Mondo Eyen we Langa (formerly known as David Rice) was a political
prisoner in the Nebraska State Penitentiary since 1971, when he and fellow
Black Panther Ed Poindexter were convicted for the bombing murder of Omaha
policeman Larry Minard, and given life sentences. Both have consistently
denied any connection with the crime, and Amnesty International, after
reviewing the many inconsistencies in the trial transcript, as well as FBI
files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, has called for
either a new trial, or immediate release.
He was born in
Omaha in 1947, graduated from Creighton Preparatory School and took courses
at Creighton University. He wrote for the local underground paper, Buffalo
Chip, from 1969 to 1970 and joined the Black Panther party. In the 46 years
since his conviction, Mondo created art, wrote short stories, poetry
and journalism. He had five books of poetry published between 1973 and 1978,
and another in 2006,
and contributed poems and stories to such literary journals and
magazines as Prairie Schooner, The Black Scholar, ARGO, Black American
Literary Forum, Shooting Star Quarterly Review, Pacifica Review, Obsidian,
Black Books Bulletin and over 30 more. In addition, his poem, "Great
Babaleur" was featured in 'Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary' by Walter Dean
Myers (Scholastic, Inc, 1993). Two of Mondo's plays, 'Different Dances' and
Dance in Our Neighborhood', were performed by Ujima Youtheatre in Nebraska,
as well as in New York City.
Mondo is one of
several co-authors (including Yosef-ben-Jochannan, John Henrik Clarke, et
al) of 'The Race: Matters Concerning Pan Afrikan History, Culture, and
Genocide' (Native Sun Publishers, 1992). He was a contributor to Nebraska
Voices, the anthology commissioned by the Nebraska Humanities Council in
celebration of the sesquicentennial of Nebraska statehood.
In prison, he
continued his education, and was a mentor and exemplar to
young inmates just coming into the system. In all the years of his
incarceration, he did not committed a single act of violence; he was, in
fact, an exemplary prisoner.
Mondo is on
an African-American, and to the authorities, no matter what evidence is
presented, he was a "cop-killer." The Nebraska Pardons Board is made up
entirely of elected officials (the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary
of State), and election depends on being "tough on crime."
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