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Black is Back Coalition

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    Black Is Back Coalition Holds National Conference in Philadelphia

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The Black is Back Coalition came together in 2009, “determined that the first politician in history to spend a billion dollars to win the presidency would not get a free pass from all of Black America.” The Coalition’s upcoming national conference will map strategies to confront Power in the waning days of the Age of Obama, and beyond.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/16/14

    Nation’s First All-Charter School System Restores Segregation

    The last conventional public school in the New Orleans Recovery District closed last month, a harbinger of what may be in store in systems across the country. “Apparently, this model means taking education out of the public realm and putting it into the hands of private, non-profit boards and for-profit corporations,” said Karran Harper Royal, a parent advocate with the city’s Coalition for Community Schools, one of several groups that have filed a civil rights suit against the district and the Louisiana Board of Education. “It seems that white kids are disproportionately taking up the seats in the A- and B-rated schools,” while Black children are clustered in failing schools, said Ms. Harper Royal. “After all these years, we’re back in a segregated school system, only now it is also along class lines.”

    Haiti Activists Urge Rejection of Both Congressional Candidates in Harlem

    Incumbent Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel and his main challenger, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, are both guilty of supporting “apartheid” policies against Dominicans of Haitian descent, charged demonstrators outside a televised campaign debate. Under a law passed by the Dominican Republic and endorsed by Rangel and Espaillat, less than 10 percent of 200,000-plus people with roots in Haiti will quality for Dominican citizenship, even though most have never set foot outside the country and speak only Spanish. Daoud Andre, a Haitian community activist, called on Harlemites “not to vote for either of these supporters of apartheid,” and for “people of conscience around the world to boycott Dominican products and services,” including tourism.

    Black Is Back Coalition: Obama “Worse Than Bush”

    Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Barack Obama has been “worse than Bush” for Black people, and for the cause of peace. “Bush couldn’t have gotten away with the things Obama did without some kind of response” from the Black community,” said Yeshitela. Obama “has neutralized so many forces, taken them out of action. It wasn’t understood that part of Obama’s function was to act as a cover for white power and for imperialism. He’s escalated war, he’s signed off on assassinations, and he’s done it with a neutralized Black community.” The Black Is Back Coalition holds its annual international conference in Philadelphia, August 16-17.

    U.S. Pushes Russia and China into Closer Alliance

    Washington’s provocations are driving Russia, the world’s top energy exporter, and China, soon to be the world’s largest economy, into a deeper economic and political alliance, said Eric Draitser, of “It would seem a self-defeating strategy,” said the independent political analyst. “But, the reality is that the United States doesn’t have control anymore. Obama and his blundering foreign policy have provided the impetus” for closer Sino-Russian collaboration, which can only increase with development of a “New Silk Road stretching from China all the way through Turkey and into Europe.”

    Mumia on the Passing of Ruby Dee

    Actress and activist Ruby Dee, who died at age 91, supported many radical causes and political prisoners, including Mumia Abu Jamal. “One would be hard pressed to find a role where she played anything less than the best of Black people,” said Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Ruby Dee and her late husband Ossie Davis’ “work was a theater of Black dignity, Black family and Black love.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/28/13

    NSA Could Ensnare Anyone in National Security Trap

    “Every single person in this country owes Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning a debt of gratitude,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, renowned whistleblower and a founder of the No FEAR Coalition. The NSA program that tracks human networks endangers all Americans, said Coleman-Adebayo, “because everyone is only a person or two or three or four away from being implicated in some scheme that the National Security State comes up with.” She called Bradley Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for exposing government secrets an example of growing “tyranny.”

    Ray Kelly’s Rise Halted By Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

    It is highly unlikely that New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will be appointed head of Homeland Security, said Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project of the Urban Justice Center. A federal court found that the city’s stop-and-frisk practices routinely violate the constitutional rights of Blacks and Latinos. “There is now a big black eye on the face of New York City policing,” said Gangi. “Ray Kelly is no longer the iconic law enforcement figure he was a short two years ago.”

