Tag Archives: Haymarket Books

Mumia Abu Jamal responds to I AM TROY DAVIS: “May it fuel the anti-death penalty movement”

Mumia Abu JamaI knew that my publisher (the amazing Haymarket Books) had sent a copy of I Am Troy Davis to Mumia Abu Jamal.  So when I saw his name and return address on the envelope, I should not have been surprised–yet I was. Surprised, and a little star struck. I had been following Mumia’s case–and his writing–for years now. It took me a few minutes to really process that he was writing to me, and that he was writing in response to the book I had written with Troy Davis and his family.

The next day, I got another letter from Mumia. This one was the text of what I later found out was a radio spot he had done about the book for the Prison Radio, an independent multi-media production studio dedicated to challenging unjust police and prosecutorial misconduct that results in mass incarceration, racism, and gender discrimination.

You can listen to Mumia’s three-minute radio spot about I Am Troy Davis here.

And, below, is the letter he wrote me, which I received his permission to post.

And–you can buy a copy of I Am Troy Davis to be sent as a gift to a prisoner here.

Dear Jen,

As you may know, I’m in the midst of working on a book, so it took me awhile to get to Troy’s. But, of course, I did.

It is, as I’m sure you know, a powerful, damning story of a human tragedy.

It is, moreover, a real condemnation of the U.S. Way of Death.

When reading it, I couldn’t help but think of how politics has completely dominated the judiciary–and, without question, the pardon/parole machinery.

His family (esp. Mom & Sister) fought–quite literally–to their last breath, never doubting that in an injustice so strong, surely they could finish their days in the company of their son/brother.

I think, in many ways, the family and the activists underestimated the level of rot in the system, never really believing that they would betray their oaths–and visit on Troy the foul fullness of state murder.

I remember being buoyed when the U.S. Supremes actually sent it back for an evidentiary hearing.

Once again, they raised hope, only to spit disappointment on the friends and family of Troy.

I will surely distribute it, and, perhaps, donate it to the library, so that many, many guys can read it.

I thank you for sharing it with me. And I thank you for writing something that I can imagine was almost too painful, too horrific to bear.

May it fuel the anti-death penalty movement, and make it more powerful than they are today!

Alla best,


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Filed under Criminal Justice, Death Penalty, Troy Davis

Happy Birthday Troy

Dear friends,

Today, Troy Davis would have turned 46 years old.  As a way to honor Troy and his life, we are asking people to give the gift of I Am Troy Davis to a prisoner currently on death row, or serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

We’ve sent nearly forty books to prisoners in the last month, and the responses I’ve gotten  have been mind-blowing. I’ll be posting more responses later today, but for now, I hope you will be a part of making sure Troy’s book gets in the hands of those for whom so many aspects of Troy’s story reflect their own.

All you have to do is follow this link. Haymarket Books will then send your gift to a prisoner from a list that was developed by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. (You need only put your billing address–Haymarket will know to send your gift to a prisoner.)

Happy birthday, Troy. May your impact continue to spread.





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Filed under Death Penalty, Human Rights, Troy Davis

I AM TROY DAVIS book launch!

Cover of "I Am Troy Davis"

Cover of “I Am Troy Davis”

September 3, 2013

Dear friends,

On September 21, 2011, the state of Georgia executed innocent death row prisoner, Troy Davis.

It is with a complicated mixture of emotions that two years later, I announce the release of I Am Troy Davis (Haymarket Books).

When I first started corresponding with Troy, I had no idea that our growing friendship would lead to me working closely with the Davis family on this book.

It was Troy himself who, after learning that I was a filmmaker, first put the idea into my head that I might be a part of helping his family tell their story.

“You should consider doing a documentary about Martina,” Troy wrote to me on April 21, 2008, during the early months of our correspondence. “That’s a story of love, tribulation, survival, strength, and determination that everyone can be moved by.”

I more than agreed with Troy. Martina was clearly a force of nature, and I instinctively felt that her double struggle (for her brother’s life and her own, battling breast cancer) was a powerful window into Troy’s story and to the violent impact that the death penalty has on innocent families.

The following year, Martina and I discussed the idea of working together on a book, leading to my first of many trips to Savannah.  The project went into high gear following Troy’s execution, in what was to be the last two months of Martina’s life.

Working on I Am Troy Davis may very well be the most difficult task I have undertaken. The difficulty was largely emotional—I was immersing myself in the painful details of the story of two people I loved after having so recently lost them. But there were other challenges as well: how to complete a manuscript when both of my co-authors were now gone?

