Archive for the ‘Black Power’ Category

Police hunting Black Power member – SunLive

Police need the public’s help to locate a patched senior Black Power member who’s wanted in relation to an alleged 2016 murder.

Walter Reid Ngaau, 54, currently has a warrant issued for his arrest in relation to the death of Tribesmen Motorcycle Club member John Henry Harris in Whangarei last October.

Detective Inspector Dene Begbie warns Ngaau is considered dangerous and should not be approached, but his known whereabouts or any sightings should be reported to police immediately.

This is in relation to Operation Bolt, which is our investigation into the murder of John Henry Harris in October 2016.

We have been working tirelessly on this investigation since October and have made a number of enquiries to locate Walter. However, these have been unsuccessful.”

Ngaau is 175cm tall, of medium build, and has connections to the Whangarei and Auckland areas.

Dene is also reminding anyone who may be assisting Ngaau to evade police that this is a criminal offence.

We will be taking this type of behaviour very seriously.

If you have any information which can assist police locate Walter Reid Ngaau call Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer on 021 191 5948.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Police hunting Black Power member – SunLive

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The story of the British Black Panthers through race, politics, love … – The Guardian

Black Power leader Michael X speaking at a rally in London in 1972. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

A group of girls pose with schoolbags stencilled with the words Black Power. A young Indian man, Farrukh Dhondy, a teacher and member of the British Black Panthers, stands defiantly outside his recently firebombed home, holding the newspaper that details the bombing. Activists pose with clenched fists and a copy of Angela Daviss If They Come in the Morning. The power of these images, taken by photographer Neil Kenlock, still resonates more than 40 years later, as does the story they tell: a tale of oppression, resistance and a communitys fight for survival and forchange.

It is a story that has been largely ignored down the years. Now the black power movement, and in particular the British Black Panthers, find themselves back in the spotlight. There is a photography exhibition at Tate Britain, Stan Firm Inna Inglan: Black Diaspora in London, 1960-1970s; a proposed film about the Mangrove Nine trial in which the late Darcus Howe and fellow Black Panther Althea Jones-Lecointe successfully defended themselves against charges of incitement to riot; a celebration of Howes life at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton; and the arrival of Guerrilla, a new drama series written by 12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley, which airs on Sky Atlantic.

My initial reaction was that my story just didnt feel like a British story, Ridley says. San Franciscos Bay Area was where he had planned to set his tale of a young couple in the 1970s who find themselves increasingly radicalised and ultimately moved to violence. But after speaking with Darcus [Howe], Farrukh [Dhondy] and Neil [Kenlock], I began to see that there were elements that were very, very similar. The struggles, the small indignities, the sense of a collective working together. As an American we tend to look at the UK as being so progressive and elevated with Windrush, and that is true to an extent, but beneath that there were troubles, issues, disregard and disenfranchisement.

He credits Howe with helping him understand the similarities and, crucially, differences between the two movements. For someone like Darcus to say, OK, youre an American, youre coming from a different perspective but I trust you, it meant the world to us, he says. He, Neil, Farrukh and Leila Hassan shared their memories and put us in the emotions and headspace of that time.

The result is an intense piece that captures the febrile atmosphere of Britain in the 1970s, when an establishment clinging desperately to the last remnants of a dying empire butted heads with the newly arrived citizens of those former colonies, who themselves discovered that the much-imagined motherland offered a far colder embrace than the one they dreamed of. It feels like a time capsule, says Robin Bunce, a historian at Homerton College, Cambridge, and co-author of Howes biography, Renegade. Its a picture of the period rather than a definitive truth but what it does do very well is show how much the British movement was informed by the colonial experience. Its by no means intended as a picture of the whole movement.

Paul Reid, the director of the Black Cultural Archives, agrees. Its first and foremost a drama, he says. In Britain, people didnt actually pick up guns to fight as they do in Guerrilla. Instead what happened was a grassroots organisation. Our story is one of constant community activism and social responsibility. Its a quieter story, perhaps, but one that still needs to be told.

Ridley admits that the decision to have his central couple turn to violence was deliberately provocative. In America you can have your Walter Whites and your Tony Sopranos who act outside the law and when white people are doing that its romanticised and exciting, but put a gun in a black mans hand and its like Excuse me negro what are you doing? It becomespoliticised.

That said, he stresses that the violence within the show is not presented as the only option, or even the right one. Guerrilla is about how you get to that point where an individual feels so minimised, put upon and disregarded that they feel they can no longer be part of the fabric of society and then what happens after you get past that point, he says. But there are consequences to these actions. Its not a romantic vision of what it means to take up arms.

Historical accuracy or otherwise is not the only issue surrounding the show. At a tense Q&A session after the premiere last week, repeated questions were asked about why there were so few black women in the opening episode, given the central role played by women such as Althea Jones-LeCointe, Barbara Beese and Olive Morris in the movement. Ridley remains bullish about his decision to cast Freida Pinto, an Indian actress, in the lead and to have a mixed-race couple at the centre of hisstory.

I absolutely expect that there is going to be further pushback and I honestly hope there is, he says. Because part of what we are saying is that a white person walking down the street at this time would look at them and say Oh, those blacks. To the outside world theyre both black but the reality is that they are a mixed-race couple. Their love and commitment is a big part of the show because they have to fight for that. Theyre down for each other. There are people who will have a problem with that, and I hope that they do because that problem is also part of the story were telling.

And what does work is the sense that we are watching an untold or secret history. Like David Peaces cult crime novels, including the Red Riding quartet, Ridleys television series picks at the threads of British memory and forces us to consider how we once were and how we still might be. All nations tell stories about themselves that place them in a good light, says Bunce. So in the UK the story is about how we gave independence to the Caribbean, not how they took it back. We talk about the 1965 Race Relations Act but not how people took to the street and fought.

Bunces co-author, the journalist and lawyer Paul Field, agrees. I think theres a real denial on the part of many people about racism in this country, he says. There is a history of miscarriages of justice against black and Irish people that is linked to the history of colonialism. Guerrilla taps into some of the major issues of this time and it also shows how very British and genteel that racism could be. I really hope that after watching this people then explore the real history.