    Black Is Back Coalition Magnifies Grassroots Forces

    The betrayals and predations of the Black Misleadership Class can be overcome by out-organizing them. “Our objective is to replace that misleadership, not just to complain about it,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Black is Back seeks to “provide the ability for all of these” grassroots organizations “to come together and to magnify their presence many times over,” said Yeshitela. The coalition recently held its national conference in Harlem.

    Cornel West on Obama and the New Jim Crow

    The Obama administration seems to believe it is immune from effective Black criticism. “It’s sad to see us pimped like that,” said Dr. Cornel West, the activist and academic currently based at Union Theological Seminary, in New York. “All of our suffering is rendered invisible because they know we will be highly protective of them.” The administration has “that kind of power, that kind of bully pulpit, but they can’t say a mumbling word about the New Jim Crow – and they’ve been in office for five years. That’s disgusting!” Dr. West spoke on the latest edition of Black Agenda TV.

    Nursing Students Charge Fraud in Philadelphia

    Six Black women, who call themselves the Liberation of Students Rights Group of Philadelphia, charge the now defunct St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing cheated them out of $22,000 each and a year of their lives. Sabrina Whitaker said she and her fellow students, all college graduates at the time, had heard that the school had a Black dean, and “wanted to work in an area that was African American.” But the school turned out to be unaccredited. “We had to share gloves, we had to share needles when learning how to do IVs,” said Whitaker. The women hope to prevail in court, to prove that “if you keep fighting, keep striving for what you believe in, your dream too can come true.”

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    Crimes Against Blacks Demand Consequences, Says Black Is Back Coalition

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The Black Is Back Coalition holds its national conference in Harlem, this weekend, with “movement-building” on their minds. The ongoing assaults on African American lives and dignity show that “Black people are not effectively wielding power in the United States – certainly not in their own defense.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/24/13

    Ralph’s DC Vigil for Lynne

    “We all know that Obama and [Attorney General] Holder can move this with the stroke of a pen,” said Ralph Poynter, husband of people’s lawyer Lynn Stewart, whose Stage Four breast cancer worsens by the day in a Fort Worth, Texas, federal prison facility. A request for Stewart’s compassionate release from a ten-year prison sentence has stalled at the desk of Federal Bureau of Prisons director Charles Samuels. Asked how long he would maintain his vigil in front of the White House, Poynter replied, “I will be in Washington until Lynne is free or dead.”

    Rich Men’s Fears Drive U.S. Hyper-Surveillance

    The wealthy classes that rule the country “are very scared of the fact that the average American citizen may rise up and rebel against the redistribution of wealth to the top,” said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. “The surveillance state isn’t creeping, anymore. It’s here.”

    Obama Defiles Democracy

    All-pervasive spying on the citizenry “is one more thing that we can add to the list of offenses that Obama has committed against every assumption of democracy and democratic rights,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition. The revelations follow on the heels of the administration’s doubling of the bounty on Black liberation movement exile Assata Shakur. “That means anybody who supports Assata Shakur can be charged with supporting terrorism,” said Yeshitela. “I don’t think a white president could have gotten away with that.”

    Humanitarian” Imperialism

    Ajamu Baraka, an Institute for Policy Studies fellow and co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, said “the U.S. strategic objectives in the Middle East is to prevent any effective opposition to its interests in the region.” In an interview with Kali-Ahset Amen, host of Atlanta radio station WRFG’s “Moving the Center” program, Baraka described the doctrine of “humanitarian” military intervention as part of “desperate attempt on the part of the U.S. and the West to maintain their global hegemony” through force of arms.

    Richmond’s Slave Origins Deserve Preservation

    Shockoe Bottom, the historic center of old Richmond, Virginia, and site of what was once the nation’s second largest slave market, should not be replaced by a shopping mall, said human rights activist and journalist Anna Edwards. “Shockoe Bottom is the birthplace of the city of Richmond,” said Edwards, an editor of Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality newspaper. Richmond, “like so many cities in the United States, was born out of slave societies.”

    African Americans Should Show Some Humility, Says Scholar

    Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston, had a quick response to African Americans who might ask, “What have the Palestinians ever done for us?” The Palestinians “did a much better job than many of these Africans in North America in terms of lobbying on behalf of African liberation,” Horne told Norman Richmond, host of Regency Radio’s Saturday Morning Show, in Toronto, Canada. Blacks in America “should really have a bit more humility.”

