Black Liberation Movement

50 Years Later, Newark and Detroit Still Feel Tremors from 1967 Rebellions

by Todd Burroughs

The shock of the two largest Black rebellions of 1967 caused President Lyndon Johnson to assign the Kerner Commission to study race relations in the U.S. However, the commission’s report “was buried by Johnson because it was honest about the effects of white racism and poverty on oppressed Black people.” The rebellions are now sources of pride. “Newark and Detroit are still majority Black and brown cities, and therein lies the power.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 10, 2017

U.S. War Crimes Against “Muslims of Color”

The illegal U.S. presence in Syria is a “Nuremburg crime against peace,” said Dr. Francis Boyle, the renowned professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign. “It was Obama that started” the aggression against Syria,” said Boyle. “Trump’s just exacerbating it. This is really a clash of civilizations between diehard white Judea-Christian neo-con Zionists against Muslims of color, to destroy them and steal their oil and gas.”

Black Is Back Coalition to Gather in Chicago

“We cannot support any imperialist agenda that’s coming from America,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The coalition is gearing up for a national conference in Chicago, August 12 and 13, under the theme: “The Ballot and the Bullet: War and Peace in the Era of Donald Trump.” “Donald Trump is symptomatic of a severe crisis of the whole social system of capitalism, that’s born of slavery and colonialism and world domination,” said Yeshitela.

Mumia Remembers Franz Fanon

In an essay for Prison Radio, Mumia Abu Jamal, who was a radio journalist before he was imprisoned in the death of a Philadelphia policeman, noted that Wretch of the Earth author Franz Fanon was also a “revolutionary journalist.” Fanon’s reporting for the Algerian revolutionary press from 1957 to 1960, and his 1964 collection Towards the African Revolution “condemns Arab and African collaborators and dissects how French forces used torture to intimidate the Algerian resistance,” said the nation’s best known political prisoner.

A Challenge to Rwandan Dictatorship

Diane Rwigara, the 35 year-old daughter of a businessman believed to have been assassinated by Paul Kagame’s Rwandan regime, has delivered a “shock to the system,” according to David Himbara, himself an exile from Kagame’s terror. Speaking to Toronto radio host Phil Taylor, Himbara said Ms. Rwigara’s campaign for the presidency is already a kind of people’s victory. “Regardless of the outcome of the election, Diane Rwigara has already won,” said HImbara. “She has given people courage.”

New York’s Pacifica Station Resists Empire (State Building)

An impressive roster of elected officials is urging the owners of the Empire State Building to back off their threat to evict Pacifica radio station WBAI-FM from the tower it has broadcast from since 1965. The building’s owners claim WBAI owes them over $2 million in back rent. Station interim director Bill Crosier says the non-profit corporation, which also owns stations in Texas and California, has been paying $12,000 a month for the last three years, which they believe is a fair market rate. Crosier appreciates the letters of support from elected officials. “We’ve been standing up for the rights of people who don’t have political influence for a long time.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

Black America is “Pro-Peace,” but Its Politicians Work for the War Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Black Alliance for Peace will have to work around or against the Black Misleadership Class. “For these infinitely self-centered creatures, even the Mother Continent is unworthy of basic human empathy, much less solidarity.” The Congressional Black Caucus won’t even complain of genocide in the Congo, much less war against Syria. Even the Movement for Blacks Lives’ position on peace is weak. Malcolm, MLK and Du Bois would disapprove.

Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Add the name of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman from Seattle, to the list of victims of the U.S. State. Her name will soon move down the column, since killer cops “are inherent in the logic of repression that has always characterized the relationship between the U.S. racist settler-state and black people.” Killing Black people comes easily, especially at this stage of capitalism in which their labor is no longer needed.

100th Anniversary of Hubert Harrison’s Founding of the Militant “New Negro Movement”

by Jeffrey B. Perry

The modern Black liberation movement can be said to have begun with the founding of Hubert Harrison’s Liberty League, in Harlem, a century ago. The League demanded that lynching become a federal crime, and that Blacks defend themselves from racist attack. “Harrison advised ‘Negroes’ who faced mob violence in the South and elsewhere to ‘supply themselves with rifles and fight if necessary, to defend their lives and property.’"

Malcolm X in the 21st Century

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

Had he not been assassinated, Malcolm X might still be among us, speaking Truth to Power and marking his 92nd birthday. If you want to emulate Malcolm, you might start by carrying around his recommended list of exploratory equipment: “a notebook, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a book of synonyms and antonyms, an etymology text, a library card, and an open, willing mind.”

