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The Birth of the NFAC; Amerika’s Black Militia

Black grassroots movements have led the charge throughout the history of Black Americans fighting for equality in America. From the 1954 Civil Rights movement to the Black Power movement of the ’60s, and the more recent Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the dismantlement of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1982, no other organization composed of Black men and women has disrupted America’s white comfort. Until the NFAC (Not ****ing Around Coalition) led by the 2016 independent presidential candidate, John Fitzgerald Johnson, known as Grandmaster Jay, took formation.

The NFAC is a focused, self-finance armed militia of trained Black military veterans, and according to the Grandmaster Jay, the NFAC is neither protestors nor demonstrators. “We are a Black militia. We don’t come to sing; we don’t come to chant. That’s not what we do,” says Grandmaster Jay.

The first public sighting of the NFAC took place on May 12, 2020, in Brunswick, Georgia, as a direct response to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black jogger murder by two white males in February. Although early reports on the NFAC linked the organization to the Black Panther Party, the NFAC has denied any connection.

One of the biggest shows of arms and unity from the NFAC came on July 4, 2020, America’s Independence Day. Along with an upward of 1,000 troops, Grandmaster Jay marched in sync through the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Appearing on Roland Martin’s “Unfiltered Daily Digital Show,” Grandmaster Jay tells Martin that the Stone Mountain formation took place for two reasons: One, to exercise their constitutional rights to bear arms and to assemble peacefully. It was also to challenge the white nationalist organization after threats of lynching and shooting people of color began circulating online.

“You are not going to continue to threaten the Black Race, Grandmaster Jay says. “It was time to show folks that we can defend ourselves.

The NFAC showed another demonstration of unity and strength when they took to Louisville, Kentucky, to apply pressure on Louisville Attorney General, Daniel Camron, for his lack of urgency in bringing justice to 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. Taylor, an EMT, with no criminal history, was shot by the Louisville police officers eight times as they mistakenly raided her home. The presence of the NFAC in Louisville resulted in a conversation between Daniel Cameron and Grandmaster Jay. According to Jay, he gave Cameron an ultimatum, finish the investigation in four weeks, or the NFAC would return to Louisville. Grandmaster Jay says the NFAC presences in Louisville were not to create or add any more chaos to a city already under the public’s microscope but feels their appearance is necessary to spread a particular message. That message was justice for Breonna Taylor.

Everyone may not agree with the NFAC and what some may call an aggressive approach.  But in a country where Black people continue to be murder and threatened by local law enforcement and white nationalist organizations, the NFAC is needed as an alternative to what’s to come if America doesn’t correct their mistreatment to people of color.

“Anytime there appears to be a gross injustice against the Black community, we’ve decided we’re going to take it to the streets. We’re going to take it to their face and show them what Malcolm said was true. There are no such things as a bloodless revolution.” -Grandmaster Jay


Revolutionary Daily Thought

When white amerika catches a cold, Black amerika gets pneumonia” as new morbid twist: when white amerika catches the novel coronavirus, Black amerikans die. – The old Afrikan-Amerikan aphorism 


James Baldwin’s Afrikan Awakening

Although famed writers James Baldwin never wrote a book entirely about Africa in his long career, his later works show him awakening to “the potential of Black internationalism” with the decolonization of the continent, according to  Dagmawi Woubshet, professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. “The early Baldwin is concerned about the kinship between white and Black America,” said Woubshet,

Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal

Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal
Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal

The law is a shaky foundation to rest on, particularly for Black people and other marginalized communities.

“An assumption that the courts will deliver ‘justice” regularly ignores the fact that Black people have never known such a thing.”

Throughout the history of Black America, progress has often required breaking the law. For this reason, it’s worth questioning why, in sanitized mainstream narratives (for example, those shared in schools and government functions during Black History Month), the story of Black struggle is often divorced from incendiary, illegal acts. Most Black people in the United States are descended from enslaved Africans, and being Black in this country has never been wholly separated from that history. In fact, it still haunts us daily as we navigate its afterlife. This is a legacy that was demarcated by restrictions that continually pierced the everyday experience of living. For many Black people during the time of slavery, to be free was illegal itself — and in many ways, that reality has extended into every era following “emancipation.” Since then, the necessity of extralegal acts has continued for a people still constantly being ensnared by a society stacked against them.

