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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


MALCOLM X COMMEMORATION COMMITTEE PRESENTS: “APPRECIATING THE DIPLOMACY OF MALCOLM X”… Register Now To Join Co-authors Ilyasah Shabazz, Herb Boyd With Guests Zak Kondo & Abdul Alkalimat on Facebook Live – FRIDAY, JULY 17TH @ 6 pm – 8 pm ES

Join co-authors Ilyasah Shabazz, Herb Boyd and; Guests Zak Kondo  and Abdul Alkalimat on Facebook Live
Friday July 17, 2020 @ 6-8 pm EST
Join  Malcolm X Commemoration Committee 
on Facebook Live for this engaging appreciation…
Presenters include co-authors of The Diary of Malcolm X, Ilyasah Shabazz and Herb Boyd and Malcolm X Scholars Baba Zak Kondo and Prof Abdul Alkalimat…
This event marks the anniversary of the Malcolm X delivering his historic Memorandum to the Organization of African Unity in 1964.
The event is dedicated political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim, fighting Covid19 for his life and fighting for his freedom after 49 years in prison!
The event is FREE, but we are encouraging everyone to contribute to aid Jalil Muntaqim at
Join us as we host special guests Ilyasah Shabazz , Herb Boyd, co-authors of The Diary of Malcolm X, and scholars Baba Zak Kondo and Prof Abdul Alkalimat for an engaging appreciation of the legendary diplomatic travels of our ‘Black Shining Prince’ @ 6pm EST…
@ Facebook Live!… On the anniversary of his delivering his historic Memorandum to the Organization of African Unity on behalf of “22 million AfroAmericans”…Proceeds from the evening will to go to Panther political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim, fighting Covid19 for his life and for his freedom after 49 years in prison!


Free All Political Prisoners! •

Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh ¡presente!

This editorial first appeared on on May 18, 2018.  

We celebrate on May 19 the birthdays of two world-bending revolutionaries, Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X.

Born in 1890 in central Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was the Marxist-Leninist communist who forged and led a people’s movement and army that defeated the invading imperialist might of both France and the United States and ultimately liberated Vietnam from colonialism.

Born in 1925 in the U.S., Malcolm X was the African-American leader who raised to global attention the concepts of Black nationalism, Black self-defense and the right of self-determination of Black peoples. Malcolm X also made a major contribution to the global movement for Pan-Africanism.

Neither met the other, yet their deeds and words intertwine, and together they continue to inspire us toward revolution.

At this moment, as the U.S. ruling class fans the deadly fires of racist hatred, Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh unite to give a profound lesson in building international solidarity with oppressed people and nations.

In 1924 — the year before Malcolm X was born — at the Fifth Congress of the Communist International in Moscow, Ho Chi Minh made a presentation during a session on the “National and colonial question.” He emphasized the importance of support for the Black liberation struggle in the U.S., saying in part: “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, [Black people in the U.S.] still endure atrocious moral and material sufferings.” (

Forty years later, in 1964, Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, put the Black liberation struggle in a worldwide context, saying: “It is incorrect to classify the revolt of [Black people] as simply a racial conflict of Black against white, or as a purely [U.S.] American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.” (Malcolm X Speaks)

And he acknowledged the centrality of the national liberation war led by Ho Chi Minh to that global rebellion, saying: ”Viet Nam is the struggle of all third-world nations — the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism.” (1972 interview with Yuri Kochiyama,

The voices of both these revolutionaries ring out with the clarion call of SOLIDARITY as the path to a future of justice and liberation.

They remind us that we of the multinational, multigendered, global working class have a common oppressor in imperialist capitalism.

We can resist its racism, its anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ bigotry, its anti-immigrant hatred.

We can — and must — rise up in resistance.



source: Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh ¡presente!

150 years since ‘Bloody Kansas’/The legacy of John Brown


May 9 marks the 220th anniversary of this great abolitionist’s birth. This article was originally published in Workers World on Sept. 14, 2006.

Many historians agree that the Civil War really started on a flat patch of land known as “Bloody Kansas” 150 years ago, in the spring, summer and on into the autumn of 1856.

This area of land covering some 82,000 square miles now sits at the geographic center of the continental United States. It rarely gets national attention these days, and when it does it’s usually for reactionary developments, ike the effort to ban evolution from the public schools’ science curriculum.

Yet this was once the hub of the most important political conflict of its day, indeed of all U.S. history: the struggle over slavery. This was where diametrically opposed forces — abolitionists and pro-slavers — clashed.

When 1856 began, the pro-slavery forces had looked to be ascendant. Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act on May 30, 1854. The law provided for popular sovereignty — voting by white male landowners, that is — to decide whether Kansas and Nebraska would be free or slave states. Kansas had since been the scene of a violent terror campaign, based across the border in Missouri.

