Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
U. S. Out of Haiti – Clinton Out of Harlem
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Join us for a Day of Outrage in Harlem
PROTEST RALLY, MARCH ACROSS 125TH STREET, TEACH-IN, FILM & PANEL:
“VOICES OF HAITIANS ON FUTURE OF HAITI”
WHERE IS THE MONEY FOR HAITI? Under US military occupation former President Bill Clinton serves as Special UN Envoy to Haiti and co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC): Life and death struggles intensify for millions of Haitians: cholera epidemic & 1.5 million still homeless!! And in Harlem Clinton Renews Lease for penthouse office in 55 W. 125th St: More Predatory Real Estate, Gentrification & Displacement!
Schedule of Activities
· 12 Noon to1:30 PM: Rally Against former President Bill Clinton directly across from penthouse office 55 West 125th St. (Between Lenox & 5th Avenues.)
- 1:30 - 2 PM: March across 125th to Old Broadway: St. Mary's Church: 516 West 126th Street (Amsterdam & Old Broadway)
- 2 - 5 PM Teach-in on Haiti at St. Mary's : Speakers include Omali Yeshitela (Chair of Black is Back); Glen Ford (Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report); Nellie Hester Bailey(Harlem Tenants Council); Ashley Smith (International Socialist Review); Kim Ives (Editor of Haiti Liberte: Back from Haiti Report); Activist/Organizer Ray LaForest; others to be announced.
· 7 – 9 PM: EVENING ACTIVITY: Maysles Cinema: 343 Lenox Avenue (128th & 127th): Film & “Voices of Haitians on the Future of Haiti” with Roger Leduc ( KAKOLA: Haitian Coalition to Support the Struggle in Haiti); Marquez Osson (WBAI Radio, "Haiti: The Struggle Continues"); Activist/Organizer Ray LaForest; others TBA. Reception to follow.
For more information contact Harlem Tenants Council: email: email@example.com or 646-812-5188 or visit website:harlemtenantscouncil.org or blackisbackcoalition.org (Telephone:202-681-7040.
Friday, November 12, 2010
REPARATIONS MARATHON TONIGHT
Harambee Radio Helpting to Unify the
Reparations Movement With Large Tent Marathon
NOVEMBER 12, 2010
SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, VA -
“Reparation is the payment of money and other valuables to a nation, or distinct community of people. Reparations are paid by he criminal government that hurt them in the commission of a crime. The payment of reparations is part of the process to make them whole again. It is necessary because in the commission of the crime, the perpetrator cause injuries: reparation are the beginning of the healing process, it is to make amend, to make the nation [or community] whole again.”
---from the Constitution of N’COBRA
One of the great Black journalist of the century, Brother Dalani Aamon is using his platform, Harambee Radio & T.V. in an effort to promote some unity amongst the varied proponents for the Great Issue of Reparations. As a younger than the average of the N’COBRA membership in the 1990’s, when the work of N’COBRA made Reparations a “household” word in the United States of America, he did not involve himself to the extent where he knows much about the issue and the Movement that N’COBRA engendered.
But to achieve its “First Priority Mission,” The Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, under the guidance of Dr. Imari A. Obadele, its acknowledged founder, N’COBRA let the Great Issue of Reparations fly, as Dr. Obadele had turned the ideal over to The Coalition: they let it “fly.”
As per the definition of Reparations above the body of this text, it is clearly defined in the Constitution of N’COBRA, but as journalist researched and told the story, i.e. Brother Dalani, a degree of confusion had set into just “exactly what is Reparations.”
MARATHON RESPONSE BEGINNING FRIDAY 6 -11 P.M. [6 hours]
Opening Friday at 6 P.M. with Secretary-General of the U.N.I.A., Brother Senghor; and H. Khalif Khalifah, Senior Tour Guide for the Nat Turner Trail, Publisher and author of A History About N’COBRA & The Reparations Movement,” the Marathon will continue through 11 p.m. with some of the original founders of The Coalition speaking to the issue of Unity/Definition/Direction, with the overall objective of re-igniting a “Movement too Large to be Ignored; Championing a Issue Too Vital to be Forgotten.”