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    It Was Good That Blacks Expressed Frustration with Obama – But Don’t Call It “Direct Action”

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The sheer weight of the damage done to Blacks under Obama’s watch prompted some of his strong supporters to demonstrate in front the White House, this past Monday – a first, from that quarter. However, the event was mislabeled as a Day of Direct Action, which it was definitely not. That's like announcing you're launching armed struggle, and then challenging Obama to an arm wrestling contest.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of November 12, 2012


    Racial Solidarity in Misery

    Who won on November 6? “If maintaining a degree of racial solidarity is a victory, then both sides – those that were solidified by their whiteness, and those that were solidified by their Blackness – I guess you can say that they both won that,” said Columbia, South Carolina, activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray. “Every economic and social indicator since Barack Obama got elected is in the negative.” Gray is author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.

    Wealth Wins Big

    The issue of “poverty was almost completely missing in the campaign,” said author and political analyst Paul Street. “Wealthy people own this political system: they own the economy, they own the society, the own the government, they own the politicians.” Street is author of The Emperor’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.

    Blacks to Become More Invisible

    Reflexive African American loyalty to President Obama reminds Dr. Anthony Monteiro of Malcolm X’s critique of Black affection for President John F. Kennedy: “We put him first, and he put us last.” The same goes for Obama, said Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “And us being last will be even worse in his second term, because he does not need the Black vote again. Black people will become more invisible.”

    Capitalists Running Scared

    President Obama’s preventive detention law and his plans to introduce “a new legal architecture” on national security in his next term, show that U.S. rulers live in fear of the people, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When the state has to show its hand in such a heavy-fisted way, it is clear that they are anticipating a severe crisis for which they do not have a response,” said Yeshitela.

    Seattle Likes Socialists

    Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives, won 27 percent of the vote on November 6. It is no longer taboo to campaign openly as a socialist, said Sawant, a professor of economics at Seattle Central Community College. “Times are changing, it’s not the Cold War propaganda era, anymore.” She attributes the party’s success to “the massive crisis of capitalism and the anger that people are feeling” at the financial oligarchy.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 22, 2012


    Medicare Supporters Protest While Candidates Joke

    Medicare “is being threatened by both parties,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal, of Physicians for a National Health Care Program. The group led protests outside New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, where presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney told jokes at an annual dinner. “Even the Democrats are talking about raising the age of eligibility for Medicare,” said Rosenthal. Both parties and the media claim Medicare is facing bankruptcy. “That’s all very misleading. It’s not in crisis, it’s not going to run out of money for a long time, and we can fix that.” Rosenthal’s organization wants Medicare expanded to cover all Americans.

    Black Is Back – in Washington

    The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which appeared on the scene with a march on the White House in 2009, returns to DC for a rally and national conference, November 3 and 4, under the theme “Breaking the Silence.” “There are bombs being dropped in Africa, and increased militarization of our communities in the United States,” said spokesperson Ayesha Fleary. “Millions have died in the Congo over the last 10 years, but that’s never on anybody’s agenda.”

    Stop-and-Frisk Protesters Face 2+ Years in Prison

    Trial begins October 23 for four members of the Stop Stop-and-Frisk movement, charged with acting “in concert” to disrupt a police precinct in Queens, New York, last year. Prosecutors are seeking to intimidate the movement by “piling on” charges that could put the demonstrators in prison for more than two years, said defendant Carl Dix. “It is illegitimate, unjust and racist for the NYPD to racially profile Black youth…and to put us on trial for protesting it. What has be put on trial, here, is stop-and-frisk, itself.”

    Parents of Slain Oakland Youth Speak Out

    Our youth are saying, Why plan for the future when I might not live to be 18?” said Jeralyn Blueford, whose son Alan was shot to death by an Oakland, California, policeman, last May. Mrs. Blueford and her husband, Adam, will travel to New York and Philadelphia to tell how a cop chased her unarmed son for a mile before putting three bullets in his chest. Initial police claims that there had been a shootout, soon fell apart. “It was just racial profiling at its core,” said the father.