Death squads, known as Border Ruffians, aiuadsed to kill or drive out those who opposed the spread of slavery to Kansas, and to flood the territory with their own numbers. Jesse and Frank James, glorified as “rebellious” outlaws in the movies and folklore, were the most well-known of these ruffians.

The Border Ruffians hunted down and murdered African Americans who had escaped slavery and were heading north to Canada. They brazenly assassinated Underground Railway station operators and anti-slavery newspaper editors.

It had started to seem like a foregone conclusion that Kansas would enter the union as a slave state. Then John Brown arrived.

With a small, brave band of stalwarts, he took on the slave owners’ death squads in direct combat, and bested them. He revived and rallied the anti-slavery forces.

At the Battle of Osawatomie, on Aug. 30, 1856, his brilliant tactical maneuvers led to the defeat of a pro-slavery force of 300 soldiers by his group of under 20 — and from then on he was affectionately known as “Old Osawatomie” by admirers around the country.

In Lawrence, Kanasas, in the first two weeks of September, he led the military defense of the state capital against a pro-slavery assault — and ever after was respectfully called “Captain Brown” by those who fought alongside him.

But before Osawatomie, before Lawrence, John Brown had already become a legend. That happened at Pottawatomie Creek.

A daring raid

At Pottawatomie on the night of May 24-25, 1856, John Brown led an armed band in a lightning raid against an encampment where he knew he’d find several of the worst of the Border Ruffians who were terrorizing the territory.

When Brown and company rode off, they left the dead bodies of five racist thugs. The criminals Brown and his band killed had been responsible for many assaults and murders; they were also known for capturing Native women and forcing them into prostitution and sexually assaulting Free State women.

Until Brown acted, the slaveocracy had been waging an undeclared war with what seemed like impunity. And not just in the fields and towns of Kansas. On May 22, two days before Brown rode to Pottawatomie, Preston Brooks, a member of Congress from South Carolina, had strode onto the floor of the U.S. Senate and beaten anti-slavery Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts nearly to death as retaliation for Sumner’s speech “The Crime against Kansas.”

After Pottawatomie, all this changed. The slaveocracy did not surrender — it would take the Civil War for that. But from Pottawatomie word went out.

No longer would the racist death squads have free reign in Kansas. A new force, a force for freedom, was fighting back.

For years afterward, in fact to this very day, bourgeois historians have misrepresented what happened at Pottawatomie. It has been portrayed as an insane, isolated event, as a senseless, inexplicable act of violence — and its perpetrator as a wild-eyed, crazed, fanatical maniac. The official bourgeois version removes the Pottawatomie raid from its historic context — the bloody terrorist war the Border Ruffians were waging — and omits the fact that the men Brown’s troops killed were racist murderers.

John Brown was no lunatic. He was a hero. By first frost in the fall of 1856, he had accomplished what six months earlier no one thought possible. The territory had been secured. Kansas would enter the union as a free state.

The victory came at a high personal cost for Brown. His son Frederick died at the Battle of Osawatomie. Another son, John Brown Jr., was captured by the pro-slavery forces and tortured horribly while held prisoner, which led to many years of illness and anguish.

Brown himself was now a wanted man. A price on his head, he went underground, leaving Kansas. He headed toward the Northeast.

There he would spend the next three years raising funds, recruiting troops, writing, speaking and planning. His goal was nothing less than to launch a guerrilla war, whose leadership would be taken up by African Americans, to end slavery and establish full freedom and equality for all.

On to Harpers Ferry

Before, during and after his time in Kansas, John Brown was keen to learn how to wage the kind of guerrilla warfare he believed would be necessary to destroy slavery. To whom did he look as his teachers?

To Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey and other enslaved African American leaders of U.S. slave revolts; to the Seminole nation that had resisted domination by colonial settlers; to the Maroons of the South and of Jamaica and Surinam, escaped slaves who fought the settler state’s forces in daring raids from bases in the hills and mountains; and to Toussaint L’Ouverture, one of the great liberators of Haiti.

Most well-meaning whites, including abolitionists, were under the sway of racism to varying degrees. In contrast, Brown not only admired but sought to learn from and emulate Black and Native leaders. He was that free of the taint of racism.

In Kansas, Brown worked closely with a Native ally, Ottawa Jones, who sheltered, fed and helped arm Brown’s group at several points during the months of conflict. Although he himself was a fiercely devout Christian, Brown counted Jews and atheists among his troops.

For three years after leaving Kansas, Brown was based in North Elba, N.Y. [in upstate New York].There he established a cooperative farming community, the first ever where Black and white families lived and worked as equals.

Along with farming and guiding escaped slaves along an Underground Railroad route across the border to Canada, Brown would spend those three years preparing for the action he was determined would give rise to a generalized mass uprising by enslaved Black people. He would write a new constitution for the United States which first and foremost proclaimed race and sex equality.