Partnering with the Davis family (enormous credit goes to Troy and Martina’s sister Kimberly) and with the contributions of so many others (attorneys, supporters, allies, activists, friends), I Am Troy Davis was completed and, thanks to a wonderful partnership with Haymarket Books, is being released this month, marking the 2-year anniversary of Troy’s execution.

Writing I Am Troy Davis has been, for me, the fulfillment of a sacred promise, a weighty responsibility, and an extraordinary privilege. This book is what I could do for Martina, for Troy, for their mother Virginia (all three of whom I miss dearly), and for the Davis family.

My deepest hope is that the book reflects Martina’s and Troy’s courage, spirit, and humanity in all of their beautiful complexity. I hope the book is a worthy tribute to them and does justice to their story and their struggle. By telling Martina’s and Troy’s truth, I hope that I Am Troy Davis provides an alternative form of justice for them and for the Davis family.

In solidarity,
Jen Marlowe
donkeysaddle projects
Twitter: @donkeysaddeorg
Facebook: donkeysaddle projects

For info on how to purchase your copy of I Am Troy Davisclick here.

Also available for bulk/premium purchase orders, with prices as low as $9/book (retail price: $18) For larger purchases, greater discounts are possible.

Review copies are available upon request.
For info on book tour events, (taking place in NYC on Sept 20, Atlanta on Sept 21, Savannah on Sept 22, DC on Sept 24, Baltimore on Sept 28, Bellingham on Oct 1, and Seattle on Oct 2) click here.
(*Please note that event details are still being finalized, check back soon for updated information.)

For interview requests with Jen Marlowe or a member of the Davis family, please contact jim@haymarketbooks.org

Advanced Praise for I Am Troy Davis:

“Here is a shout for human rights and for the abolition of the death penalty. This book, I Am Troy Davis, should be read and cherished. It will inspire courage in the hearts of those who are willing to use their efforts to save lives and increase the quality of life for all people.”


“Like Trayvon Martin’s monumental murder, the execution of Troy Davis was a historic awakening for this country — an awakening of the deadly consequences of white supremacy. Don’t miss this book!”

— CORNEL WEST, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary

“Martina and Troy are heroes from a family of heroes. This story of their lives is also a call to action. It asks each of us to pick up where they left off by ending the death penalty once and for all so the risk of executing an innocent person is finally eliminated in America.”


“Read this book, about Martina Davis-Correia and Troy Anthony Davis. The lives of this sister and brother were tragically cut short, one by cancer, the other through a cruel injection of a lethal, chemical cocktail in the final act of a profoundly unjust criminal justice system. This book captures their unflagging courage in confronting the challenges thrust upon them. More than history, more than eulogy, I Am Troy Davis is an urgent call to action.”

— AMY GOODMAN, host, Democracy Now!

I Am Troy Davis is heart stopping proof that the death penalty didn’t just kill an innocent Troy Davis and break and bury his gorgeous family, but it charred the soul of America. This book will devastate you, piss you off and then inspire you to work with your life to the end the death penalty forever.”

— EVE ENSLER, playwright and activist

“In this moving and intimate portrait of Troy Davis and his courageous family, Jen Marlowe restores to Troy his humanity, and reminds us why every life matters, and why capital punishment makes this country a pariah among the world’s democracies.”

— GLORIA STEINEM, author and activist

I Am Troy Davis is a painful yet very important book, one that will bring you face to face with the human impact of the death penalty system, prompt you to think deeply about the flaws in our criminal justice system, and inspire you to stand with all those who have been wrongfully placed on death row.”

 SUSAN SARANDON, actor and activist

“Martina Correia’s heroic fight to save her brother’s life while battling for her own serves as a powerful testament for activists.”

— LILIANA SEGURA, Nation magazine

I Am Troy Davis takes readers on the journey of a remarkable family whose faith, love, integrity and convictions propelled their fight for their loved one and a larger cause. Jen Marlowe’s careful and sensitive collaboration with the Davises has yielded a narrative that will surely inspire readers to pick up the torch that Martina Davis Correia so bravely carried for social justice and human dignity with every ounce of her being and every day of her life.”

— LAURA MOYE, former Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Director, Amnesty International USA 

“A Must Read Book – the searing, heartbreaking story of a strong and loving family caught in the vortex of a dysfunctional criminal justice system.”

— ANNE EMANUEL, Georgia State University Law Professor and ABA Georgia Death Penalty Assessment Chair


Filed under Death Penalty, Human Rights, Troy Davis