The entire program can be heard and seen live online at www.harambeeradio.com To speak with Khalifah you may call him at 434-378-2140. Khalifah will also be reviewing his book online, at www.blogtalkradio.com on station Nat Turner Trail Library at 12 noon. The great thing about internet based radio is if you miss the live show, the archive is available 24/7.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
NAT TURNER CONVENTION 2011 - AUG. 20-21 - The Re-emergence of Nat Turner: be a part of "correcting, preserving & Propagating Black History: call 434-378-2140 www.natturnertrail.com
WE STILL MEDITATE AT THE HOUR OF EIGHT
On The Ground
On The Ground
Monday, October 25, 2010
Kwesi Kwaa Prah
Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS)
Dear Gen. Williams,
The flurry of emails, I have so far seen, have maintained the pace and heat of the discussions that were initiated and aired during our Johannesburg meeting of early January this year. This is enormously encouraging, because the free exchange of views is crucial to the identification and elaboration of a platform for ideas which could eventually feed into the 8
My greatest pleasure was to note that many of the ideals we share as an older generation are also held with fervour by the younger generation, and that they reveal a diversity of opinion and thought as variegated as those displayed by our generation. Some of these views were passionately articulated with logical dexterity and consummate expression. Others were intellectually roughshod and occasionally hot-headed. All of this mix made the meeting memorable.
I agree that state-led Pan-Africanism is a road to nowhere. This has been the experience of the last 50 years. Too quickly and too easily the leadership of African states subvert the real purposes and agenda of Pan-Africanism to suit their own petty and narrow flag and anthem purposes. Some of us have argued that these states, as we have them today, are more part of the problem than the solution. If our leaderships were more open and more serious about unity they will open the door to more people-to-people engagement, within and across borders; they would welcome democratically sponsored and popularly supported irredentism as a possible route to our collective ideal. But, their entrenched petty interests and hoggish attitudes in maintaining the
During the meeting, I sometimes felt and heard in the sub-text of some participants that the shadow of continentalism was still stalking their minds. If we have a congress in which the issue of continentalism or non-continentalism rears its head, it would be most unfortunate for those amongst
Equally worrying to my mind is the oftentimes near compulsive vulgarization of the catchword and slogan; "black power." I do not believe that in contemporary Africa this terminology deals with reality. We already have "black power" in Africa. Even in the former settler-colonial areas of Africa, we have been able to gain political power. The pertinent question and problem is what are we doing with the power that we have? I repeat, what are we doing with the power that we have? To talk about "black power" today in societies which are in almost all instances over ninety percent "black" is extravagantly fatuous and only succeeds to obscure our real political colouring. It reduces African politics and power contestation to irrelevancies and distractions. I think also that I read in that tendency an attempt to find blame with extraneous factors when the real culprits should be ourselves, the elites. We have now a half-century of independence, whatever problems we face collectively as Africans can be dealt with if we put our heads together and our shoulders to the task. To talk about our situation as if we are powerless is a lie.
The notion of "black power" in African countries on the continent and the ideology of racial holism is an even bigger myth because it assumes that in African societies colour is or should be a determinant of power. But Africa proper is overwhelmingly black. Furthermore, it does not recognize the primacy of the fact that amongst black skins there are rich and poor, elevated and down-trodden, voluble and voiceless. Indeed, in any society, anywhere, power is within the structure of the society and the state differentially distributed. To believe that the leading societal contradictions we face in Africa, in our everyday lives are due to skin colour is misguided. It is totally wrong. People who say in Africa that our challenge is to install "black power" may be physically in Africa but in their minds living elsewhere (possibly the United States). Even in South Africa, the quintessential erstwhile settler-colonial state in Africa, Africans are now in power, and have been in power for fifteen years. Here Africans form more than three-quarters of the population.