He would travel to Canada and recruit several African Americans, including Osborne P. Anderson, who would fight alongside Brown at Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W.Va.), and live to write about it. He would meet often with the great organizer and orator, Frederick Douglass, and the two would become close friends. Douglass had escaped from slavery as a young man.

He would confer with the “Moses” of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, whom he always respectfully referred to as “Gen. Tubman.” Some believe that Tubman helped plan the raid on the U.S. Army arsenal at Harpers Ferry and would have taken part in it had she not fallen ill.

African-American freedom fighters Dangerfield Newby, Lewis S. Leary, John Brown’s sons Watson and Oliver, and six others of their number would die at Harpers Ferry in October 1859. Five would escape and survive. Seven, including John Brown, would be captured and hanged.

Gen. Robert E. Lee, who scant months later would lead the secessionist Confederate army, led the opposing force that captured John Brown at Harpers Ferry. John Wilkes Booth, who would assassinate President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, was among the troops guarding the scaffolding on the day they hanged John Brown.

On that day, Dec. 2, 1859, just before they led him from his cell to the gallows, this great soldier for human liberation would write, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” Brown was buried in the majority Black cemetery in North Elba, a fitting tribute indeed.

In April 1861 the Civil War would begin.


Six Questions and Answers, with Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

rashid-2013-self-portrait11. What can we learn from the history of revolutionary struggles about the transition from bourgeois forms of security and policing to proletarian forms of state security

As a class question, we must of course begin with distinguishing between bourgeois and proletarian forms of state power. The state is nothing but the organization of the armed force of one class over its rival class(es). The bourgeoisie, as a tiny oppressor class that exploits or marginalizes all other classes to its own benefit, organizes its institutions of state power (military, police, prisons), that exist outside and above all other classes, to enforce and preserve its dominance and rule over everyone else.

To seize and exercise state power the proletariat, as the social majority, must in turn arm itself and its class allies to enforce its own power over the bourgeoisie.

Which brings us to the substance of your question concerning what lessons we’ve learned about transitioning from bourgeois state power (the capitalist state) to proletarian state power (the socialist state). In any event it won’t be and has never been a ‘peaceful’ process, simply because the bourgeoisie will never relinquish its power without the most violent resistance; which is the very reason it maintains its armed forces.

Well, we’ve had both urban and rural models of such transition. Russia was the first urban model (although subsumed in a rural society), China was the first successful rural one. There were many other attempts, but few succeeded however.

What proved necessary in the successful cases is foremost there must be a vanguard party organized under the ideological and political line of the revolutionary proletariat. This party must work to educate and organize the masses to recognize the need, and actively take up the struggle, to seize power from the bourgeoisie.

In the urban context, (especially in the advanced capitalist countries), where the bourgeoisie’s armed forces are entrenched, this requires a protracted political approach focused on educating and organizing the masses and creating institutions of dual and alternative collective political and economic power, with armed struggle prepared for but projected into the distant future (likely as civil war).

But in the rural context, where revolutionary forces have room to maneuver because the bourgeoisie’s armed forces are much less concentrated, the masses may resort to relatively immediate armed struggle, with political work operating to keep the masses and the armed forces educated and organized, and revolutionary politics in command of the armed struggle. This was Mao Tse-tung’s contribution to revolutionary armed struggle called Peoples War, and with its mobile armed mass base areas these forces operated like a state on wheels.

But the advances of technology since the 1970s, have seen conditions change that require a reassessing of the earlier methods of revolutionary struggle and transition of state power.

The rural populations (peasantry) of the underdeveloped world who are best suited to Mao’s PW model have been shrinking, as agrobusiness has been steadily pushing them off the land and into urban areas as permanent unemployables and lumpen proletarians, where they must survive by any means possible. Then too, with their traditional role as manual laborers being increasingly replaced by machines, the proletariat in the capitalist countries in also shrinking, and they too are pushed into a mass of permanent unemployables and lumpen.

So the only class, or sub-class, whose numbers are on the rise today are this bulk of marginalized largely urban people who don’t factor into the traditional roles of past struggles, with one exception. That being the struggle waged here in US the urban centers under the leadership of the original BPP, which designated itself a lumpen vanguard party. As such the BPP brought something entirely new and decisive to the table.

As the BPP’s theoretical leader, Huey P. Newton explained this changing social economic reality and accurately predicted their present development in his 1970 theory of “Revolutionary Intercommunalism,” and met the challenge of creating the type of party formation suited to meeting the new challenges of educating and organizing this growing social force for revolutionary struggle.

The BPP was able to create a model for developing institutions of dual and alternative political and economic power through its Serve the People programs creating the basis for transition of power to the marginalized under a revolutionary intercommunalist model instead of the traditional national socialist model.

