herself to be heartless, cruel, vindictive and unworthy of the public trust. For Corey, this is not about justice - if it ever was. This is about revenge against a Black woman whose case has garnered the support of millions of people across this country and even around the world. Alexander's case has become a symbol of a U.S. justice system that is broken, corrupt and unjust. Her case proves that the "Stand Your Ground" law is not created to protect those whose lives have been threatened. As the trials of George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn have shown, this law is designed to protect white men when they kill young Black men. It is but the latest legislative act of systemic racism in a system that has never provided equal protection under the law for the African American community.

Marissa Alexander needs our support now more than ever! Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander has raised thousands of dollars to support Marissa Alexander and the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Your purchase of the book provides critical support to help free Marissa and end "Stand Your Ground."

Fire Angela Corey! End "Stand Your Ground"! Free Marissa Alexander Now!

-- Ewuare X. Osayande, Editor, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

In Her Own Words: Marissa Alexander Thanks ‘Stand Our Ground’ Book

Marissa Letter 1

In a letter dated July 1, 2013, Marissa Alexander expresses her gratitude for Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, the global anthology that is raising funds to support her fight for freedom. In Marissa Alexander is an African American mother from Jacksonville, FL sentenced to a 20 year sentence in 2012 for defending herself against an abusive husband. 

Sister Marissa's indomitable spirit and resilience shines through her letter. In it she shares her grand appreciation for the book: 

“The work in the book by the writers can simply be summed up as “WOW” for a lack of a better term! When I received it, I prayed and then when I opened it up to read, I could not put it down, with each page I turned I was blessed, amazed and literally had goose bumps. The art of writing is not a lost art form. It also further encouraged me to know, see and understand that each and every writer who contributed in the book realizes the power that words have and that the pen is still mightier than the sword. I will take it upon myself to humbly and respectively say, from my heart and soul a sincere thank you and bless you to each and every one who had their hands involved on that project, coming from the many Trayvon Martins and Marissa Alexanders of the world!” 

On September 26th, an appeals court threw out her conviction and ordered a new trial for Marissa Alexander, but she remains in prison. Support for her is more crucial now than ever! Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is a global anthology featuring legendary poets Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka and Haki Madhubuti plus 62 poets from all over the world. All of the funds raised from the sale of the book are being donated to the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander and the Trayvon Martin Foundation. The book is being sold online exclusively at http://standourgroundbook.com/ .

 

Donation Update: Global Poetry Anthology Raising Thousands for Justice for Trayvon and Marissa

On September 16th, Freedomseed Press made a donation of $600 to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and another $600 to the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander for a total of $1200 based on the sales of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander over the previous month. Since the book's publication in May, $5000 has been raised and donated.

Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is a global anthology of social justice poetry featuring legendary poets Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti, Askia Toure plus 61 poets from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada and all across the United States. All of the proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander.

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, is scheduled to speak at a special Senate hearing on “Stand Your Ground” legislation. The funds raised from the sale of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander help support the Martin family's ongoing activism toward reforming the “Stand Your Ground” laws in the state of Florida and all across the United States. The funds also help support the appeal process being initiated by Marissa Alexander's legal defense team.

Marissa Alexander is an African American mother currently serving a 20 year sentence in Florida for firing a warning shot from a gun she legally owned just a few minutes after being strangled by her then estranged husband. On Saturday, September 14th - her birthday - rallies were held in cities all across the country to bring national attention to her case.

The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American judicial system that remains entrenched in racism and sexism. Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is the first and only book to address these two cases and raise funds for justice. It is a testament for these revolutionary times.Your purchase of the book helps to support the building of a movement for justice for all! The book is available online exclusively at StandOurGroundBook.com.

If you are interested in bringing a book reading and discussion to your community or campus, please contact the book's editor, Ewuare X. Osayande, at StandOurGroundBook@gmail.com.