It is a message that rings particularly true in todays climate where teenage asylum seekers are set on by mobs and anti-immigrant graffiti defaces walls. Where I think Guerrilla works is the way it looks at the brutality and discriminatory attitude of some white folks, says Reid. You have to remember that the police and establishment really considered the British Black Panthers a threat. These were people who took on the legal system at the Mangrove Nine trial, invoked Magna Carta and won. They werent throwing stones they were reading and writing books. They were considered a serious intellectualthreat.

Why then has it taken so long for their story to be told? Dhondy, who moved into journalism, writing and television after the British Black Panthers collapsed amid infighting, power struggles and kangaroo courts, admits that the idea often crossed his mind. I was a commissioning editor at Channel 4 from 1984 to 1997 and of course I thought of putting that history on TV, he says. But to be honest if Id said Lets do a series about the black power movement, I think Michael Grade would have just thought Oh, he just wants to write about himself and wouldnt have agreed.

He hopes instead that Guerrilla will make people reconsider the period and the movement. Its a fictionalised history but I hope it will bring the attention of the nation to the fact that this movement transformed the country, he says. The multi-ethnic drift from ex-colonies was substantial, inevitable and also irresistible. No little atavistic fears, despite Brexit, are going to change that. The black power movement, and Darcus, helped make Britain what it is today.

Elena Crippa, the co-curator of Stan Firm Inna Inglan at the Tate, agrees: British culture has always been the result of exciting cross-pollination, she says. Theres often this terrible fallacy that British culture is in some way contaminated by the arrival of people from elsewhere. In reality, the old branches and the new flourishtogether.

Away from the controversy, Ridleys main desire is for Guerrilla to kickstart a conversation about the kind of stories we prioritise on TV and in film. I think its a solid piece of storytelling and I hope it will mark the beginning of a cycle of these kinds of stories of people of colour and their experiences, whether documentaries or fictional narratives, he says. This isnt just black history its British history and it needs to be told.

All episodes of Guerrilla are available from 13 April on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. Stan Firm Inna Inglan is on at Tate Britain until 19 November.

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The story of the British Black Panthers through race, politics, love … – The Guardian

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In ‘Black Power!,’ Art’s Political Punch and Populist Reach – New York Times


New York Times
In 'Black Power!,' Art's Political Punch and Populist Reach
New York Times
A display in the Black Power! exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a branch of the New York Public Library in Harlem. Credit Jonathan Blanc//Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.

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In ‘Black Power!,’ Art’s Political Punch and Populist Reach – New York Times

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One Scholar On The Future Of Black Lives Matter09:47 – Here And Now

wbur Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, “Black Lives Matter” as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Capitol Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington. Black men from around the nation returned to the capital calling for changes in policing and in black communities. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Black Lives Matter movement originated as an organization to combat police violence but has morphed into an organization for civil rights issues. How does it compare to the civil rights movement, and the Black Power movement of the 1960s?

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Peniel Joseph(@penieljoseph), a scholar of African-American history and professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin,about his cover story for the New Republic, “Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters.”

On how Black Lives Matter compares tothe civil rights and Black Power movements

“I think it straddles really both movements, but it’s more comparable to Black Power than civil rights. That’s primarily because BLM movement has a structural criticism of racism. So, they’re not just criticizing the justice system. They’re making a claim that the justice system in the United States is connected to unemployment, public school segregation, environmental racism and inequality. So its just basically the police are the tip of a larger iceberg of systemic oppression. What makes them so interesting is this notion of intersectionality. The three cofounders of that hashtag were all black women, feminist and queer identified. When we think about BLM, they’re really the first movement coming out of that civil rights, Black Power, black liberation struggle that places gender, sexuality, youth, poverty at the core of that movement for social change.”

On women in historical black rights movements and Black Lives Matter

“The Panthers and the wider Black Power movement, and when we think about civil rights as well, deeply implicated in systems of patriarchy and sexism and misogyny against women. With that being said, black women were also key organizers of both the civil rights protests and also Black Power. Here, with BLM being so decentralized, you’ve had black women share the spotlight and take the lead in terms of both organizing the actions and disruptions of the BLM. So, it’s really a change for the better, I would argue, when you have black women at the forefront of the leadership, but also when we think about the theoretical foundations of the leadership. They’re thinking about black women being head of single-parent households in the United States. They’re thinking about black women and rates of incarceration, the wealth gap between black and white women and the income gap, which is very important because black women are the major voters within the African-American community. They’re the major breadwinners. They’re the major people who raise the young black boys and young black men who are often victims of police violence.”

“When we think about the BLM movement, they’re both taking the civil disobedience tactic nonviolently from that civil rights struggle, but they’re ratcheting up by calling for a systematic, wide change.”

On how Black Lives Matter is more closely related to Black Power than the civil rights movement

“King is initially a reformer, and he becomes a political revolutionary. And in a way, except for adhering to nonviolence, he really starts to have a structural criticism against Vietnam, militarism, racism, human rights violations. When we think about the BLM movement, they’re both taking the civil disobedience tactic nonviolently from that civil rights struggle, but they’re ratcheting up by calling for a systematic, wide change. Their tactics have also been very disruptive, in line with the Black Power period. When we think them shutting down highways, some people were very supportive of that, but it’s to the chagrin of others. There were Black Lives Matter rallies that were disrupting the status quo on college campuses. They were even disrupting people’s brunch in New York City and other cities to the chagrin of many yuppies and buppies and elites of all stripes. So when we think about the BLM, it’s really about both that structural critique and the robust, in-your-face tactics that they’re using.”

