by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at
6258 AAC (December 2018 JC-PG)
Greetings of IMANI (FAITH) Esteemed G-o-ds, Co-conSPIRITors and Sister & Brother Leaders,
May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and Beloved Ancients and Ancestors from yesteryear and yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family in sacred Spirit, healing and thriving. WE are commemorating the Sacred and Spiritual Transformation of our brilliant, bold and beautiful MARIETTA SELMON GUMBEL. She is an outstanding artist and organizer in Oklahoma City and Kansas City. She is also the wife of my dear high school classmate Elton J. Gumbel Jr., who i had the opportunity to organize some important community victories with, as well as perform our original music together at events in the 6200s/1970s. Long Live the Incredible Spirit of Queen MARIETTA! She will definitely be missed in this life. Asé.
It is our hope that all of you, particularly in the lands of the OHLONE (Northern California) and other Indigenous nations, are handling yourselves with extreme care. Our families and our neighborhoods – including the growing number of residents without shelter and those under lock-down in the prison industry – are experiencing this latest in a series of unhealthy and deadly corporate-induced and fossil-fueled climate crises.
The years-long devastating droughts have now lit the torching fire infernos, resulting in massive death, destruction, deforestation, sickening smoke and ash, and now, desperately-needed but unpredictable rain, flooding and mudslides. And, of course, WE must all be as prepared as possible for the forthcoming earthquakes (accelerated by the foolish fracking-for-profits of the oil monopolies and ignorant killer “cap and trade” policies).
Let us continue to organize our collective power to challenge the local, state and federal governments to implement righteous plans … so that the majority has the possibility of surviving the almost certain increase in and intensity of environmental catastrophes. Asé.
On one of many humane and righteous fronts, WE condemn the fascist Trump-Pence regime for its unjust criminalization, demonization and murderous attacks on the innocent migrants from the central sections of Turtle Island, aka “central america.” WE have long supported the anti-imperialist mantra that these Brown and Black Indigenous “immigrants” are not crossing any “borders.”
Rather, these phony boundaries drawn by the European settlers – who stole these lands through violent strong-armed robberies over the past few centuries and created the united capitalist prison terrorist states of america (ucptsa), canadian capitalist prison terrorist provinces and mexican capitalist prison terrorist states etc. – have crossed the native nations and lands. Asé.
WE Be Bold
WE are Spiritual
WE Be Blessed
WE are Miracles
WE have the Power… to end this killing system (Yes WE Do)
Possess the Love … to Uplift our healing (Yes WE Do)
Yes, Black Lives Matter!
Building our movements of Love (and Justice for Afrikans)!
From my song “Black Lives Matter! (WE Will Shoot Back!)” © (P) Hotep Music 6255/2015
This December, WE are commemorating the 60th year anniversary of the monumental All-African People’s Conference (AAPC). It was held in the then recently-independent nation of Ghana, fka as the “gold coast” by the colonizing European colonialists. That event in 6198/1958, was inspired by incredible Pan Africanist and first Ghanaian President KWAME NKRUMAH and led to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which became the African Union in 6240/2001.
In the spirit of Nkrumah and our outstanding Pan African leaders over the centuries – from QUEEN NZINGA, NANA YAA ASANTEWA, MARTIN DELANY, MARCUS GARVEY, JULIUS NYERERE, AHMED SEKOU TOURE, W.E.B. DUBOIS, MALIK SHABAZZ, JOMO KENYATTA, QM AUDLEY MOORE, AMILCAR CABRAL, WINNIE MADIKIZELA (MANDELA), THOMAS SANKARA, KWAME TURE (European enslavement name Stokely Carmichael), ELOMBE BRATH, MUMMAR AL GHADAFI to so many, many, many others whose names WE know and don’t know – advocates from around the African continent and Diaspora are gathering in a mighty call for the building of a broad-based Unity to discuss and plan action around several critical topics.
Specifically, a United States of Africa! And, i might add, for me, an anti-imperialist, non-neo-colonialist, truly independent and socialist United Nations of Pan Africa and Diaspora! That is, an Africa continent and economy free of the exploitative European, ucptsa, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and even those with Black skin and other robber missionaries, terrorist militaries, corporations and institutions working over-time to re-colonize, control and loot our Motherland. And, notably, the criticalness of Reparations and Restorative Justice in its many forms is also high on the agenda. Asé-O!
More to come.
Speaking of Reparations, WE are encouraged that the University of the West Indies, with campuses in the African diaspora nations of Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago has secured the equivalent of 256 million U$ dollars in Reparations from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. Our colleague, Dr. Hilary Beckles, who is Vice Chancellor of UWI and Chair of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community of Nations) Reparations Commission, says: “The University of Glasgow has recognized that Jamaican enslavers had adopted the University of Glasgow as their university of choice … and that £200 million (English pounds) of value was extracted from Jamaica and the Caribbean.” Dr. Beckles and many other Reparations scholars in the Caribbean, should be applauded for researching and documenting some of the crimes against African people and for negotiating this first in a series of coming agreements. Asé.