From Colonialism to Trumpism: Remembering Aimé Césaire

by Abraham Ramirez

Americans and Europeans speak of the drift towards fascism, as if the empires they have built on the tombs of the non-white peoples were not the incubators of Hitlers -- and incarcerationist Clintons, bombing Obamas and Trumps. “They tolerated Nazism before it was inflicted on them, they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimized it, because, until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples.”

I Feel Blessed to Have Encountered Darcus Howe

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

Darcus Howe, the Trinidad-born nephew of C.L.R. James, touched many lives. A member of the British Black Panthers and an organizer of street protests in London, Howe became a noted broadcaster and writer. The author first met Howe in New York in that crucial year, 1968.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 17, 2017

Black leftists, including former Black Panthers, can serve the people either as Democrats or independent of the corporate parties. “I did both,” said New York State Assemblyman Charles Barron, speaking at an electoral politics school organized by the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Barron won local and statewide office as a Democrat, but ran for governor on the Freedom Party ticket. He is most proud of thwarting gentrification in his district, citing a Daily News article that showed “East New York, Brooklyn, is the only Black community in the city that has experienced a 13.2 percent increase in the Black population” because of affordable housing generated by Barron’s office.

Referendums Could Bypass Black Misleadership Class

Strategic use of voter initiatives and referendums can help bypass the “illegitimate” Black political class that serves rich white masters, said Kamm Howard, of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA). Howard spoke at the electoral school held by the Black is Back Coalition, of which he is a board member. “You’re taking a vote directly to the people, allowing us to craft our own laws,” he said. Howard argued that skillful use of voter initiatives and referendums is a good way to push for reparations, Black community control of police, and other issues on the Black is Back Coalition’s 19-point National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination.

U.S. Political Prisoners Face De Facto Life Sentences Without Parole

Anne Lamb, a Jericho Movement co-chair in New York City, is gearing up for the Millions for Prisoner Human Rights March, August 19, in Washington; demonstrations in support of Mumia Abu Jamal, in Philadelphia, on April 24; and the decades-long effort to free former Black Liberation Army member Jalil Muntaqim, formerly known as Anthony Bottoms, who has spent the last 46 years behind bars in New York. “They want to impose life without parole on all our political prisoners,” said Lamb. “Jalil is a prime example of how afraid they are of the ideas of our political prisoners. He’s been behind the walls for a long time, but he has not changed his mind about what he thinks could be a better world.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

MLK and Obama: Two Diametrically Opposed Legacies

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Dr. King spoke of the Triple Evils: racism, militarism and materialism – “meaning, in contemporary society, capitalism.” However, “the decisive blow to the Black movement for self-determination and against U.S. imperialism was delivered by forces internal to the Black community”: the Black Misleadership Class. The question confronts us: “Have Black people shed their anti-imperialism and embraced war?”

Garza, of Movement4BlackLives: Our Cynicism Will Not Build a Movement. Collaboration Will

by Alicia Garza

Before she decided to take part in the Women’s March on the nation’s capital, the author was “conflicted” about the project. Like others, she wondered “where were all of these white people while our people are being killed in the streets, jobless, homeless, over incarcerated, under educated?” Garza concluded that, “If our movement is not serious about building power, then we are just engaged in a futile exercise of who can be the most radical.”

Build and Fight: Beyond Trump and the Limitations of the United Front

by Kali Akuno and Doug Norberg

At this time of great crisis, there are fevered calls for the Left to forge a “united front.” However, “these calls rarely take into account the inequality or lack of political parity of the ‘uniting’ forces,” or the difference between strategic alliances and the temporary or limited unity of tactical alliances. Moreover, what is to be gained from such unity, and for whom? “At best, ‘united fronts’ are instruments for restoring the status quo ante.”

Black Awakening, Class Rebellion

by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and George Ciccariello-Maher

“The Black movement has been and will continue to be the foundation for the emergence of other liberation movements” in the U.S., says Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, whose Black Awakening in Obama’s America has been described as “the most important book of 2016.” However, the Black Misleadership class stands with corporate power. “Black officials uphold a status quo that is institutionally racist and incapable of delivering the goods to Black people.”

Go to DC to Fight for Black Self-Determination – Not for Clinton and the CIA

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Black folks who should be shouting defiance to racists from both parties will instead hurl insults at Vladimir Putin and join hands with the CIA and war profiteers next month, in Washington. However, there will be another presence in DC. The Black is Back Coalition “will declare to the world its intention to fight for Black self-determination in every aspect of life, ‘despite the rise of Donald Trump and his version of white nationalism.’”