On the movements decentralization of leadership

“That’s a good thing in that they’re very similar civil rights organizing vis-a-vis the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Their nickname was SNCC, and when we think about SNCC, we associate them by 1966 with Stokely Carmichael and the call for Black Power. But initially, they were founded by Ella Jo Baker, whos an activist from North Carolina, a feminist, a trade unionist and really one of the most important organizers of the 1960s. And she tells the young people not to be hijacked or come under the thumb of any of the older leadership. Even though Ella Baker’s around 60 at this time, she’s making an argument that decentralized leadership is better than having one central political mobilizer like King, who the movement sort of rises and falls with. So, when we think about the BLM movement, what’s so great about the dozens of chapters that they have is that there isn’t one person who’s leading all of this. That makes it harder for media to identify and set up neat narratives with the movement. But I think that it means that the movement’s going to be much longer lasting because we actually have people doing work and organizing, and it’s not a top down hierarchical leadership structure.

“And we’ve seen that through BLM and the Movement for Black Lives policy agenda that was published last summer that talked about ending the war against black people, divesting from criminal justice institutions that incarcerate and lead to mass incarceration and investing in black youth in neighborhoods and communities. I would say we do have several young activists who people know who they are, including Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, DeRay McKesson and others, who are organizing and young people know who they are. But it’s just not the top-down celebrity culture that we saw in the context of the 1960s and ’70s. And remember that also it didn’t work. Very, very famous people didn’t lead to the kind of substantive transformation that people had hoped for because if it had, we wouldn’t have the need for BLM movement 50 years later in 2017.”

On what he’d say to people who think the pendulum has swung too far fromgovernment standing up for law enforcement

“Well, I’d say that’s absolutely the wrong perspective because the BLM movement really illustrated the depth and breadth of structural racism and state violence through law enforcement against African-American, against Latino and, at times, poor white communities in the United States. If anything, we need dramatic and radical reform that actually goes beyond what Obama’s Justice Department politically could achieve. We have to change and transform this whole society. And in that way, they do go back to Dr. King and when King talked about a bitter and beautiful struggle for social and political change.”

This segment aired on April 5, 2017.

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One Scholar On The Future Of Black Lives Matter09:47 – Here And Now

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John Ridley defends casting Indian actor Freida Pinto in British … – International Business Times UK

Oscar-winning director John Ridley has explained his decision to cast Indian actress Freida Pinto as the lead protagonist in his new drama, Guerrilla.

Speaking at the London premiere of the six-part series which explores what it meant to be an activist within the British Black Power movement of the 1970s Ridley, said that “people that are involved with this show are the most reflective cast and crew you will find anywhere.”

The 51-year-old filmmaker, who has been married to his Japanese wife Gayle for 17 years, faced strong questions about race during a post-screening Q&A, with some audience members raising their concerns about what they described as “the erasure of black women”.

In the London-based drama, Pinto, who rose to prominence after starring alongside Dev Patel in 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, plays Jas Mitra a nurse turned activist who along with her husband Marcus (Babou Ceesay) liberates a political prisoner and forms a radical underground cell. She is at the forefront of the struggle against a racist police force and the oppression faced by minorities.

Guerrilla explores what might have happened had the original Black Power movement used violence and also reminds viewers of the contribution the Asian community made to Britain’s ‘forgotten history’.

“It is a question that people have asked and perhaps a question I would have asked, and did, prior to educating myself on the circumstances that happened in this country,” said Ridley.

“I cannot entertain a dialogue about whether the lead character should have been black or Asian. The lead character for this show should be a strong woman of colour.”

Ridley, who took home the Best Screenplay award at the 2014 Academy awards for 12 Years a Slave, said the mini-series touches on issues of black oppression, police brutality and interracial dating, issues which still resonate till today. He believes it a very appropriate time to hark back to the movement’s routes.

Though fictional, Guerrilla is rooted in the realities of an era. “[If] you understand the struggles of that time period, those elements are not made up. Those are real. So if it’s difficult for anybody to understands or accepted easily then I feel I have done my job.”

Luther actor Idris Elba stars and also serves as an executive producer for the miniseries, which will air on Sky Atlantic from Thursday, 13 April 2017.

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John Ridley defends casting Indian actor Freida Pinto in British … – International Business Times UK

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One Scholar On The Future Of Black Lives Matter – WGCU News

The Black Lives Matter movement originated as an organization to combat police violence but has morphed into an organization for civil rights issues. How does it compare to the civil rights movement, and the Black Power movement of the 1960s?

Here & Nows Robin Young speaks with Peniel Joseph(@penieljoseph), a scholar of African-American history and professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin,about his cover story for the New Republic, Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters.

On how Black Lives Matter compares tothe civil rights and Black Power movements

I think it straddles really both movements, but its more comparable to Black Power than civil rights. Thats primarily because BLM movement has a structural criticism of racism. So, theyre not just criticizing the justice system. Theyre making a claim that the justice system in the United States is connected to unemployment, public school segregation, environmental racism and inequality. So its just basically the police are the tip of a larger iceberg of systemic oppression. What makes them so interesting is this notion of intersectionality. The three cofounders of that hashtag were all black women, feminist and queer identified. When we think about BLM, theyre really the first movement coming out of that civil rights, Black Power, black liberation struggle that places gender, sexuality, youth, poverty at the core of that movement for social change.

On women in historical black rights movements and Black Lives Matter

The Panthers and the wider Black Power movement, and when we think about civil rights as well, deeply implicated in systems of patriarchy and sexism and misogyny against women. With that being said, black women were also key organizers of both the civil rights protests and also Black Power. Here, with BLM being so decentralized, youve had black women share the spotlight and take the lead in terms of both organizing the actions and disruptions of the BLM. So, its really a change for the better, I would argue, when you have black women at the forefront of the leadership, but also when we think about the theoretical foundations of the leadership. Theyre thinking about black women being head of single-parent households in the United States. Theyre thinking about black women and rates of incarceration, the wealth gap between black and white women and the income gap, which is very important because black women are the major voters within the African-American community. Theyre the major breadwinners. Theyre the major people who raise the young black boys and young black men who are often victims of police violence.