    South Africa Slum Dwellers, in U.S., Condemn Marikana Massacre

    We need to take a stand, because what the miners were fighting for is just,” said Mnikelo Ndabankulu, spokesperson for the South African grassroots organization Abahlali baseMjondolo, which means “People Who Live in Shacks” in the Zulu language. At least 34 workers were shot dead by police at the Marikana platinum mine, in August. Ndabankulu's group has also been harshly suppressed by authorities. “South Africa is a protesting state,” he said. If police were allowed to shoot everyone who protests, “the country would be left with only police and rich people.” Abahlali baseMjondolo members are on a tour of U.S. cities.

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    Black is Back, With a Conference in Washington, Nov 3


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Black Is Back Coalition was born in October, 2009, when Black activists came together “to make some noise and formulate some plans – rather than passively accept the corporate policies of the icon in the White House.” The Coalition has been hard at work on worldwide Black liberation ever since, and will “Break the Silence” once again, with a rally and conference in the nation’s capital.

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    Break the Silence of War and Oppression: Black Is Back Coalition to Rally and March in DC in November


    from the Black is Back Coalition

    On the heels of its national conference last month in Newark, New Jersey, the Black Is Back Back Coalition will rally under the theme “Breaking the Silence,” in Washington, DC, on November 3 and 4. “Our people are enduring oppressive conditions that can only be likened to a state of warfare in every community where we are located within the U.S…. We will disavow the charlatans, poseurs and sycophants who have been chosen by our oppressors as our leaders. “

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – week of September 3, 2012


    Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk

    The police racial profiling practice known as stop-and-frisk is “wrong, it is immoral, it is racist and unconstitutional” said social activist Dr. Cornel West, announcing a “Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk” campaign starting September 13. “This struggle is going to intensify. We want to connect it to the military industrial complex,” the Wall Street complex, the prison industrial complex, and “we want to connect it to this election, where you see the farce between one oligarchic part and another.”

    Noche Diaz, an activist facing multiple trials for confronting stop-and-frisk, asked “By is that I have to look at 15 year-olds in the playgrounds of the Bronx, who tell me that if you’re not a white person in this world, you don’t matter?”

    Push for $10 Minimum Wage

    Democrats are “dialing for the same dollars” as Republicans, seeking corporate campaign contributions and “rejecting Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy,” said social activist Ralph Nader. “Polls show over 70 percent of the American people consistently want a minimum wage kept up with inflation.” Adjusted for inflation, the 1968 minimum wage would now be $10.35, rather than the current $7.25. The United States, said Nader, has “the lowest minimum wage in the western world.”

    Black Is Back Coalition Examines Electoral Strategies

    We want to take this conversation beyond an examination of Obama, to an examination of the electoral process, itself,” said Ayesha Fleary, at the recent conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Newark, New Jersey.

    Let us use the electoral process as one form of struggle,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “Our future depends on our willingness to build a real capacity to utilize every form of struggle in the quest for liberation.”

    Black people were ill-served by the “misleadership class” that arose after the collapse of the Sixties mass movements, said Glen Ford. “The same class of Black opportunists who has risen to local power through the Blackening of America’s cities, presided over the demographic reversal of fortunes, later on,” with the mounting loss of Black urban majorities.

    Corporate American and the banks have a death grip on Harlem, that will produce an even greater forced migration out of Harlem,” said Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council.

    U.S. rulers have placed Black and brown “neocolonialists” in positions of nominal power “to make it appear that people are making progress,” said Charles Barron, the Brooklyn city councilman. What’s needed are “African-conscious, radical, revolutionary people” elected to city councils, nationwide.

    Do we want to participate” in elections “just to raise issues…or to actually get people elected?” asked Larry Hamm, leader of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. “We’ve got to be able to come up with candidates, and when we put people in office, we’ve got to keep them accountable.”