The challenge in this situation where such work has been met with the most violent repression by bourgeois state forces is developing effective security forces right under their noses to protect the masses and their programs.

This is the work we in the NABPP are building on and seek to advance.


2. What has your experience of being a hyper-surveilled, incarcerated revolutionary taught you that is broadly applicable to the secure practice of revolutionaries in general

For one, the masses are our best and only real protection against repression. So in all the work we do, we must rely on and actively seek and win the support of the people, which is the basic Maoist method of doing political work and is what the imperialists themselves admit makes it the most effective and feared model of revolutionary struggle.

I’ve also learned that a lot of very important work fails because many people just don’t attempt it, due to policing themselves. Many fear pig repression and think any work that is effective must necessarily be done hidden out of sight, fearing as they do being seen by the state.

Essentially, they don’t know how to do aboveground work, and don’t recognize the importance of it, especially in these advanced countries. They think for work to be ‘revolutionary’ it must be underground and focused on armed struggle. And even those who do political work they stifle it by using an underground style which largely isolates them from the masses.

I think Huey P. Newton summed it up aptly when he stated,

“Many would-be revolutionaries work under the fallacious notion that the vanguard party should be a secret organization which the power structure knows nothing about, and that the masses know nothing about except for occasional letters that come their homes in the night. Underground parties cannot distribute leaflets announcing an underground meeting. Such contradictions and inconsistencies are not recognized by these so-called revolutionaries. They are, in fact, afraid of the very danger they are asking the people to confront. These so-called revolutionaries want the people to say what they themselves are afraid to say, to do what they themselves are afraid to do. That kind of revolutionary is a coward and a hypocrite. A true revolutionary realizes if he is sincere, death is imminent. The things he is saying and doing are extremely dangerous. Without this … realization, it is pointless to proceed as a revolutionary.

“If these impostors would investigate the history of revolution they would see that the vanguard group always starts out aboveground and is driven underground by the oppressor.”

3. Do you see it as a vulnerability to have our leaders organizing from prison? Some comrades refuse to engage in party/mass organizational work if it is conducted from prison. Don’t we sacrifice our best leadership if we don’t work directly/organizationally with our incarcerated leaders?

It can be a disadvantage, because it slows down development. But it is also an advantage, and our party is an example of this.

Historically, most revolutionary parties began on the outside and ended up targeted with repression, which included imprisonment of its cadre and supporters — fear of repression served as a deterrent for many would be revolutionaries as it was intended to do. For the NABPP, we developed in exactly the opposite direction. We began inside the prisons and are now transitioning to the outside.

Our cadre are getting out and hitting the ground going directly to work for the people. Look at our HQ in Newark, NJ where our chairman got out and has in less than a year led in developing a number of community STP programs, organizing mass protests that have shut down a prison construction project, given publicity and support to the people facing a crisis with lead in the water systems, etc.

So unlike the hothouse flower we’re already used to and steeled against state repression. The threat of prison doesn’t shake us — we’ve been there and done that. Like Huey asked, “Prison Where is Thy Victory?,” and John Sinclair of the original White Panther Party said, “prison ain’t shit to be afraid of.” And it was Malcolm X who was himself transformed into the great leader that he was inside prison who called prisons, “universities of the oppressed.”

All of my own work has been done from behind prison walls, and I have the state’s own reports and reactions of kicking me out of multiple state prison systems to attest to the value of what I’ve been able to contribute.

So, I think that, yes, some of our best leadership is definitely behind these walls.

Consider too that some of our best leaders developed inside prison: Malcolm X, George Jackson and Atiba Shanna aka James Yaki Sayles, for example. Which is something our party has factored into its strategy from day one. We’ve recognized the prisons to be potential revolutionary universities. Since our founding the NABPP has actively advanced the strategy of “transforming the prisons into schools of liberation,” of converting the lumpen (criminal) mentality into a revolutionary mentality.

In fact we can’t overlook remolding prisoners, because if we don’t, the enemy will appeal to and use them as forces of reaction against the revolutionary forces. Lenin, Mao and especially Frantz Fanon and the original BPP recognized this. What’s more, with the opposition’s ongoing strategy of mass imprisonment, massive numbers of our people have been swept up in these modern concentration camps. We must reach them with the politics of liberation. They are in fact a large part of our Party’s mass base.


4. How do you vet leadership and cadre? On what criteria to you make your judgement? Organizationally and personally.

Ideally this is determined by their ideological and political development and practice. But we expect and give space for people to make mistakes, although we also expect them to improve as they go. So we must be patient but also observe closely the correlation between their stated principles and their practice.


5. How should underground work relate to aboveground? How can the masses identify with the work of underground revolutionaries without compromising the security of the clandestine network?

Underground work serves different purposes and needs. One of which being to protect political cadre and train cadre to replace the fallen. Also to create a protective network and infrastructure for political workers forced to go to ground in the face of violent repression.