Array

On how Black Lives Matter is more closely related to Black Power than the civil rights movement

King is initially a reformer, and he becomes a political revolutionary. And in a way, except for adhering to nonviolence, he really starts to have a structural criticism against Vietnam, militarism, racism, human rights violations. When we think about the BLM movement, theyre both taking the civil disobedience tactic nonviolently from that civil rights struggle, but theyre ratcheting up by calling for a systematic, wide change. Their tactics have also been very disruptive, in line with the Black Power period. When we think them shutting down highways, some people were very supportive of that, but its to the chagrin of others. There were Black Lives Matter rallies that were disrupting the status quo on college campuses. They were even disrupting peoples brunch in New York City and other cities to the chagrin of many yuppies and buppies and elites of all stripes. So when we think about the BLM, its really about both that structural critique and the robust, in-your-face tactics that theyre using.

On the movements decentralization of leadership

Thats a good thing in that theyre very similar civil rights organizing vis-a-vis the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Their nickname was SNCC, and when we think about SNCC, we associate them by 1966 with Stokely Carmichael and the call for Black Power. But initially, they were founded by Ella Jo Baker, whos an activist from North Carolina, a feminist, a trade unionist and really one of the most important organizers of the 1960s. And she tells the young people not to be hijacked or come under the thumb of any of the older leadership. Even though Ella Bakers around 60 at this time, shes making an argument that decentralized leadership is better than having one central political mobilizer like King, who the movement sort of rises and falls with. So, when we think about the BLM movement, whats so great about the dozens of chapters that they have is that there isnt one person whos leading all of this. That makes it harder for media to identify and set up neat narratives with the movement. But I think that it means that the movements going to be much longer lasting because we actually have people doing work and organizing, and its not a top down hierarchical leadership structure.

And weve seen that through BLM and the Movement for Black Lives policy agenda that was published last summer that talked about ending the war against black people, divesting from criminal justice institutions that incarcerate and lead to mass incarceration and investing in black youth in neighborhoods and communities. I would say we do have several young activists who people know who they are, including Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, DeRay McKesson and others, who are organizing and young people know who they are. But its just not the top-down celebrity culture that we saw in the context of the 1960s and 70s. And remember that also it didnt work. Very, very famous people didnt lead to the kind of substantive transformation that people had hoped for because if it had, we wouldnt have the need for BLM movement 50 years later in 2017.

On what hed say to people who think the pendulum has swung too far fromgovernment standing up for law enforcement

Well, Id say thats absolutely the wrong perspective because the BLM movement really illustrated the depth and breadth of structural racism and state violence through law enforcement against African-American, against Latino and, at times, poor white communities in the United States. If anything, we need dramatic and radical reform that actually goes beyond what Obamas Justice Department politically could achieve. We have to change and transform this whole society. And in that way, they do go back to Dr. King and when King talked about a bitter and beautiful struggle for social and political change.

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One Scholar On The Future Of Black Lives Matter – WGCU News

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Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters – New Republic

Black Power inspired sweeping changes in American literature, art, and poetry; created a new wave of black scholarship in higher education; and helped elect two generations of black officials at every level of government. Without the consciousness-raising of the Black Power movement, there would likely be no King holiday or Black History Month, no movements to end mass incarceration or apartheid, no free breakfasts in public schools (an outgrowth of hot-meal programs launched by the Black Panthers), no black studies programs at Harvard and other major universities, no Do the Right Thing or Lemonade, no Barack Obama.

Like BLM, which was born in the wake of widespread incidents of police brutality, Black Power came of age in the violent racial landscape confronted by civil rights activists. If Martin Luther King presented himself as a shield capable of defending the black community from the evils of racial segregation, Malcolm X entered the world stage as a sword capable of defeating a Jim Crow system that excluded and brutalized black Americans. Message to the Grassroots, Malcolms historic speech in Detroit in November 1963, offered a blueprint for a black revolution, one sophisticated enough to recognize white supremacy as a national issue, rather than a regional concern, and bold enough to deploy radical strategiesincluding armed self-defense and political self-determinationto defeat it.

The Fire Last Time

An elite police squad was supposed to clean up the streets of 1970s Detroit. Instead, it terrorized African Americans, and turned the city into a battleground.

By Mark Binelli

Professor Carnage

Dave Grossman teaches police officers to think like “warriors.” But is the rise of a militarized mindset turning black citizens into targets?

By Steve Featherstone

Publishing on April 17

The movement gained its name three years later when Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), a Trinidad-born student activist who became a leader among the Freedom Riders and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, gave a speech in Greenwood, Mississippi, calling for Black Power. To Carmichael, Black Power was a call for radical self-determination: social, political, economic, and cultural. Black people, he insisted, had the right to define the framework of racial oppressionand the tools to combat itfor themselves.

A new society must be born, Carmichael insisted in one of his most important and powerful speeches, before 10,000 people at the University of California in Berkeley. Racism must die, he said, and economic exploitation of nonwhites must end. He then posed a fundamental question that BLM activists implicitly continue to ask: How can white society move to see black people as human beings?

The Black Panther Party answered this question with a vengeance. Inspired by Malcolm X, anti-colonial movements in Africa and Latin America, and an eclectic reading of Marxist-Leninism and the literature of Third World revolution, the Panthers (whose leadership at times veered toward authoritarianism and violence) deliberately cut a combative posture to strike fear in white Americans. But like BLM, the group quickly expanded its initial focus on police brutality to embrace a ten-point program that called for the radical transformation of American democracy. Within a year of their founding, the Panthers ended their armed surveillance of white police officers, and created local chapters in poor black neighborhoods that provided free breakfasts, health care, legal and housing aid, drug rehab, and transportation to visit relatives in prison. Equally important, the groups revolutionary politics evolved into a full-blown anti-imperialist framework that connected racism and economic injustice at home with Americas wars in Vietnam and beyond.

Like the Panthers and others in the Black Power movement, BLM rose to prominence in a landscape of police violence and entrenched racism. The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 by Opal Tometi, Patrice Cullors, and Alecia Garza, three queer, black activists who were outraged at the acquittal of the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old black Trayvon Martin. BLM evolved into a full-fledged movement during the urban rebellions in Ferguson in 2014 and Baltimore in 2015. Those political uprisings, like the larger conflagrations that spread throughout America during the long, hot summers from 1963 to 1969, represent a direct confrontation of institutional racism and economic injustice.

