George Jackson

Photo of George JacksonGeorge Jackson joined the Black Panther Party while in prison at San Quentin. In 1970, along with Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette, Jackson was charged with killing a San Quentin guard in retaliation for the killing of three black activists by the guard (the San Quentin guard had been acquitted after the Grand Jury ruled the killings as justifiable homicide). He was incarcerated in the maximum security cellblock at Soledad prison. Jackson, Drumgo and Clutchette became known as the “Soledad Brothers.” In August 1970, Jackson’s 17 year-old brother burst into a Marin County courtroom and took a judge hostage to demand freedom for the Soledad Brothers. Jackson’s brother, the judge, and 2 other prisoners were killed during the takeover. Isolated in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, Jackson studied political economy and radical theory and authored 2 books. Jackson was a great organizer of fellow inmates which made him a threat to the status quo. On August 21, 1971, three days before he was to go on trial, Jackson was gunned down in the prison yard at San Quentin in what prison officials described as an “escape attempt.”