The idea of "black power" was born in the USA. Its first significant usage dates to the 1954 publication by Richard Wright of his reflections on the final stages of the Ghanaian march to independence entitled;
However, the popularization of the slogan "black power" came into currency through the US civil rights movement, during the tempestuous years of the 1960s. We are told that its political deployment was through the initiative and genius of Willie Ricks and Stokely Carmichael (a.k.a Kwame Toure). The precise historical location of this was the 1966 Meredith March in the South of the United States when as leading members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) they used the slogan "black power" as a rallying call to galvanize minds and mobilize African-Americans for civil rights, local and community power. Apparently, this was meant also as an attempt to set up a contrastive ideological position to the argument of Martin Luther King and the members of the Southern Christian Leadership Committee (SCLC). King‟s position was an argument for "equal rights" while Carmichael and his SNCC membership were saying, "what do we want … we want black power." At that time "black power" was often translated to mean Black political and economic empowerment and control of predominantly Black towns, cities and counties in the South, especially in places like Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi. In Carmichael‟s words during that period; "Everybody in this country is for „Freedom Now‟ but not everybody is for Black Power because we have got to get rid of some of the people who have white power. We have got to get us some Black Power. We don‟t control anything but what white people say we can control. We have to be able to smash any political machine in the country that‟s oppressing us and bring it to its knees. We have to be aware that if we keep growing and multiplying the way we do, in ten years all the major cities are going to be ours. We have to know that in Newark, New Jersey, where we are 60% of the population, we went along with their stories about integrating and we got absorbed. All we have to show for it is three councilmen who are speaking for them and not for us. We have to organize ourselves to speak for each other. That‟s Black Power. We have to move to control the economics and politics of our community." This is how the person who popularized the term meant it to be. Carmichael frequently returned to this thesis. In the book he wrote with Charles Hamilton (
Even more telling are the observations he made on July the 28
Racism is about power relations in which physical attributes and/or culture are used to justify and practise discrimination, exploitation and oppression. Philosophically it belongs to the political right. As a socio-political feature its fundamental and frequently masked object is almost always economic. Certainly, to take the term "black power" out of its historical and social context and use it in a blanket fashion to cover all Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora is not only to distort its meaning, but also to open ourselves up to serious misinterpretation.
Equally perplexing for me is the frequent race talk that I hear and read from some of our colleagues. I can very well see the relevance of race pre-occupations in societies where, to different degrees, clearly anti-African racism both on the continent and in the Diaspora constitutes an everyday issue and haunting problem for people. I mean, for example in South Africa, the United States or many parts of Europe and some parts of South America. But we must remember that racism is not unique to the black-white context. Hitlerian racism as we all know was directed principally, but not exclusively, against European Jewry who are of the same colour as Germans. It was also immediately directed against the Roma people (Gypsies) and Slavs. Hitler regarded Africans as half-apes. As I earlier said, in the Sudan the contradiction between Arab and African does not lie along the colour
In the Western world it is not only people of African descent who suffer from Western racism. Pakistanis and Indians in Britain, Arabs in France, Turks in Germany, Moroccans in the Netherlands, Spanish settlers and Amerindians in South America, Indians in Australia, Aboriginals in Australia, Native Americans, Mexicans and Hispanics in the United States all face racism on a daily basis. Therefore to talk about racism as if it is the particular preserve of the relationship between Westerners and people of African descent is at best ill-informed and at worst disingenuous. Racist attitudes have existed between Chinese and Malays, Indians and Malays, Indians and Chinese in South Asia and on the African continent racial tensions and feelings have been present in the relations between Lebanese and Africans, Indians and Africans. The Japanese (
My argument here should also extend to the record of slavery. The African holocaust, in particular the consequences of the Atlantic slave trade, in evil effect and horror, is second to none in the history of the human race. In space, intensity, time and scope, its dimensions cannot be equalled. But we must be careful not to talk about it as if we are the only people who have historically been enslaved. For a start, Arabs systematically traded in black skins a thousand years before the Westerners. This practice has continued to the present day. Equally telling has been the comprehensiveness of their pattern of cultural denationalization. Their mode of denationalization was geared towards removing all memory of Africaness within the shortest possible time. This is why in spite of the fact that in time span and absolute numbers they possibly eclipse the Atlantic slave trade, the existence of Africans in the Arab world is today hardly visible.
