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On March 25, 1931, at the age of 69, Ida B. Wells-Barnett joined the ancestors, leaving an incredible legacy of courage, sacrifice, dedication and activism. Given the harsh, dangerous conditions of the post-Civil War context in which she struggled, her accomplishments were truly amazing. She was surely one of the 20th century’s most remarkable women. Long live the spirit of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
From a bombed NAACP office in Colorado to the decimated town of Baga, Nigeria, acts of terrorism against Black people and institutions have failed to generate much attention in the United States this past week. Most of the Western world and its political leaders have, instead, turned their eyes to Paris, France – the location of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. While the world holds its arms out in sympathy for Charlie Hebdo, we who believe in freedom must seek justice for Black people around the world – including for the victims of Boko Haram. We must continue to say that all Black lives matter, even when the world refuses to see it.
Keith Cook delivered this speech on Dec. 5 at “Cops vs. Free Speech,” a public forum organized by the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia: Thank you for inviting me again to be a part of this essential, timely discussion that we should be having across our nation. Free speech – for most of us who are activists, what does the Fraternal Order of Police, commonly known as the FOP, have to do with it?
The 29th birthday of the late El Hajj Malcolm Latif Shabazz, the grandson of the late great El Hajj Malik El Shabazz aka Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, will be commemorated on Oct. 8, 2013. This is the first birthday since he was brutally murdered in Mexico City on May 9, 2013. Shaykh Hashim Alauddeen was Malcolm’s Imam, and the one who presided over Malcolm’s funeral in Oakland.
On Aug. 7, Paul Rusesabagina, president of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, sent an open letter to international political and civil society leaders asking them not to bother with the upcoming Rwandan parliamentary elections. The letter follows: Please ignore Rwanda. Parliamentary elections are coming up in Rwanda this September, and the world should ignore them.
Ever since the George Zimmerman verdict was read finding him “not guilty” and justice for a murdered Trayvon Martin was denied, there’s been a nationwide outcry for us as a country to sit down and have a serious conversation about race. President Obama encouraged us to have these conversations on race locally at home, amongst friends, at church and amongst our colleagues at work.
Raise your voice and the voices of our people – the voice of truth. Until we get the big mikes, we gotta hit a lot of little mikes. Bring back the doo woppers on street corners and concerned citizens speaking on footstools like Malcolm and Black New Yorkers used to do in the ‘60s – and even today. Support your local poetry, spoken word and open mike scenes where – at least there – we still have a voice.
The federal government is at it again! They have placed the legendary Black Panther leader, Assata Shakur, on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list. Yes, you read correctly: terrorist. Shakur has been living in political exile in Cuba since 1984 after her escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in 1979, where she served six years. All American citizens’ constitutional rights are in jeopardy if we believe and accept the FBI’s assertion that for speaking out about the U.S. government Assata Shakur is a terrorist.
The steady rise of ethnic nationalism over the past decade, the replacing of history with mendacious and sanitized versions of lost glory, is part of the moral decay that infects a dying culture. It is a frightening attempt, by those who are desperate and trapped, to escape through invented history their despair, impoverishment and hopelessness.
The fundamental stimulus of the attack on Libya is greed, not the protection of the Libyan people. In fact, the people of Libya have suffered more during this bombardment by Western powers and their allies than during the entire 41 years of the leadership of Muammar al-Gaddafi. We must be clear that the attack on Libya is an attack on Africa. The great danger of the attacks on Libya is that they are being used by the U.S. to test the effectiveness of AFRICOM, the African Command, and this adventure will open the door to direct military intervention in Africa.
Since 9-11, the U.S. government, through Presidents Bush and Obama, has increasingly told the U.S. public that “state secrets” will not be shared with citizens. Candidate Obama pledged to reduce the use of state secrets, but President Obama continued the Bush tradition. The courts and Congress and international allies have gone meekly along with the escalating secrecy demands of the U.S. executive.
On Monday, April 26, police detectives in Kigali, Rwanda, interrogated Didas Gasana, editor of the weekly African language newspaper Umuseso for eight hours. Gasana now fears extrajudicial abduction or a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Communities from up and down the West Coast that had planned to converge in San Francisco to demonstrate our immense energy and BE THE CHANGE this administration needs to do what is right have been denied a previously approved permit to gather – why? on the grounds that the rally will be too large. Is this a re-run of the rise and fall of the Poor People’s Campaign’s Resurrection City on the Washington Mall in 1968?