 
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Freedom Rider: Fighting for Southern Human Rights

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The South, where more than half of the Black U.S. population lives, has based its economic appeal on the stinginess of its social safety net, the relative poverty of its people, and the savagery of its criminal justice system. Capitalism truly turns morality upside down. Mississippi is considered good for business because its “retrograde history of slavery and Jim Crow segregation creates a compliant and largely non-unionized source of labor.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 12, 2016

Baraka: Fear of Trump Defeated the Green Party

Voters “wanted a change, but were concerned that if they stood with the Green Party challenge, that would in effect be a vote for Donald Trump -- and we know that the propaganda was very effective in advancing that notion,” said the Greens’ vice presidential choice, Ajamu Baraka. The veteran activist, who is also a BAR editor and columnist, told a conference of Southern Human Rights Organizers, in Jackson, Mississippi, that there is a “pattern of repression” against Black people and the working class in cities across the country -- most of them “administered and managed by Democrats.”

Dixon Defends Stein Vote Recount

Jill Stein and the Green Party are “not jumping into bed with the Democrats” with their call for a recount of votes in three mid-western states narrowly lost by Hillary Clinton, said Bruce Dixon, co-chair of the Georgia Green Party. “How are we going to ignore pervasive evidence of widespread, multi-state vote tampering, and then turn around in 2017 and tell people they should campaign for office” on the Green ticket? Dixon, who is also managing editor of BAR, said Bernie Sanders should have filed a recount complaint against Hillary Clinton for “stealing” the primary elections in states like Massachusetts and California. “It seems that Bernie and his people were too intent on staying in the [Democratic] club.”

The Democratic Party Can’t Be Fixed

“The powers in the Democratic Party preferred Trump to Bernie Sanders,” said veteran anti-war activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site War Is A Crime. “They wanted Hillary or nothing, and that’s what they got.” Those same people, he said, resist naming Rep. Keith Ellison as head of the Democratic National Committee. “The Democratic Party, in my mind, needs to be abandoned. The idea of taking it over and reforming it and fixing it is old, and getting a little tiresome.”

No to Trump and Clinton – Yes to Black Self-Determination

One day before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and six days before the presidential inauguration, the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will gather at Freedom Plaza, in Washington, DC. “The January 14 mobilization is part of the process of replacing, moving out of the way, those sell-out, opportunist leaders who have pretended to represent the interests of our people,” said coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. He said the rally will highlight “our 19-point program to put self-determination at the center of Black political struggle” on the widest range of issues.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 5, 2016

Donald Trump’s Corporate Bait-and-Switch

A new report by Public Citizen shows 70 percent of Donald Trump’s presidential transition “landing team” members are affiliated with corporations. Trump’s rank-and-file supporters should be “furious that here we have corporate insider after corporate insider taking over the administration,” said Public Citizen research director Rick Claypool. Steven Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs banker slated to become Secretary of the Treasury, “is the appointment we would expect a president to have picked, if he intends to forge a plutocratic alliance” with Wall Street, said Claypool, who warned: “We can expect a return to the kind of Wild West of anything goes risk-taking that led to the 2008 crisis.”

A Movement Sorely in Need of Science

“The importance of the discussion of analysis has grown since the election,” said Nandita Chaturvedi, one of the organizers of a conference on Revolutionary Science for Radical Times, December 9 and 10, at Philadelphia’s Church of the Advocate.  “You see that there is so much confusion on the left, and you see activists that are aligning with the liberal media and aligning with the Clinton machinery.” Without a disciplined political analysis, social movements lose their moorings. “In order to see clearly what we are trying to oppose, and what is the system that we are dismantling, I think analysis is really needed,” said Chaturvedi.

RICO Prosecutions as a Tool of Gentrification

“They came to my house in the pre-dawn hours with all the elements of war,” said Paula, mother of one of 120 young men swept up in a police raid centered on two housing projects in The Bronx, last April, and charged with a wide range of crimes under RICO conspiracy laws. It was the biggest such sweep in New York City history -- larger than a raid that netted 103 youths from two Harlem housing projects, in 2014. Paula has withheld her last name in fear of retaliation against her son, whose mental health has deteriorated under solitary confinement. “They are not mafia, as they are charged under RICO,” she said. “None of these youth had arsenals of firearms.” Most had no money for defense lawyers. Paula sees the raids as part of gentrification pressures to empty public housing. Many of the mothers, she said, “have their sons in jail and, at the same time, they’re going through an eviction process.

U.S. is Lying Aggressor in Syria...

