We live in revolutionary times, by virtue of the fact that “moderate” reforms are totally inadequate to the planetary crisis we face.
Clear your calendar for the third Sunday in August 2019 and make your way to Terre Haute, Indiana. Kwame “Beans” Shakur is a revolutionary scholar and activist who is organizing the First Annual REBUILD: New Afrikan People’s Assembly Conference at the Booker T. Washington Community Center on Aug. 18, 2019, in beautiful Terre Haute, Indiana.
Many New Afrikans (Blacks) for some reason think that the revolution is dead. The revolution is not dead. It is the spirit of the people that is dead. They have forgotten their history. And since their spirit is dead, the revolution is at a standstill or stagnant. Revolution means to bring about a change. A revolutionary is one who is dedicated to bringing about that change. We can all agree that change in these times is indeed needed. Revolution is needed! The people’s spirit is only dead because those of us who claim to be revolutionaries haven’t sparked their interest.
I’d like to send out a clenched fist salute to Amani Sawari of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. I have studied the transcript of Amani’s appearance on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. Amani did an excellent job articulating the reasons for our actions. Amani also had the presence of mind to highlight and accentuate the fact that we, the prisoners across Amerika, seek to be treated as human beings and given meaningful opportunities toward our rehabilitation.
I recently finished reading David Barton Smith’s book, “The Power to Heal, Civil Rights, Medicare, and the Struggle to Transform America’s Health Care System.” It is an excellent history of healthcare in the United States, particularly in the 1950s and ‘60s. For me, as a longtime Medicare for All advocate, the book also provided insight about our continuing struggle to achieve better healthcare in the U.S. at a lower cost for everyone.
Let us remember two fallen sons of Mother Africa who truly represent and exemplify the bravery and patriotism which best defines our collective fighting spirit and resolve, Comrade Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso’s former president, and the commander of ZANLA’s guerilla army, Gen. Josiah Magama Tongogara. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Sankara’s assassination, a cowardly act carried out by the neo-colonialist stooge and poor excuse for an African, Blaise Compaore.
Black August Memorial (BAM) is our socialist oriented institution that was developed out of the special need for New Afrikan (Black) people in Amerika to implement our own ways and means to commemorate the selfless sacrifices and deeds rendered by many New Afrikan (Black) heroes and sheroes – exposing to the light of day the injustices heaped upon us daily in pursuit of the New Afrikan (Black) freedom, justice, equality and human and civil rights.
Great news when Theresa May’s Conservative Party lost their Parliamentary majority in the U.K.’s June 8 snap election and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party surged, adding 30 seats to their total. Pollsters, who predicted a Conservative Party victory, were way off, but for what it’s worth, they’ve since reported that Corbyn’s popularity continues to rise.
Hubert Harrison (1883-1927), the “father of Harlem radicalism” and founder of the militant “New Negro Movement,” is a giant of our history. He was extremely important in his day and his significant contributions and influence are attracting increased study and discussion today. In this 90th year since his death in 1927, let us all make a commitment to learn more about the important struggles that he and others waged. Let us also commit to share this knowledge with others.
When FBI director James Comey dropped a propaganda bomb that blew up the 2016 presidential election and probably changed how the U.S. will be governed for some time to come, he wasn’t acting for the Russians. Comey wasn’t acting as an individual rogue actor either. He was acting in the tried and true tradition of the FBI as a political police agency that uses its authority – legally, illegally and effectively – to intrude into the political processes of our country. One hallmark of what we like to think of as our great democracy is the separation of the police and military from our political processes.
Damu’s idea of revolutionary change meant, first, seeing the need for a radical transformation of the world and then having confidence that ordinary people, working people, are capable of making it happen. When they do rise up and try to fashion a new world, with all the mistakes humans are capable of making, he believed you have to support them.
2013 marks the 43rd anniversary of Black August, first organized to honor our fallen freedom fighters, George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden and sole survivor of the Aug. 7, 1970, Courthouse Slave Rebellion, Ruchell Cinque Magee. During these four decades, we’ve witnessed a steady revision of the meaning of Black August and its inherent ideology.
Cynthia McKinney’s fundraiser tour for the SF Bay View was a huge success up and down California, hitting San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland and Santa Rosa. The tour, which was titled “Latin America, Africa, and Obama,” coincided with the release of McKinney’s second book, “Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom,” an autobiography about her years as a six-term Congress member from Georgia.
We, Afro-descendants of Venezuela, meeting in the city of Caracas, express our condemnation of the rise of fascism and racism led by Henríquez Capriles Randonski and leaders of the Venezuelan far right in not accepting the results of the April 14 elections that led to the victory of the candidate of the homeland, Nicolas Maduro Moros.
President Comandante Hugo Chavez Frias will be remembered for his efforts in the transformation of Venezuela and Latin America away from the dominance of United States imperialism. Chavez championed socialism, national liberation and international solidarity. He reaffirmed the indigenous and African roots of Venezuelan and Latin American culture and society.
Revolutionaries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean owe a great debt to Hugo Chavez. His selfless struggle for the advancement of the masses of poor and oppressed occupied him 24/7. It was with sheer determination and a lifetime of struggle that this great champion of the oppressed, Comandante Hugo Chavez, led a revolution that provides us with a working example of what he termed “21st century socialism,” where people of all ethnicities have a place under the sun.
Leo Robinson was a Black leader of the longshore union in San Francisco. He died in mid-January. For many of us, he was a lifelong companion, an example of what being an internationalist and a working class activist was all about. When Leo Robinson spoke, he had the full attention of every union member in Local 10’s cavernous waterfront union hall.
The new book by Manning Marable, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” will help us to get a deeper understanding of Malcolm X and the times we’re living in now. This will not be a direct result of what Marable has done, but rather of what needs to happen now because of what he has done.
Recently the cold war against Cuba was ratcheted up when an acrimonious debate broke out over the issue of racism in Cuba and for the first time the issue of Brazil was thrown into the mix. The brouhaha began when scores of prominent African Americans, many of whom should have known better, put their names to a petition calling upon the Cuban government to release a dissident from prison.
Paul Robeson was an extraordinary and versatile individual, world famous during his lifetime, who has been deliberately erased from the dominant myth of U.S. history for speaking the truth about conditions both domestic and abroad – his opposition to racism, fascism and colonialism and his support for civil and human rights, democracy, national liberation, socialism and the day-to-day resistance of working people of all lands to oppression, knowing that his fame would allow these messages to be more widely heard.
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