Let‟s remind ourselves about the extent and experience of slavery in human history with a few examples. The
For centuries, till the early part of the 20
I have often explained that circumcision is not restricted to Africans or any group of Africans. As a tradition, circumcision is fairly common on the African continent and beyond. It is common to large parts of Asia and the Middle East. Jews practice circumcision and have done so from time immemorial. Muslims likewise also practice circumcision. But in both these instances, today circumcision is carried out mainly by qualified medical doctors in hygienic and comfortable conditions. This does not detract from the rite of passage it comes with as an institution. The fact that the circumstances in which circumcision is carried out can keep abreast with modernity does not undermine the institution. I would argue that it only goes to strengthen it. It only goes to show that the institution is evolving with time and discarding aspects which are unhelpful. We do not have to be caught in a time-warp of backwardness through wilful, irrational and uninformed stubborn attitudes. We only discredit our tradition and make ourselves the laughing stock of the world.
For the present, the
Also, we cannot have democracy in any societally meaningful way if the pursuit and exercise of democracy is not grounded on cultural usages understood, recognized, appreciated and shared by the broad masses of African society. Too often, too many people want to suggest that democracy is foreign to Africans. There is of course the classic saying of General Mobutu to justify his dictatorship; "where have you ever seen two chiefs in an African village?" I also heard someone once remark that; "leave Rawlings alone to get on with his job. When the chief has spoken, it should be last word on the matter." Such sentiments are obviously unhelpful in modern African societies attempting to build democracy. But such sentiments cannot be uprooted or enforced by decree. With time the sentiments die out in the face of evolving realities and more suitable practice.
Let‟s also remember that, democracy in its operations and conceptualization is not cast in stone for all societies at all times in the same way. What democracy meant in practice in the United States in 1900 is very different from what it means now. In the 1950s, an African-American was not tolerated as a student in the University of Mississippi. In 2008 Obama debated McCain in the same institution for the presidency of the country. Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland did not have the same civil rights until the 1960s and 70s. Women had the vote in England less than 100 years ago and long after the franchise had been extended universally to the male of the species. Democracy in Britain still includes a place called the House of Lords for people specially elevated to the status of Lords or those who have inherited these titles. Such an institution would be today unacceptable to the French. What I am saying is that democracy is not only historically specific, but societally also so. In all these societies democratic practice and institutions are adapted to the specificities of history and culture. We can simply not borrow wholesale in a one-size-fits-all approach, democracy from anywhere and implant it in Africa. We need to make democratic institutionalization fit cultural and historical relevancies.
Another point I can make with conviction is that part of the reason for our blindness and inability to move forward towards unity in a systematic way, with a clear road map, is because we lack a strong and all-embracing African national consciousness. This also partly explains the continued adherence of so many people to continentalism. I must warn immediately that my understanding of national consciousness goes beyond neo-colonialism or the nationalism tailor-made for the
It is interesting to note that during the colonial interlude and the end of colonialism we started manufacturing historical narratives to rationalize and justify our handed-down post-colonial states, which we call nations, and which are supposed to be the practicalization and ultimate repositories of our nationalism. We wrote; "A History of Zambia"; "A History of Ghana"; "A History of Namibia"; A History of Uganda", etc., etc. to make real what a few years before did not exist and was in actual fact unreal. We tuned our politics into the realities of these
To close, I must say clearly that I do not subscribe to the idea of "the whole world is against us." This is simply misguided and untrue. In all communities and amongst all people around the world there will always be some who support us in the name of justice, fairness, democracy, freedom and emancipation. It is very true that only Africans can save Africa and we must fight by all means necessary to uplift and unite our people. But we are not alone in our wish to uplift our people and end the injustice, exploitation and oppression that we have suffered for hundreds of years. All truly democratic and freedom loving people support us
Sudan Sensitisation Project (SSP)