Tragedies and triumphs

Monument for Ancestors ADDIE MAE COLLINS, 14 years old; CYNTHIA WESLEY, 14; CAROLE ROBERTSON, 14; and DENISE MCNAIR, 11, murdered at the 16th Street Baptist Church by usa kkk terrorists on 15 September 1963 in BOMBingham – Birmingham, Ala. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

September 2021 JC-PG / 6261 AAAK 

Africans Deserve Reparations! Cause, Black Lives Matter!

Blessings of IMANI (FAITH) Esteemed G-o-ds, Elders, Sis-Stars, Bro-Stars and Youthful Revolutionaries!

May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and Beloved Ancients and Ancestors from millennia past, yesteryears and, literally, yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family in positive and healing Spirit. With great respect and revolutionary love, WE encourage you and yours to continue practicing proven measures for protection against known and unknown robbers of our precious health and lives. 

Special healing prayers for Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and Queen Mama Jacqueline Jackson who, though vaccinated, have recently been hospitalized with covid in Chicago. Asé. Amen.

Honoring our new Ancestors

WE honor the recent Spiritual Transformations of Queen Mother MATILDA “MRS. TEE” HOPKINS HARTSFIELD, wife of the great Pastor Rev. Dr. WALLACE H. HARTSFIELD and mother of Pastor Rev. Dr. Wallace H. Hartsfield II.Asé. Asé.

The great Pan Afrikan OURstorian Dr. RUNOKO RASHIDI. Asé. GLEN “FORD” RUTHERFORD – who shortened his name on the recommendation of his then Augusta, Ga., radio station “boss,” the great JAMES BROWN – our revolutionary journalist and commentator, most recently with the Black Agenda Report that he co-founded. Asé.

Queen Mother JANICE MIRIKITANI, activist, commUNITY care-giver, poet, survivor of the usa’s criminal internment and robbery of Japanese Americans and life-partner of Pastor Cecil “Rev. Glide” Williams. Asé.

JACK HIRSCHMAN, our radical poet and comrade. Asé. Maestro MICHAEL MORGAN, who for decades led the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and brought in artists from diverse genres. Asé.

New Ancestor Maestro MICHAEL MORGAN, conductor and director of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, discusses Baba Jahahara’s proposal of joint “Reparations for 500 Years of Terrorism Suite,” at Cal Shakes(peare). Asé.

Our incredible musician and teacher EVERETTE DEVAN, founder of the group SSSlick and other musical formations. Asé. And, RICHARD TRUMKA, Secretary-Treasurer of our AFL-CIO and former President of the coal mine-workers union. Asé. 

As always, our sympathies and solidarity are with the victims and survivors of the deadly, mutating viruses which have sickened, killed and bankrupted so many of our families, businesses and institutions. And also those who have perished and are suffering from the multitude of the capitalist-corporate for-profit induced climate chaos and environmental devastation. Asé.

This includes our Afrikan diasporan family in the Caribbean, particularly Ayiti/Haiti which is now enduring another major earthquake, powerful hurricanes and continuing brutal imperialist (neo-) colonialism. WE ask that you again consider contributing to our Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF). Asé. 

Long Live the Spirit, legacies and numerous contributions of these new and All our incredible Ancients and Ancestors. Asé. Asé. Asé-O!

Tragedies and triumphs

Two decades ago this September, i penned a piece titled “Triumph and tragedy.” Our organized African diasporan movement had just achieved a major Victory at the United Nations’ “Third World Conference Against Racism,” held in Durban, South Africa.

Through our righteous cause and advocacy, WE lobbied the nations of the world to agree with us that: 

  1. The European trans-Atlantic enslavement and trade, colonialism, apartheid … against African people were crimes against humanity.
  2. That the basis of racism is economics. 
  3. That Reparations are due to the victims, survivors and descendants of these abuses. 

The result was the issuing of the monumental “Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA),” unanimously signed by all participating nations and states. i should note there were two states, that while officially “boycotting” these proceedings, were ever-present doing their worst to disrupt the proceedings as well as pressure other nations to vote against the DDPA. 

