Exonerated Death Row Inmate ~ Anti-Death Penalty Activist
Others Speak Out about Shujaa Graham
Dear Shujaa Graham,
|I appreciate you for coming to our
classroom and our school. I really liked you I appreciate what you had to
say and offer to our class you almost made me cry and I want to be a brave
warrior like you.
|Dear Shujaa Graham
I thank you for coming you really opend my eyes to what is happening around me. The Discrimanation the unhappiness and the unfairness. I admire your determination for what you are standing up for what you bilive in. I enjoyed the time we had and thanks agin.
I have know Shujaa for 30 Years. I have protested with him and organized events with him. I have shared dinner with his family, held his babies and fished with his grandchildren. We have spoken together about many of our concerns, given and taken advice from each other. Through all of this I have come to learn that Shujaa speaks with one voice. He speaks from his heart with a compassion for those he knows and for the issues that he is concerned about.
Many years ago, we were visiting a friend's house for the thanksgiving weekend. As he often does, Shujaa woke up early and went for a walk. He came back later than we expected and when asked where he was he told us that he was delayed because he met an elderly woman on the street that was carrying some heavy groceries and he walked her home, carrying her groceries for her. Nobody was surprised to hear the story. Its pure Shujaa.
Over the years he has not forgotten his roots. He has made an annual pilgrimage back to L.A. to work with community leaders in efforts to prevent gang violence. He does this, giving up weeks of work, traveling and living at his own expense in order to give back. He can talk to young people about violence and alternatives and he speaks with an honesty and openness and most important with credibility. He has "been there, done that". Anyone who has heard him speak knows that he is speaking the truth as he sees it. No B.S., just plain straight talk. And most amazingly, everyone listens, everyone.
He is a strong man when confronting injustice. He does not back down from his views. I have seen him talk at length with a woman who believed in the death penalty almost as much as he is against it. He never lost his patience so long as he believed there was honest discussion. I also think that he is one of the most gentle people, having seen him with small children, giving a firm and loving hand. In spite of the years of violence that was imposed on him I have never seen him strike out in anger.
For these reasons and more, I consider myself blessed to call him my friend.