Reparations now! Pass HR 40!

Baba Jahahara helps raise demands for reparations and the full implementation of the United Nations’ “Durban Declaration and Program of Action” in 2009 – including the immediate release, amnesty and restitution for our wrongfully imprisoned and exiled political leaders in the usa – with the International Pan African Collective, based in Paris, France, at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. – Photo: Baba Kali Akuno, former National Organizer of our Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. (6249/2009)

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

People of African ancestry across the USA and around our Diaspora were excited to witness the Juneteenth (June 19th) Freedom Day congressional hearing on H.R. 40, “The Commission to Study and DEVELOP REPARATIONS PROPOSALS FOR AFRICAN Americans Act” (emphasis added). I was particularly proud to hear presentations from three of the panelists with Bay Area connections I’ve had the opportunity to work with over several decades: One is brilliant educator, scholar and economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux, who would invite me on her Pacifica Radio Network Radio show in the 1990s and who I subsequently signed up as a member of our National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA).

Queens Evelyn Threet and Jumoke Hinton (Oakland School Board Member) join other West Oakland residents in celebrating the Grand Opening of COMMUNITY FOODS, at 3105 San Pablo Ave. For many years, Queen Jumoke has been a leader in visioning and organizing for full service supermarkets, with healthy fresh organic produce, for our predominately African communities in the Bay Area. Also, CONGRATS to our MANDELA GROCERY COOPERATIVE – on Seventh Street near Mandela Parkway, across from the West Oakland BART Station – on celebrating our amazing Ten Year Anniversary! Please support and become an investor in these great healing and UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics) efforts. Our food should be our medicine! And, our medicine should be our food! Asé.

Another is Baba Danny Glover – our noted political activist, internationalist, contributor and Academy Award-winning actor – who we have stood with shoulder-to-head (since he is much taller than my short 5-foot-11-inch frame) in Africa, Brazil and numerous times in the Bay Area, New York and D.C. on behalf of South Africa, Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, workers, victims of USA police terrorism and war crimes, and reparations.

Also testifying was Katrina Browne, anti-racist ally and descendant of the unjustly-profited DeWolf family of criminal kidnappers and brutal enslavers. I met her in the 1990s while she was attending the Pacific School of Religion, in Berkeley, and she endorsed H.R. 40 and made a contribution to N’COBRA.

H.E. Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations’ Prevention of Genocide (from Senegal, West Africa) with Baba Jahahara, at URI (United Religions Initiative) “Accelerate Peace” international conference at Stanford University. REPARATIONS NOW FOR AFRICANS! Asé.

In addition to the aforementioned, scholar and author Ta-Nehisi Coates – the very talented son of former Black Panther Party member Paul Coates, owner of Black Classic Press, based in Baltimore – provided eloquent testimony and sharp rebuttal to the liar deniers during this initial hearing. Read his statement at https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/.

As for the significance of this first hearing on our reparations bill since our now-retired elder and Congressman John Conyers held a one-day session in 2007, it was long overdue! Our N’COBRA not only played a role in helping to draft, and now revise, H.R. 40; our leadership has been educating, surveying, organizing and mobilizing our community members for 30-plus years through critical discussions, legal challenges and necessary actions in the USA and internationally for reparations.

Babas Khubaka Michael Harris, Joe King and Jahahara on Juneteenth at State Capitol in Sacramento. My apology to Senator Kamala Harris, who I wasn’t aware had recently endorsed our reparations bill. Asante to her Staff Assistant, Annaly V. Medrano, for correcting me after my brief remarks to the Juneteenth gathering. Gratitude to each of you for contacting Sen. Harris to convince her to become a new co-sponsor of S.1083 (H.R. 40). Now, California residents need to continue calling Sen. Diane Feinstein, who has not yet endorsed our reparations legislation, at 415-393-0707 or 202-224-3841.

And, we have been opposed by the lead politicians of each of the ruling political parties, not only over the past three decades by the Republicans and Democrats, but since our first ancestors were violently made prisoners-of-war, kidnapped and transported from our Mother African continent, raped, robbed, mis-educated and brutally enslaved, imprisoned and tortured for more than FIVE CENTURIES.

Therefore, we should have no illusions that the Democratic Party’s corporate-funded leadership – who owe their unearned riches to abusing and stealing African and Indigenous nations’ labor and resources – have now gained a righteous “spirituality” and are ready to bring about full reparations. No, no. the Democrats are now paying “lip-service” to reparations because they want to turn out their, unfortunately, most “loyal” African voting constituency in order to win the 2020 elections.

Newly dedicated mural in memory of OSCAR GRANT III, by our revolutionary artist Senay Refa One Alkebulan, and street sign, at the BART station in Oakland’s Fruitvale district. OG III was murdered by criminal BART police officers on 1 January 2009. Gratitude to his family and supporters for this achievement to celebrate OG III’s life and that of other victims of police terrorism. Asé.

It is easy for them to say they are now for reparations. They realize that with the current alignment with their kindred of monopoly imperialist supported USA senators and resident Trump in office, there is little chance of implementing H.R. 40 or our new S.1083 companion bill sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. That is, without us building mass movements to make them give us what we need! Asé. So, let us not be, as our great Ancestor Malik Shabazz would say, misled, hoodwinked, bamboozled or led astray.

