I Abdul Jon, Presente!

He was born Michael Allen Jones on Dec. 1, 1949, and many knew him by his movement name, I Abdul Jon, a longstanding MOVE supporter, social activist and all-around rebel.

As a young man, he had been a member of the U.S. Military. He was on his way stateside when he tossed a grenade into an officer’s quarters. Instead of coming home, he was sent to the brig at Leavenworth.

In the 1970s, at the height of MOVE conflicts with police, MOVE member Pam Africa would often protest, standing alone. Abdul, seeing this, couldn’t bear to do nothing, so he would join her. Before long, both would end up either jailed or in a hospital, often left with broken bones.

No matter what, Abdul kept on rolling. That protective instinct stuck with Abdul, and it never left him. When people came from other cities to protest in Philly, when they left to drive home, Abdul would often accompany them to their cars.

I Abdul Jon was a talented photographer. In the fall of 1981, Abdul and I went up to Rochester, New York, after a group of MOVE men and women were arrested on federal charges. Abdul and I were on assignment for the Philadelphia Tribune, he as photographer, I as the reporter. His photos helped make the articles come alive.

The articles revealed a stark dichotomy between MOVE’s treatment in Philadelphia and Rochester. MOVE was doing the same thing in both cities, but they were demonized by the media in one city and left alone in the other. What a difference the media made!

I Abdul Jon was a father and grandfather of a real host of kids: Nathaniel, David, Michael, Tariq, Malik, Shamira, Karlin, Braimeen, Yahmon, Rashad, Ibrahim, and Colchriston. As Wadiya used to tell me often, Abdul was a good brother. He returns to his ancestors after 74 winters in America.

With love, not fear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

I Abdul Jon, a longtime and much-loved MOVE and Mumia supporter in Philadelphia, died in mid-November. This tribute to him comes from Mumia Abu-Jamal.


Simple Share Buttons

Share this
Simple Share Buttons