But BLM has moved beyond many of the blind spots and shortcomings of its predecessors, embracing the full complexity of black identity and forging a movement that is far more inclusive and democratic than either the Panthers or civil rights activists ever envisioned. Many of its most active leaders are queer women and feminists. Its decentralized structure fosters participation and power sharing. It makes direct links between the struggles of black Americans and the marginalization and oppression of women, those in LGBTQ communities, and other people of color. It has made full use of the power and potential of social media, but it has also organized local chapters and articulated a broader political agenda.

Last summer, following critiques that they had failed to put forth specific demands, BLM activists and affiliated organizations published The Movement for Black Lives, a detailed and ambitious agenda. Divided into six parts, it includes a host of interconnected demands: a shift of public resources away from policing and prisons and into jobs and health care, a progressive overhaul of the tax code to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth, expanded rights to clean air and fair housing and union organizing, and greater community control over police and schools. More detailed than the ten-point program issued by the Black Panthers, the BLM policy agenda offers a remarkably pragmatic yet potentially revolutionary blueprintone that it aims to implement through the concerted use of both protest and politics.

Unlike the activists of the civil rights era, those in BLM do not feel forced to make an either/or choice about which model of black liberation struggle they follow. Instead, BLM has merged the nonviolent civil disobedience of the civil rights movement with the radical structural critique of white supremacy and capitalist inequality articulated by Black Power activists. Indeed, the decentralized organizational philosophy of BLM most closely mirrors that of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Founded in the aftermath of the sit-in movement that swept the South in 1960, SNCC became the most important grassroots social justice organization of the era. It served as a convergence point for several overlapping, at times contradictory, political tendencies. Christian pacifists, black nationalists, liberal integrationists, black and white feminists, and peace activists were all, at various points, a part of the group, which successfully straddled the competing models of black identity advocated by the civil rights and Black Power movements.

Like SNCC, BLM embraces what we now call the intersectional nature of black identity. By placing the lives of trans and queer black women, young people, and the poor at the center of its policy agenda, the group has enlarged our collective vision of what constitutes membership in the black community. In doing so, it has expanded the terrain of what it means to be human in a society that has, since its inception as a democratic republic founded in racial slavery, insisted that black lives were disposable. Whatever future success it achieves on the policy front, BLM recognizes that what Malcolm X called a struggle for black dignity has always traveled a path toward universal human rights. Freedom for black Americans, the group reminds us, ultimately means a better nation for all. Until the most marginalized among usthe trans teenagers traumatized by dehumanizing legislation, the Latina and queer youth with no access to HIV treatment, the single black women struggling to raise their children while holding down three jobsare recognized as part of our collective American family, we all remain imprisoned.

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Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters – New Republic

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The power of poetry – News-Press Now

Way Down South in Dixie, (Break the heart of me) They hung my black young lover To a crossroads tree.

Way Down South in Dixie (Bruised body high in air) I asked the white Lord Jesus What was the use of prayer. Way Down South in Dixie (Break the heart of me) Love is a naked shadow On a gnarled and naked tree.

I never knew poetry had power until I heard the above piece of work. Song for a Dark Girl by Langston Hughes, Strange Fruit, a poem song as sung by Nina Simone and Howl by Alan Ginsburg.

Before then, I didnt know poetry had power. It was the cutesy sing-song stuff teachers had you recite in grade school. Catchy phrasing that stuck in your head but didnt stick in your soul like this new poetry.

This new poetry spoke of the conditions of minorities, the underprivileged and the downtrodden in a way that no other medium could convey.

Long before Grandmaster Flash put out a street rap called The Message, which spoke of the ills in the inner city, Gil-Scott-Heron and the Last Poets put anger to rhyme.

Rhyme poems like The Revolution Will not be Televised, Winter in America, and Black People What Yall Gon Do? spoke to a burgeoning black consciousness in the 1960s.

Nikki Giovanni is born of that passion. The Tennessee-born poet, activist and educator is a living legend who was a huge part of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement in the 1960s. Her poems like Balances, A poem for the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and Beautiful Black Men took on the issues of race and gender in a powerful and inspirational way.

Poetry seems more important during time of uncertainty and unrest. Its always necessary, but it might be even more necessary today.

Best-selling author, speaker and poet Roger Housden said in a recent Huffington Post essay that poetry calls forth our deep being. Its both necessary and dangerous. It opens our eyes and our doors and welcomes us to a bigger world.

Poetry is a way of rescuing the world from oblivion by the practice of attention. It is our attention that honors and gives value to living things, that gives them proper name and particularlity; that retrieves them from the obscurity of the general, Housden wrote.

April is National Poetry Month. Started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world. Schools, publishers, libraries and poets themselves celebrate the mediums place in culture.

Missouri Western State University will do its part in helping citizens and students celebrate National Poetry Month tomorrow when Giovanni will be on campus to not only judge a poetry event but also speak on the craft. The event, called The Mochila Review Presents: In the Shadow of Nikki Giovanni, will take place at 7 p.m. tomorrow inside Missouri Western State Universitys Potter Hall theater. It is free and open to the public.

It could inspire others to make poetry a force once again.

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The power of poetry – News-Press Now

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Nu Black Power Movement of South Bend plans ‘Peace Week’ events – WNDU-TV

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) The Nu Black Power Movement of South Bend is addressing youth violence through multiple “Peace Week” events.

Leaders from the Nu Black Power Movement and the Fremont Park Youth Foundation met Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. The groups are trying to be proactive and get to the root of the problem of youth violence.

They want to reduce violence by tackling poverty in the community. They say those two things are tied closely together.

‘We can learn, we can console each other, we can be angry, all of those things, but until we start getting to the root of the problem, we’re going to continue this cycle, and we know the problems really stem out of a deep need from our community,” explains Regina Williams-Preston, South Bend Common Council member from the 2nd district.

Events include a movie screening, lectures, and a youth conference, and it all culminates in a march on Saturday. (Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the march was moved due to weather.)