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    Obama, the Elections and the Struggle for Justice, Peace, a Better Life and Black Power


    by Omali Yeshitela

    The U.S. electoral system, like American society at-large, is dominated by wealthy capitalists. What use, then, is electoral politics to African Americans? The Black Is Back Coalition explored that question at its national conference, in Newark, New Jersey. “We must create the options, destroying the proverbial claptrap from some ‘leftists’ and ‘revolutionaries’ that ask, ‘If not Obama and the Democrats, then what?’”

    Black Is Back Coalition Examines the Question of Elections


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Black Is Back Coalition talks a look forward and back at its national conference, this weekend, in Newark, New Jersey. The gathering will focus on Blacks and elections in America. Forty years ago, Blacks took nominal power in much of urban America. “What did African Americans do correctly during this period of African American power at the polls in urban America, and where did we go wrong?”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of August 13, 2012


    Elections and Black Power

    On August 18 and 19, the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparation holds its national conference in Newark, New Jersey, under the theme: Obama, the Elections, and the Struggle for Peace, a Better Life, and Black Power. “We’re going to take it away from simply a discussion around Obama and place it in a context of elections in a capitalist system: What are they about, who funds them, and their role” under capitalism, said Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela. “This is something that the movement at-large hasn’t done since the Civil Rights era, when there was an assumption that elections were the way to gain power for Black people.”

    Prison for Poor People

    In a practical sense, debtors prisons are a reality in America, say two Birmingham, Alabama, lawyers who have defended hundreds of people thrown in jail by private companies for non-payment of fines and fees. Companies contracted by localities to handle probation “services” pile on fees that often “exceed the amount that the person can afford to make payments,” said Atty. Lisa Borden. In many cases, people who are jailed are charged additional fees to pay for their incarceration. Atty. William Dawson, who brought suit against many Alabama cities and towns, said: “The fact that this has gone on for six or eight years throughout the South and other parts of America is outrageous.”

    The Philadelphia Plan: Marginalize Blacks

    Philadelphia pubic school authorities want to close at least 40 schools and convert 40 percent of remaining classrooms to charter operations. The plan was financed by large corporate interests. “There’s big business in moving us out of the way,” said Rev. Alyn Waller, pastor of the city’s Enon Tabernacle Church. “We need to recognize that there is a larger strategy, here, to disenfranchise and marginalize people in the African American community.

    U.S. Persecutes Eritrea

    The northeast African nation of Eritrea, which fought a 30-year war for independence from Ethiopia, “is on America’s hit list,” said Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report executive editor. The U.S. pressured the UN Security Council to renew sanctions against Eritrea, even though a monitoring group found no evidence that the country had assisted Shabab resistance fighters in Somalia over the past year. Especially in Africa, said Ford, Washington’s policy is “to create chaos and horrific human suffering in those regions it cannot directly control.”

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    The Concept of “Black” Elections


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    When a Black candidate that fails to gain majority Black support wins an election, is that a Black victory, or a Black defeat? The Black Is Back Coalition holds a national conference in Newark, New Jersey, on August 18, to explore the potential and pitfalls of electoral politics. “This notion of elections=politics is pervasive across the American racial landscape.” It causes Black people to abandon their historic strengths. “The rejection of mass, grassroots action is a negation of, literally, the vast bulk of the Black historical political experience.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of July 9, 2012


    Black Is Back Coalition National Conference

    The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations holds a national conference in Newark, New Jersey, August 18. “We will examine the role of elections in this society, the role of money in elections, and the question of how, or whether, Black people should be involved,” said Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela. “The idea of voting simply for the sake of voting is not something that any rational person” advocates.

    Pennsylvania’s Assault on the Very Poor

    Seventy thousand of the state’s poorest people were given virtually no notice that they are to be removed from cash public assistance. State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas said Republicans also want to use “asset testing” to keep people off food stamps and are discussing making the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program into a loan, to be repaid when recipients gain employment. Meanwhile, corporations are getting “carte blanche access to drilling” for natural gas in the state. “So, while we are throwing people into the street on one hand, we are fattening corporate welfare at an alarming rate,” said the Philadelphia lawmaker.

