Home Read Classic Album Review: Mumia Abu-Jamal | 175 Progress Drive

Classic Album Review: Mumia Abu-Jamal | 175 Progress Drive

The jailed journalist has his say in this collection of inteviews & commentaries.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Former Philadelphia radio reporter Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent decades on death row, convicted of killing a policeman after a controversial trial. To his supporters, he’s a political prisoner; to opponents, a dangerous activist who should be silenced. Either way, he’s a guy with plenty to say.

Your latest chance to hear him comes on his third album 175 Progress Drive, named for the address of his prison. It collects various radio interviews, commentaries and news stories, recorded both before and during his stay in prison, along with essays and testimonials from the likes of Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Tupac Shakur’s mother Afeni. Tackling everything from public housing to the war on the poor and even the state of music, these pieces eloquently paint Abu-Jamal as an intelligent, thoughtful writer, a powerful, passionate speaker and a people’s hero. You just wish they did more to paint him as an innocent man.