“For many Black people during the time of slavery, to be free was illegal itself.”

Of course, Black people have often used U.S. law as a tool to make gains which often extended to many others. Activists have sued and otherwise challenged institutions in court throughout history, to great effect. For example, thanks to the legal battles of the N.A.A.C.P., Black people saw significant gains on this front in cases like Brown v. Board of Education  and Guinn v. United States . Landmark legislation has resulted in significant changes for Black Americans, thanks to the efforts of organizers. For instance, the victorious Brown v. Board of Education ruling laid important foundations for the civil rights movement that encouraged other organizing leading up to the passage of legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act. Yet, racism is encoded in laws that criminalize poverty and other conditions Black people disproportionately experience. In a sense, that much remains like it always has been. The law is a shaky foundation to rest on, particularly for Black people and other marginalized communities.

However, we’re now in a historical moment when the racist and anti-Black president is, understandably, condemned as an affront to legality. Donald Trump’s first term saw the most lawsuits against a presidential administration in decades . “We’ll see you in court” has become a catchy utterance for organizations challenging Trump’s egregious attacks on the environment, immigration, civil and human rights. Witnessing the mockery of an impeachment trial during this presidency has exposed yet again that the law is unevenly applied, and that those with power are often able to break the law at will with no consequences. The law bends, twists and moves itself for many reasons.

“Racism is encoded in laws that criminalize poverty.”

As such, we’ve seen victorious attacks on landmark legislation like the Voting Rights Act  and a slew of other rollbacks  over the past several years. These regressive legal developments should remind us that white supremacy is a constant within the legal institutions of the nation. That which is blatantly discriminatory has to go to court and be argued against because in the United States, it’s fair game to argue in court that those who are oppressed deserve their oppression.

The denial of pain and violence experienced by the oppressed is part of the dominant white supremacist culture. Were it not, we would never have had to go to court in the first place to plead for our human rights. The establishment has gradually eased the tensions of an ever-changing society so contentious issues didn’t turn into uncontrollable uprisings many times before. This is often the purpose of reform — to stave off revolution, to uphold the current legal system. An assumption that the courts will deliver “justice” — simply by upholding the law — regularly ignores the fact that Black people have never known such a thing, because our historic victories are perpetually under attack.

White supremacy is a constant within the legal institutions of the nation.”

In fact, consider that the Constitution of the United States, often viewed as the ultimate basis for meting out justice, is a racist document in its origins. The European Enlightenment values embedded in the Constitution did not extend to Black people at its inception and still struggle to do so completely now. The Constitution is embraced in a bipartisan fashion and used for whatever means either side hopes to gain from it. Like interpretations of a holy text in a religion, the definite meanings of these laws and prescriptions are continually up for debate based on who is interpreting them and what side they’re on. This debate goes on ad nauseum, and is increasingly disillusioning for a populace weary of slow gains via trickle-down legal changes.

As per this country’s first laws, Black people were not meant to be citizens and our continued disenfranchisement is a constant reminder. From the fugitive resistance to slavery to the civil rights sit-ins against Jim Crow and the armed self-defense of the Black Power movement, many of our causes have involved battling institutions — not uprooting illegality, but uprooting injustices embedded within the law itself. What Black people have had to do in order to confront those injustices has often been illegal, from defending against police brutality to stealing food to occupying living spaces . Many have died along the way, because the white supremacist institutions leave us with no choice but utter defiance.

Many of our causes have involved battling institutions — not uprooting illegality, but uprooting injustices embedded within the law itself.”

Thus, we should be warned by history not to overemphasize legality — or condemn all “lawlessness” — in our arguments for justice and our work in fighting oppression. To be clear, if a cop can kill you because they feel like it and you always “fit the description” of their target, you are not protected by the law. Why invest ourselves in protecting what does not protect us?

