Commemorating our sacred Alkebulan-Afrikan Story

A bust memorializing Breonna Taylor, who was murdered by police in Louisville, Ky., was recently destroyed in downtown Oakland. The artist, Leo Carson of Oakland, has said he will try to piece it back together or build a new one. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

6261 AAAK, February 2021, JC-PG

Africans deserve Reparations! ‘Cause Black Lives Matter!

Blessings of Imani (faith) victorious g-o-ds, esteemed elders, sis-stars, bro-stars and youthful revolutionaries!

How ya’ll be? With emphasis on da be! We pray this new season is off to a solid beginning for you and yours! May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All and incredible Ancients and Ancestors from millennia past, yesteryears and, literally, yesterday, find you and your extended family staying healthy, safe and keeping a positive spirit. 

Yes, there has been a change of administrations of the US government. But our struggles will continue! We people of Afrikan ancestry continue to suffer and disproportionately perish from this worsening pandemic, capitalist economic depression, climate chaos and environmental destruction as well as deadly government, vigilante and, yes, desperate self-inflicted violence. 

As we go to press, the pandemic has resulted in close to 30 million-plus infections in the US alone, more than 100 million around our planet and nearing 500 thousand deaths in the US! Contextually, that’s the equivalent of wiping out the entire populations of mid-sized cities like Kansas City, Mo., or Atlanta, Ga., Miami, Fla. or Sacramento, Fresno and even Oakland! 

While the totally corrupt, robber, fascist and incompetent Trump-Pence regime can certainly be blamed for accelerating these crises, it is the capitalist for-profit systemic health rationing that is the true culprit. That’s why we must continue our fight for universal single-payer health care for all and, of course, increase our work for Reparations, African liberation and socialism. Asé.

Baba Jahahara participates in a physically distanced Black-to-Yoga gathering at Lake Merritt in Oakland. For a full schedule of sessions, mostly online due to the pandemic, go to https://www.blacktoyoga.com/. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

Honoring our new Ancestors

As always, we offer our immense gratitude to several notable humane beings who recently transformed to the ancestral realm. These include Larry “Bear” Johnson, my childhood, high school and college classmate and football, baseball and track teammate. Exactly 50 years after Bear and I graduated high school, the impact of his vicious hits are still felt deeply. 

The always intense Bear would warn me and other receivers and half-backs not to run into what he called “Bear Territory.” This, mind you, was in practice. Of course, if your play was called, you had to pay the heavy price. Will miss Bear and so many other incredible souls at our upcoming half-century reunion. Asé. 

Dave Oertel ran the Humanist Hall in Oakland for many years. We utilized this space for our Reparations, Black August and political prisoner events and environmental justice and free solar and green job trainings as well as Kemetic yoga, community concerts and performances, wedding celebrations, poetry slams and more. However, this past year, Dave unfortunately believed the virus was a “hoax” and continued to host large events. 

While I haven’t yet confirmed the cause of death, some in our community believe Dave succumbed to the virus. This generous ally in our struggle will be missed. Asé.

Henry “Hank” Aaron truly personified the name of the team he played for: Bravo! To me, Mr. Aaron was so great, consistent and humble that many took his hard work and incredible skills for granted. Like many of his era, he endured some of the nastiest racist and white terrorist threats, acts and humiliating experiences throughout his life. This all intensified in the 1970s once he got close to, and then broke, the baseball all-time home run total. Note: Ironically, Mr. Aaron passed away just a couple of weeks after getting the COVID vaccine in a well-publicized media event.

Baba Jonas Gwangwa, the great composer and musician from Azania aka South Africa, has also entered our next life. He was an anti-apartheid leader who was forced into exile like many others for creating his powerful art for the people’s struggles. He was a founding member of a number of extraordinary groups, including the Jazz Epistles – which featured greats like Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and others – and the Amandla Cultural Ensemble which toured the world helping represent the African National Congress. He also composed soundtracks, getting nominated for two Academy Awards for the film “Cry Freedom” about our great leader Steve Biko, starring Baba Denzel Washington. 

Long Live the Spirit and Contributions of these new, and All our incredible, Ancestors. Asé. Asé. Asé-O. 

Commemorating our Alkebulan-Afrikan Story

Far too often I’ve heard a person of Afrikan ancestry and even ignorant Europeans and Americans utter the false notion that “Black people were ‘given’ the shortest and coldest month to celebrate their history.” Let’s be clear. First, Afrikan people were not “given” a damn thang. We, led by great scholars, historians, professors and authors, like Dr. Carter G. Woodson, used our own righteous self-determination to declare Negro History Week in the 1930s. 

