(Note from the Jamal Journal: A longer report will follow, but Noelle wanted to send this quick report out to the movement.)Handwritten note on legal pad, written 5/7/21 2pm, in the visiting room of SCI Mahanoy. A text version of this note is featured at the bottom of this article.)
“I am here because people stood right with me. I love the hell out of all of them.”
--Mumia Abu-Jamal, SCI Mahanoy in the visit room with Noelle Hanrahan, P.I., J.D. 5-7-21
Pam Africa told me the other day that we need “to put our eyes” on Mumia.
When I walked into the visiting booth, Mumia said: “Well, well, well! Way to scale these walls, sister!” He chuckled. “How the hell did you get in here?”
I shrugged and asked: “Since when have walls stopped us?” A hand-to-glass exchange of a high five. Then I said: “I just asked the guard to check for the contact visit that was approved by the Superintendent’s office yesterday, since you have cleared quarantine.” Mumia said: “Okay, let’s start talking and when he comes back, we can move.”
Ten minutes later, the visit continues without the plexiglass barrier when they let Mumia have a contact visit. After an elbow bump and a hug we sit down at a table in the entirely empty visiting area of SCI Mahanoy.
First let me say that Mumia looks great. He has energy. He was smiling broadly under his face mask. He was laughing and explaining how he has another chance to live. He sounded just like Tony the Tiger when he roars: “I feel great!”
I could imagine that having a working heart after months of congestive heart failure would contribute to his feeling ready to tackle his rehabilitation. Heart disease can be reversed, though getting the proper diet and exercise will be a huge challenge in a prison known for lockdowns and a covid lockdown that lasted a year.
A long thin scar cuts all the way down his breastbone: The result of a double bypass open heart surgery just days ago. He is a trim 207 lbs. in a 6’1 frame and is now on path to recovery. He expects to be moved to general population very soon.
Mumia wanted everyone to know that he was aware that the movement made it possible for his condition to be taken seriously and finally accurately diagnosed. Mumia knows that if it were not for the world shining a bright hot spotlight on prison conditions and access to medical care, he fears that he would not have survived.
I always begin the process of leaving the visit, with this question for Mumia: “What do you want?” Mumia’s answer: “I want to find a way to win and find a way to get the hell out of here.”
--Text of the hand-written message from Mumia to supporters:
I love you all! Thanks for being in my life!
I am buoyed and lifted by your love and strength!
(Handwritten note on legal pad 5/7/21 2pm, in the visiting room of SCI Mahanoy.)