You can find more information at facebook.com/NuBlackPowerMovement

Originally posted here:

Nu Black Power Movement of South Bend plans ‘Peace Week’ events – WNDU-TV

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Police hunting Black Power member – SunLive

Police need the public’s help to locate a patched senior Black Power member who’s wanted in relation to an alleged 2016 murder. Walter Reid Ngaau, 54, currently has a warrant issued for his arrest in relation to the death of Tribesmen Motorcycle Club member John Henry Harris in Whangarei last October. Detective Inspector Dene Begbie warns Ngaau is considered dangerous and should not be approached, but his known whereabouts or any sightings should be reported to police immediately. This is in relation to Operation Bolt, which is our investigation into the murder of John Henry Harris in October 2016. We have been working tirelessly on this investigation since October and have made a number of enquiries to locate Walter. However, these have been unsuccessful.” Ngaau is 175cm tall, of medium build, and has connections to the Whangarei and Auckland areas. Dene is also reminding anyone who may be assisting Ngaau to evade police that this is a criminal offence. We will be taking this type of behaviour very seriously. If you have any information which can assist police locate Walter Reid Ngaau call Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer on 021 191 5948. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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The story of the British Black Panthers through race, politics, love … – The Guardian

Black Power leader Michael X speaking at a rally in London in 1972. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images A group of girls pose with schoolbags stencilled with the words Black Power. A young Indian man, Farrukh Dhondy, a teacher and member of the British Black Panthers, stands defiantly outside his recently firebombed home, holding the newspaper that details the bombing. Activists pose with clenched fists and a copy of Angela Daviss If They Come in the Morning. The power of these images, taken by photographer Neil Kenlock, still resonates more than 40 years later, as does the story they tell: a tale of oppression, resistance and a communitys fight for survival and forchange. It is a story that has been largely ignored down the years. Now the black power movement, and in particular the British Black Panthers, find themselves back in the spotlight. There is a photography exhibition at Tate Britain, Stan Firm Inna Inglan: Black Diaspora in London, 1960-1970s; a proposed film about the Mangrove Nine trial in which the late Darcus Howe and fellow Black Panther Althea Jones-Lecointe successfully defended themselves against charges of incitement to riot; a celebration of Howes life at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton; and the arrival of Guerrilla, a new drama series written by 12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley, which airs on Sky Atlantic. My initial reaction was that my story just didnt feel like a British story, Ridley says. San Franciscos Bay Area was where he had planned to set his tale of a young couple in the 1970s who find themselves increasingly radicalised and ultimately moved to violence. But after speaking with Darcus [Howe], Farrukh [Dhondy] and Neil [Kenlock], I began to see that there were elements that were very, very similar. The struggles, the small indignities, the sense of a collective working together. As an American we tend to look at the UK as being so progressive and elevated with Windrush, and that is true to an extent, but beneath that there were troubles, issues, disregard and disenfranchisement. He credits Howe with helping him understand the similarities and, crucially, differences between the two movements. For someone like Darcus to say, OK, youre an American, youre coming from a different perspective but I trust you, it meant the world to us, he says. He, Neil, Farrukh and Leila Hassan shared their memories and put us in the emotions and headspace of that time. The result is an intense piece that captures the febrile atmosphere of Britain in the 1970s, when an establishment clinging desperately to the last remnants of a dying empire butted heads with the newly arrived citizens of those former colonies, who themselves discovered that the much-imagined motherland offered a far colder embrace than the one they dreamed of. It feels like a time capsule, says Robin Bunce, a historian at Homerton College, Cambridge, and co-author of Howes biography, Renegade. Its a picture of the period rather than a definitive truth but what it does do very well is show how much the British movement was informed by the colonial experience. Its by no means intended as a picture of the whole movement. Paul Reid, the director of the Black Cultural Archives, agrees. Its first and foremost a drama, he says. In Britain, people didnt actually pick up guns to fight as they do in Guerrilla. Instead what happened was a grassroots organisation. Our story is one of constant community activism and social responsibility. Its a quieter story, perhaps, but one that still needs to be told. Ridley admits that the decision to have his central couple turn to violence was deliberately provocative. In America you can have your Walter Whites and your Tony Sopranos who act outside the law and when white people are doing that its romanticised and exciting, but put a gun in a black mans hand and its like Excuse me negro what are you doing? It becomespoliticised. That said, he stresses that the violence within the show is not presented as the only option, or even the right one. Guerrilla is about how you get to that point where an individual feels so minimised, put upon and disregarded that they feel they can no longer be part of the fabric of society and then what happens after you get past that point, he says. But there are consequences to these actions. Its not a romantic vision of what it means to take up arms. Historical accuracy or otherwise is not the only issue surrounding the show. At a tense Q&A session after the premiere last week, repeated questions were asked about why there were so few black women in the opening episode, given the central role played by women such as Althea Jones-LeCointe, Barbara Beese and Olive Morris in the movement. Ridley remains bullish about his decision to cast Freida Pinto, an Indian actress, in the lead and to have a mixed-race couple at the centre of hisstory. I absolutely expect that there is going to be further pushback and I honestly hope there is, he says. Because part of what we are saying is that a white person walking down the street at this time would look at them and say Oh, those blacks. To the outside world theyre both black but the reality is that they are a mixed-race couple. Their love and commitment is a big part of the show because they have to fight for that. Theyre down for each other. There are people who will have a problem with that, and I hope that they do because that problem is also part of the story were telling. And what does work is the sense that we are watching an untold or secret history. Like David Peaces cult crime novels, including the Red Riding quartet, Ridleys television series picks at the threads of British memory and forces us to consider how we once were and how we still might be. All nations tell stories about themselves that place them in a good light, says Bunce. So in the UK the story is about how we gave independence to the Caribbean, not how they took it back. We talk about the 1965 Race Relations Act but not how people took to the street and fought. Bunces co-author, the journalist and lawyer Paul Field, agrees. I think theres a real denial on the part of many people about racism in this country, he says. There is a history of miscarriages of justice against black and Irish people that is linked to the history of colonialism. Guerrilla taps into some of the major issues of this time and it also shows how very British and genteel that racism could be. I really hope that after watching this people then explore the real history. It is a message that rings particularly true in todays climate where teenage asylum seekers are set on by mobs and anti-immigrant graffiti defaces walls. Where I think Guerrilla works is the way it looks at the brutality and discriminatory attitude of some white folks, says Reid. You have to remember that the police and establishment really considered the British Black Panthers a threat. These were people who took on the legal system at the Mangrove Nine trial, invoked Magna Carta and won. They werent throwing stones they were reading and writing books. They were considered a serious intellectualthreat. Why then has it taken so long for their story to be told? Dhondy, who moved into journalism, writing and television after the British Black Panthers collapsed amid infighting, power struggles and kangaroo courts, admits that the idea often crossed his mind. I was a commissioning editor at Channel 4 from 1984 to 1997 and of course I thought of putting that history on TV, he says. But to be honest if Id said Lets do a series about the black power movement, I think Michael Grade would have just thought Oh, he just wants to write about himself and wouldnt have agreed. He hopes instead that Guerrilla will make people reconsider the period and the movement. Its a fictionalised history but I hope it will bring the attention of the nation to the fact that this movement transformed the country, he says. The multi-ethnic drift from ex-colonies was substantial, inevitable and also irresistible. No little atavistic fears, despite Brexit, are going to change that. The black power movement, and Darcus, helped make Britain what it is today. Elena Crippa, the co-curator of Stan Firm Inna Inglan at the Tate, agrees: British culture has always been the result of exciting cross-pollination, she says. Theres often this terrible fallacy that British culture is in some way contaminated by the arrival of people from elsewhere. In reality, the old branches and the new flourishtogether. Away from the controversy, Ridleys main desire is for Guerrilla to kickstart a conversation about the kind of stories we prioritise on TV and in film. I think its a solid piece of storytelling and I hope it will mark the beginning of a cycle of these kinds of stories of people of colour and their experiences, whether documentaries or fictional narratives, he says. This isnt just black history its British history and it needs to be told. All episodes of Guerrilla are available from 13 April on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. Stan Firm Inna Inglan is on at Tate Britain until 19 November.

