Maliki Shakur Latine was born in the Bronx on August 23, 1949. In his early years, Latine became involved with the Nation of Islam. It was during this time that he started on the path of confronting society’s oppressive forces.
In 1969, Maliki and his brother, Shaqwan, joined up with the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP). Maliki began taking political education classes offered by the Black Panther Party. He studied Chairman Mao, Franz Fannon, Lenin, Fidel Castro, Che, and many others. He was also involved in transforming the theoretical ideals of the BPP into daily practice.
Due to the Panthers’ public outreach, which included the Free Breakfast and Lunch programs, free clothing drives and free day care programs – the U.S. government took notice of the Black Panther Party. That such actions were anchored by a revolutionary message caused the US government to view the black radicals as a serious threat.
Like many of the Panthers targeted by the US government, Maliki found himself behind prison bars, specifically in Riker’s Island. There he met one of the Panther leaders, Lumumba Shakur. Lumumba and 20 other Panthers (known as the Panther 21) were facing trumped up charges, which included a plot to blow up various locations in New York City. All of the Panther 21 would eventually be freed from the charges.
Maliki Latine was soon released from Rikers and returned to the Panthers, only to find that the government’s tactics against the organization forced many of them to go underground. Following their lead, Maliki and his brother decided to follow suit. Maliki then spent two years training and studying and engaging in various actions.
Two years after going underground, Maliki and his brother attended the funeral of Zayd Malik Shakur, who was killed during a shootout with police on the New Jersey turnpike. Maliki continued to participate in the liberation movement for six years before being arrested.
Maliki’s efforts to challenge the influx of drugs entering his community in Harlem were eventually cut short by a gun battle with police on July 3rd, 1979. The altercation resulted in arrests and some arrestees became career informants for the government. A month later, on August 7, 1979, Maliki Latine was arrested in St. Albans, Queens, by a joint force investigating a series of bank expropriations. Maliki Latine and Jose (Hamza) Saldana were indicted on charges of attempted first- degree murder, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of stolen property. On October 1, 1981, the two were sentenced to 25 to life.
Life in Prison
Maliki Shakur Latine is currently doing time in Clinton Correctional. He continues to suffer medical neglect of his food allergies at the hands of NY Department of Corrections. He is a devout Muslim (Shia Sufi), is learned in philosophy, community building and organizing, communalistic living, martial arts, self-discipline, and resistance.
Maliki Latine Flier