By Matt Karp & Eric Foner for Jacobin Magazine – One of the cottage industries in the historical profession right now is studying the relationship between capitalism and American slavery. This is an old discussion; it goes way, way back. Karl Marx said things about it. That’s not exactly the subject of your book, but I’m wondering how you think your study, which is a study of slaveowners and their vision of America as a great power in the world, fits into the ongoing debates about slavery and capitalism nowadays? The book joins a whole series of works that explore the slave South in a transnational sense. That’s another fashionable aspect: reemphasizing the dynamism and brutality of antebellum slavery.
By Christopher Mathias for Huffington Post. Nelini Stamp wants America to say Timothy Caughman’s name ― not the name of the man who killed him. “Timothy was killed by a white supremacist, by a white terrorist,” Stamp told a crowd of about 300 protesters Friday evening in Manhattan’s Union Square. This man, she said, “came from Baltimore to New York City ― our city ― to kill black people. He killed Timothy. We will not say this man’s name because he wants to be known. Instead we will say Timothy’s name to make sure no one ever forgets Timothy.” Stamp, of the progressive social justice group Resist Here, then led the protesters on a solemn, 22-block march north. “All across NYC!” they chanted. “Resist white supremacy!” “Say his name!” they yelled. “Timothy Caughman!”
By Fight for $15 and Movement for Black Lives. MEMPHIS — The Fight for $15 and the Movement for Black Lives will take to the streets nationwide April 4 – the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination – in a two-dozen-city “Fight Racism, Raise Pay” protest. Thousands of underpaid workers, local racial justice activists, elected officials and clergy will hold rallies, marches, teach-ins, and other demonstrations to stress that the push for economic and racial justice remains as deeply linked today as when Dr. King was killed in 1968 supporting striking black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn. The coast-to-coast protests will culminate in a march by thousands of workers, national civil rights leaders and politicians on the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, where they’ll hold a memorial at the site of Dr. King’s assassination 49 years ago.
By Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo for Black Agenda Report. Bethesda, Maryland – After months of public pressure and protests, Montgomery County Government has reluctantly suggested to “bring all parties together to address the various concerns that have been expressed and seek a solution that all can agree upon before we move forward.” The suggestion was made in a March 16, 2017, joint letter from County Executive, Isiah Leggett, and Council President, Roger Berliner, issued to Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. Black Agenda Report has covered this struggle extensively. From outward appearances, the casual observer would never be able to discern the presence of the cemetery as every day hundreds of cars drive over what now is the Housing Opportunity Commission (HOC) apartment parking lot.
By Melissa Hellmann for Yes! Magazine – Seattle City Council members took their seats on Sept. 19 with the unhurried pace of business as usual. One of them called for public comments, but after a few people spoke, a commotion erupted in the back of the chambers. Six black and brown people shuffled down the central aisle, bounded by chains on their wrists, ankles, and stomachs. Some were clad in orange jumpsuits, while others wore black shirts bearing the phrase “Block the Bunker” in white letters. White activists donning police hats and pig noses trailed behind, nudging them forward with toy batons. “I’ll throw you around if I want to throw you around!” one of them screamed.
By Staff of The Guardian – As many as 30,000 people have joined a march against racism in London during which campaigners voiced their opposition to the wave of populism they say elected Donald Trump, saw Britain vote to leave the EU and fuelled the rise of far-right politics around Europe. The former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Moazzam Begg, one of the speakers at the Saturday protest, said Trump was one of the “bad dudes” who should be sent to the internment camp in Cuba. Speaking from a stage in Parliament Square, Begg referenced a speech by the US president in which he said he would be sending more inmates to the controversial facility.
