On Easter Sunday morning, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, one of the best and most feared middleweight prize fighters of the 1960’s, died of prostate cancer; he was 76. He was on the threshold of fighting for the title when wrongfully convicted of murder and imprisoned for 19 years before his conviction was finally overturned in the 1980’s, when the high courts determined that racism and the crooked police of that era in New Jersey were responsible for stealing away this innocent man’s life.
He didn’t pray his way out of prison: he fought his way out; educating himself in the law and in many other intellectual disciplines, filing writ after writ, frequently having to “take a knee” as his importuning went nowhere, until finally—after all those years—the judge’s decision awarded him what he had always been entitled to…FREEDOM !
Nearly his last words, words which I find quite beautiful, were: “If I find a heaven after this life, I’ll be quite surprised. To live in a world where truth matters and justice, however late, really happens, that world would be heaven enough for us all.”
Thank you, Rubin….for going the distance.
Keep on, Amandala…keep on.
(Ed. NOTE: Thank you, Russell Czarnecki, for being a “participatory” reader. We appreciate your reminding us of the Hurricane Carter saga.)