The history of Black resistance has always meant breaking the law, because unjust laws do not deserve our respect or obedience. Knowing that our enslavement, deprivation and segregation were all legal should inform our current choices about when and how to engage with the law. In order to achieve what’s been gained, laws have had to be broken and they will continue to need to be broken. We have had to be intolerant of the systems that oppress us and strive for a new reality — a reality in which oppressive systems are abolished.

As we reflect during this Black History Month, never forget we have always had to rebel, revolt and rise up against the law itself — not simply rely on it.


source: Let’s Not Glorify the Law: The Slave Trade Used to Be Legal



The following was republished from Ongoing History of Protest Songs.

“We’re here protesting and sharing stories, but when everything else is so loud, how do you penetrate

The above statement was made by Camae Ayewa, a Philadelphia based activist, poet, and
experimental musician, better known as Moor Mother.

On her recently released album “Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes,” Ayewa does her best to penetrate through the echo chamber. The album effectively employs sound collages and archival recordings to add weight to powerful statements of protest.

Many of the album’s tracks highlight past racial injustices to draw parallels with the current political climate. One notable example is the song, “LA92,” which refers to two different incidents that contributed to the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

The lyrics open with “Latasha got shot over orange juice,” a reference to Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old
black girl who was shot by a convenience store owner on March 16, 1991. The store owner claimed that
Harlins was trying to steal a bottle of orange juice, even though video footage and eyewitnesses indicated
that Harlins intended to pay.

Although found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, the store owner didn’t face any prison time, which angered many in the black community.

The other incident referenced is the March 3, 1991, assault on Rodney King at the hands of the Los
Angeles Police Department. On April 29, 1992, the four police officers were acquitted for the brutal
beating. That same month the state appeals court upheld the sentencing decision against the owner who murdered Harlins.

The lyrics make mention of “nightmare shit” and “LAPD on PCP, body bag, body bag, for you and me.”

Unfortunately, these incidents continue to be part of the current reality for Black America. Artists like Moor Mother seek to challenge the normalization of racial oppression and awaken the country to the nightmares routinely experienced.

Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.

by  Brandon Do

Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.
Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.

They linked the destinies of Black America and Vietnam with one another and with the anti colonial struggles of Africa and Asia.

“The two revolutionaries saw themselves as global citizens, as people who in their initiative to change the world also evolved into full beings.

It is easy for us to become trapped in a perpetual state of hopelessness and despair when we haven’t realized there is a great world beyond us and the responsibility to change it rests in our hands. We have yet to be awakened to our responsibility to eliminate injustice and false values. A culture of identity politics weaponized by the ruling establishment continues to impose a narrow and self-absorbed worldview on our youth. Individual freedom comes first, even at the expense of the enslavement of humanity. We find ourselves paralyzed within our fear of taking up the great task of evolving into new human beings. Thus, the propaganda of the ruling class scares us into a state of passive acceptance and pessimism. With our worldview made significantly smaller, there is no way to reach the soul of another person. Accepting this version of ourselves prevents us from seeing who we can be as free people.

The legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Ho Chi Minh show us a different model of being human. The two revolutionaries saw themselves as global citizens, as people who in their initiative to change the world also evolved into full beings. They linked the destinies of Black America and Vietnam with one another and with the anti colonial struggles of Africa and Asia. They bridged the gap between Asia and Black America to form a new synthesis of values that defeated the imperialist war against Vietnam. Their legacies show us that another life is possible if we commit ourselves to inheriting their great responsibility to create a more peaceful and beautiful world.

“Their legacies show us that another life is possible.”

Howard Thurman, theologian and Martin Luther King Jr.’s advisor, posed the crucial question necessary to laying the foundation for a revolutionary vision in his book, Jesus and the Disinherited. He says:

What must be the attitude toward the rulers, the controllers of political, social, and economic life? This is the question of the Negro in American life. Until he has faced and settled that question, he cannot inform his environment with reference to his own life, whatever may be his preparation or his pretensions.” 