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Truth Dig – The virulently racist lawmaker Steve King, R-Iowa, is at it again, stoking the flames of white supremacy with his controversial tweet, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” implying that white babies will restore American civilization. In follow-up interviews, King doubled down on his assertion and even recommended the newly popular and wildly racist, anti-immigrant French novel written in 1973, “The Camp of the Saints,” which Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon often references. King, who reportedly keeps a Confederate flag on his desk, has a history of making remarks that suggest white people are superior to nonwhites…
By Popular Resistance. Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have never been desegregated. Despite findings by the Department of Education and Federal Court that the HBCUs have not received adequate funding when compared to Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and have had their programs duplicated by PWIs, drawing students and faculty away from the HBCUs, the state has refused to make amends. Below you will find a timeline of this struggle and an interview with two alumni, Rashad Staton and DeJuan Patterson, who are organizing to raise awareness of this injustice. The current court case is the most significant discrimination case in education since Brown v the Board of Education, yet it is receiving little attention in the media. And this fight goes beyond equity in education
Staff for #RememberTrayvon. The murder of Trayvon Martin was the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement that accelerated with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and has grown with the deaths of so many other blacks at the hands of police. Here are several campaigns to remember Trayvon: #TrayvonTaughtMe digital toolkit and campaign:The #TrayvonTaughtMe digital campaign highlights the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, and how Trayvon’s extrajudicial murder and his family’s commitment to ending gun violence and strengthening communities catalyzed a generation of organizers and activists to take action for Black lives. #OurSonTrayvon campaign: In collaboration with Gbenga Akkinagbe, founder of Liberated People, and activist-writer Michaela Angela Davis, BLM is supporting the launch of the #OurSonTrayvon campaign, whose goal is to create a sustainable movement humanizing Black children in the collective imagination. #DearTrayvonsMom letter writing campaign: is soliciting love letters to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother and #TalkAboutTrayvon digital toolkit and campaign: seeks to launch a conversation among white people about the conditions that led to the extrajudicial murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.
By Ajamu Baraka for Popular Resistance. For those of us who operate within context of the Black Radical Tradition, Malcolm’s political life and philosophy connected three streams of the Black Radical Tradition: nationalism, anti-colonialism and internationalism. For many, the way in which Malcolm approached those elements account for his appeal. Yet, I think there is something else. Something not reducible to the language of political struggle and opposition that I hear when I encounter people in the U.S. and in other parts of the world when they talk about Malcolm. I suspect it is his defiance, his dignity, his courage and his selflessness. For me, it is all of that, but it is also how those elements were reflected in his politics, in particular his approach to the concept of human rights. Malcolm showed us how to deal with Trumpism, and the People Centered Human Rights movement that we must build will move us to that place where collective humanity must arrive if we are to survive and build a new world. And we will – “by any means necessary.”
By Ahmed Shawki for Jacobin. 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.”
By Dorothy M. Ehrlich for ACLU – Seventy-five years ago, in one of the darkest moments in American history, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. Immediately, the federal government began forcing 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps for fear they posed a threat to national security. For many years, we have recognized the infamous date of the order, February 19, 1942, with a “Day of Remembrance” at ceremonies throughout the nation designed to ensure that this indelible stain on our democracy is never forgotten. It is ordinarily a solemn occasion and a day of reflection. But on this day, the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, our current anti-Muslim crisis sounds a chilling echo of that earlier injustice, which must not be ignored. This year we are called to transform our quiet reflection into a fierce resistance.
By Mona Chalabi for The Guardian – The civil rights pioneer and scholar is most famous for his book The Souls of Black Folk, but his use of data to show inequality is still profound today. Any African American to be admitted to Harvard University in 1888 had to be exceptionally gifted. But that description doesn’t come close to capturing the talent of WEB Du Bois, a man who managed to write 21 books, as well as over 100 essays while being a professor and a relentless civil rights activist.Du Bois saw no trade-off between those pursuits – his scholarship was protest and his protest was scholarship. He deeply understood something that every activist scrawling a banner in Washington knows today – messaging matters.
By Kira Lerner for Think Progress – As Attorney General Jeff Session’s shifts the Department of Justice’s focusfrom protecting voting rights to investigating claims of nonexistent fraud, the rights of an increasing number of minority voters will likely go unprotected. But in that vacuum, a growing number of organizations and advocacy groups have said they will step up to protect voters. On Monday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed the first major federal voting rights lawsuit of the year, alleging that Jones County, North Carolina’s voting system discriminates against African-American residents. Jones County is roughly one-third black, but the black population has not elected a candidate-of-choice to the Board of Commissions in over two decades. According to the lawsuit, this is due to the county’s at-large voting system — a Jim Crow-era tactic that allows localities with white majorities to dilute black voting power.
By Jacqueline Patterson for The Huffington Post – Three days ago I had yet another conversation where well-intended, but poorly implemented diversification efforts have fallen short and resulted in harm. I’ve either directly experienced, or have been the listening ear for, way too many stories of lamentation from the sole person of color employee, board member, steering committee/advisory group member, coalition member, or even panelist/speaker in various environmental organizations/coalitions/settings. The divisions in our society, exposed and rubbed raw by recent events, urgently call for a deeper level of intent and action on building processes, organizations, movements, and systems that are rooted in anti-racism and anti-oppression.