The national gathering of Black and Pink, an LGBTQ prison abolition organization, combined a radical vision with the immediacy of personal narrative. During the opening celebration on August 4 in Chicago, the group hosted a wide array activists, most of them formerly incarcerated, to tell their stories.
Eisha Love described being imprisoned for defending herself from a hate crime. Ricardo Jimenez spoke to being the first openly gay Puerto Rican political prisoner, and how his coming out challenged the homophobia within the independence movement.
Tracy Johnson recounted how her son, Michael, is incarcerated for allegedly not disclosing his HIV status. “They treat HIV like it’s against the law,” she said, “and it’s not against the law to be sick.”