Please show solidarity with the following campaigns by signing their petitions:
I am currently prioritizing this petition to close several correctional centers in Virginia due to extreme heat conditions.
This is a support site for Uhuru B. Rowe, a prisoner in Virginia. Read this post below, and this post, to learn more about him and the system that has kept him in prison for over 27 years and counting. Uhuru has been granted a commutation of sentence and will be released in a few years. You can keep up-to-date on his campaign for clemency and struggle for liberation through the Justice for Uhuru instagram page and twitter.
There are several things you can do to support Uhuru. One of them is simply write him a letter. Prison is a lonely place and just knowing that you have people who are simply thinking of you can help, A LOT!
- Write to Uhuru at this address:
Uhuru B. Rowe
Buckingham Correctional Center
PO Box 430
Dillwyn, VA 23936
- You can email Uhuru at this email address: email@example.com
- You can support others sentenced by the judge who sentenced Uhuru by signing the change.org petition in support of creating a commission to review their sentences.
- You can reach out to allied organizations: https://vaprisonabolition.org/ and https://richmondiww.org/
Years incarcerated: 26 years
Year of release: 2025
Preferred pronouns: he/him
Gender/Sexuality: heterosexual cisgender man
Birthday: October 15
Zodiac sign: Libra
Born and raised: Richmond, VA
Education: Diploma in Paralegal Studies from Stratford Career Institute (2022)
Relationship status: Single
Idols: Ida B. Wells & Harriet “Moses” Tubman
Favorite color: Red
Favorite food: Cheese pizza
Favorite book: Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
Favorite speech: The Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X
Favorite rap song: Changes by 2Pac (aka Tupac Shakur)
Favorite R&B song: Damage by H.E.R.
Favorite alternative rock song: In the End by Linkin Park
Favorite movie: Inception
Favorite television show: The Walking Dead
Favorite hobbies/interests: Reading, writing, hiking, meditating, exercising, mentoring, organizing, playing basketball, jailhouse lawyering, resisting oppression, intellectual conversations, and being an inspiration to others.
Favorite quote: “If you are deaf, dumb, and blind to what’s happening in the world, you’re under no obligation to do anything. But if you know what’s happening and you don’t do anything but sit on your ass, then you’re nothing but a punk.” — by Assata Shakur
Who Am I? My brief life story
Who am I? In order for you to know who I am, I’ll have to share with you who I was in the past so you can understand who I am in the present and who I hope to be in the future.
I was born and raised in the city of Richmond, Virginia, a city that was once the murder capital of the U.$. in the mid 1990s. I was the typical black youth born into a working class poor family that consisted of both parents and six siblings. I was the baby of the family. I was happy, playful, a practical jokester, and full of life.
My family had its ups and downs like any other black family trying to eke out an existence amid the residual effects of slavery and under the knee of anti-black racism. Before long, my happiness turned into sadness and my sadness eventually turned into depression and anger.
After the onset of mental illness in my mid teens due to a myriad of childhood traumas mostly resulting from abuse and rejection from my father, I became angry, suicidal, depressed, withdrawn and retreated into my own little world where I felt safe from harm and betrayal. This led to me being bullied in school because I appeared weak and “different.” Without knowledge of healthy coping mechanisms, I self-harmed, lashed out, and engaged in petty crime in my neighborhood.
Though my mother tried as best she could to raise me in the proper manner, I slowly adopted the stereotypical young black male image of “thug” and “gangster” which was made easy by the dearth of positive black male role models in my community and reinforced by racist portrayals of black men in corporate media and Hollywood movies.
By the time I was 17 years of age, I had been arrested several times, was committed to two inpatient adolescent treatment hospitals, dropped out of school in the 9th grade, and embraced the so-called “street life” full-time.
As my mental health and substance use issues increased, my propensity for committing more serious crimes increased which culminated on a fateful day in January 1995 when I participated in a robbery that regrettably resulted in two people being killed. Neither my life, nor the lives of the families of the victims, would ever be the same.
I was arrested and charged with six felonies, including robbery and two counts of murder. I accepted a blind plea to all six felonies and was sentenced to a total of 93 years without the possibility of parole. [Update: On January 14, 2022, former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam commuted (reduced) my sentence the day before he left office, changing the year I will be released from 2076 to 2025]
At barely 18 years old, I was thrown into an unpredictable and predatory penitentiary culture where I was confronted with three options: I could remain who I was, I could descend deeper into madness, or I could evolve into the New Man that the incomparable George Jackson often spoke of. After a long process of self-reflection, self-criticism, self-healing, self-care, self-discovery, trial and error and political education, I eventually chose the latter.
At the beginning I asked the rhetorical question, who am I. If you ask those who believe people are incapable of change, undeserving of second chances, and that a person’s worst decision should define them for the rest of their lives, they will undoubtedly tell you I am a thug, gangster, murderer, a threat to society or, to use Hillary Clinton’s description of young black boys, “a super predator that needed to brought to heal.”
But if you ask those who believe that people have the capacity to learn, grow, evolve, transcend hardships and impact lives against unspeakable odds, they will emphatically tell you I am a mentor, a role model, an inspiration, and an agent of change.
By Uhuru B. Rowe Re-written August 3, 2022 Have you ever opened the door to a hot oven and felt dizzy and overwhelmed from the intensity of the heat hitting you in the face? That is how it feels for people incarcerated at Augusta, Nottoway, and Buckingham Correctional Centers every summer, but especially during the … Continue reading PEOPLE INCARCERATED IN NON-AIR-CONDITIONED PRISONS ARE SUFFERING AMID THE NATION-WIDE HEAT WAVE
The concept of Black August, a more radical alternative to Black History Month which has been commercialized and de-radicalized by the capitalist, white-supremacist power structure, was first put forward by imprisoned Black revolutionaries in the California prison system in order to honor and commemorate the revolutionary principles of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to … Continue reading [re-post] A Brief History of Black August