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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.
I’m not shuckin’ and jivin’ for you! --- I’m not gonna be yo’ house nigger! --- NO. --- I will look you in your eye … --- then drink from that water fountain you’re standing by. --- YES! I will. --- I’m the modern day Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Pauli Murray, Lumumba, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz – that’s Malcolm if you ain’t in the know. I’m Elaine Brown, Bobby Seale, Ericka Huggins, Serena and Venus Williams – with the backhand!
Lots of people are up in arms asserting you are unpatriotic if you refuse to stand for the Star Spangled Banner. We see this playing out with Colin Kaepernick. People like to romanticize about how it’s an expression of pride for this beloved country. How many of y’all patriots know we only sing one verse to that song? How many of y’all know the other verses are about hunting down slaves? The song is about recapturing slaves who tried to run away and even fought against their masters to escape bondage during the War of 1812. But Colin needs to stand and sing that song? Yeah, right.
In the wake of Muhammed Ali’s transition come the voices of praise and adulation heaped on the man for his political stance and courage for holding to his convictions in 1967, that brought him face-to-face with a racist U.S. regime. But the voices are silent in the face of Jasmine Abdullah Richards’ reality in 2016, against an identical racist regime to the one who persecuted Ali.
Author Akua Agusi’s children's books deal with the history of Black giants like Marcus Garvey, Madame C.J. Walker, Queen Nzinga and Imhotep. And there are many more in the works. Please support revolutionary Black art and literature with your purchasing dollars so we can continue to keep Akua in business and inspire more people to make conscious and revolutionary art and literature. Check her out in her own words.
Beneath the banner “Justice or Else,” this march appeared different from the Oct. 20, 1995, event. Minister Louis Farrakhan called for an end to police violence against African Americans and demanded a halt to Black-on-Black crime, which kills more inner-city men than all other causes combined. The Nation of Islam leader used the occasion of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Million Man March at the steps of the U.S. Capitol to condemn the loss of life of Blacks.
On June 27, a young freedom fighter and community organizer mounted an awe-inspiring campaign to bring down the Confederate battle flag. Brittany “Bree” Newsome, in a courageous act of civil disobedience, scaled a metal pole using a climbing harness, to remove the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol. She refused law enforcement commands to end her mission and was immediately arrested along with ally James Ian Tyson. Though the flag was replaced an hour later, only 12 days later, the Legislature voted it down for good.
Libations to Ornette Coleman, musician, composer, March 9, 1930-June 11, 2015. Libations also for Brother Tahuti, a beloved elder who made his transition mid-June. Those of us who commemorate our African Ancestors of the Middle Passage have formed an organization which took me recently to Washington, D.C. At the website guests can learn about commemorations throughout the United States and beyond.
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.
IRP Solutions was a small, Black-owned software development company with 15-19 employees that competed against big businesses for lucrative, multi-million-dollar government contracts. Looking back on the raid of IRP Solutions’ business, conducted in 2005 by 21 FBI agents, it is apparent that IRP’s direct competitors were not going to let a small, Black-owned company win a substantial and lucrative contract that had been theirs for years.
The resurgence of modern Black towns for today’s Black population could represent a renaissance in Black thinking. It makes sense that if other cultural groups have “towns” like Chinatown, Japantown, Little Italy or Little Mexico, the Black community should get serious about developing and building Africatowns to recapture our internal economic markets and revitalize our cultural heritage for posterity.
It has been five years since Oakland was set on fire during the Oakland Rebellions that were a result of the BART police murder of Oscar Grant. Los Angeles based journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga is set to release her book, “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant,” in the coming weeks. This book gives a much needed political analysis of what was at work behind the curtains of this monumental police murder case.
The inclusion of Assata Shakur on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Terrorists list last month – marking 29 years since her liberation from a New Jersey maximum security prison in 1979 by members of the Black Liberation Army – while aimed at Cuba’s leadership should also be interpreted as a shot across the bow of any internal revolutionary movement or revolutionary activists in the United States.
Ida B. Wells was a fiery crusader for African American justice at a time when angry white men indulged in lynching as acceptable behavior. Her determination, courage, ambition and refusal to back down helped change the course of history. Her talents as an investigative reporter, successful writer and newspaper owner were unbeatable weapons.
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.
A common denominator among individuals who commit suicide is a traumatic event and/or long-term torment which can result in psychosis. If left untreated, it can lead to suicidal thoughts with the intent to end the internal distress and anguish. This same diagnostic assessment is equally applicable to mass suicide.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
The struggle is long and arduous, and sometimes we do etch out significant victories, as in the case of our Brotha Mutope Duguma in In re Crawford, a significant step in reaffirming that prisoners are entitled to a measure of First Amendment protection that cannot be ignored simply because the state dislikes the spiel.
The history of racist violence, of lynchings, of state violence, or a complicit media and systemic injustice remain a reality despite our purportedly post-racial moment. In the first six months of 2012, the police, security guards and vigilantes have killed 120 African Americans, one every 36 hours. The media, political “leaders” and citizens alike ignore and justify these killings by blaming the victims.
Students learned many things about African and African American history, ranging from the classical African civilizations of Kemet (ancient Egypt), Songhai and Mali to the Black Arts Movement and the Harlem Renaissance. The African-centered curriculum is designed to encourage youth to read during the summer while building self-esteem and a strong cultural identity.
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