Dr. Woodson chose that week in February because that was the birth-month of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Decades later, Afrikan people independently expanded the week to cover the entire month of February. Thus, we now have a variety of events this month centered on Black history, African heritage, Black futures, etc. 

My key point is: It’s all good to take time to celebrate special days, weeks, months, years, decades and more. When I initially got involved in revolutionary movements, we commemorated International Working Women’s Day March 8. Now, International Women’s Month has become the norm around the world. For many cultures, we commemorate the days key leaders in our families, communities and movements arrived to, or departed, this life, or we mourn and memorialize the tragedies that often visit us along with our collective achievements. Asé. 

Keep on studying our Alkebulan-Afrikan Story, remembering, recognizing, commemorating, celebrating and organizing around our numerous tragedies and many triumphs!

For example, 2021 is the 100th year commemoration of the white terrorist government and vigilante racist attack on our successful Black Wall Street in the Tulsa, Okla., GAP (Greenwood-Archer-Pine) district. Successful Afrikan-owned businesses, banks, churches, restaurants and over 300 Afrikan lives were lost! And, in righteous self-defense, Afrikans took out an estimated 100 white terrorists. Yes, we remember! Asé. 

In 1951, 70 years ago, our “We Charge Genocide” petition to the new United Nations was taken before the world to expose the US crimes against Afrikan humanity and to demand immediate relief. This monumental campaign was led by the Communist Party USA and heroic Ancestors like William Patterson, Louis Burnham, James Malloy, Paul Robeson and so many others. Asé. 

Two decades ago, in 2001, many of us were in Durban, South Africa, for the United Nations’ Third World Conference Against Racism. Collectively, our united movements from around the US and Afrikan diaspora fought against powerful forces, especially the corrupt, robber, fascist and racist administration of Bush-Cheney, who stole the election in 2000. 

We were officially “boycotting” the conference. Though they interfered and intimidated many Afrikan heads of state, we were able to win the overwhelming support of the nations and states around the world to agree that: 

  • Slavery, colonialism and apartheid are crimes against humanity. 
  • Economics is the basis of racism.
  • Reparations are due to us, the victims and survivors of the “trans-Atlantic Ocean slave trade” 

The resulting document, known as the “Durban Declaration and Program of Action” (DDPA), is a lasting testament that every state and nation was mandated to carry out and that a number of nations, including Brazil and Venezuela, took seriously, beginning processes of implementation. We continue to demand the wealthy offspring of the European and US enslavers fulfill the DDPA and pay Reparations to our continental and diasporan Afrikan nations and people. Asé. 

So, next time someone repeats this foolishness about February and our Alkebulan-Afrikan Story, check their ignorance and help free their brains. Keep on studying, remembering, recognizing, commemorating, celebrating and organizing around our numerous tragedies and many triumphs! Asé. 

Destination Reparations

I and we are so grateful to everyone who took time last year to study, endorse and make calls to elected officials on HR 40 and S1083, our Commissions to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act. Now, we need to do it all over again in this 117th Congress. We asked that you make a call on behalf of past, current and future generations to your congressional representatives and US senators. 

In California, we need to ensure that Sen. Diane Feinstein endorses again, as well as former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who was recently sworn in by new Vice President Kamala Harris as her replacement.

After all, wasn’t it voters of Afrikan ancestry who provided the Democrats – Biden-Harris in particular – with the margin of victory to assume power? And isn’t it Black folks who continue to suffer and die disproportionately from the ongoing capitalist exploitation, economic depression and coronavirus inside and outside the jails? So we must tell Biden, Harris, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Charles Schumer that it’s payback time for Afrikan people! Right now!

Speaking of the incoming vice president: our movements are preparing major safe mobilizations to push for an executive order for Reparations down payments from the Biden-Harris administration. While we applaud some important steps already taken, such as executive orders on combating the virus, providing minimum financial relief to workers and impoverished people, food aid, climate and environmental protections, support for green infrastructure, necessary increases for health care, etc., we must demand much more. 

After all, wasn’t it voters of Afrikan ancestry who provided the Democrats – Biden-Harris in particular – with the margin of victory to assume power? And isn’t it Black folks who continue to suffer and die disproportionately from the ongoing capitalist exploitation, economic depression and coronavirus inside and outside the jails? So we must tell Biden, Harris, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Charles Schumer that it’s payback time for Afrikan people! Right now!

Asante Sana. Asé.

As always, we invite you and your organization to become a part of our all-volunteer, fully-people funded N’COBRA and help us prepare and update our righteous demands and actions for Reparations. We need you! Go to ncobraonline.org or contact me at support@africansdeservereparations.com or at the address below. Asé.

