Ishmael Reed is one of the most read writers of his generation, along with Toni Morrison and Amiri Baraka, living in America. In 1962, Reed co-founded “East Village Other,” a well known underground publication at the time, and was a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, which helped to give rise to the Black Arts Movement. He has published nine novels, four collections of poetry, six plays, four collections of essays and a libretto. He currently lives in Oakland, and I approached him one day while he was visiting KPFA’s studios to ask him what he thought about the state of affairs between the police and Oakland’s Black community, with the backdrop of the police murder of Oscar Grant and, in a separate incident, the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, after Mixon allegedly killed four Oakland police officers.
One is hard pressed to find media accounts of what the Congolese people want or how they believe that the United States could best play a constructive role in ending the suffering in the Congo. Considering that the United States has played a significant historical role in the stifling of the democratic aspirations of the Congolese people and the backing of the 1996 and 1998 invasions of the Congo by its allies, Rwanda and Uganda, which unleashed what the United Nations say is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II, it is important to hear directly from the Congolese people regarding U.S. engagement in the Congo.
“This is a Congolese sister, not the U.N., who is building a school with her own money and donors, to give back to her country,” says Kambale Musavuli, spokesman and student coordinator for Friends of the Congo, paying tribute to Noella Coursaris Musunka.
I know no honest, informed Congo watchers who doubt that Gen. Laurent Nkunda and his ruthless militia are tools of the U.S. and its African proxy, Rwanda, in the imperial resource war now raging in Eastern Congo.
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