CONGRATULATIONS to all the incredible movements, visionaries, candidates, contributors and supporters who engaged in the recent campaigns for people’s power and justice, over the past period! While WE didn’t win every race or campaign, our collective Spirit, Unity and organizational capacities were broadened in this process.
Personally, i am particularly encouraged by the turn-out and passage of “Amendment 4” – which could potentially restore voting rights for over 1.5 million people “convicted” of felonies – in the capitalist prison terrorist state called Florida. And, despite our loss on the important statewide California “Proposition 10” rent control initiative, some gains were made to create more desperately-needed affordable housing.
WE had some successes particularly here in our rapidly genocidal gentrifying efforts – which are forcing the removal of our Black, Brown and lower working class populations – here in the Bay Area. May WE continue to create and advocate a true people’s platform in route to building a political party independent of the corporate-controlled Democratic and Republican oppressors that will uphold our interests. Asé.
Victory over the gentrificators
Finally, a personal “victory” to share. As some of you know, WE were forced into homelessness over a year and a half ago by the Trump-supporting gentrificators Jessica Sawczuk, Eugene Gorelik, who refers to himself as “Mean Gene,” and their “Oakland Redevelopment Group LLC.”
These gangsters purchased the building that our family resided in for over 20 years – and which had been my only residence in California since moving from Chicago in 1995 – and then proceeded to violate our rights and City and State laws.
They harassed and threatened to harm me physically; cut off our utilities in the middle of the cold and rainy season; attempted to criminalize me and my supportive neighbors by taking us to court on phony charges; changed the locks on our doors (which, surprisingly to me, the two older European-American Oakland Police officers who responded called a “criminal violation” and then allowed me to enter through another opening); made false accusations against my young Sun, who was thousands of miles away studying at the time; completely destroyed or seriously damaged our precious family treasures, historical photos, African art, books and record album collection, wedding ring, clothing, furniture, computers and other valuables; cut down five nearly 100 feet tall sacred redwood trees; displayed humongous “TRUMP” signs surrounded by barbed wire which put us in danger by causing ignorant people to attack the building; put up racist and sexist displays mocking our righteous #MeToo women’s movements against rape and assaults and the Colin Kaepernick-led NFL player protests against police killings of Black and Brown people; as well as a number of other serious attacks.
They also showed up to arbitration one day wearing a red “Make Oakland Great Again” hat, and a “Reparations” t-shirt, to mock our Black and Brown communities of Oakland and in an attempt to ridicule my life’s calling.
In response, i was encouraged and instructed to file a lawsuit against Sawczuk, Gorelik and ORG LLC. Ms. Barbara Parker, the elected City Attorney for the City of Oakland, also filed a suit on our behalf, saying, “This was a violation of human rights … Oakland’s Tenant Protection Ordinance and California’s Bane Act.” She also stated: “If this case was used as a hypothetical in law school, no one would believe it because it would be too preposterous to be believed.”
Believe me, there is no amount of money that can pay us for the emotional stress WE have suffered. Or for the deliberate destroying of our livelihood and valuables. However, it is our hope that these individuals and other property owners in Oakland, the Bay Area, state of California and beyond will follow the laws and cease to terrorize renters in their quest to make more cash.
WE are extremely grateful to our incredible supporters: our neighbors on Oakland’s MacArthur Boulevard (some who were also terrorized by these backers of Trump); Mary and Dr. Willie Ratcliff; Causa Justa/Just Cause; Eviction Defense Center; Office of Attorney Andrew Wolff; City of Oakland Attorney Parker’s staff and the dedicated Neighborhood Law Corps team, especially Attorney Kevin King, Attorney Scott Hugo and many other contributors; local media, like this San Francisco Bay View, East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, the local Fox Channel 2 News; Food of GOD 4 The People; Oakland City Councilmembers Lynette Gibson-McElhaney and Rebecca Kaplan; and our many Spiritual relatives, close friends, colleagues for truth and justice, music collaborators, former co-workers, fellow b-ball players, martial artists, inspiring yogis (at Downtown Oakland Senior Center, Oakland Public Library, Grace Cathedral and Rafiki Wellness Center), as well as hotel workers; etc, etc … who over the past period have offered us their powerful encouragement, prayers, hugs, smiles, a bedroom in their home, a hot vegan or raw meal and help in salvaging and moving our items from our former home to storage.
Certainly, WE could not have made it through this ordeal without the Power of IMANI and your assistance and love. ASANTE SANA ALWAYS! GRATITUDE FOREVER!
AMEN-RA HOTEPU! Peace, Love and Continuous Blessings! Asé-O!
#BlackLivesMatter #AfricansDeserveReparations #FreeOurPeople #LoveandDefendMotherEarth
Jahahara is a Baba (Father), a “FREE-tired” community-labor-environmental and justice organizer, writer, musician and author of several books, including Many Paths to Kujichagulia (Self-Determination). Take a listen to songs from his musical catalog, including the new “500 YEARS OF AFRIKAN RESISTANCE!!!” at https://soundcloud.com/search?q=jahahara Reach him c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, Oakland, CA 94610 usa