The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation will host a Black August commemoration in Omaha on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at the Malcolm X Center. The theme of the event will be America’s Imprisoned Human Rights Activists and will feature the Omaha Two, Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice).
Black August is a nationwide series of events recognizing the political imprisonment of activists in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation has held five prior Black August events.
The Omaha Two were leaders of the Nebraska affiliate of the Black Panthers in 1970 and were targeted by J. Edgar Hoover’s infamous COINTELPRO operation. Hoover headed the Federal Bureau of Investigation and secretly directed a clandestine war on political dissidents that did not meet his favor. Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were convicted for the murder of an Omaha policeman after Hoover ordered laboratory evidence withheld.
The Black August event will feature screening of three films. COINTELPRO 101 is a documentary produced by Freedom Archives and offers an overview of COINTELPRO’s attack on American citizens particularly the Black Panthers, Hoover’s most despised group. Black August is a feature film on George Jackson, the Soledad Brothers, and the prosecution of Angela Davis. Prisons on Fire is a documentary on 1971 prison uprisings at Attica and San Quentin.
The Jericho Movement will present an exhibit of photos and biographies of 49 persons incarcerated beginning in the 1960’s who lost their freedom after clashes with police.
Tariq Al-Amin, head of Nebraskans for Justice and former Omaha policeman, will discuss the plight of the Omaha Two and how they did not receive a fair trial because of COINTELPRO interference with the police investigation.
Historian Tekla Ajbala will provide additional details on the compromised murder investigation that shifted the case from the confessed killer to the targeted Panther leaders.
Earlier this summer the Omaha City Council voted against hearing new evidence about the identity of one of the killers of policeman Larry MInard, Sr. The August 17, 1970 bombing murder of Minard was blamed on the Omaha Two and the confessed bomber, Duane Peak, was allowed to escape a murder charge in exchange for implicating the two Panther leaders.
Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa are in their 42nd year of life sentences at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary. Both men continue to deny any role in MInard’s death.
More information on the Omaha Two