Lydia Barashango, 64, the older sister of renowned Black Panther journalist and political prisoner of war Mumia Abu Jamal, made her transition into the ancestral realm Wednesday, Sept. 28, in Baltimore.
A nurse and social worker, Barashango was an ardent advocate for her younger brother throughout his life-both before and after his unjust incarceration and wrongful conviction for the Dec. 9, 1981, shooting death of a Philadelphia cop.
In a 2000 A&E documentary about her brother’s ordeal, Barashango stated that when she visited him at the hospital the day after the incident, he had been beaten and “brutalized” so badly by the police that his facial features were disfigured and swollen beyond recognition. She added that upon her arrival, Abu Jamal told her, “I’m innocent.”
At a 1999 mass demonstration at Philadelphia City Hall with over 10,000 Abu Jamal supporters, she addressed the crowd. “This rally takes our struggle to a whole new level. We aren’t playing anymore! We are demanding a new trial!” she said.
Barashango battled breast cancer for a number of years before finally succumbing to the disease, all the while striving to prove her brother’s innocence and regain his physical freedom.
She was married to renowned African scholar warrior and factologist Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango, who himself returned to the essence in January 2004.