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Thread: R.I.P. Geronimo Pratt: Real Soldiers Don't Die

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    Designer Elion's Avatar
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    Default R.I.P. Geronimo Pratt: Real Soldiers Don't Die

    Elmer G. “Geronimo” Pratt, the former Minister of Defense for the Black Panther Party, died in Tanzania, Africa Thursday (June 3, 2011). In 1972, the revered leader was unjustly prosecuted and eventually served 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He also served eight years in solitary confinement, conditions that tested his sinew. Pratt became a symbol of clear-cut cases of injustice when it was proven that he was a victim of J. Edgar Hoover's CointelPro movement that targeted African American leaders.



    It should be noted that Pratt is the godfather of Tupac Shakur, one of the most revered artists in the world, especially the Hip-Hop Nation. Geronimo Pratt was 63.

    It was Geronimo who named the famous Rap singer Tupac Shakur in 1971. His mother Afeni Shakur, who was also a member of the Black Panther's, was sent to prison despite being pregnant, after being wrongfully accused in a robbery. When the baby was born three months after her release, it was Geronimo Ji Jaga, who suggested the name "Tupac" to Afeni.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2003, Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur, AllHipHop.com's CEO, interviewed Pratt and conversed candidly about Tupac, but also discussed his own rich legacy. Below is the full interview as it ran in September of 2003.

    For real, for real: To understand – better yet – to know Tupac Shakur, you must peer beyond hip-hop into history. The family tree that bore Tupac has a lineage of political activists, Black Panthers, and a tightly woven unit all rolled into one prolific individual person that was stolen from the Earth on September 13, 1996. His mother, Afeni, was a Black Panther, one of the Panther 21, and Mutulu, his stepfather, was a staunch activist that remains in jail for crimes he says he didn’t commit. Both Common and Paris have written songs about his Aunt Assata Shakur, who has sought asylum in Cuba. And then, there is Geronimo Pratt (Also referred to as Geronimo Ji Jaga). Geronimo is Pac’s godfather and he too has a story.

    Geronimo recalls Tupac has a child bustling with energy, but soon he, like many others in empowering movements of the 60s was taken away from his life’s work, friends and his family. Geronimo spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, the victim of the then-president J. Edgar Hoover’s "extermination campaign" against the Panthers and similar groups. Eventually, he was freed after declassified FBI papers proved his innocence and that the government was guilty of illegal persecution. When he got out, his godson, Tupac, was dead. Still, Geronimo’s recollections of Tupac are fond and his experience, like many of those surrounding the rapper, are related. Now, Geronimo lives near Mount Killamanjaro, Africa, where he fights the rampant AIDS epidemic, but he took time to talk to AllHipHop.com about Tupac and himself.

    Not surprising, his story is as riveting as his godson’s.

    AllHipHop.com: As his godfather, who was the real Tupac?

    Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt: Tupac, to me, was this beautiful little boy that used to climb all over me that was so full of energy. He was not a well known person then. And then, as I saw him grow, I felt that Tupac had this thing in him and he was just so special to me. And so was his sister, Sekyiwa. And the point where he became famous is the point of our departure, because I didn’t hear from him but 2-3 times. Indirectly from him mother or something, but he was busy – I understood. But, it was a Pac I didn’t really know. The only Pac I knew was before he got famous. He was my man, my man.

    AllHipHop.com: A few members of the family that I’ve talked to said similar things that they lost touch after the family went to the West Coast.

    Geronimo Pratt: I was shocked when I [found out] that Pac was a millionaire. I had no idea that Pac had any money. I heard his name on the radio a couple times. And then I come out here and he’s dead? And his mother is telling me all these things: Pac did this, Pac did that. That just goes to show how alienated I was. I was generally proud when I heard his name – that’s my god boy.

    AllHipHop.com: What do you think about the legions of fans that follow him?

    Geronimo Pratt: That something. It’s like Elvis not being allowed to die. The won’t let Pac die. And when they ask me, I say, as long as I breathe air Pac is never dead. This is what they want to hear. I always say that anyway. These kids come up and hug me and I say, “Damn, these kids love Pac.” I cannot figure it out other than the chemistry that existed, that he was a genius and he knew how to reach his people. He reached them, they love him and they will not let him die. I love him, because he’s my godson, he’s family and I struggle to understand as I grow.

