I’m overwhelmed by the talent, indomitable will, and purity of heart displayed here. To say that I am awed by this book does not do it justice.
Tom’s been incarcerated for nearly 35 years. But even before he received his current life sentence he was trapped by the limited choices left to an impoverished child surviving in Boston’s infamous Maverick Street Projects. The military during the Vietnam era seemed like a way out, but that too became a hellish form of confinement.
Tom broke free, he revolted. He became a revolutionary. He committed the unforgivable sin of confronting today’s great imperial empire, the United States, on its home turf. For that, I expect the prison industrial complex will do its best to keep him confined for as long as it can.
- From the preface by By Robby Meeropol
|Tom Manning is a freedom fighter, political prisoner and prolific artist. His paintings are stories that jump off the page, revealing the outlook of people who struggle for liberation around the world. This book of over 80 full-color paintings were made between 1996 and 2005.|
“There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard,”
reads Psalm 19:3 and the gravestone of Black freedom fighters
Jonathan and George Jackson. Voice, through its many forms,
articulates vision. Call it subversive art, liberating art, art that
challenges the one-dimensional, Tom’s art is a voice among the
dispossessed that transcends concrete and razor wire with an affirmation
The paintings of Tom Manning and American Indian Movement
activist Leonard Peltier; the creative work of Puerto Rican
Independista Oscar Lopez Rivera; the poetry of anti-imperialist
Marilyn Buck, which lives on, and the Earth defender poems of
Marie Mason; the spoken word of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Mutulu
Shakur. They are the voices of our political prisoners, principled
and honorable men and women who communicate from isolation
We must not let their voices be suppressed. They need be heard
and celebrated by freedom loving people everywhere.
- Ray Luc Levasseur, April 13, 2014