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We Are Not SlavesState Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners' Rights in Postwar America$
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Robert T. Chase

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653570

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Eight Hoe—Sowing Seeds of Dissension

Eight Hoe—Sowing Seeds of Dissension

Chicanos and Muslims Make a Prison-Made Civil Rights Revolution

(p.184) Chapter 5 Eight Hoe—Sowing Seeds of Dissension
We Are Not Slaves

Robert T. Chase

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 5 broadens Cruz’s story to include a collective of fellow prisoners, particularly Muslims, within an inter-racial alliance to make prisoner litigation and legal documentation as politicization and a prison-made civil rights revolution. The chapter considers how Muslim prisoners looked to their religious conversion for empowerment, community, and spiritual fulfilment. When the prison administration encountered a small, but growing, number of Muslims, it attempted to quarantine them from other prisoners and deny them their religious freedom. As a result, Fred Cruz found allies among the Muslims even as he found a new external ally, an anti-poverty lawyer named Frances Freeman Jalet, who pursued the claims of these prisoners as a matter of civil rights. In response to the development of civil rights work among the prisoners, the prison administration collected Jalet’s clients onto a single wing known as Eight Hoe for their field line number. This chapter analyzes the struggle over Eight Hoe as a widening base of prison civil rights work and grass-roots activism. Their collective effort served as notice to the other prisoners that prisoners had a champion outside of the prison and that the courts were paying attention.

Keywords:   Eight Hoe, Frances Jalet, Muslims, Nation of Islam, Prison litigation, Religious freedom, Solitary, Civil rights work

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