    AllHipHop.com: The Pac that I personally related to the most was the one when he first came out, when he was a lot more political. Do you think a lot of people forget “that” Pac? Seems like people relate to the “Thug Life” side?

    Geronimo Pratt: Most of the people that came into the Panthers, that violated, were send by the police. And so they glorified that image of the gangsterism and they shunned all the s**twe were doing in the community-feeding children, medical care and whatnot. That’s the enemy at work. So, with hip-hop, they will glorify the destructive elements and try to subdue the positive side. I think Pac had a good balance.

    AllHipHop.com: You were a proven victim of CointelPro [The FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program]. Is it possible that CointelPro is still active today.

    Geronimo Pratt: I do believe [that], as I stated when I first got on hip-hop. Hip-hop is indigenous and its powerful and it scares the hell out of these people, right? So, they have to get control and employ CointelPro-like tactics. They work easily. I saw it with Pac. Before he was murdered I mentioned that to him. I believe to this day that they were involved in his death and they were involved in other deaths.

    AllHipHop.com : Can you speak on the $4.5 million settlement you made?

    Geronimo Pratt: I never settled. It was a suit I filed after getting the FBI’s documents years ago. They were clearly engaged in criminal activity against us yet we were held as criminal. To me, something is wrong with that, so I filed a suit. The FBI and the Los Angeles [police] admitting their wrongdoing and they gave us $4.5 million. I didn’t settle that. I wanted to go to trial because I got comrades in jail. I got Assata Shakur [Tupac’s aunt] in Cuba. I got Peter O’Neil in Tanzania. We wanted to use [the trial] as a platform as absolve them of any crimes that they were being charged with. So Mutulu – Set’s daddy [Tupac’s sister] – these freedom fighters, can come home. The lawyers didn’t understand that. I’m broke, I need money, right? But, f**k that, I need my comrades out of jail.

    Full interview: http://www.truthabout2pac.com/profil...imo-pratt-real

    R.I.P. Geronimo Pratt

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Geronimo Pratt feat. Outlawz - In The Event Of MY Demise

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unT-PfgszZE"]YouTube - ‪2pac in the event of my demise with lyrics‬‏[/ame]

    Mutulu Shakur America's Nightmare
    Geronimo Pratt America's Nightmare
    Assada Shakur America's Nightmare
    In case you don't know, I let my pump go
    Get ride for Mutulu like I ride for Geronimo
    And it's dedicated to my motherfuckin teachers
    Mutulu Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, Mumia Abu Jamal
    Sekou Odinga, all the real O.G.'s, we out
    This go out to Cato, Mental
    All the niggaz that passed away
    Mutulu, Geronimo, all the down ass riders
    Both the broads are blind as bats, stumblin through - the system
    Justice bumped into M'Tulu, trippin on Geronimo Pratt
    Here's the revolutionary Pac:

    Last edited by Elion; 06-03-2011 at 03:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Gold Member BayAreasFinest's Avatar
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    Rip Geronimo Pratt, a revolutionary who the US government did wrong
    http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTg6ZqZ8lH4pbd-tq-072A9-1pfkZ3YNZSQdi3Jf2uIuU7zrwlbAw

  3. #3
    Do I look like I care Bobby180's Avatar
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    gone but not forgotten, a true activist RIP



    The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision



    Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter

  4. #4
    Born 2 Revolutionise Executive Director Krizzle's Avatar
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    Holy shit this is a sad day RIP geronimo!
    "I mentioned to him (Kastro) about Makaveli Board and he said that Makaveli Board is family to him"

    I can't keep worrying bout the things in my life I can change
    Dear Lord give me the strength to fight the evil in this game
    Ooh I close my eyes and get down on my knees
    Pray to the heavens protect my family
    If I leave that's good enough for me

    -Big K.R.I.T- Good Enough

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    Senior Member ericmt's Avatar
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    RIP geromino pratt! you did a great job with the black panther
    we love you homie

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    Moderator C-Matic's Avatar
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    Rip.......................

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    @elionn is there a story or date to go with that picture?

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    Designer Elion's Avatar
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    @ruhiel I'm not sure but I believe that was around '92-'93.

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    Gold Member parry's Avatar
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    R.I.P sad times, such a young age really.

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