Visionary Dr. Marvin X, a co-founder of powerful Black Arts Movement – which ran parallel to our Black Liberation Movement – in the 1960s, as well as our officially-designated Black Arts Movement Business District in OHLONE/Oakland, enjoys performances by some of his protégé at our Annual BAMBD Fest every Revolutionary Black August. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

These two were, of course, the apartheid-like usa and the usa-sponsored apartheid-like state of Isreal. This success was a major Triumph for our national and international movements for Reparations! Asé.

WE returned from Alkebulan/Afrika to New York City, where i was residing at that time, on 9 September 2001. Two days later, i was heading to Manhattan from our home in Flatbush when our train stopped and would go no further than downtown Brooklyn. It was election day, and many of us were excited to be able to finally rid the big city of the then fascistic mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. 

However, that morning, two planes were deliberately crashed into the twin World Trade Center towers, killing a guess-timated 3,000 persons immediately. Those murdered included 155 members of community-based organizations, public housing resident associations, labor unions and spiritual institutions that made up our city-wide, five-borough Alliance for a Working Economy – and our TRADES and CASH campaigns – that i was the coordinator and sole staff-person of. 

Powerful Poets and Progressive People’s Politicians celebrate BAMBD Fest at Oakland Museum of California during Revolutionary Black August. Left to right: Nikki Fortunato Bas, Oakland City Council President; freedom fighter, organizer and poet Queen Mama Cat Brooks; Queen Ciera-Jevae Gordon, poet laureate of Richmond, CA; Queen Mama Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, poet laureate of Oakland; Queen Mother, freedom fighter and my Oakland District 3 Councilwoman Carroll Fife; and our Brother Tongo Eisen-Martin, poet laureate of San Francisco. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

And, also 12 emergency workers who were part of the Vulcan Society of African American Firefighters, an organizational member of our National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), which i was serving as the then national male co-chair, editor and publisher of our REPARATIONS NOW! newsletter. Thus, the tragedy!

Twenty years later, in September 2021, i/WE not only commemorate the triumph and tragedy of that period a generation ago, but the widespread and ongoing tragedies and triumphs of this sacred time. The pandemics of capitalist for-profit economic depression, unjust wars, environmental destruction and killer viruses have taken the lives of millions around the usa and our planet. 

WE are pleased that President Biden is finally removing the terrorist usa military troops that have occupied Afghanistan, since shortly after the 11 September 2001 terrorist plane crashes that were attributed to groups based in that nation. Still, WE are well aware that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, aka Taliban ruling forces, will be attacking the progressive movements there, including advocates for human rights and equality for women and girls in that land. 

PONGEZI – CONGRATULATIONS to Queen Mama Joyce “Joy” Gordon on her 75th Sacred Birthday! And, for 18 amazing years of serving our community through her fabulous salon, art gallery and generosity in the heart of our BAMBD in downtown Oakland. Special banner designed by artist Brother Eric “Easy E” Murphy. Please join us on 3 September from 1 to 9 p.m. for special workshops and Art Speaks by the incredible Brother Carlos Spivey of Los Angeles. The location is 406 14th Street, between Broadway and Franklin, right below Baba Geoffrey Pete’s fabulous Geoffrey’s Inner Circle. Program info here. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

WE are also much further along in building the mass consciousness and organizing necessary to powerfully demand and eventually take our long-overdue Reparations; and implement more fully our healing and restorative justice processes. And, that, dear Sisters and Brothers, is our Triumphic stance. Asé. Amen.

Please vote and vote NO on the recall!

If you haven’t voted already in California’s special election, please do so by 14 September. Even with our major differences with the Governor and the corporate Democratic Party, WE strongly urge a NO Vote on the Republican-Donald Trump-led recall of Gavin Newsom. 

Queen Torey, an essential health care worker in San Francisco, gets in the Spirit of our great contributor MARCUS GARVEY and Revolutionary Black August by sporting her Red, Black and Green natural hair. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

And, don’t be fooled by the Black Republicans, like Larry Elder, who are seeking to bring more Trump-like “gifts” for the wealthiest one percenters as well as overturning our hard-won victories for labor rights, women’s choice, ethnic studies, release and relief for the masses of imprisoned, as well as for Reparations. Again, please Vote NO on the recall! Asé. Consider writing in a candidate, like one of our political prisoners.

