Black Freedom Movement
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/2/13
LA Schools Overrun by Cops
The Los Angeles Unified School District is among the most heavily policed in the nation, with Black students 29 times more likely than white students to be charged with disturbing the peace. “Are they trying to set students up for success and education, or are they trying to set them up to go to prison?” asked Ashley Franklin, an organizer with the Labor Community Strategy Center and one of the authors of a report titled “Black, Brown and Over-Policed in LA Schools.” Despite the heavy hand of the law, students have organized throughout the district. “Our youth have read their history and they’re fighting back,” said Franklin.
Charter Schools Increase Segregation
Studies show the spread of charter schools exacerbates economic and racial segregation, said Stan Karp, of New Jersey’s Education Law Center. “Systematically, if you look at the demographics of the charter experiment, this is where you’re finding the increase in segregation, higher attrition rates, and the different populations that are being served,” said Karp, author of the recent Rethinking Schools article “How Charter Schools are Undermining Public Education.” The privatizers are deceiving inner city parents. “Investors and business interests have been able to attach their agenda for market reform in education to the urgent needs of communities that have not been well served by the existing system.”
African People’s Socialist Party Holds 6th Congress
The struggles – and defeats – of the Sixties must be put in context in order to chart a course towards liberation in the future, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, which holds its 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida, December 7 – 11. “We had a movement that was crushed” by state repression and assassinations, and “we’re seeing the consequences of that defeat” in the corrupt Black leadership that has emerged over the past 40-plus years. “Occasional spontaneous outbreaks” of protest after incidents like the Trayvon Martin killing cannot “substitute for real revolutionary work,” said Yeshitela.
Mumia: Where is Justice for the Living?
Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, who is serving a life term in the 1981 death of a Philadelphia policeman, noted that the State of Alabama recently granted posthumous pardons to the 9 Scottsboro Boys, convicted in a 1931 “rape that never happened.” Meanwhile, the four Black women and five men of the Move 9 are in the 35th year of prison sentences in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. “In 2058, will a future governor declare them pardoned, and grant them symbolic justice?” asked Abu Jamal, with deep sarcasm. “Justice delayed is still justice denied.”
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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The most powerful – and violent – man in the world was made the star of the commemoration of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King. “The grave-markers of the martyrs of the Black Freedom Movement – in their thousands – have been reduced to cobblestones on the road to the Obama presidency.”
by Raymond Nat Turner
My leaders were chased
To China, Tanzania, Cuba and
France by lynch mobs and
Death squads posing as public servants—
by Yvette Carnell
The Black Church’s central role in the African American Freedom Movement, is a myth. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “himself lamented the ‘apathy of the Negro ministers’ and their interpretation of Christianity,” writes the author. In fact, “the presence of culture crusaders, who substitute morality wars for politics, has a demobilizing impact on black movement politics.”
by Raymond Nat Turner
The “Leo” of this poem is the legendary Black longshore union activist Leo Robinson, who died this past January. “The deep, dark chocolate brown, booming / Baritone brother sportin’ black, Lenin-like / Greek Fisherman’s cap / comin’ Coltranish…
Contrary to Congressman John Lewis’ revision of history, “the notion that the Civil Rights movement was exclusively nonviolent is a popular mythology.” In fact, “Some members of Lewis’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee picked up weapons and worked with community people to defend their lives against white terrorists.”
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Watkins, an esteemed author, economist and social commentator, has seen the error of his ways. He has been wrong to argue that President Obama be made accountable to Black people, his most ardent supporters. Instead, Blacks should be accountable to the president. “Only whites, Jews, gays, women, labor groups and illegal immigrants are allowed to expect anything from the president.”
by Benjamin Woods
African American mythology tells us that the Black Freedom Movement was born in the church. That’s because “the Black church has had better propagandists than Black freethinkers.” But freethinkers also populate the liberation pantheon, while the church has sometimes proven an obstacle to the Movement.