Black Power

Marking 15 Years Since the Passing of Kwame Ture: Speeches and Interviews

Submitted by Ama Biney on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 11:51

by Dr. Ama Biney

Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, the former SNCC activist whose name will forever be linked to the term “Black Power,” died in Conakry, Guinea, on November 15, 1998, at age 57. Ture spent his last decades as an organizer of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party. He once said: “Our grandfathers had to run, run, run. My generation’s out of breath. We ain’t running no more.”

Crimes Against Blacks Demand Consequences, Says Black Is Back Coalition

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 08/13/2013 - 23:59

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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Blacks rally to save Camden NJ police department
Obama claims that “war is peace”
The “rule of law” is a thing of the past
Blowback” coming after Dorner demise
Resolved: Corporations are NOT citizens
Blacks Rally to Save Camden NJ Police Department

This is a public safety issue, it’s a labor issue, and it’s a political issue,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress and featured speaker at a rally to prevent the shutdown of the police department in mostly Black and Latino Camden, New Jersey. The financially distressed town would be patrolled by police from the surrounding, mostly white county. It’s a matter of self-determination, said Hamm. “They’re not going to stop with taking over the finance department; they’re not going to stop with taking over the schools; they’re not going to stop with the police force.”

Obama’s Orwellian Peace

President Obama’s claim that he will end the U.S. war in Afghanistan in 2014 makes sense only in the language of George Orwell’s 1984, said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. The president is actually planning to take U.S. troop strength “down to almost what it was when he moved into the White House, and calling it ‘peace,’” said Swanson. “And we’re calling drone wars ‘peace.’”

R.I.P. Rule of Law

There’s been a very steady dismantling of the rule of law, both domestically and internationally, begun by the Bush administration and furthered by the Obama administration,” said veteran journalist Chris Hedges, one of the plaintiffs challenging the law allowing preventive detention of American citizens. U.S. lawlessness abroad “has been accompanied by a savage assault on our most basic constitutional rights,” said Hedges, “giving the executive branch the right to kill Americans.”

Blowback” Coming After Dorner’s Demise

Chris Dorner, the former Los Angeles policeman and NAVY special operations officer who died in a fiery shootout, last week, was a “universal soldier,” said investigative journalist Mike Rupert. “I don’t think the LAPD or any police department will now so cavalierly terminate any combat veteran, for any reason,” said Rupert, who is also a former LAPD cop.

A friend and former athletic teammate of Dorner, identified only as “Ben,” told KPFA radio’s Davey D: “We watched this brother be assassinated on TV. There will be a blowback from this.”

Resolved: Corporations are Not Citizens

Move to Amend activist George Friday appeared with Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) at a press conference following Nolan’s introduction of a constitutional amendment to deny corporations the rights of citizens. Many millions of Americans, said Friday, “are ready to stand up against the inappropriate, illegitimate use of corporate power and corporate constitutional rights.”

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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

Submitted by Omali Yeshitela on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 21:18

 

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?’”

 

U.S. Foments Violence in Syria

Washington appears to be attempting a re-run of last year’s regime change in Libya. “That’s what the drumbeats have been, all along,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The West puts the “opposition” together and arms it, “and then the United States claims we have to intervene to stop the very violence that we perpetrated. That is the absolute playbook for Libya.” At this point, the Syrian regime has to use violence to survive. “It doesn’t seem to me that there is a great deal of choice, here, for Syria,” said Ratner.

Single Payer Activists Ask High Court to Throw Out Individual Mandate

Fifty medical doctors have filed a brief, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down provisions of President Obama’s health care legislation that force Amerians to by private health insurance. “There’s a dire need right now to get rid of, not only the individual mandate, but to get rid of the private health insurance corporations,” said Russell Mokhiber, of Single Payer Action. Obama’s bill “wasn’t an accomplishment for the American people, it was an accomplishment for the insurance industry. They drafted this law. It kept them in the game.”

Newark Daily Protests Link Local, National Struggles

Daily demonstrations begun in June by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), in Newark, New Jersey, “provide a real opportunity for everyday people who feel that their voices have been heard, that they’ve been drowned out by the Super Pacs,” said Jerome Harris, immediate past president of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention. POP vows to continue demonstration for jobs, education, peace and justice for at least 381 days, the duration of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Chicago Torture Commission Lacks Funds

Standish Willis, the Chicago attorney who drew up legislation that authorized a commission to gain the release of Black men imprisoned on evidence and confessions obtained by police torture, said state funds for the project have been cut in half. That’s barely enough to pay an executive director and an assistant, said Willis. “Without funding, the Commission will die,” and at least 20 torture victims will languish in prison.

Push to Ban Death Penalty in Maryland

Political prisoner Marshall Eddie Coleman, a former Black Panther incarcerated for the last 42 years, is leading a campaign to end capital punishment in the state. Maryland may be “Up South,” said Atty. James Reston, secretary of the Baltimore-Washington chapter of the Jericho Project, but “it has a Deep South mentality.” Seventy-seven percent of the state’s inmates are Black, and four Black men and a white woman sit on Death Row.

Economist Skeptical of Obama Housing Scheme

This has a lot more to do with getting a good photo-op” for the president, than providing substantial help to homeowners, said Dr. Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst. “We are now in the third or fourth effort. None of the others succeeded. It would be strange for us to believe, now, with an election coming up,” that a $26 billion settlement will solve a $700 billion problem.

Black Power Redefined

Joanne Griffith, a British-born journalist, is on a speaking tour for her new book, Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America. “We are looking at activism from different perspectives – from the legal perspective, from the media perspective, and from the emotional impact that the Obama presidency has had on African Americans,” she said.

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball

In the Seventies, Black radio news was a powerhouse reaching virtually every Black household with hourly newscasts that fueled political movements and incubated youthful Black leadership. Famed journalist and educator Phyl Garland chronicled and helped shape the era. “This time the struggle is not only for jobs and meaningful representation, but for the control of black minds through the grist they are fed by the communications media,” she wrote. The present generation’s mission is to seize control of Black-oriented media in service of the people.

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Black Power, Barack Obama and Peniel E. Joseph’s Defense of American Democracy

Submitted by Anthony Monteiro on Wed, 07/28/2010 - 12:48

by Anthony Monteiro

Corporate media (and corporate academia) appear to have anointed Peniel E. Joseph as the emerging Black scholar on Black Power and its aftermath – which is cause for dismay. Joseph “‘liberates’ Malcolm and Kwame from the events and ideas that shaped them and their own philosophical reflections upon them. At the same time he frees himself to do what he wishes with their legacies.”

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