In whatever case the above ground forces should actively educate the masses on the role, function and purpose of underground actions while ensuring that the clandestine forces consist of the most disciplined and politically grounded people. It must also be understood that these elements do not replace the masses in their role as the forces that must seize power.


6. In your assessment, has the balance of forces between the police and the potential of revolutionary mass action fundamentally shifted over the past 5 decades? How does this affect our ability to form organs of political power among the masses?

What shifted, but I don’t think is generally recognized by many, is the PW theory is today too simplistic. Today we must organize and create base areas under the nose of the bourgeoisie with the growing concentration of marginalized people in impoverished urban settings. As I noted earlier the traditional mass base of rural peasants who feature in the PW strategy is shrinking. And Maoist forces in rural areas have been pushed to the furthest margins of those areas unable to expand.

There is little opportunity for New Democratic revolution in these countries, which calls for alliances with the native national bourgeoisie who are now being rendered obsolete by the rise and normalization of neocolonialism and virtual elimination of nation states.


Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, California’s longest serving Black Panther, still incarcerated

Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, California’s longest serving Black Panther, still incarcerated

A young Chip Fitzgerald. |

Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a former member of the Black Panther Party, has served 50 years within the California State Department of Corrections. He is the longest-incarcerated Black Panther in U.S. history. Fitzgerald entered the state prison as a young man when he was in his teens. He is now 70 years old and a great-grandfather. He suffered a stroke, is in ill health, and gets around with the use of a cane and a wheelchair, if and when he can. It is clear he is no longer a risk to society. So why is Chip Fitzgerald still in prison?

A recent photo of Chip Fitzgerald. |

Community members are asking just that. Many other prisoners have been released who had similar sentences. Yet Chip remains in prison. Why? Friends and family members have set out to free Chip Fitzgerald with the sole purpose of getting information out about his circumstances and getting to the bottom of why he is still incarcerated while others walk free. Petition signature gathering, community presentations, letters, and direct appeals to the State Board of Parole and governor have been organized. But time is running out.

In the turbulent 1960s, the Black Panther Party was being organized in cities throughout the country. Fitzgerald was one of many young Black men interested in participating in this new community organization. In this time of anti-war protest and inner-city riots, Chip, like many others, turned to the Black Panther Party for answers and looked up to its founders as role models. This decision shaped his life.

Chip grew up in the Watts and Compton areas, in the community that was known as South Central Los Angeles (now more often called South Los Angeles). Along with many Black men and women, and influenced by the civil rights movement, he became interested in the activities of the Panthers. At the time, the BPP had a community empowerment program. This is important because there is a need to understand the significance of what the party meant to the community. It provided an outlet to express anger over the mistreatment of Blacks in the past and a way to stand up to the status quo. It was an empowering movement that for the first time allowed Black men and women to have a voice.

Chip would later become involved in the Panthers’ community breakfast program. He was committed to the party. Nothing like this was ever developed in the Black community, by the community. However, it was no secret that COINTELPRO and the FBI sought to destroy the Black Panthers. Chip Fitzgerald was one of those who got caught up in the movement of the time, for which any paid a heavy price.

On a breezy, hot summer night in 1969, three young Black Panther members were driving down the streets of South Central L.A. A bright red light shined in the rearview of their car. The car was pulled over. The sweltering heat made the men sweat even more. Each one knew that the Black Panthers were not welcomed by any of the police authorities. But they were not about to give an inch to what they considered an oppressive police force.

A tense situation was about to unfold. A California Highway Patrol officer walked up to the car. The men inside complied with all the police demands. Shouting began. Something wrong happened. Within a few minutes, a struggle took over the streets. No one really knows what happened that night. There was, of course, the Highway Patrol version and the Black Panther version. But whatever happened, the situation turned violent. Within a very short time span, Chip was wounded, as was the officer in brief shootout. Chip escaped but was arrested weeks later. The two others in the car also escaped but were later captured. According to the police, the car was stopped because it had a broken taillight.

Chip Fitzgerald on the cover of the Black Panther Party’s newspaper.

Upon his arrest, Chip pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempted murder of a CHP officer. But there was something else in play against Chip. During the days before his arrest, Chip was accused of being involved in the death of a security guard. Although the evidence against him was weak, and Chip has denied any involvement, he was still convicted and sentenced to death. Chip, however, never gave up on his principles of struggle and due process.

Though Chip was sentenced to death, the California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in 1972. He and others on Death Row had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, but he has been denied parole over a dozen times.

During his 50 years of confinement, he’s been housed at every major California prison. He was recently moved from R. J. Donovan Correctional Facility San Diego and returned to Lancaster State Prison.