Although he uses the story of Jesus as an example, we can conclude that the rulers and controllers of political, social, and economic life is white civilization — still existing today, anchored in the historical degradation of Africa and Asia and its peoples through murder and theft. Knowing the true enemy of mankind makes clear to us what we stand against and lays the foundation for us to imagine the world we are fighting for. To know the enemy of humanity shifts our attitude from self-blame to courageously taking up the responsibility of destroying individualism and building a new future for mankind.

“Knowing the true enemy of mankind makes clear to us what we stand against.”

Martin Luther King Jr. stood against the American war in Vietnam in his 1967 speech, “A Time to Break Silence”. He called the United States government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” for committing atrocities against the people of Vietnam and across Asia and Africa. He urged Black American troops to rebel against the orders to kill Vietnamese people on behalf of their common enemy, who was also oppressing Black people in the United States. He furthermore said that we need a revolution of values. King says:

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death…A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing — embracing and unconditional love for all mankind.”

Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole.”

Ho Chi Minh indicted the culture of the west and embraced the responsibility for revolution and spiritual uplift. During his journey as a youth around the world, he immersed himself in the anti colonial movements from Africa, Asia, and Latin-America, and the United States. In 1924, he published “A Civilization That Kills,” an article identifying white civilization as the cruelest enemy of mankind for destroying Africa. He writes:

“If lynching-inflicted upon Negroes by the American rabble is an inhuman practice, I do not know what to call the collective murders committed in the name of civilization by Europeans on African peoples. Since the day the whites landed on its shores, the black continent has constantly been drenched in blood.”

The slave trade which degraded the people of Africa and imposed a European ideal of freedom and manhood on all people’s triggered the dark descent of humanity.

Ho Chi Minh beared witness to the suffering of Black people in the United States during his stay in Harlem during the 1910s. He studied the lynchings of African Americans and later wrote:

It is well-known that the Black race is the most oppressed and the most exploited of the human family. It is well-known that the spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery. What everyone does not perhaps know is that after sixty-five years of so-called emancipation, American Negroes still endure atrocious moral and material sufferings, of which the most cruel and horrible is the custom of lynching.”

“The spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery.”

While correctly understanding the history of African Americans, Ho did not see himself as a passive observer. He took responsibility to undo their suffering as he did with the Vietnamese. During the height of the imperialist war against Vietnamese independence, he assured that the Vietnamese people were fighting for all of the oppressed. “Our people have fought and made sacrifices not only for the sake of their own freedom and independence, but also for the common freedom and independence of the other peoples and for peace in the world.”

Like King, Ho Chi Minh uncompromisingly stressed the importance of a new human culture that synthesized the best of the world’s traditions. To wipe off the selfishness of white culture, a new one must be created by drawing upon the ancient values of the Vietnamese people and infusing them with the world’s greatest ideals. He writes in his poem:

We will fight and fight from this generation to the next.

 Today the locust fights the elephant, but tomorrow the elephant will be disemboweled. 

Our rivers, our mountains, our men will always remain. 

The Yanks defeated, we will build our country ten times more beautiful.

Uncle Ho secures the foundation of his spirit in the destruction of the greatest enemy of mankind. A new realization of life and purpose replaces passivity. The connection between building a new civilization, beauty, and defeating the United States implicates that beauty only grows from the desire to bring justice to all of the world’s people. 

Ho Chi Minh anchored the unity of the civilizations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the common basis of being part of the global anti-imperialist movement, bringing them out of the shadows of colonialism and guiding them into a new age of moral and universal values. His founding of the Indochinese Communist Party in 1930 served the specific function of bringing the Southeast Asian anti-colonial struggle closer to the world socialist movement. The Vietnamese Revolution ushered the people of Indochina out of the ideological propaganda of French and U.S. colonial rule, which stoked sentiments of narrow cultural nationalism to divide and conquer Southeast Asia, and inevitably brought them closer to the Black Liberation Struggle. In 1970, Pham Van Dong, the prime minister of North Vietnam, said to a delegation of Black Panthers who attended as guests of honor at the international day of solidarity with Black people of the United States, “In the west, you are Black in the shadow, in Vietnam, you are Black in the sun!”