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In ‘Black Power!,’ Art’s Political Punch and Populist Reach – New York Times

New York Times In ' Black Power !,' Art's Political Punch and Populist Reach New York Times A display in the Black Power ! exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a branch of the New York Public Library in Harlem. Credit Jonathan Blanc//Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.

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One Scholar On The Future Of Black Lives Matter09:47 – Here And Now

wbur Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, “Black Lives Matter” as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Capitol Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington. Black men from around the nation returned to the capital calling for changes in policing and in black communities. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) The Black Lives Matter movement originated as an organization to combat police violence but has morphed into an organization for civil rights issues. How does it compare to the civil rights movement, and the Black Power movement of the 1960s? Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Peniel Joseph(@penieljoseph), a scholar of African-American history and professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin,about his cover story for the New Republic, “Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters.” On how Black Lives Matter compares tothe civil rights and Black Power movements “I think it straddles really both movements, but it’s more comparable to Black Power than civil rights. That’s primarily because BLM movement has a structural criticism of racism. So, they’re not just criticizing the justice system. They’re making a claim that the justice system in the United States is connected to unemployment, public school segregation, environmental racism and inequality. So its just basically the police are the tip of a larger iceberg of systemic oppression. What makes them so interesting is this notion of intersectionality. The three cofounders of that hashtag were all black women, feminist and queer identified. When we think about BLM, they’re really the first movement coming out of that civil rights, Black Power, black liberation struggle that places gender, sexuality, youth, poverty at the core of that movement for social change.” On women in historical black rights movements and Black Lives Matter “The Panthers and the wider Black Power movement, and when we think about civil rights as well, deeply implicated in systems of patriarchy and sexism and misogyny against women. With that being said, black women were also key organizers of both the civil rights protests and also Black Power. Here, with BLM being so decentralized, you’ve had black women share the spotlight and take the lead in terms of both organizing the actions and disruptions of the BLM. So, it’s really a change for the better, I would argue, when you have black women at the forefront of the leadership, but also when we think about the theoretical foundations of the leadership. They’re thinking about black women being head of single-parent households in the United States. They’re thinking about black women and rates of incarceration, the wealth gap between black and white women and the income gap, which is very important because black women are the major voters within the African-American community. They’re the major breadwinners. They’re the major people who raise the young black boys and young black men who are often victims of police violence.” “When we think about the BLM movement, they’re both taking the civil disobedience tactic nonviolently from that civil rights struggle, but they’re ratcheting up by calling for a systematic, wide change.” On how Black Lives Matter is more closely related to Black Power than the civil rights movement “King is initially a reformer, and he becomes a political revolutionary. And in a way, except for adhering to nonviolence, he really starts to have a structural criticism against Vietnam, militarism, racism, human rights violations. When we think about the BLM movement, they’re both taking the civil disobedience tactic nonviolently from that civil rights struggle, but they’re ratcheting up by calling for a systematic, wide change. Their tactics have also been very disruptive, in line with the Black Power period. When we think them shutting down highways, some people were very supportive of that, but it’s to the chagrin of others. There were Black Lives Matter rallies that were disrupting the status quo on college campuses. They were even disrupting people’s brunch in New York City and other cities to the chagrin of many yuppies and buppies and elites of all stripes. So when we think about the BLM, it’s really about both that structural critique and the robust, in-your-face tactics that they’re using.” On the movements decentralization of leadership “That’s a good thing in that they’re very similar civil rights organizing vis-a-vis the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Their nickname was SNCC, and when we think about SNCC, we associate them by 1966 with Stokely Carmichael and the call for Black Power. But initially, they were founded by Ella Jo Baker, whos an activist from North Carolina, a feminist, a trade unionist and really one of the most important organizers of the 1960s. And she tells the young people not to be hijacked or come under the thumb of any of the older leadership. Even though Ella Baker’s around 60 at this time, she’s making an argument that decentralized leadership is better than having one central political mobilizer like King, who the movement sort of rises and falls with. So, when we think about the BLM movement, what’s so great about the dozens of chapters that they have is that there isn’t one person who’s leading all of this. That makes it harder for media to identify and set up neat narratives with the movement. But I think that it means that the movement’s going to be much longer lasting because we actually have people doing work and organizing, and it’s not a top down hierarchical leadership structure. “And we’ve seen that through BLM and the Movement for Black Lives policy agenda that was published last summer that talked about ending the war against black people, divesting from criminal justice institutions that incarcerate and lead to mass incarceration and investing in black youth in neighborhoods and communities. I would say we do have several young activists who people know who they are, including Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, DeRay McKesson and others, who are organizing and young people know who they are. But it’s just not the top-down celebrity culture that we saw in the context of the 1960s and ’70s. And remember that also it didn’t work. Very, very famous people didn’t lead to the kind of substantive transformation that people had hoped for because if it had, we wouldn’t have the need for BLM movement 50 years later in 2017.” On what he’d say to people who think the pendulum has swung too far fromgovernment standing up for law enforcement “Well, I’d say that’s absolutely the wrong perspective because the BLM movement really illustrated the depth and breadth of structural racism and state violence through law enforcement against African-American, against Latino and, at times, poor white communities in the United States. If anything, we need dramatic and radical reform that actually goes beyond what Obama’s Justice Department politically could achieve. We have to change and transform this whole society. And in that way, they do go back to Dr. King and when King talked about a bitter and beautiful struggle for social and political change.” This segment aired on April 5, 2017.