The system in which Chip has served time is no country club. Chip has served many years in what is considered a maximum-security prison. The infamous Security/Special Housing Unit where he was once housed is known as a mental and physical torture chamber. It was meant to degrade and break inmates. In the main population, inmate on inmate violence often occurred. Prison guards also commonly inflicted violence on inmates. Conditions were so bad that the entire California prison system in 2006 was placed under federal receivership because the state failed to provide a constitutional level of medical care.

Chip Fitzgerald has survived under some very harsh conditions. No one claims that Chip is a saint, but neither is he an evil man. He has continued to say he has remorse but not in a begging way or pleading forgiveness. He only seeks due process for release and says he is not a menace to society. Chip’s parents’ dying wish was to see Romaine free, but they both passed with this wish unfulfilled. Romaine has one son, eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and 15 nephews and nieces whom he seeks to be united with.

One of many appeals written on behalf of Chip Fitzgerald to the governor states: “Scores of other prisoners convicted of the same offenses as Romaine at around the same time (1969) have since been paroled. There is no logical reason, justifiable or legal reason to continue to incarcerate Romaine….”

So why is Romaine Chip Fitzgerald still in prison? Many believe that he is still in prison due to his past political beliefs and activism as a member of the Black Panther Party some 50 years ago.

To learn more, go to:




The Struggle for Language, Culture, Unity, and Black Liberation

We must use technology and the Afrikan principle of Sankofa (looking in the past to move forward in the future) to rebuild the Black world.


By Bashir Muhammad Akinyele,

“Culture is a weapon in the face of our enemies” – Amílcar Cabral (He was one of Afrika’s foremost anti-colonial leaders)

In the book, THE MAROON WITHIN US: SELECTED ESSAYS ON AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY SOCIALIZATION, the late and great Afrikan-centric educator Asa G. Hilliard argues that if Afrikan/Black people are to survive in America and in this world, then we must truly work everyday to liberate ourselves from the vestiges of White supremacy and racism by studying Afrikan history, embracing Afrikan languages, and revolutionary Afrikan culture. On pages 58-59, Hilliard breaks down the importance of Afrikan history, Afrikan culture and language to Black people. He writes, “We on the contrary, have failed to understand the political function of culture. Franz Fanon (Black Caribbean anti-colonial revolutionary) showed us its meaning where language is concerned. He tells us that the very act of speaking a language means not only to grasp the rules of that language, but, in addition, to assume a culture, supporting the weight of the civilization itself.”

This is why since birth, my wife and I worked everyday to raised our children on revolutionary Afrikan culture. We started with the Nguzu Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa), knowing Afrikan history, knowing Afrikan spirituality, the importance of wearing our Afrikan names, the importance of speaking Kiswahili, knowing Arabic, respecting all Afrikan languages, and the importance of honoring our Afrikan Ancestors. However, my wife and I are the exceptions to the rule. Many Black people in America, particularly Black youth, are totally disconnected to Afrikan history, language and culture. However, all is not lost. In the age of the new millennium, we have more access to information on the history of Black liberation struggles, and its movements against White supremacy and the system of racism, at the palm of our hands.

Our White American slave-masters, and European colonial oppressors, knew exactly what they were doing by separating Afrikan / Black people from our own history, languages and culture. This is why many Afrikan Americans do not know our own Black history, we can not speak a lick of our own Afrikan mother tongue, we bear the names of our former White slave-masters, and struggle with embracing our own revolutionary Afrikan cultural practices.white supremacy


In the Afrikan world community, many great Afrikan leaders came before Afrika, and continental Afrikan people, to help liberate that part of the world from the domination of European and American colonialism. There are too many Afrikan revolutionaries to list at this movement. However, here is a short list of Afrikan leaders who worked tirelessly to move Afrika into self – reliance and self -determination. These leaders included such names as Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Gamal Nasser, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela, Jomo Kenyetta, the Mau Maus, Thomas Sankara, and Steve Biko. Unfortunately, these Afrikan leaders became such a threat to the system of racism and White supremacy in Afrika that they were either discredited, assassinated, or imprisoned. As a consequence of the destruction of Pan Afrikan revolutionary leaders, masses of continental Afrikans gave up the Afrikan liberation struggle all together. This is why Afrika has not been totally liberated from the days of White domination under colonialism. The lack of Afrikan freedom fighters In the 21st century, have left continental Afrikans struggling to embrace their own history, traditional Afrikan languages and define revolutionary Afrikan cultures for Afrikan empowerment. Like many Black people in America, some continental Afrikans have lost the sight for Afrikan liberation. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, continental Afrikan leaders from the past, have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, and news articles. We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map for revolutionary Afrikan culture, the development of a Pan Afrikan language, the development of a national language for each Afrikan country, and struggle for Afrikan liberation.