New Video Poem in Support of Marissa Alexander on Her Birthday

On September 14th, Marissa Alexander's birthday, Ewuare X. Osayande, editor of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, published a new poem entitled "Love's Resilience" in support of the growing movement to free Alexander (see video below).

Marissa Alexander is an African American mother serving a 20 year sentence after being found guilty on three counts of aggravated assault. In August 2010 - just nine days after giving birth - Alexander was attacked by Rico Gray, her then estranged husband. The attack and threats of death ended after Alexander fired a warning shot that landed in the ceiling of her home. The only person that was physically injured that day was Marissa Alexander. The State of Florida denied Alexander the use of the "Stand Your Ground" defense and offered her a 3 year deal which she rejected. In the wake of the "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, renewed attention has been brought to the case of Marissa Alexander.

"I didn't need to wait for the verdict in the Zimmerman trial to see the gross disparity of justice between these cases," says Osayande. "Let us remember that Zimmerman was able to leave the crime scene and walk free for almost a month. All that time, Marissa was in prison. These two cases expose the duplicity of the American judicial system. It took a national outcry to get Zimmerman arrested. It will take a national outcry to get Marissa released."

Today, on Marissa Alexander's birthday, rallies are being held all across the country to bring attention to her case. Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is a global anthology of social justice poetry. It is the first and only book that brings these two cases together in the effort to ignite a new Civil Rights Movement in this country. All proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander.

 

‘Stand Our Ground’ Poets Reflect on King’s Speech 50 Years Later

Ewuare X. Osayande, editor of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, and fellow poets featured in the book Lamont Steptoe and Adriann "The Pen" Bautista reflect with other Philadelphia poets on The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech fifty years later.

The gathering was The People's Poetry Festival held in Vernon Park in Germantown, Philadelphia on Saturday, August 24th. The festival was organized by the Black Writer's Musuem. The legendary poet Haki R. Madhubuti, publisher of Third World Press and featured poet in Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, received the Lifetime Achievement Award later that day.

The video was developed by Brad Larrison for WHYY Newsworks.

Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is a global anthology of social justice poems. All proceeds from the sale of book are being donated to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander. The book is available online exclusively at StandOurGroundBook.com.

‘Stand Our Ground’ Featured in Sojourners Magazine

Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is featured in the September issue of Sojourners magazine, a progressive Christian social justice magazine. According to their mission statement, Sojourners envisions "a future in which Christians put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship, working in partnership with people of other perspectives, for the common good of communities, families and individuals." The September issue includes "They Will Kill You," a poem by Ewuare X. Osayande, editor of Stand Our Ground. The poem is currently available on Sojourners website.

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Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is an anthology of social justice poetry featuring legendary poets Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti plus 62 poets from around the world.The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American judicial system that remains rooted in racism and sexism. Stand Our Ground is an effort to raise funds for both families to aid in their respective work for justice even as it raises the consciousness of a generation toward the pursuit of justice for all! All proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander. Thousands of dollars have already been raised. More information on the book is available at StandOurGroundBook.com.

“Stand Our Ground” Generates Thousands of Dollars for Justice for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

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As the editor of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, I am proud to announce that today, on Juneteenth, $2,000 was donated to the justice campaigns for Trayvon Martin and  Marissa Alexander. In one month's time we have generated $2,000 from the sale of Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander. In keeping with our commitment to donate all proceeds evenly with both families' campaigns (The Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Legal Defense Fund for Marissa Alexander as administered by her family), each campaign received $1,000 from FreedomSeed Press/TDC, the book's publisher. This is just the beginning! We have more books to sell. So I invite you to visit the bookstore and purchase your copy today.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American judicial system that remains rooted in institutional racism and sexism. Their stories mirror the untold stories of too many unnamed persons all over this great Earth we share. If our reality is to change, we must be the ones to change it! This book is an effort toward that change. And so, I thank you. I thank all of you who donated toward the publication of the book; I thank all of you who have purchased a copy or copies of the book; and I thank all of you who will purchase copies of the book.