Please take a moment to review, consider, sign-on and forward our “Change the Name of the ‘white’ House Petition” to your networks: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-change-name-of-white-house.  

Also, I’ve been criticized for helping develop a recent petition to President Trump and key governors to release our long-suffering political prisoners. One person wrote: “You a damn fool if you believe Trump would free anybody that is not helping him make money.” My response was that I’ve challenged every presidential administration since Reagan and every governor in the five states where I’ve resided to free our wrongfully-imprisoned leaders and others unjustly incarcerated or on death row. 

That is our duty, one of our key responsibilities as activists and advocates. Paraphrasing Frederick Douglass: “The abusers of power will concede nothing without a demand – backed-up by our critical actions!” So, we invite you to join our freedom and justice-loving community in helping us increase our efforts to win freedom, amnesty and restitution for all our political prisoners, exiles and victims of the US government’s admitted repressive COINTELPRO programs to divide and destroy Black and progressive leaders, organizations and movements. Go to the Jericho Amnesty Movement to learn more and get involved at thejerichomovement.com Asé.

Condemnations

In 2019, the Warriors NBA franchise “escaped” from Oakland after nearly a half-century, to the billion dollar-plus J.P. Morgan Chase Center over in San Francisco. However, the billionaire owners, who’ve been busy displaying their “Oakland Forever” gear, were unsuccessful in escaping their debt to The Town. The courts recently ruled that the Warriors must pay a much needed $45 million owed to our City of Oakland for past renovations to the Arena. Asé.

We challenge California Gov. Gavin Newsom to put the health of the people above his political ambitions.

Also, we continue to condemn the County of Alameda Board of Supervisors for selling their half of the Oakland Coliseum to the billionaire owners of the A’s MLB franchise. We are working to get that decision overturned. That decision should have gone to a full vote of the people, since we are the true heirs to the complex. We also urge the City of Oakland not to sell-off our portion of our Coliseum.

We join with our revolutionary International Longshore Workers Union in demanding that if the A’s and the MLB billionaires want to build a new stadium, they build it on the current grounds in East Oakland! It has all the land, infrastructure and transportation galore – BART, Amtrak, Airport, freeways and potential access to a water-way – already in place. Do not disrupt our critical Port of Oakland, downtown and West Oakland communities. Asé.

Finally, we challenge California Gov. Gavin Newsom to put the health of the people above his political ambitions. Recently, after receiving public criticism for his and his family’s breaking of his own shelter-in-place orders, he is mistakenly re-opening the state as a whole or leaving it up to local counties and cities to make the decisions and take the heat. 

The well-deserved Women of the Black Panther Party mural will be unveiled in West Oakland Feb. 14, 2021. Show your love and go to https://www.wbppmural.com/ for details on the event and donation opportunities. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

Surely, he is under major pressure from his privileged business partners who want to make more money. We urge him to stop watching the polls and to ignore the recall effort. Stay focused on addressing the pandemic; release those thousands suffering and dying behind the prison walls. And, among other duties, please make appointments for our task force to develop Reparations proposals for African Americans. Asé.

Congratulations!

Congrats! A special Asante Sana to Queen Mother Frederika Newton, wife of Black Panther Party for Self-Defense co-founder and Ancestor Huey P. Newton, for developing the process to bring Huey back to West Oakland. This includes getting the street where he was murdered in 1989, at Ninth Street and Center, renamed Dr. Huey P. Newton Way. In addition, a bust has been created by sculptor and former network news anchor Queen Dana King. By the way: Huey’s Sacred Birthday is Feb. 17. We encourage you to contribute to the project at https://hueypnewtonfoundation.org/latest-news-1. Asé .

Finally, you know what you need to do. Support our Bay View National Black Newspaper! Please send your check or money order in any amount to us at 4917 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124, or go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-for-the-bay-view-newspaper.  

Continue to take your righteous steps, knowing our Divine will do the rest. Walk in the Power of Imani (faith) on each and every day. Amen-RA Hotep! Asé.

#BlackLivesMatter #AfricansDeserveReparations #BringOurEldersHomeNow #AbolishPrisonsandPolice #LoveandDefendMotherEarth #BlackNewDeal

Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at is an ascendant of the Yoruba and Ewondo nations in Alkebulan-Afrika. He advocates for power to the people politically, economically and culturally and is known particularly for his leadership in the struggle for reparations. He is the acting West Regional Representative of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA). Take a listen to a few songs from his musical catalog at, https://soundcloud.com/search?q=jahaharaHe can be reached at nuafrikan777@yahoo.com.