Do Incarcerated Black Lives Matter?


Uhuru Rowe is a self-educated, socially conscious, politically active brother, who has been incarcerated for 22 consecutive years in the Virginia (VA) prison system where he has often experienced retaliation from prison authorities because of his political beliefs, organizing activities, and for speaking out against inhuman prison conditions.

Uhuru was involved in a robbery back in 1995 that resulted in the shooting deaths of two people. Though Uhuru was not the trigger-man, he accepted responsibility for his actions and entered a non-cooperating guilty plea which sealed his fate. The sentencing guidelines recommended a maximum sentence of only 13 years, but former Richmond circuit court judge, James B. Wilkinson, who was known to be a racist, ignored the recommendation and sentenced Uhuru to an aggregate sentence totaling 93 years. This sentence is an unprecedented 80 years over the guidelines recommendations!

Because VA abolished parole back in 1995, Uhuru must serve 85% of his sentence which means he’ll likely die in prison if he is not granted clemency. Uhuru is a first-time felon and was barely 18-years-old at the time of his crime. Uhuru’s clemency petition has been pending with VA Governor Terry McAuliffe since June 2014. Uhuru’s family, friends, community and supporters needs and wants him home.
So, I ask the Black Lives Matter movement in Virginia to come together in unity and put pressure on Governor McAuliffe to grant Uhuru a second chance.

A more in-depth discussion of Uhuru’s case, his accomplishments while in prison, and the politics surrounding VA’s decision to abolish parole can be found Here; and on Uhuru’s blog at (search for “21 Years A Prisoner” and “Get Organized: Help Make 2017 My Last Year Of Incarceration“).

What can you do?

1) Call Governor Terence R. McAuliffe at (804) 786-2211; Fax him at (804) 371-6351; and e-mail him at, and (in addition to whatever your heart inspires you to say on Uhuru’s behalf) tell Governor McAuliffe that, because Uhuru’s 93 year sentence is 80 years over the sentencing guidelines and is excessive, he should commute Uhuru’s sentence before he leaves office in January 2018.

2) Please follow and share Uhuru’s blog and facebook page, on social media so that the public at-large can be aware of his fight for freedom and stay abreast of his many struggles and experiences in the VA prison system.

3) Please write to him at Uhuru Rowe #1131545, Sussex 2 State Prison, 24427 Musselwhite Dr., Waverly, VA 23891 USA, or by email at Uhuru can always use your love and encouragement.

It is imperative for citizens of this country who are fed up with and impacted by the mass incarceration of poor people and people of color (i.e. the New Jim Crow) to raise our collective voices in support of incarcerated people like Uhuru.


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