“The Vietnamese Revolution ushered the people of Indochina out of the ideological propaganda of French and U.S. colonial rule.”

King and Ho Chi Minh created the conditions for Black people to see themselves in the anti colonial movements of Asia, and for Asia to see themselves in the struggle to free Black America. They completed each other. Even though they were far in distance, they united in spirit to move Black troops in Vietnam to reject orders to kill Vietnamese people, crumbling the infrastructure of the barbaric U.S. military, ultimately putting an end to the war. Their courage lived on in movements in Asia and Africa fighting the forces of wrong and in the Vietnamese who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of humanity.

Knowing how King and Ho Chi Minh lived, we can now define our lives differently. We must engage critically with the popular culture of our time and correctly address its function and whose interests it is ultimately serving. King and Ho Chi Minh realized the large potential of the human spirit to make the world peaceful and beautiful. They embraced a vision for humanity based on the universal love of mankind. Their places the ultimate meaning of committing ourselves to forming a new culture of peace and harmony. The foundation for a true love and a purposeful life can only be built on fighting against the evil of white civilization.

We can only envision a new future when we recognize the purpose of the vilification of our heroes, who stood up to the destructive nature of the west and continue their legacy. We must bridge the gap between our history and our present to fulfill the promise of a new and complete future for humanity. Let us then revive the spirit of King and Ho Chi Minh to strive toward our endless possibilities. Let us fight for a revolution of values and universal love for mankind. Let the spirit of King and Ho Chi Minh entrench themselves deeply into our hearts so that we can make the world “ten times more beautiful!”



source: Ho Chi Minh Through the Eyes of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Legacy of Malcolm X

Michael Ochs Archives / Corbis

Malcolm X died fifty-one years ago today, just as he was moving toward revolutionary ideas that challenged oppression in all its forms.

Racial segregation was not the law in the postwar North, but it was the reality. In virtually all aspects of life, Northern blacks encountered racism and segregation. Blacks who left the South found themselves forced to live in huge urban ghettos and educate their children in inferior schools. Skilled or professional jobs were reserved for whites. Blacks were constantly subject to white authority, especially police harassment.

Almost a quarter of blacks said they had been mistreated by the police, and 40 percent said they had seen others abused. Any illusions held by Southern blacks about the liberal North were not held by those already living there. And while Northern blacks were inspired by the struggles in the South, their conditions made them receptive to a movement independent of — and quite different from — the one led by Martin Luther King Jr’s Southern Christian Leadership Council.

In the first years of the civil rights struggle, the most significant organizational expression of this new movement was the Nation of Islam. By the late 1950s, the group’s membership reached an estimated one hundred thousand, with Malcolm X as its most prominent member.

In formal terms, the ideas of the Nation of Islam were profoundly conservative. The organization combined elements of orthodox Islam with ideas of its own making, preaching a doctrine of hard work, thrift, obedience, and humility. Seeing economic independence from white society as crucial, the organization also encouraged its members to “buy black.” The Nation of Islam established dozens of businesses, owned farmland, and built mosques in most major Northern cities. The organization did not condemn capitalism, only whites. Indeed, many Black Muslims looked to emulate the success of white capitalists.

Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad called for establishing an independent black state — in the United States or elsewhere. But beyond pressing for demands or defending their interests, the organization was hostile to political involvement. That such an inward-looking religious sect was capable of substantial growth is a testimony to the widespread bitterness of large numbers of urban blacks. To hundreds of young recruits, the Nation of Islam represented self-respect, self-reliance, and pride.