    Canadian Police are as Racist as U.S. Cops

    The youth activist group Justice Is Not Colour-Blind is demanding an end to racial profiling and police raids in the Black community of Toronto, Canada. “Racial profiling is rampant in Toronto,” said Odion Fayalo, of JINCB. The police practice of arbitrarily demanding that Black males produce ID, called “carding,” is the Canadian version of stop-and-frisk.

    Manning Marable Got it Wrong on Malcolm X

    The late Dr. Manning Marable’s 2011 book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention attempts to “liberalize Malcolm X” and misrepresent his revolutionary nationalist politics, said Morgan State University professor Jared Ball, an editor and contributor to A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manny Marable’s Malcolm X. Marable “would have welcomed an exchange and criticism of his book,” said Dr. Ball, but “those who walk in his footsteps…will not engage in principled debate.”

    Malcolm X Radio to Power Up

    Low-power FM radio station WMXP needs $15,000 to bring the broadcast signal to full power, said Atty. Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. WMXP’s programming “connects the local community with the national and international Black community and provides an opportunity for political education that would not otherwise be available.”

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    The Need for a Black Agenda


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The African American Left’s failure to formulate a Black Agenda has made it “largely irrelevant during the greatest crisis of capitalism since at least the Great Depression, and the worst economic and social crisis for African Americans since the death of Reconstruction.” The default Black Agenda is Obamaism, which is corporatism, and the death of Black politics. “If all that matters is Obama, then there is no need for a Black political agenda – except four more years of Obama.”

    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of November 14, 2011


    Black Is Back Coalition Holds National Conference

    We’ve got to uproot this system, so that our people can live,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, at a conference in Philadelphia that marked the groups second year of operation. Yeshitela recalled that, back in the autumn of 2009, when the new coalition decided to stage a march on the White House, lots of Blacks “were upset that we would challenge of Negro president.” The coalition has tried “to create a new trajectory for the African Liberation movement.” Membership in the Black is Back Coalition, Yeshitela told the crowd, “is something that will enhance what you do” in your usual political work, “not hurt what you do.”

    Peoples Organization for Progress Supports OWS

    This system cannot deliver a decent quality of life for our people,” said Larry Hamm, president of People’s Organization for Progress (POP), at the Black Is Back Coalition conference. POP, a coalition affiliate, is statewide grassroots organization in New Jersey. POP supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. “Yes, there are contradictions,” said Hamm. “But, as long as I read that the captains of finance and industry hate what they are doing, we will support it.” Hamm reminded the conference that POP launched daily demonstrations for jobs, education, housing and peace back in June, before there was an OWS movement. The protests, in Newark, are set to last for at least 381 days, the duration of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott.

    Historic Church Joins POP Protest

    Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church, which this weekend celebrated its 140th anniversary, marked the occasion by joining with POP’s daily demonstrations. “I like the idea of partnering with other organizations,” said Bethany’s Rev. William Howard. “There is no more critical question than meaningful employment for our community. So many of our young people are criminalized at an early age and unable to pursue conventional employment.” Rev. Howard is a former president of the National Council of Churches.

    Occupation Movement Has Made Politics as Usual “Trivial”

    The Occupation movement “has established for tens of millions of people that it is finance capital and Wall Street that are at the very core of the economic and social problems we face in this country,” said Tony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “The Occupation has such moral authority that it has, literally, taken the Tea Party out of the news, and has made politics as usual trivial to millions of people,” said Monteiro. “It has the potential of animating and bringing militancy to the labor movement, and to forcing Black people to come out of the stupor we are in as a result of confusion about Obama and bourgeois politics.”

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    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of Oct 31, 2011

    European “Vultures” Will Not “Pick Over” Libya

    The Nation of Islam mourns the loss of the great Brother Leader, the Lion of Africa,” said NOI Min. Louis Farrakhan, speaking on Cliff Kelly’s show on radio WVON-AM, Chicago. Col. Muammar Gaddafi “had already set up an African Development Bank, so that Africa would not have to go to the World Bank or to the International Monetary Fund,” said Farrakhan, whose relationship with Gaddafi goes back decades. “[Secretary of State] Clinton is in for a shock, if she thinks the vultures of Europe are going to pick that body. I want you to know you are through as a world power. Through. Through.”