Even In the Caribbean, which holds a special place in the Afrikan world community. This is where some of the most committed and respected Pan Afrikan freedom fighters (i.e. H Sylvester Williams, the Honorable Marcus Garvey, Kwame Ture’, Bob Marley, Maurice Bishop, Walter Rodney, etc) evolve from to organize Black people to rebuild mother Afrika and Black people. Unfortunately, in the Caribbean, Black people are still struggling to find Black liberation through Black history and revolutionary Black culture in the new millennium. Unfortunately, many Black Caribbean nations are still under the domination and the control of White supremacy and racism. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, Black Caribbean leaders from the past, have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, and news articles. We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map for Black liberation.

However, in America, the powerful forces of White supremacy, and the system of racism, separate oppressed people from one another in this country. Without a national, and international Black liberation movement to help bring political clarity and develop unity of oppressed people, we forget, or ignore, the real enemies of people of color and poor people.

In the present era of America, we now live in a country where many of our immigrant brothers and sisters (i.e. Indians, Hindus, Arabs, Asians, Latinos, Jamaicans, Haitians, etc) are coming to America in masses like never before in United States history due to the abolishing of racist immigration laws. Our immigrant brothers and sisters are coming to America seeking freedom and opportunities. Although they are coming to a country that has created inequalities and oppression in the world, they believe that America is the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, they come to America either ignoring or not knowing or disrespectful of the ongoing freedom struggles of Black people in America from White supremacy and the system of racism.

However, they come speaking their own mother tongue and embrace their own cultural practices. In fact, immigrant brothers and sister use their languages, and their own cultural practices, as a springboard for community empowerment and survival in America. Although many of our immigrant brothers and sisters come from continents and countries just recently liberated from European colonialism and European domination; they come to America without experiencing the violent, overt interference, and oppressive conditions of White supremacy and racism upon their people. The reason for this is that immigrant brothers and sisters did not go through the horrors of White supremacy and racism forcibly and legally removing and dis-centering them from their languages and their cultural practices like Afrikan Americans.

In fact, because of the unique experiences of Black oppression under hundreds of years of the system of racism and White supremacy in America, the Black Civil Rights and Black liberation movements of the 1950s, 60s, early 70s found it absolutely necessary to force racist America to respect the legal freedoms, languages, and cultures of all people of color and oppressed people. In other words, Black people’s struggle for justice had to include the struggle for linguistic and cultural freedoms of all oppressed people. During that era, we clearly understood linguistic and cultural oppression better than any other group in America, because, we were the most victimize by White linguistic and cultural racist domination. We were, and are, the living proof of what can happen to a people if languages and cultures are denied to a people. Black people of 1960s, 60s, and early 70s understood that without knowing your history, denying your language and your culture, a people will become lost in America. We had understood that not knowing your history, not knowing your language, and not knowing your culture; oppressed people will fall victim to feelings of inferiority, broken communities, self-destruction, helplessness, and self-hate.

Unfortunately, in the present era of America, many Black people have lost their understanding of the importance of knowing Afrikan history, acquiring the ability to speak an Afrikan language, and embracing a revolutionary form of Afrikan culture in the Afrikan American community. We don’t understand why activists- scholars like a Dr. Maulana Karenga struggled hard to establish Kwanzaa as a Black cultural holiday for Black liberation in the Afrikan American community. Before Dr. Karenga established Kwanzaa, he founded a Black cultural nationalist organization called US in Los Angeles, California in 1965. Dr. Karenga taught that the first steps towards Black revolutionary change in the Afrikan American community is through a Black revolutionary culture. This is many of us do not understand that Kwanzaa was also to be used as a building block for Black nation-building. Using Kiswahili, a Pan-Afrikan language spoken in many parts of Afrika, Dr. Karenga began to linguistically reconnect Black people in America to Afrika. But he did not stop there at an Afrikan language. Dr. Karenga collected the best principles of Afrikan cultural practices to create just Seven Black revolutionary cultural foundations called the Nguzu Saba to help rebuild Black people in America and in the Afrikan world community. Unfortunately, his commitment to Black nation building became a threat to White supremacy and the system of racism. Dr. Karenga, and his US movement, were attacked by the US government. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, Black revolutionary cultural nationalist leaders from the past have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, and news articles. We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map for revolutionary Black culture for Black liberation.

