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He was born in 1933. He, of course, is Minister Louis Farrakhan but, like Oprah or Prince, one name is enough to garner recognition. Say “Farrakhan” – and everyone knows of whom you speak. This has especially been so since Oct. 16, 1995, the day his call for the assemblage of a million Black men was met by at least a million Black men. What other Black leader could have done this?
On Aug. 30, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted birthday wishes to Fred Hampton with Hampton’s picture and a quotation of something he said: “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.” The 49ers played the Chicago Bears last year on Dec. 4, 2016, the anniversary of Hampton’s assassination by a tactical unit of state, city and federal officers. Kaepernick wore a Fred Hampton T-shirt to the postgame press conference.
Students of the Revolutionary Youth Media Education class at Deecolonize Academy haven been learning, writing and living police terror and resistance as children of Black, Brown and poor parents. On Jan. 19, all of the youth skolaz at Deecolonize Academy and adult poverty skolaz at POOR Magazine began the day marching for MLK, for Black lives and for all of us, followed up by a trip to see the movie “Selma” and ended with a die-in outside the movie theatre in SF.
Leo Robinson was a Black leader of the longshore union in San Francisco. He died in mid-January. For many of us, he was a lifelong companion, an example of what being an internationalist and a working class activist was all about. When Leo Robinson spoke, he had the full attention of every union member in Local 10’s cavernous waterfront union hall.
"Damn Detroit Police Department! You burned, shot and killed Aiyana Jones, a little 7-year-old girl. You threw a stun grenade through the front window and lit the little girl’s blanket on fire! And then you shot off a bullet that landed in her neck!" - Read this account by Kimora Lee Simmons, another by a 12-year-old girl and the full story by veteran Detroit journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.