“We collectively must be the drivers, the determiners, of what our reparations should be!”

Still, we must fully embrace this moment! Broaden this opening to envision the reparations we need to fully repair and heal African nations and people and increase the participation of our people in making our desperately needed reparations a reality – now! – because this issue of reparations is bigger than all of us! So, I’m encouraging each of us as individuals and every organization to exercise all of our collective powers – especially of Imani (Faith) and Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) – to involve more of our people in this monumental effort.

May we elders be wise enough to engage our youth more fully and be prepared to get-out-da-way so that they can begin taking the lead in creating our bright future, generations forward. Certainly, we must use this period to invest in more respectful dialogue with one another. Let us not forget the voices of our dozens of wrongfully imprisoned and exiled political leaders, as well as the needs and wishes of our millions of unjustly incarcerated relatives, which we didn’t have the ability to do in a significant way in the 1990s.

In short, we collectively must be the drivers, the determiners, of what our reparations should be! Not the politicians, be they of African or European ancestry. Asé. Mos def we have to use these current developments for more collective Umoja (Unity) planning for success. And, most significantly, we must upgrade our mass mobilizations, flex our economic power through buy-outs and buy-ins, as well as direct actions of every type to disrupt this ongoing system of enslavement.

Immediately ahead, I would respectfully recommend those serious about making reparations a reality – and not just “debating” the subject – fully read books on reparations. Go to your local African bookstore, such as Marcus (Garvey) Books in Oakland) or public library, or we can provide a list upon request. Next, study, reflect on and discuss H.R. 40 and S.1083 starting with your family, organization, spiritual institution, classmates, labor union, club etc.

Rev. Ken Chambers, Pastor of Oakland’s West Side Missionary Baptist Church, receives an award on behalf of our Interfaith Council of Alameda County at the URI “Accelerate Peace” international gathering, at Stanford University. Amen. Asé.

Then, publicly endorse the legislation and demand A VOTE AND PASSAGE OF H.R. 40 and S.1083! Call and write letters to your particular congressperson and senator who is not yet an endorser of the legislation. And let them know that if they haven’t done this minimal act, that you will soon join with others in coming to their offices and/or public or private events. If they are already a co-sponsor, thank them and request hearings be held in your area or congressional district.

Of course, as we expressed earlier, winning reparations is about much more than the corrupt legislative process. It will require actions on many levels. So, I would ask that you become connected to one or more of the groups that have been a part of this righteous effort. My personal preference is N’COBRA. It is a coalition that includes a diverse membership from our African community, in the USA and Diaspora. While we have our differing backgrounds and perspectives, everyone who is for reparations and comes forward with respect for others is welcome.

G-o-d James Copes – who coined the term “Oak-Town” decades ago – holding his daughter Lisa Marie and with his wife God(dess) Kamaria and God(dess) Shonette. Coming this July is Copes new t-shirt kiosk at FRANK OGAWA-OSCAR GRANT III Plaza downtown in front of City Hall.

So help us achieve this mandate for our generations by getting involved. Go to www.ncobraonline.org for additional info. Copy, complete and mail the members’ form. And get in touch with local reparations advocates, like yours truly, to set-up a dialogue with your network. Asante Sana (Many Thanks)! Asé.

Ancestors beloved

WEmembering and honoring our past and newest Ancestors, including: EARL GRANT, a colleague of EL HAJJ MALIK EL SHABAZZ (aka, Minster MALCOLM X) and co-organizer of the Organization for Afro American Unity (OAAU); my high school classmate and football teammate VICTOR MCCOY; JAMAL TATE, Sun of our God(dess) Tiyesha Meroe, aka Lesley Phillips; MARIE HARRISON, our beloved environmental justice advocate here in the Bay Area; and, our great political activist, former Chi-Light (Chicagoan) and Black Panther Party member BRUCE DIXON. Finally, this Fourth of July, our family is celebrating the 96th Sacred B’EARTHday of our dear God(dess) Mother ELIZABETH ELIZANN OAKS-ARMSTRONG. May the lives and contributions of all our Ancestors continue to be an inspiration to each of us. Asé-O.

Urgent appeal to our readers!

WE are so appreciative to those of you who have made a much-needed contribution to our San Francisco Bay View newspaper, placed an ad, or taken a subscription for yourself or an incarcerated family member. However, WE are still struggling to keep this liberation newspaper in print and distributed FOR FREE throughout the Bay Area and around the usa (including to numerous prisons where WE are not currently banned due to our radical political stances and giving a voice to the voiceless). Please, please make a tax-deductible donation ASAP by calling us at 415-671-0789; or go to our website at www.sfbayview.com. You can also send contributions the old-fashioned way by mailing to 4917 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124. Asé.

#BlackLivesMatter #AfricansDeserveReparations #BringOurEldersHomeNow #AbolishPrisons

Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at, fka European enslavement name “James ‘Harry’ Armstrong,” 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 a few songs from his musical catalog, including the new “500 YEARS OF AFRIKAN RESISTANCE!!!” at https://soundcloud.com/search?q=jahahara. Invite Jahahara to present at your group, school, church or event c/o support@africansdeservereparations.com or FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, Oakland, CA 94610 usa.