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California and the U.S.

Amos Brown reflects on the 50th Anniversary March on Washington

September 6, 2013

As the nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 50th anniversary holds a special place in the life of the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, senior pastor at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of the San Francisco NAACP. Fifty years ago, Brown was at the March on Washington as a student from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Operation Green Future: Chokwe Lumumba’s vision for Jackson, Mississippi

September 4, 2013

Regardless of what we may think about the U.S. political or economic system, we must support our New Afrikan brotha – i.e., without compromising our core revolutionary principles and tenets – and assist him in building a strong and viable Black stronghold. We must take both a strategic and tactical approach for this and not a subjective one. Think in terms of the potential benefits.

The homeless to jail pipeline – from South Carolina to Santa Clara, the criminalization continues

September 3, 2013

Whack, tap, crack – the sound of the steel police flashlight on a car window is like no other, and it always had the same effect on homeless me and mama: blood-curdling fear. I thought about our constant police harassment, abuse and eventual arrest for the sole act of being houseless in Amerikkka when I heard about South Carolina’s “new” law that officially made it illegal to be homeless in downtown Columbia, S.C.

Michelle Alexander: I can no longer just stay in my lane

September 3, 2013

For the past several years, I have spent virtually all my working hours writing about or speaking about the immorality, cruelty, racism and insanity of our nation’s latest caste system: mass incarceration. On this Facebook page I have written and posted about little else. But as I pause today to reflect on the meaning and significance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I realize that my focus has been too narrow.

Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III: No. 1 for me is economic equality

September 1, 2013

Martin King said as long as there is economic inequality, there will be racial inequality.The lack of economic empowerment in our community comes from economic dysfunction that is a result of – let’s be real – racism as it relates to how this country has been structured so that the classes, in a real sense, exploit the masses, and especially people of color and, without a doubt, African Americans.

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Barbara Lee on war in Syria: Congress must decide

September 1, 2013

California District 13 Congresswoman Barbara Lee made it clear, on Friday, Aug. 31, that she sees no imminent threat to the U.S. from Syria and that the Constitution therefore requires President Obama to seek congressional authorization to launch a military strike. She has persuaded 64 members of Congress to sign a letter calling on the president to instead initiate a debate and seek congressional authorization before taking military action.

The 2013 March on Washington: Where do we go from here?

August 28, 2013

Like the 1963 march, the 2013 march has the potential to become a watershed moment in history. But to make it so, we must do the hard work of building genuine relationships and alliances across the lines of color, nationality, gender and sexual orientation. We must build a grassroots agenda and an organizing strategy. We must leverage the people power represented at the march to effect public opinion and national policies.

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Celebrating celebrating?

August 27, 2013

TV screens, newspaper pages and radio stations have been replaying, reprinting and rebroadcasting dark, grainy black and while film, photos and audiotape of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech – his “I Have a Dream” speech – in a hypocritical celebration of the 50 years since that fateful day in 1963, in Washington, D.C.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Fingerprint public housing residents and visitors

August 16, 2013

In this morning’s John Gambling radio show, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Davis v. City of New York, a putative class action lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and co-counsel the Legal Aid Society on behalf of plaintiffs challenging the NYPD’s policy and practice of unlawfully stopping and arresting public housing residents and their guests for trespassing.

For Trayvon Martin: How did the world get here?

August 5, 2013

How did the world get here? Did you hear what they said: Another young brother is dead. Meanwhile Zimmerman is set free; how the fuck can this be? A man with a gun killed Sybrina and Tracy’s son. Yet he received an acquittal while Trayvon was only armed with a bag of skittles, showing once again how little America values Black life.

I am an angry Black man

August 4, 2013

I saw nothing in the Zimmerman case that surprised me. The system worked as it was intended. Zimmerman, a White man, was tried by a White justice system for killing a Black boy. The outcome was predictable. Many White people saw this as a non-racial event. As an angry old Black man I have seen the diminution of racism in my lifetime. We are not there yet. It is unlikely that we will get there in the lifetime of my grandchildren.

Trayvon Martin and implicit bias

August 3, 2013

As we continue to struggle with the verdict in this murder case – as the only juror of color states that George Zimmerman “got away with murder” and as the nation lurches through yet another tragic episode that forces us to deal with our racial legacy – new ways of viewing race are surfacing. Social scientists have been studying these issues for decades. Unconscious bias. Implicit bias.

Crossing the Siraat

August 2, 2013

As we take a moment to honor the short but strong life and legacy of El-Hajj Malcolm Latif Shabazz, let us remember that success is truly with Allah. That it is He, the One Creator of everything including human beings, from whence we come and must all return. I pray that Allah ta ala replace any grief with love, strength and peace and guide my words to you and yours.

New Jersey billboard erected night before FBI announcement Assata Shakur 050213

Prisoners urged to sign NCBL petition: Assata is not a terrorist!

August 2, 2013

On July 16, 2013, Assata Shakur’s birthday, prisoners in FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) Cumberland spontaneously showed their strong support for her and the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), whose online petition calls for Assata’s removal from the government’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list and revocation of the $2 million bounty on her.

Commemorate 1963 March on Washington with plan as bold as original: militant mass shutdown of nation’s capital

August 1, 2013

The original plan for the 1963 March was for a militant mass shut-down of the nation’s capital in order to compel the Kennedy administration and the U.S. Congress to enact immediate federal legislation to end the practices connected with segregation throughout the United States at that time. This proposal had come from the youth wing of the Civil Rights Movement, in particular those grouped in and around the SNCC.

50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington

August 1, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech resonates with renewed urgency as a national coalition prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. The Realize the Dream March and Rally for Jobs, Justice and Freedom will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Jackson Plan: Lessons from Jackson, Mississippi

July 30, 2013

Chokwe Lumumba, a veteran of the Black Liberation and New African Independence movements, was elected mayor of Jackson on June 2, 2013. Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and is a city that is over 85 percent Black. If the election of Obama to the presidency of the United States constituted the alleged end of the Black Liberation Movement, the election of Chokwe Lumumba must then represent its resurrection.

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Mass march against police brutality in Anaheim: Basta ya!

July 30, 2013

There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013. The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).

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Acquittal

July 13, 2013

A jury in Sanford, Florida has found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. I know I am not alone in my outrage, anger and heartbreak over this decision. When a teenager’s life is taken in cold blood, and there is no accountability for the man who killed him, nothing seems right in the world, but we cannot let these emotions alone rule.

California prisoners launch new hunger strike to protest solitary confinement

July 8, 2013

Hundreds of people held in California prisons are expected to launch their third large-scale hunger strike in two years today. The current strike, announced by leaders at Pelican Bay State Prison on Feb. 14, is seen as a resumption of the large-scale strikes in June and September 2011, when thousands of prisoners across the state stopped eating for days or weeks in order to press for the five demands laid out by the strike organizers.

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