Destination Reparations

The State of California Reparations Task Force is mostly based on our federal legislation H.R. 40 and S. 40 that our National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) envisioned, introduced in 1989 and have championed over the past three decades plus. 

The third and fourth meetings of the Reparations Task Force are scheduled for 23-24 September and 12-13 October. Public testimony has been moved to the beginning of each meeting, at 9 a.m. For more info, or to sign-up, go to https://oag.ca.gov/ab3121/meetings

New plaque honoring Ancestor and journalist CHAUNCEY BAILEY, who was gunned down at 221 14th Street in downtown Oakland, on 2 August 2007. Baba Chauncey was editor of the Oakland Post at the time of his assassination. He also formerly worked with the then Oakland Tribune and Detroit News. He, certainly opened the door for many community members to become reporters and griots. i first met him in 1996 at Ancestor CHARLES “CHUCK” JOHNSON’s Soul-Beat International African Television Network, when he asked me to cover first “The Justice Beat” and then “The Labor Beat” on the evening news telecast. Asante Sana (Many Thanks) to our former District 3 Councilwoman Queen Mother Lynette Gibson-McElhaney for fulfilling this special recognition to Chauncey as promised and for planting several Chaunce-Trees nearby this new development. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

FREE THEM ALL! Asé. Please visit the website of our Jericho Amnesty Movement to learn more about the situations of our many long-suffering political prisoners and brave warriors for justice, like Sundiata Acoli, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal and so many others as well as how you can best support them at https://thejerichomovement.com/.

Celebrate Leonard Peltier’s birthday on 12 September 2021! Also, visit the huge, soon-to-be unveiled, Leonard Peltier Statue for Liberty, by the profound artist Rigo 23, beginning 9 September at the Richmond (California) Art Center, 2540 Barrett Street. Asé. 

PONGEZI! CONGRATULATIONS! To Queen Mother Zakiyyah G.E. Capehart and her husband Baba Bryant “Mr. B” Bolling for organizing our MARCUS GARVEY Sacred Birthday Celebration webinar on Reparations and Repatriation. And, for hosting our fruitful dialogue on KPFA-Pacifica Radio’s “Full Circle” program. Up You Mighty Afrikan People! WE Can Accomplish All Things Through Our Divine and With Unity! Asé. Amen.

PONGEZI! CONGRATS! To the Bay View community’s Curtis Family C-Notes for their outstanding show of Unity and professional performances on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Though they were not chosen after the most recent quarter-finals – largely due to the show’s producers choosing the song and arrangement style – they did us proud. Here’s to many years of positive music-making going forward. WE are so proud of you, C-Notes! Asé.

Please take a moment to review, consider, sign-on and forward our “Change the Name of the ‘white’ House Petition” to your networks.

Become a member of N’COBRA and help build our movements for Reparations. Asé. Contact us at ncobrawest@gmail.com or visit www.ncobraonline.org.

Finally, as you know very well, our Bay View newspaper desperately needs and deserves your support! Help us keep producing and sharing the truth from outside and behind the walls! Send your check or money order in any amount to us at 4917 Third Street, SF, CA 94124. Or, donate online here.

Continue to take (y)our righteous steps, knowing our Divine will do the rest. And, 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 traces his ancestral roots to the Yoruba and Ewondo nations in Alkebulan-Afrika. He is a Baba (Elder), Pan Africanist, socialist and (inter)nationalist. He is also a “FREE-tired” community, labor union, environmental/solar and social justice organizer; a writer, composer, yogi, martial artist, vegan and author of several books, including “Many Paths to Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).” Baba Jahahara is, in addition, a Life Member, former National Male Co-Chair and Acting West Region Rep of N’COBRA. Take a listen to a few songs from his musical catalog at https://soundcloud.com/search?q=baba%20jahahara Invite Baba Jahahara to present at your group, school, spiritual gathering or event c/o support@africansdeservereparations.com or FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, Oakland, CA 94610.