The United States has no right to interfere in the affairs of other countries, period, said BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, speaking to a gathering of the Hands Off Syria Coalition, last week. The U.S. carries out regime change under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention to “protect” people from their own government, but “the claim is always a lie, a ruse to make real the Project for a New American Century,” said Kimberley, who is also active with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The United States never has a humanitarian purpose in mind, in Syria or anyplace else -- any more so than it does here at home.”

...Just Like in Libya and Iraq

Michael Sampson, a co-founder of the Florida-based Dream Defenders who is now a labor organizer in the Washington, DC area, was among those that testified at a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War, December 1 and 2, at the University of DC Law School. “The same tanks, the same police equipment, the same tear gas canisters that the war profiteers are spending billions of dollars on, are being thrown on the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore and Milwaukee and Charlotte,” said Sampson. “The wars that occur everywhere are all connected to war at home -- the war on working class people and Black and brown people. All these movements must connect. The people who colonized Iraq are the same people who colonized African Americans, here.” The Real News Network covered both days of testimony, live.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
 
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Twelve Ideas Post-Election from Front Line Organizers

by Bill Quigley 

Never in living history -- not even when Ronald Reagan won the White House -- have activists been so visibly distraught. The author has gathered some suggestions for coping with post-election trauma. “We need to stay centered, to foster actual human connection and build a shared commitment to struggle together.” 

Trump Says Go Back, We Say Fight Back

by Robin D.G. Kelley

The author writes: “I am not suggesting that white racism alone explains Trump’s victory. Nor am I dismissing the white working class’s very real economic grievances. It is not a matter of disaffection versus racism or sexism versus fear. Rather, racism, class anxieties, and prevailing gender ideologies operate together, inseparably, or as Kimberlé Crenshaw would say, intersectionally.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of Nov. 7, 2016

Hi-Tech Production in the Service of Humanity in Mississippi

Renaissance Jackson, the organization that briefly won the mayor’s office in predominantly Black Jackson, Mississippi, has launched a campaign to purchase a coding and programming capacity and a 3-D fabrication facility. They call it “Fab Lab.” This technology, “if it is democratically controlled, could actually serve humanity,” said Cooperation Jackson spokesman Kali Akuno. These kinds of projects are crucial, “first and foremost, to satisfy some of the basic needs of our community, and -- on a deeper level -- to really put this means of production directly in our community’s hands.” High tech is “one of these areas of the so-called ‘digital divide’ that Black people have been sorely and strategically absent from,” said Akuno. “So, we are doing it for ourselves.”

Obamacare “Imploding and Beyond Repair”

The current wave of insurance rate hikes and medical service cutbacks is the predictable result of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) that “was pretty much a gift to the health insurance industry” when Congress passed it, in 2010, said Dr. John Geyman, professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle. ACA “was never designed for affordability -- it’s a misnomer in the name of the bill,” he said. Obamacare is “imploding and beyond repair,” and unsustainable. “Tweeks cannot work in the long term. The main fight should be for what will save money and give universal coverage to everyone: namely, single payer national health insurance.” Dr. Geyman said single payer healthcare could save $500 billion a year -- about the same as the entire U.S. “defense” budget.

The Fight for Education for Liberation in Detroit

At a “Community Conversation on the Crisis in the Schools,” Detroit activists, educators and parents gathered to address the question: “Who Created the School Crisis, and How are We Responding to it?” Among those wrestling with the issue was Dr. Thomas Pedroni, professor of Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University. He said the decline began with the state takeover of schools in the 1990s, and worsened dramatically after the imposition of state-appointed “emergency managers.” “School could be one of the most meaningful places for our communities, but instead, it’s deadened,” Dr. Pedroni told the crowd at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. “But, we’re going to fight to get back to the place where we have culturally relevant curriculum, not just producing a test score but to develop people who are self-empowered and who know how to fight for their community.”

Venezuela Weathering Financial Storm, Despite Disinformation Campaign

“I challenge you to find one item of news that is positive to Venezuela in these last 16 or 17 years,” said Maria Paez Victor, a Venezuelan-born sociologist living in Toronto, Canada, and author of an article titled “Hating Venezuela.” Ms. Victor said the United States and its rightwing allies in Venezuela have kept up a non-stop disinformation campaign ever since the late Hugo Chavez and his Socialist Party were democratically elected in 1998. A crisis triggered by the collapse of world oil prices allowed the opposition to capture the legislature, last year, but Victor says the government is coping. “Venezuela has managed to weather a terrible financial situation, but this is bad news for corporate capitalism and for the United States, because they want Venezuela to be controlled by their lackies.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
 
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