Sept. 9, 2016, is the day that many people in America are wholeheartedly organizing, mobilizing, taking action, standing and locking arms in solidarity against what we know as prison slave labor – yes, legalized slavery – and people are saying, “No more!” Even though there are many taking action and answering the call to cure this particular ill of society, there is an overwhelmingly larger portion of the U.S. population who are absolutely clueless to the fact that slavery still exists.
On Friday, Sept. 9, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising in New York, prisoners are calling for a general strike across all prisons in the United States against prison slavery. As the initial call out for the strike stated: “Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. ... This is a call for a nationwide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on Sept. 9, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.”
With police terrorism hitting the screens of televisions around the world on a weekly and sometimes daily basis due to cellphone cameras, it is obvious why a strong Black media is needed to counteract the nationwide police psychological operation, aka public relations campaign, now being employed to make the police likable and to justify police-imposed torture and genocide on the Black community.
Fifty years ago, on June 16, 1966, in Greenwood, Mississippi, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Chair Kwame Ture, then known as Stokely Carmichael, addressed a crowd of youthful demonstrators and the media covering the militant March Against Fear and forcefully re-echoed our millennial and generational demand for “Black Power.”
On Saturday, June 18, 3-7 p.m., at the New Parish Courtyard, 1741 San Pablo, Oakland, his longtime teammates and comrades Money B and Dj Fuze of Digital Underground will be handling the hosting and music for the 20th Anniversary of Life Party for Tupac. We will also officially remember Afeni Shakur, who passed away on April 21, ’16, from a cardiac arrest, with a short opening ceremony led by Sista Iminah.
This is a public notice to all freedom fighters, activists and community leaders: SLAVERY IS NOT DEAD! Did the 13th Amendment abolish slavery? Ask anyone in the United States this question and they will answer most emphatically: Yes, of course it did. If you, the person reading this article and call to action, believe this as well, please allow me to inform you: You are wrong! Slavery is not dead! Rather than abolish slavery, the 13th Amendment LEGALIZED it!
New Afrikan Liberation Collective is a revolutionary political organization aimed at winning the consciousness of the people. Our objective is to agitate, educate and organize our people around the necessity to fight and overthrow the oppressive forces and establishment that continue to work against us and hold us down – the oppressive forces being white supremacy and the establishment being the power structure, based on the economic infrastructure.
It’s hard to imagine that the country that controls so much nuclear firepower and drops so many bombs every day is unwilling to educate its children and house its own people. As much as I would like to see zero poverty in the United States, I know that the political will for such policies is just not there today. This, despite the efforts of thousands of people just like me all over the country to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of the poor in the U.S.
At Merritt College, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, on the 74th birthday of its co-founder, Huey P. Newton, the African American Studies Program fittingly hosted a talk by the recently opened Cuban Embassy’s First Secretary Miguel Fraga, where he spoke on Cuban-U.S. relations. Afterwards, he and I continued to talk about the embargo, U.S. relations with Haiti, Venezuela and Bolivia, funding of Radio Marti, and the dissipation of the radical Latin American bloc of nations opposed to U.S. aggression and hegemony in the region and in the world.
I began writing a eulogy for Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores years ago, though she died only last week. Berta was assassinated by Honduran government-backed death squads on March 3. Like many who knew and worked with her, I was aware that this fighter was not destined to die of old age. She spoke too much truth to too much power. Long may Berta live, in the hearts, minds, passions and actions of all of us.
When the African world revolution lost Dedon Kamathi, we lost an organizer’s organizer, a void that will definitely be very hard to fill. I talked to one of Dedon’s close comrades in the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, Munyiga Lumumba, so that he could give the people who didn’t know Dedon like we did a glimpse into the politics and the spirit that made Dedon Dedon.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson is a documentary about a Black revolutionary organization in a revolutionary time. It is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen that intends to tell the history of an organization that shook the world and fundamentally changed the way that Black people in the United States have looked at themselves for nearly half a century. It’s screening in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael on Oct. 2. The Oakland screening is Saturday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m., Piedmont Theater, 4186 Piedmont Ave., followed by Q&A with Stanley Nelson and former Oakland Panther Steve McCutchen.
We were saddened by the news that Yogi was murdered during an alleged “prison riot” at a Sacramento maximum security prison, after Yogi’s release from decades in solitary confinement in the California prison system. Our prison movement grieves at the loss of one of its most respected and beloved foot soldiers within the belly of this fascist beast in our mutual struggles against the common enemy of the human species.
So this poem is for everybody on planet earth, even though I start it out by saying: When I was younger ... I used to wonder ... why my elders would be talking holes in my clothes about Blackness? I just thought it was to make me feel better about my situation: being a Black man in America. But a funny thing happened to me while I was searching for my blackness: I found God!
All of Us or None’s upcoming Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Western Regional Conference is Sept. 20-21 at Oakstop, 1721 Broadway in downtown Oakland. It will be a time for people to discuss employment, housing, crimmigration, which is the connection between the punishment system in the U.S. and immigration policies, and more. Check out one of the main organizers, Manuel La Fontaine, about the conference and his life experiences.
“Concerning Violence” is a documentary film that reflects on the text of Fanon’s most definitive work, “Wretched of the Earth,” against the backdrop of raw footage from a number of African countries during their revolutionary struggles for independence in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s and interviews with revolutionaries and colonialists alike about their thoughts on the use of violence to protect their interests.
On Sept. 13, 2014, the most progressive of the Bay Area’s Black and pro-Black journalists came together to celebrate one another and to give awards to a well deserving few. It was also a salute to the real legacy of Black journalism in the United States that was born out of the fight for human rights and self-determination. The night was dedicated to the memory of the recently transitioned journalist and editor Kevin Weston.
In 1973, the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals issued a report which stated in part: “The prison, the reformatory and the jail have achieved only a shocking record of failure. There is overwhelming evidence that these institutions create crime rather than prevent it.” This same report stated directly: “No new institutions for adults should be built and existing institutions for juveniles should be closed.”
There are hundreds of prisoners who have been falsely validated as members or associates of prison gangs that can viscerally relate to my experience, from living life as an outlaw in society to being prosecuted and convicted to prison, only to be persecuted while in prison, fundamentally for educating oneself by trying to heighten one’s sense of cultural and social awareness.
Having a child with autism who receives special education in public school is a challenge. It can be more difficult for parents of low income, as is my circumstance. I’ve tried different routes to navigate a very difficult and, at times, confusing system. The myriad of acronyms and policy to be familiar with are overwhelming and it can feel as if you are alone in the process – your family against your school district.