On the other hand, we don’t understand why Black leaders such as Bobby Seal and Huey P. Newton came on the scene to establish the Original Black Panther Party on October 15, 1966 in Oakland, California. They, Seal and Newton, believed that Black revolutionary nationalism was just as important as Black cultural nationalism. The Original Black Panther Party taught that Black people must unite with themselves to fight against America’s system of exploitation and oppression. Seal and Newton believed that the system of racism and White supremacy are by-products of European and United States monopoly capitalism. Thus creating permanent a Black under class. In other words, Seal and Newton believe that if oppressed Black people did not challenge monopoly capitalism, then White supremacy and the system of racism would create lasting oppressive conditions in the Black community to reduce Black people down to the lowest realms of American society. The Original Black Panthers went to work organizing Black people to fight against U. S. oppression in the Black community. The Black Panther Party created community survival programs (i.e the Breakfast Program, the Lunch Program, the Peoples Ambulance Program, the Free Clothing Program. The Free Health Care Program, Free Liberation Schools, etc) to provide needed resources and political education for Black people suffering in American ghettos. Original Black Panthers built coalitions with other oppressed people (i.e. Latinos, Asians, poor Whites, etc) to fight for social justice in all communities. However, one of the very first maneuvers the Black Panthers rallied Black people against was rampant cases of racist police brutality in the Black community. The Black Panthers began armed patrols of the police in a effort to protect the Black community from racist police violence. As a result of these armed patrols of the police, the FBI labeled the Original Black Panther Party the number #1 threat to America’s national security in 1967. The US created a secret program called COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) to neutralized the Original Black Panther Party movement in the Black community. The Original Black Panthers became the targets of attacks from all local and federal policing agencies in America. Many Original Black Panthers were gunned down in the streets of America. Original Black Panthers that the US government could not kill, COINTELPRO used its unlimited resources to legally frame Black Panthers on trumped up charges. Many Black Panther were sent to prison on long sentences for duration of their lives in a effort to reduce their revolutionary influences in the Afrikan American community. Then, the propaganda machine of COINTELPRO labeled Original Black Panthers thugs and terrorists in the eyes of the public to further destabilize its revolutionary movement in the Black community. All of these dirty tricks by the US government weaken the the Black Panther Party. Many Black Panthers began to leave the organization in masses. Some Black Panthers had to flee the US to survive the onslaught of state sanctioned police harassment and police violence directed towards them in America. By the early 1980s, the Original Black Panthers ceased to exist. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, Black revolutionary nationalist leaders from the past have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, and news articles. We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map for Black revolutionary politics for Black liberation.

In today’s racist America, we don’t understand why Newark, NJ’s world renowned community activist Imamu Amiri Baraka struggled so hard in the 1960s and early 70s to establish the Black Arts Movement. Awakened by the Black nationalist consciousness of Malcolm X, Baraka, a respected playwright and poet, began to believe it was absolutely necessary for Black people to embrace our own Black perspectives in Black literature, Black poetry, Black music, and Black theatre. He, along with other Black artists, such as Maya Angelou, Haki Mahabuti, Amina Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Felipe Luciano, and The Last Poets; created the Black Arts movement. The Black Arts Movement became the central foundation for a new Black cultural identity in America, and in the world, for Black people’s struggle for Black liberation during that time period. However, all is not lost.
Fortunately, Black artists from the past have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, and news articles.
We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map for revolutionary Black artistry for Black liberation.

We don’t understand why Black historians from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and early 90s struggled to establish the Importance of Afrikan / Afrikan American history in Black liberation. They inspired masses of people of Afrikan descent to embrace their Afrikan history, Afrikan languages, Afrikan religions, and Afrikan culture. For decades, Afrikan / Black people were Guided by many Afrocentric scholars of the day, such as Dr. John Henrick Clarke, Dr. Yusef ben-Jochannan, Dr Chancellor Williams, Dr. Lenonard Jeffries, Cheikh Anta Diop and Dr. Molefe Kete Asante. These scholars helped reshape and represented the non-racist facts about the history of Black people to Black people and the world. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, Black scholars from the past have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, scholarly articles, and news articles. We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map to reclaim our Black / Afrikan historical memory from grips of White supremacy and the system of racism for Black liberation.

We don’t understand why it was important for Afrikan-centric spiritual leaders, such as the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad (co-founder of the Nation of Islam) and Dr James Cones ( a Black Christian theologian), to reestablished Black people and their experiences at the center of religious expression. What they created was something called Black liberation theology. It explained God, religion, and spirituality from a Black empowerment perspective. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, Afrikan-centric spiritual leaders from the past have left their examples in history books, films, magazines, documentaries, and news articles. We thank the Creator, and our Afrikan ancestors, that we have the internet to access their histories to create a road map for Black liberation theology for Black liberation

Moving forward, the next generation of Afrikan/Black leaders will have to grapple with these Black historical, linguistic and cultural ideas of liberation for Black people in America, and in the Afrikan world community, if we are ever going to be free from under the yoke of White / European racial domination in America and in the world, then our future generations must root themselves in all forms of Black liberation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hotep!!! (Peace)!!!

Bashir Muhammad Akinyele
-History Teacher
-Chair of Weequachic High School’s Black History Month Committee

FYI: Spelling Afrika with a k is not a typo. Using the k in Afrika is the Kiswahili way of writing Africa. Kiswahili is an Pan -Afrikan language. It is spoken in many countries in Afrika.


Ogun to Sangoma – Science in Afrikan Spirituality


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