Dear friends & comrades of Critical Resistance,

With heavy hearts, we’re writing to honor the sudden loss and long legacy of our beloved co-founder and longtime member Masai Ehehosi. Masai passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 1, 2024. A former political prisoner targeted for his revolutionary activity with the Black Liberation Army (BLA), at the time of his passing Masai was Critical Resistance’s (CR) longest-standing member. 

Masai worked for the liberation of his people for over 50 years, and held a profound presence in the multiple organizations he was in. A co-defendant of Safiyah Bukhari captured by police in 1973 as a BLA member, Masai began working with the American Friends Services Committee (AFSC) and was staff of the AFSC’s Criminal Justice Program in Newark, NJ after being released from 14 years of prison in Virginia. At AFSC, Masai worked to close security housing units and end torture against imprisoned people through AFSC’s Prison Watch Program. At the time of his passing, Masai was also the current Co-Minister of Information for the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, an advisory board member of The Jericho Movement working on the Jericho Medical Project for both state and federal prisoners, and was supporting the Prison and Gang Program of Al-Ummah and the Imam Jamil (Al-Amin) Action Network.

It is hard to put into words what Masai meant to CR and the movement to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC), because in a way Masai was everything—representing so much of where CR comes from and sustains. A pillar of CR, it was Masai’s experience and expertise that helped CR as an organization generate a revolutionary purpose and vision. Masai’s involvement with CR began on the steering committee for our second conference, CR East: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex. After helping to start CR as a national organization two months later, Masai remained an active national CR member from 2001-2024. For over two decades he was a consistent presence: struggling with his comrades; showing us how to make connections and build power across communities, across sectors, across geographies, and movements; representing the New Afrikan Independence Movement; and teaching us the utmost importance of political unity to our struggle. From his start with CR until his final days, Masai relentlessly and persistently maintained a commitment and accountability to Black liberation, sovereignty, self-determination, land and nationalist struggles here and globally, and an unwavering focus on solidarity with political prisoners, or, as Masai reminded us and insisted, “prisoners of war.”

Masai will be remembered for so much in CR—his kindness and warmth, full and pure heart, deep and abundant generosity, loyalty, sweet and affectionate smile, tenacious discipline, and more. Over the years, Masai helped to grow, strengthen and inform CR’s membership and methods across generations, teaching younger organizers the PIC’s design as well as the purposes of counter-insurgency and political repression. In addition to organizing CR’s conferences, Masai helped build CR through our previous National Organizing Body and National Political Education and Membership workgroups. A repeat contributor to our newspaper The Abolitionist from its second issue in 2005 to its fortieth issue most recently on control units, it was Masai who suggested doing an issue on control units and abolitionist struggle. Soft spoken and humble, yet persistent–and never one to make a fuss–Masai had a way of breaking down complex systems, histories, and strategies in straight-forward, grounded ways, while still holding nuance and profound depth.

Always describing himself first as a Muslim, Masai lived up to his name and was a true, devoted warrior for liberation and revolutionary change. Remembered dearly by his five children, three grandchildren, two siblings, a plethora of nieces and nephews, countless comrades, and each of his organizations, we know Masai’s teachings, guidance, sacrifice, and commitment will live on in us. We will continue to stay the course Masai and others set us on years ago–dismantling, in Masai’s words “the whole complex” of capture, control and cagingchanging our conditions, and building an international movement for PIC abolition.

CR is processing this big loss, and will continue to reflect on Masai’s contributions to our organization and the broader struggle. CR is in discussion with Masai’s daughters about hosting a movement memorial in honor of Masai to rejoice in his memory and uplift his legacy. Until then, please check out the list of articles, interviews, and videos that show some of Masai’s evergreen contributions to CR and the PIC abolitionist movement below.

Echoing Masai’s long-term involvement in the New Afrikan Independence Movement, as he would often say in greeting & passing, free the land!” 

Long live Masai Ehehosi! 

With Love and Solidarity,
-Critical Resistance

Parts of Masai’s Legacy

  • Masai on alternatives to the PIC: An interview for The Abolitionist, Issue 2

  • Nothing to Lose but Our Chains: Organizing Under Surveillance – Interview with Masai Ehehosi & Ashanti Alston 


  • Listen to Masai on Episode 2 of CR’s Podcast: Discussing Issue 40 of The Abolitionist on Control Units
    • CR’s The Abolitionist Editorial Collective members Dylan Brown & Molly Porzig host the second episode of our new podcast show with Beyond Prisons, discussing each issue of The Abolitionist Newspaper. Episode 2, “Snuffing Out Revolution: Control Units & Resistance,” is dedicated to Masai and features him as a guest, as we discuss our latest issue of the newspaper with Sahar Francis of Addameer, along with other Issue 40 contributing authors Kenjuan Congo and Stevie Wilson. Listen on CR’s website or Beyond Prisons. (Masai’s segment starts at 26:08).


  • Issue 40 on Control Units: Check out the issue The Abolitionist Masai Proposed & Guided
    • Masai worked with the editorial collective in doing an issue of The Abolitionist specifically on control units and resistance, which printed December 2023. Masai is a contributing author of a feature resource inspired by AFSC’s work against solitary confinement, where the collective interviewed people who have survived solitary on tips for staying alive and fighting back for a life worth living.



  • Masai Reflecting on Organizing Against Prisons: Check out this 2015 KBOO Interview  
    Adam Carpinelli interviewed Masai for KBOO’s Prison Pipeline Program. Listen here (Masai’s segment starts at 7:24).