“Pumps On the Ground Trench Work and Analysis: Police and Street Violence” by Sister Charlene Muhammad offers the reader a biographical and spiritual journey, telling the story of a sister from a small town in the South who rises to become an influential journalist. The book takes you right into the mix, on the scene, in the thick of the battle, as “a ground soldier” reports real news that impacts the lives and liberation of the Black man and woman.
The dominant cover color Sister Charlene uses for her book is yellow, reminding us of the color of the sun, the primary source of heat and energy for our entire solar system. Yellow is a color of joy, happiness, optimism, and increased mental activity. Yellow is associated with the energy of fire, which can break down other elements.
Sister Charlene’s reporting and writing illuminates and strikes a blow against falsehood and under-reporting of events happening daily in the Black community—from the police murder of Oscar Grant in 2009 to the long-forgotten police slaughter of teenager Omaree Williams, shot 17 times, a painful precursor to the 2020 deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks long before the Black Lives Matter movement and the more recent calls for racial equality and justice.
Her book takes us on a wondrous journey from rural Louisiana to the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles. Having lost her twin sister shortly after birth, she never lost her sister’s spirit. Sheltered by her parents but determined to find independence and voice, she discovered the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
That discovery crystalized into involvement in the Black struggle and her place in it. She has now spent many years as a leading and award-winning national correspondent for The Final Call as well as carving out space as a radio journalist and contributor to other publications.
“Pumps on the Ground” is more than just a book. It is a brand representing truth in journalism, telling the hard stories of pain, suffering and injustice, police abuse, fratricide, and a journalist’s journey in bringing these stories and hidden truths to light.