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Slavery has indeed marked this nation. Its soot leaves a residue the best detergent cannot wipe away or wash out. Truth – bitter, the missing ingredient is hard to swallow, let alone see – yet this is what The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and by extension The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration demands we face. It is not in your head or imagination that these atrocities to other people reside.
Sunday night, Sept. 18, 2016. As my “industry” colleagues attend Emmy parties and dress for the red carpet, I stand on the chilly docks of Ajaccio, Corsica, in the wee hours of the morning awaiting the arrival of a small sailboat called the Zaytouna-Oliva. What possessed me to travel 6,000 miles from L.A. and my family in order to brave the Mediterranean Sea in what is now beginning to look like the smallest vessel on the docks? Why join yet another effort to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza?
Progressive and revolutionary groups throughout the Caribbean are sending a clear message to British Prime Minister David Cameron regarding his arrogant, condescending and contemptuous statements with regard to slavery and the issue of reparations during his recent visit to Jamaica. Cameron’s behavior shows that the British Conservative Party’s colonial mindset is still firmly in place. Read Gerald Perreira's essay and listen to the Block Report interview, in which he delves deeper into the topics of reparations, prison and border conflict.
Ever since I have known Elita Tewelde, she has been a Pan African organizer in one way, shape or form, teaching Africans born in the Americas about our brothas and sistas from the continent, and vice versa. She recently took a group of young Black male bucket drummers from the hood to Senegal, West Africa. She filmed the whole experience and is fundraising to get the documentary, “Drum Beat Journey,” made.
One often hidden historical fact brought out in the novel and TV series is that more Africans fought alongside the British during the colonial war than with the future rulers of the United States. The British promised emancipation to those slaves who joined their ranks after 1776. But unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn’t escape to Canada.
The Central Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections upheld the censorship of the book “10 Lessons: An Introduction to Black History” by Mba Mbulu and refused to give me the book because they allege it contained “racially inflammatory material and/or writings that advocate violence against the government or any of its facilities.” The prohibited material outlined Cheikh Anta Diop’s “two cradle theory.”
In Alabama, a teacher uses a hypothetical assassination of President Barack Obama as an example in a geometry lesson. A North Georgia teacher allowed four students to don mock Ku Klux Klan outfits for a final project in a high school social studies class.