The bold and articulate Malcolm X quickly became a pull for more militants to join the Nation of Islam, with appeals designed to highlight the hypocrisy of white elites. In response to the charge that the Nation was racist, Malcolm said, unapologetically, “If we react to white racism with a violent reaction, to me that’s not black racism. If you come to put a rope around my neck and I hang you for it, to me that’s not racism. Yours is racism, but my reaction has nothing to do with racism.”

Malcolm X rejected the view that integration into American society was either possible or desirable and viewed the federal government and the Democratic Party not as allies, but as part of the problem. And he was sharply critical of liberals who talked about racism in the South, but had nothing to say about conditions in the North, saying, “I will pull off that liberal’s halo that he spends such efforts cultivating!”

Malcolm X was also sharply critical of the civil rights movement’s leaders. Far from leading the struggle, he saw them as containing it.

He went on to attack the whole premise of nonviolence that underlay the Southern desegregation movement. Instead, he argued for black self-defense: “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts a hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion. In fact, that’s the old-time religion. . . . Preserve your life, it’s the best thing you’ve got. And if you’ve got to give it up, let it be even-steven.”

Technically, Malcolm X was only amplifying the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, and indeed always prefaced any of his speeches with the phrase “Elijah Muhammad teaches . . .” But Malcolm X had turned these ideas into an indictment of the system, increasingly breaking out of the straitjacket of the Nation of Islam.

While Muhammad shunned politics, Malcolm was becoming more political. One Muslim complained, “It was Malcolm who injected the political concept of ‘black nationalism’ into the Black Muslim movement, which was essentially religious in nature.”

Aware that the growing politicization of the movement was having an effect on the Nation of Islam, including its leading spokesperson, Elijah Muhammad had taken measures to reassert his control.

A police attack in Los Angeles in 1962 drove home the bankruptcy of the Nation of Islam’s politics. In April 1962, a Black Muslim had been killed and several wounded by the Los Angeles police department. Malcolm X immediately flew out to Los Angeles to direct the organization’s response. The Nation of Islam preached self-defense, and the police murder seemingly called for retaliatory action. But Elijah Muhammad prevented his followers from organizing a sustained self-defense campaign.

Verbal radicalism, often extreme in its denunciations of whites, was acceptable in an earlier period when members of the Nation of Islam were establishing their reputation as opponents of the system. But the explosion of anger among blacks demanded more than words; it demanded action, and that was one thing Elijah Muhammad would not countenance.

In the same speech, he described himself as an adherent of black nationalism.

Out of the Nation of Islam

Malcolm X’s break with the Nation of Islam finally came in December 1963. Responding to a question from the audience at a meeting in New York City, Malcolm attributed John F. Kennedy’s assassination to the hate and violence produced by a society that whites themselves had created.

Although the statement was consistent with the hostility Black Muslim ministers had expressed to the US administration in the past, Elijah Muhammad nevertheless informed Malcolm that he would be suspended for ninety days so that “Muslims everywhere can be disassociated from the blunder.” It soon became clear that the suspension was in fact an expulsion.

On March 8, 1964, Malcolm X formally announced his break with the Nation of Islam. The Black Muslim movement, he said, “had gone as far as it can because it was too sectarian and too inhibited.” He advocated greater engagement in the black struggles exploding around the country, warning that the Black Muslims could find themselves “one day suddenly separated from the Negroes’ frontline struggle.”

In order to become involved in the civil rights movement, Malcolm drew the conclusion that he needed to separate politics and religion, saying, “we don’t mix our religion with our politics and our economics and our social and civil activities — not any more . . . We become involved with anybody, anywhere, anytime and in any manner that’s designed to eliminate the evils, the political, economic and social evils that are afflicting the people in our community.”

A Budding Anti-Imperialism

Soon after, Malcolm was to take the first of two trips to Africa. These trips had an important impact on his ideas. He met with several important African heads of state — including Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt — and was influenced by the ideas of “third worldism.” In general terms, this was the view that the world was dominated by two superpowers — the United States and the Soviet Union — and that the developing countries of the world represented an independent alternative.

