Nehanda Abiodun, a New Afrikan revolutionary freedom fighter, passed away on January 30. Abiodun, who was wanted on charges connected to the 1979 jailbreak of Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur, was living in Cuba where she was granted political asylum.
Before being going underground and into exile in Cuba, Nehanda and her comrade Mutulu Shakur helped organize a revolutionary accupuncture clinic, healing addicts in New York.
Abiodun was forced into exile after being charged, along with Mutulu Shakur for their alleged involvement in the 1979 liberation of Assata Shakur, as well as the 1981 expropriation of a Brinks truck in Nyack, New York. Despite being forced underground, she continued her revolutionary work and commitment to the New Afrikan people.
In Cuba, Abiodun became known as the “Godmother of Cuban Hip-Hop” for her encouragement of Cuban youth and involvement in the Cuban rap scene. She organized Black August benefit concerts, “a celebration of Hip Hop and our Freedom Fighters.” Abiodun opened her house to host political education classes for Cuban youth, and she organized three international women’s conferences, allowing Revolutionary New Afrikan women to exchange ideas and discuss mutual support for the struggles of New Afrikan women and Cuban women.
An unceasing revolutionary, Abiodun wrote, “If you’re a writer, write about the revolution; if you’re a teacher, teach revolution; if you’re a painter, paint the scenes of freedom; if you’re a computer specialist, design the leaflets; if you’re a community organizer, organize the next rally; if you’re an MC then rap about Kuwasi Balagoon, Sandra Pratt and Mtayari Shabaka Sundiata. There’s a job for everyone and no one who is willing to make an honest contribution should be turned down or discouraged from doing so or made to feel that what they donate is not needed or appreciated”
The revolutionary spirit of Nehanda Abiodun will live on, and her legacy will continue to inspire freedom fighters around the world.