    OWS Must Recognize Slavery As Original American Sin

    The mostly young white people that initiated the Occupy movement need to ask themselves some questions, said activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “Is this about your lost expectations of white privilege, or is this about fighting and abolishing privilege, altogether?” The United States “was set up to protect a rich, white, propertied class. That’s the root of the problem in American society. The lynchpin of modern capitalism was chattel slavery, and unless the people at Occupy Wall Street understand these basic things, their movement will be flawed from the beginning.”

    Occupations Shift Public Debate to Jobs

    The Occupation movement has shifted the public conversation “from this silly focus on deficits to a focus on jobs and getting the economy moving again,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer of Occupy Washington DC. Although the protesters at Freedom Plaza were given a multi-month permit, Zeese says they’ve been told of pressures to shut them down. President Obama should know, said Zeese, that “if he does not stop us from being evicted or arrested, he will be blamed for it.”

    Howard University Solidarity with Occupations

    Students and alumnae from predominantly Black Howard University marched in solidarity with the Occupation movement, because “African Americans have been hardest hit by joblessness,” said Washington attorney Talib Karim. He cautioned that Blacks “want to see clear goals” emerge from the movement. The racial imbalance in OWS is mainly due to the fact that “people organize with who they know.”

    Nurses Have Been On Wall Street’s Case Longer than OWS

    One of two nurses arrested when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police cleared out the Occupation site says they were singled out for harsh treatment in jail. Jan Rodolfo, of National Nurses United (NNU), points out that “even in military combat situations, health care personnel are usually respected. I was pretty outraged and saddened that Rahm Emanuel wasn’t willing to respect that.” NNU’s focus on Wall Street predates the Occupation movement. The union has been demanding a tax on stock trading since the Spring.

    Divest From Prison Corporations

    We should close down the concept of prison as a business,” said Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of The Correctional Association of New York, which recently endorsed the Occupation movement. Ms. Elijah supports abolition of prisons in the long term, and down-sizing and a halt to privatization of prisons, in the near-term. OWS should encourage divestment in corporations that are involved in prisons, just as a previous movement urged divestment of corporations that did business with South Africa, she said.

    Black Is Back March and Rally Wins Permit, in Philly

    Philadelphia police reversed themselves and issued a parade permit to the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which holds its national conference on November 5. The police initially claimed all their resources were dedicated to the Occupy Philadelphia protest, said Black Is Back organizer Diop Olugbala, who is also running for mayor. “Budgetary constraints have never been a condition to determine the right to free speech for anybody in the United States,” he said. “It’s the war on the Black community that made it possible for the 1% to become so fabulously wealthy.”

    Teachers Join Marathon Protest in Newark

    We are in sync with what the People’s Organization for Progress is standing for,” said Annette Alston, president of the Newark Teachers Association. In June, POP began 381 days of demonstrations for jobs, education, peace and justice. Teachers and the retail workers union have assumed responsibility for some of the daily protest duties. “Greedy corporations are the reason for the economic situation we’re in,” said Alston. Corporations also try to scapegoat teachers for the problems afflicting public schools. “Teachers are the ones who come in early and stay late, and the parents know it,” she said. “It’s all about union busting.”

    Dems Plan to Co-opt OWS Will Fail

    God knows the Democrats are desperate” to co-opt the OWS movement, said activist and author Paul Street. “They see in this movement an opportunity to give themselves a populist makeover.” But Street believes “the OWS and it’s off-shoots are conscious of the danger of being hijacked by electoral politicians.” He says the idea that OWS is a “Tea Party of the Left” is a “lame equation” because the Occupation forces understand themselves as a social movement while the Tea Party is a well-financed vehicle “to elect hard-Right Republicans.” Street is co-author of Crashing the Tea Party: Mass Media and the Campaign to Remake American Politics.