When Malcolm X returned to New York, he announced the formation of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), modeled after the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which brought together the different African heads of state. The OAAU was a black nationalist organization that sought to build community organizations, schools, black enterprises, and voter registration campaigns to ensure community control of black politicians.

After his visit to Africa, Malcolm began to argue that the black struggle in the United States was part of an international struggle, one that he connected to the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

He also began to argue in favor of socialism. Referring to the African states, he pointed out, “All of the countries that are emerging today from under the shackles of colonialism are turning towards socialism.”

He no longer defined the struggle for black liberation as a racial conflict. “We are living in an era of revolution, and the revolt of the American Negro is part of the rebellion against the oppression and colonialism which has characterized this era,” he said. “It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of black against white, or as purely an American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiters.”

Malcolm no longer believed all whites were the enemy, but he maintained the need for separate all-black organization: “Whites can help us, but they can’t join us. There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity. There can be no workers solidarity until there is first some racial solidarity. We cannot think of uniting with others, until we have first united ourselves.”

But Malcolm’s new conception of the struggle also led him to question his previous understanding of black nationalism. In January 1965, Malcolm admitted that this previous understanding of black nationalism “was alienating people who were true revolutionaries, dedicated to overthrowing the system of exploitation that exists on this earth by any means necessary.”

Lost Promise

During this period Malcolm’s political ideas were evolving rapidly — a development cut short by his death. By that time, Malcolm X had already become one of the most important radical black figures in the United States, and his influence was growing, especially among younger activists.

Malcolm X was gunned down just as he was beginning to “think for himself,” as he put it, and to express a radical program for black liberation. His premature death and the subsequent suppression and decline of the black movement have made it easier for second-rate reformists to claim Malcolm as theirs. But anyone who listens to Malcolm’s speeches or reads any of his writings can be in no doubt as to his trajectory, which is summarized well in his famous “Ballot or the Bullet” speech, given April 3, 1964, in Cleveland:

No, I’m not an American. I’m one of the twenty-two million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the twenty-two million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver—no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.

It is impossible to predict how Malcolm’s politics would have developed had he lived. He had embraced ideas that put him squarely on the left of the black nationalist movement. His hostility to the system and the twin capitalist parties, his commitment to end racism, and his identification with anti-imperialism, represented an enormous contribution to radical politics.



source:The Legacy of Malcolm X

Are Contemporary Nationalists Fixation On Guns Causing Them To Ignore An Important ‘Black Panther Party’ Lesson Regarding Liberation?

( Fifty years after its genesis, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense reigns as the Black Power Era’s most memorable organization. Co-founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the Panthers longevity is attributable to the iconic images of Black men and women carrying guns for the sake of Black liberation. If nothing else, the various strands of Nationalism being articulated in a juvenile Nationalist community that rests too heavily on social media agree that the Panthers were issuing a direct challenge to outsiders whose signature activity was the economic exploitation and physical oppression of Black America.

Although the aforementioned iconic imagery ensures the Panthers prominence in the psyche’ of modern-day revolutionaries, recent attempts to co-opt the Panther legacy by modern-day Nationalists reveals that attempts to evoke the spirit of Panthers long gone have unfortunately ignored substantive portions of the organization behind. One does not need to look far to recognize that contemporary Nationalists have failed to understand the Black Panther Party’s Ten-Point Platform and Program; a document that is as relevant today as it was on October 15, 1965, the day that Huey P. Newton dictated ten points that he felt the Black community needed to his comrade Bobby Seale. Education proved to be central to the vast majority of Panther activities, so central that point #5 of the Ten-Point Platform and Program reads as follows:

Point number 5 reads as follows;

“We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.”

We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

As an educator who has for decades stood on the front line of the battle to activate dormant intellectual curiosity and illuminate the minds of Black collegians, I can attest to an unfortunate tendency of many African-American males to not only rebel but also act in a hostile manner toward the learning process. Such individuals always make me wonder how they have constructed a reality where their future does not rest squarely on their educational attainments.

