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Russell Maroon Shoatz is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party, and soldier in the Black Liberation Army. He is serving multiple life sentences as a U.S.-held prisoner of war.

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Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz
Author: Russell Maroon Shoatz
Editors: Quincy Saul and Fred Ho with a Foreword by Chuck D and an Afterword by Matt Meyer and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge
Publisher: PM Press/Ecosocialist Horizons
ISBN: 978-1-60486-059-7
Published: April 2013
Format: Paperback
Size: 9 by 6
Page count: 304 Pages
Subjects: Politics-Activism, African American, Political Science
$20.00


Russell Maroon Shoatz is a political prisoner who has been held unjustly for over thirty years, including two decades in solitary confinement. He was active as a leader in the Black Liberation Movement in Philadelphia, both above and underground. His successful escapes from maximum-security prisons earned him the title “Maroon.” This is the first published collection of his accumulated written works, and also includes new essays written expressly for this volume.

Despite the torture and deprivation that has been everyday life for Maroon over the last several decades, he has remained at the cutting edge of history through his writings. His work is innovative and revolutionary on multiple levels:
• His self-critical and fresh retelling of the Black liberation struggle in the U.S. includes many practical and theoretical insights;
• His analysis of the prison system, particularly in relation to capitalism, imperialism, and the drug war, takes us far beyond the recently-popular analysis of the Prison Industrial Complex, contained in books such as The New Jim Crow;
• His historical research and writings on Maroon communities throughout the Americas, drawing many insights from these societies in the fields of political and military revolutionary strategy are unprecedented; and finally
• His sharp and profound understanding of the current historical moment, with clear proposals for how to move forward embracing new political concepts and practices (including but not limited to eco-socialism, matriarchy and eco-feminism, food security, prefiguration and the Occupy Wall Street movement) provide cutting-edge challenges for today’s movements for social change.

Praise

This book, Maroon the Implacable, is that very funky instruction manual on how to make revolution against Imperialist America.”
—Amiri Baraka, former Poet Laureate of New Jersey

“If the Great Dismal Swamp is no longer a refuge, nevertheless the message of the Maroons lives on, and Russell Maroon Shoatz is today its untamed voice. Free Maroon the Implacable!”
—Hakim Bey, author of TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone

“At the core of the book is the theme of maronage—the will to escape from conditions of enslavement at any cost. This is what Russell Maroon Shoatz has done, not physically, but in the world of ideas by escaping from the rigid patriarchal framework he inherited and revaluing and promoting the role of women in the history of liberation. This book is a document of this transformation carried out against tremendous odds and told with searing honesty.”
—Silvia Federici, author of Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

 “Russell Maroon Shoats’s life reads like fiction composed by Victor Hugo. But this Jean Valjean for our time is the living truth, and his writings are a beacon for a new, revolutionary age. What a treasure has here been uncovered!”
—Joel Kovel, author of The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World

“Though he’s been inside for forty of his sixty-eight years on earth, the problems he raises about the justice movement are amazingly up to date. Above all, he thinks organizationally... He is always trying to work out what to do. Where he looks for answers is the only sensible place: not in ideas but in the historical experience of the grassroots.”
—Selma James, author of Sex, Race, and Class: The Perspective of Winning

“For twenty-seven years I visited prisoners on death row, one of whom was Russell Shoatz, who we called Maroon. From him I always got a lesson in politics that fortified me and made me understand just what was happening in our country and what I should be doing about it. He trusted the truth of ‘power to the people,’ and it kept him focused and hopeful. His body was incarcerated but his mind soared. My mentor!”
—Frances Goldin, publisher of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Barbara Kingsolver, and Adrienne Rich 

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Maroon Unchained: Russell Maroon Shoatz free from solitary confirment after 22 years!

The international movement to free political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz from solitary confinement has achieved an historic victory: on Thursday, February 20, 2014, Maroon stepped into general population for the first time in 22 years.  There is no doubt; this is a PEOPLE’S VICTORY!

The coordinated efforts of Scientific Soul Sessions (SSS) and the Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz – particularly those organized groups in NYC, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia – showed the true power of the people. When SSS (a multigenerational collective of revolutionaries prefiguring a new society and working directly with the lessons laid out by Maroon) sparked this international movement three years ago, Maroon’s name was hardly known beyond a small circle of dedicated prisoner rights activists. Over the past years – on the political, artistic, and cultural fronts – we have seen the founding of the Campaign, the funding and initial coordination of Maroon’s Legal Team, the publication of Maroon’s collected essays, and the organization of countless events and soul sessions across the US.

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Maroon the Implacable: A Review
By Steve Bloom
Solidarity

This book is a collection of essays, composed mostly for the education of fellow prisoners. It is written, therefore, in a popular style that’s easy to read. But it is also filled with deep and profound insights. That is a rare combination.

Most of the material — except for one essay written explicitly for the book — previously existed only in the form of scattered small pamphlets or manuscripts (in the literal sense of being hand-written) in the files of family and friends. The editors, for the sake of completeness, have included everything that was available to them.

Different essays will, therefore, have different weight or interest for different readers. But even a piece like “Respect Our Mothers, Stop Hating Women” (2010), with conclusions that might seem obvious to those who went through discussions in both activist and academic circles in the wake of the feminist rebirth during the 1970s, takes on a qualitatively different meaning if we understand the context of macho culture that predominates in a prison where men are incarcerated.

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Maroon the Implacable: A Review
New Clear Vision.com
April 29th, 2013
Lisa Guenther: What does “maroon” mean to you?

Maroon Shoatz: Historically a maroon was a fugitive slave of the 16th, 17th, or 18th centuries Americas — and even on the west coast of Africa, where most enslaved Africans were shipped from.

In Latin America they were generally referred to as cimarrones in the Spanish speaking colonies, marrons in the French colonies, the Dutch word for Bush Negroes in their colonies, and in the British colonies of the Caribbean and the southern areas of what would become the USA, either outliers or maroons. Yet maroon is an accepted generic name for all of these fugitives.

The word is sometimes capitalized when it’s used to identify an ethnically adopted designation: like the Jamaican Maroons, or the Boni Maroons.

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Maroon the Implacable: A Review
Publishers Weekly
June 2013

Shoatz-a leader in Philadelphia's Black Liberation Movement and a former Black Panther-describes his activism and philosophy in this wide-ranging collection of essays and interviews dating from the mid-1990s through the present. He is currently serving multiple life sentences in Waynesburg, Penn., for killing a police officer (though he claims to be a political prisoner). Shoatz chronicles his transformation from Philadelphia gang member to Harlem activist, and how his escapes from prison earned him the nickname "Maroon" (Maroons were fugitive slaves who settled in Jamaica, Haiti, Brazil, and others parts of the Americas, as described elsewhere in the book). Whether read for activist inspiration or as an academic artifact, Shoatz's writings are an engrossing portrayal of a life contemplated from the recesses of 20 years in solitary confinement. He turns out to be a feminist who advocates matriarchy, and a critic of capitalism. Having experienced "harsh, demeaning, and brutal institutions," the author also argues for prison reform. Shoatz's essays are bookended with a foreword by Chuck D and an afterword by Matt Meyer and Nozizwe Madlala Routledge.

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