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    Black Is Back Coalition: Defining Our Own Place in the 99%


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    After two years of existence, the Black Is Back Coalition is witnessing – and has been part of – what is beginning to look like a watershed moment in the U.S. and the world. “For the first time in four decades the word ‘revolution’ is heard outside the context of the newest consumer product.” Yet, many Blacks wonder about the actual inclusiveness of the revolt of the 99 percent. “In the United States, especially, homogenization always tends, in practice, to result in a whitening of the process.” A progressive movement requires the exertion of strong Black leadership. That’s the challenge for the Black Is Black Coalition at its November 5 national conference – and for the entire Black polity.

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    The Obama Disaster, at Home and Abroad


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    There is nothing left of Obama, except the “moderate Republicrat corporate lawyer” that he has always been. He refuses to fight in the people’s interest, because he is not interested in the people – only in his foolish dream of a grand alliance with the GOP in service of Wall Street. But the GOP feels triumphant, and isn’t playing his games. “Obama has already sacrificed trillions in social spending trying to split the budget difference with Republicans who persist in seeking total victory.

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    Black Is Back Coalition Holds March 26 Conference on the “Other” U.S. Wars


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The bulk of U.S. and European anti-war movements have never opposed all imperial domination of other peoples, and have therefore been selective about which conflicts would be recognized as actual “wars,” that should be protested. Thus, U.S. armed theft of Haitian independence is not considered a war, and the U.S. is free to deny culpability for the six million killed in Congo by America’s proxy wars. The Black is Back Coalition “will reexamine the globe to define more objectively where U.S. imperialism and its partners – heirs to previous European empires – are waging war against the various peoples of the world, and what to do about it.”

    The White Backlash Has Arrived – Bring on the Black Is Back Coalition!

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The Tea Party branch of the Republican Party rode a roaring white backlash to victory, last week, but American society is denied the language – and permission of corporate media – to discuss the phenomenon. Ironically, the relative silence on race is a result of the Civil Rights Movement having “succeeded in fully euphemizing white political speech.” As a consequence, “a conspiracy of white-washed language seeks to obscure the growing threat.” The Black Is Black Coalition defies the white-washers of reality, this weekend, with a rally and march on the White House.

    Black is Back, Permanently. Join Us in DC on Nov. 13

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations has had a good year since its first rally and march on the White House, November, 2009. “We proved that a critical mass of Black left activists and organizations was prepared to rebuild independent, anti-imperialist Black politics.” Now, as “the economic depression gripping our people deepens, and a cascade of crises loom for the nation and the world,” Black Is Back prepares for another year of struggle to reverse the “mass suffering and defeat” brought on by Wall Street and its servants in both major political parties.” Renew the struggle. Rally and march with BiB.

    Black Is Back: Let's March on White House Again, Nov. 13

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Black Is Back Coalition's second march on the White House, November 13, signals that "a critical mass of activists and organizers are determined to push on to freedom, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the color of the war monger and corporate front man in the White House."

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    Ayesha Fleary For Black Is Back Coalition: The President's Wars Are Not "Our" Wars

    Just because the president has a pretty brown face, a beautiful African American wife, and adorable black children doesn't make his wars the cause of Black America, Ayesha Fleary told attendees at an anti-war rally across the street from the White House last weekend.
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    Omali Yeshitela at Black Is Back: Creating A Broad Social Movement Based in Our Black Communties

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    Omali Yeshitela of the Uhuru Movement, convenors of the January 2010 Black Is Back conference in St. Petersburg explains that the 21st century successor to the Freedom Movement must be a broad social movement firmly rooted, among other places, in black America, and describes a little of what that looks like.

    Black is Back Coalition Conference in Florida

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Ten months into the Obama presidency, a newly-formed coalition of Black activists and organizations gathered in Washington to confront the administration's policies. On January 23, the Black is Back Coalition meets to map out a plan of action for the new year. “Black is Back means demanding the resources that are ours by right, to shape our own destinies in solidarity with the rest of humankind in a world that says Yes to justice and peace.”

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    The Road to a New Movement Begins: Black is Back Coalition

    black is bacby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    Just two months after the call went out, the revived Movement was off to a spirited start, galvanized by Obama's corporate policies and the “most acute crisis of capitalism in four generations.” As one former Obama supporter told the crowd at Washington's Malcolm X Park, “To have a black person exploiting me just like a white person, that's no easier pain to bear.”
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