Messing With Major
by Mumia Abu-Jamal
His name is Major — (his real name)–Major Tillery of West Philadelphia. Although he had a reputation as a gangster, in prison such things matter little. It’s as a jailhouse lawyer that he shook the prison walls in the case known as Tillery v. Owens, a ground-breaking prison conditions case where double-dealing (or the placement of four men in a cell) was declared unconstitutional. The prison medical department was declared unconstitutional and living conditions in part of the prison were declared a violation of the constitution.
Shortly after his glorious win, Major Tillery was sent to a prison in another state. Retaliation? Sure looks like it.
Several months ago, Major saw me in the library, and expressed shock at my appearance, my carriage, and my level of wakefulness. He argued with me, insisting I go to the prison infirmary.