When considering the detachment of many of my male students from the educational process, I am forced to reason that somewhere along this path called life that there has been a wicked trick played upon them; a trick they have yet to recognize. At the core of this ‘tricknology’ is the pervasive lie that persons of African descent have historically shunned intellectual pursuits, learning, and academic excellence. Investment in this fable has disastrous consequences for both believers and the community that they belong to. A cursory glance around our community displays the voluminous socioeconomic consequences of one failing to develop a life’s plan.

There is little room to argue that the life prospects for uneducated African-American males are particularly daunting. Census data relates the following:

  • In the year 2000, 65% of Black male high school dropouts in their 20’s were jobless— meaning, unable to find work, not actively seeking employment, or incarcerated.
  • Four years later, that percentage had grown to 72% for African-American males, 34% for white males, and 19% for Hispanic male dropouts.
  • Shockingly, when Black male high school graduates in their 20’s were included with the aforementioned dropout population, 50% of Black men were jobless. Even when high school graduates were included, half of Black men in their 20’s were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.

The inability to secure gainful employment has historically relegated many African-American males to an ‘unmarriageable’ pool. The alluded to status denotes that it is nearly impossible for the referenced Black men to provide for offspring or build a reasonable life with a mate. However, the absence of gainful employment has not prevented these men from procreating.

Studies have revealed that nearly 50% of all Black men in their late 20’s and early 30’s who failed to pursue any form of higher education will become non-custodial fathers.

Academic studies have repeatedly shown that there is a link between the lack of formal education and incarceration rates for African-American males. By the time African-American males reach their mid-thirties, 60% of those who dropped out of High School have spent time in prison. This stat is much more meaningful when contextualized by the unfortunate reality that in most inner-city areas over 50% of Black men fail to matriculate from high school. According to Steven Raphael, there are more twenty-something African-American male dropouts in prison on any given day than are gainfully employed.

In essence, the issue standing before our community is a daunting one convoluted by two issues: (a) the current educational offerings are either unappealing to or of no utility to the vast majority of African-American males and (b) there does not appear to be a reliable means for Black male inmates to emerge from incarceration and secure employment sufficient enough for them to take care of themselves and any dependents.

Of all the problems facing Black men, it is foolish to not place matters of education at the center of discussion regarding how do we “save” Black males from what many have come to believe is their destiny (incarceration, death, poverty). The failure to secure some form of an education (classical, vocational, industrial, agricultural) all but dooms Black men and those that rely on them to a marginalized existence for multi-generations. One thing is certain, the struggle to be Black in America will continue to worsen if we fail to recognize how crucial education, the path to providing a material existence, is to the uplift of our community.

Were I provided the opportunity, I would advise those seeking to walk in the footsteps of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to abandon their fascination with the guns and paramilitary displays of machismo in favor of developing community schools that will mold future generations of Black America. The thought that the Black revolution will be a physical overthrow of this nation is now preposterous and it is time that we recalibrate our strategies, tactics, and goals to fit this occasion. After all, if it is true that “the pen is mightier than the sword” there is no doubt the direction that we should be heading and what we should be doing.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones



WATCH: Lisa Bonet Is A Boss In ‘Drunk History’ Episode About 1800s Millionaire Mary Ellen Pleasant

It’s Throwback Thursday and we’re reintroducing a special clip to celebrate.

Mary Ellen Pleasant is one of Black America’s earliest millionaires, earning her fortune during the Gold Rush of the 1800s via her investments and entrepreneurship. But her story hasn’t been told to the masses. Enter Comedy Central’s Drunk History to provide a comical take on her life. The episode first aired in 2013, and it is picking up more traction after Comedy Central reposted it on their YouTube this week for Juneteenth.

Lisa Bonet plays Pleasant, who had a storied life not only as a rich entrepreneur but as an abolitionist who financially supported fellow abolitionist John Brown in his attempt to help enslaved people to escape.

There’s more revolving around Pleasant, but watch the video for yourself to learn about a woman you might not have known about beforehand.

Drunk History airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.