On this day, when we commemorate the day freedom's word reached the last vestige of Africans enslaved in Texas some two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, we are reminded that in 2013 we are still not yet free. As long as one of us is not free, then none of us are free! As long as justice remains elusive to any of us, then none of us are free. But we remain vigilant and active in the spirit of the great Ella Baker when we say, "We who believe in Freedom shall not rest until it comes!"

Ewuare Osayande

Editor, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

Making History, Making Change! – Anthology Raises Worldwide Awareness for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

This gallery contains 16 photos.

The first book to address either case, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander is an historic global anthology of poems featuring legendary poets Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti and Askia Toure plus 61 poets from every corner of the planet! All proceeds from the book are being donated to the

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‘Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander’ is Now Available!

Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin & Marissa AlexanderTitle: Stand Our Ground:Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

Publisher: FreedomSeed Press (Philadelphia, PA)

Paperback, 272 pages

Publication Date: April 22, 2013

$25.00

All proceeds will be shared with the families of Martin and Alexander to aid in their respective pursuits of justice.

Stand with us! Purchase your copy today!

Read an excerpt from the book!

Stand Our Ground is available online exclusively at StandOurGroundBook.com.

Contact: Ewuare X. Osayande

StandOurGroundBook@gmail.com

 

 

In Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander 65 poets from all over the world join together in one voice for justice, freedom and peace. Stand Our Ground is the definitive testament of a revolutionary generation. In this historic collection Black Arts Movement legends Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki R. Madhubuti and Askia M. Toure’ are joined by poets of all ages from across the United States and around the world representing countries in Africa, Asia, Europe as well as North and South America and the islands of the Caribbean.

The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American justice system that remains rooted in racism and sexism. Stand Our Ground is an effort to raise funds for both families to aid in their pursuit of justice even as it raises the consciousness of a generation toward the pursuit of a movement of justice for all!

The book’s editor, Ewuare X. Osayande, is a poet, educator and activist. The author of several books including Blood Luxury with an introduction by Amiri Baraka (Africa World Press) and Whose America?: New and Selected Poems with an introduction by Haki R. Madhubuti (Black Proletariat Press). He is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University.

In the introduction for Stand Our Ground Osayande writes, “This book has been a labor of love. My love for my people. My love for humanity. I acted because I knew it was not enough for me to just march, or write an editorial or to just allow myself to sit and simmer in the face of wrong. I acted because I knew that there were others like me. I knew that if I acted, others would join with me, and, together, we could create a work that would simultaneously raise collective support for these two families and raise the collective consciousness of our generation. So in the Summer of 2012 the call went out and this is the result. A collection of poems. But not just any collection of poems. Herein are contained –

Death-defying poems

Injustice-decrying poems

Poems that speak truth to power

Poems that break chains in freedom’s name

Poems that confront abuse

and provide sanctuary for the bruised

Poems that escape from cells

Poems that provide a pathway back from hell

Poems that refuse to be silent

Poems more just than the judge’s gavel

Poems that have tasted cop’s mace

stared down the barrel of a gun in defiance

Shackled poems trying to break free

Poems picking the locks on our minds

Poems that transcend place and time

that tell the histories and herstories

that have been banned from the textbooks

Poems that refuse to look the other way

Poems that say what needs to be said

Poems that resurrect the dead

Poems that refuse to sell their souls

Poems that revolt and rebel

that holler, scream and yell

Poems that leave us speechless

that tell us truths we don’t want to hear

Poems that leave the status quo

quivering in fear

Poems that know that justice is like rain

to the seeds of peace

Poems that move us to act

like you know

Marching poems

Chanting poems

Ranting poems

Poems sick and tired of being sick and tired poems

Poems that inoculate us against ignorance

Poems that make us think

Poems on the brink

Poems that challenge us to see

the world as it could be

as it should be

Poems in love with freedom

Poems that resist

that resist

that resist

that resist racism and sexism

that refuse to be conned

Poems for a mother named Marissa

and a young brother named Trayvon.”