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Oct. 12 is the birthday of one of the most talented and promising young men martyred in the massive state repression against the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter. Unlike Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson, Carter has almost been forgotten from the history of Africans in America except for diehards. Carter, then 26 (born Oct. 12, 1942), was assassinated on Jan. 17, 1969 in a Campbell Hall classroom at UCLA in Los Angeles.
This article was prompted by the unrelenting campaign by friends and associates of the late Dr. Walter Rodney, to maintain the false accusation that Forbes Burnham ordered Walter Rodney’s assassination. Many of these academics and commentators are not Guyanese and do not fully understand the circumstances in 1980 that led to Walter Rodney’s demise. The adage, chanted by Bob Marley, that “half the story has never been told” is 100 percent correct.
New Orleans teachers who lost their jobs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina were wrongfully terminated and deserve two to three years of back pay, an appeals court ruled Jan. 16. The ruling affects more than 7,000 teachers who were fired and comes after years of legal wrangling, The Times-Picayune reported. Katrina catalyzed the ground-up remaking of the New Orleans public school system, of which the mass layoffs of thousands of teachers was just one part. The layoffs also destabilized neighborhoods.
It has been five short months since dozens of unemployed Black workers and contractors protested exclusion of Blacks from demolition and demanded inclusion of Blacks in the rebuilding of Bayview’s Willie Brown Middle School. Now SFUSD plans to ask the School Board at their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6 p.m., at 555 Franklin, First Floor, to AWARD THE $44.6 MILLION CONTRACT FOR WILLIE BROWN SCHOOL TO A MAJOR WHITE CONTRACTOR without competitive bidding. Pack the meeting! Protest economic racism!
In late August, Aboriginal Blackman United organized over 30 unemployed union members from Bayview Hunters Point to protest construction at Bayview’s Willie Brown Academy. We did not protest because we disagree that our public schools are much in need of repair or with the $531 million that the San Francisco School District will spend to upgrade our public schools. We protested because, despite this historic opportunity for the School District to work with local communities to rebuild our schools, there are no Black workers and no Black contractors at Willie Brown Academy. And at ABU we say that if we don’t work, nobody works.
Ayanda Kota, chairperson of the Grahamstown, South Africa, Unemployed Peoples’ Movement, was brutally beaten and arrested by the police today. Will he suffer the same fate as South Africa’s Steve Biko, the anti-apartheid leader and founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, who died in 1977 at age 31 in police custody, or Andries Tatane, a math teacher and community newspaper publisher whose police murder, caught on video during a protest on April 13, 2011, shocked the nation?
As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, America's first African America labor union, let us not forget that African American rail workers were instrumental in organizing not only the sleeping and chair car porters, but the dining car workers as well.
By the 1980s, the largest population of African Americans in the state of California owned homes, property and businesses in the Bayview Hunters Point district of San Francisco. Now, the BVHP Redevelopment Project threatens to deprive them of their land, historical legacy and culture, fulfilling the United Nations definition of a government sponsored genocidal campaign.
As the United States delves further into a serious long-term recession, African Americans are facing the challenge of coming from a seven-year silent recession into a depression. What the national economy is going through could decrease the Black middle class by a staggering 33 percent.