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John Ridley defends casting Indian actor Freida Pinto in British … – International Business Times UK

Oscar-winning director John Ridley has explained his decision to cast Indian actress Freida Pinto as the lead protagonist in his new drama, Guerrilla. Speaking at the London premiere of the six-part series which explores what it meant to be an activist within the British Black Power movement of the 1970s Ridley, said that “people that are involved with this show are the most reflective cast and crew you will find anywhere.” The 51-year-old filmmaker, who has been married to his Japanese wife Gayle for 17 years, faced strong questions about race during a post-screening Q&A, with some audience members raising their concerns about what they described as “the erasure of black women”. In the London-based drama, Pinto, who rose to prominence after starring alongside Dev Patel in 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, plays Jas Mitra a nurse turned activist who along with her husband Marcus (Babou Ceesay) liberates a political prisoner and forms a radical underground cell. She is at the forefront of the struggle against a racist police force and the oppression faced by minorities. Guerrilla explores what might have happened had the original Black Power movement used violence and also reminds viewers of the contribution the Asian community made to Britain’s ‘forgotten history’. “It is a question that people have asked and perhaps a question I would have asked, and did, prior to educating myself on the circumstances that happened in this country,” said Ridley. “I cannot entertain a dialogue about whether the lead character should have been black or Asian. The lead character for this show should be a strong woman of colour.” Ridley, who took home the Best Screenplay award at the 2014 Academy awards for 12 Years a Slave, said the mini-series touches on issues of black oppression, police brutality and interracial dating, issues which still resonate till today. He believes it a very appropriate time to hark back to the movement’s routes. Though fictional, Guerrilla is rooted in the realities of an era. “[If] you understand the struggles of that time period, those elements are not made up. Those are real. So if it’s difficult for anybody to understands or accepted easily then I feel I have done my job.” Luther actor Idris Elba stars and also serves as an executive producer for the miniseries, which will air on Sky Atlantic from Thursday, 13 April 2017.

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One Scholar On The Future Of Black Lives Matter – WGCU News

The Black Lives Matter movement originated as an organization to combat police violence but has morphed into an organization for civil rights issues. How does it compare to the civil rights movement, and the Black Power movement of the 1960s? Here & Nows Robin Young speaks with Peniel Joseph(@penieljoseph), a scholar of African-American history and professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin,about his cover story for the New Republic, Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters. On how Black Lives Matter compares tothe civil rights and Black Power movements I think it straddles really both movements, but its more comparable to Black Power than civil rights. Thats primarily because BLM movement has a structural criticism of racism. So, theyre not just criticizing the justice system. Theyre making a claim that the justice system in the United States is connected to unemployment, public school segregation, environmental racism and inequality. So its just basically the police are the tip of a larger iceberg of systemic oppression. What makes them so interesting is this notion of intersectionality. The three cofounders of that hashtag were all black women, feminist and queer identified. When we think about BLM, theyre really the first movement coming out of that civil rights, Black Power, black liberation struggle that places gender, sexuality, youth, poverty at the core of that movement for social change. On women in historical black rights movements and Black Lives Matter The Panthers and the wider Black Power movement, and when we think about civil rights as well, deeply implicated in systems of patriarchy and sexism and misogyny against women. With that being said, black women were also key organizers of both the civil rights protests and also Black Power. Here, with BLM being so decentralized, youve had black women share the spotlight and take the lead in terms of both organizing the actions and disruptions of the BLM. So, its really a change for the better, I would argue, when you have black women at the forefront of the leadership, but also when we think about the theoretical foundations of the leadership. Theyre thinking about black women being head of single-parent households in the United States. Theyre thinking about black women and rates of incarceration, the wealth gap between black and white women and the income gap, which is very important because black women are the major voters within the African-American community. Theyre the major breadwinners. Theyre the major people who raise the young black boys and young black men who are often victims of police violence. Array On how Black Lives Matter is more closely related to Black Power than the civil rights movement King is initially a reformer, and he becomes a political revolutionary. And in a way, except for adhering to nonviolence, he really starts to have a structural criticism against Vietnam, militarism, racism, human rights violations. When we think about the BLM movement, theyre both taking the civil disobedience tactic nonviolently from that civil rights struggle, but theyre ratcheting up by calling for a systematic, wide change. Their tactics have also been very disruptive, in line with the Black Power period. When we think them shutting down highways, some people were very supportive of that, but its to the chagrin of others. There were Black Lives Matter rallies that were disrupting the status quo on college campuses. They were even disrupting peoples brunch in New York City and other cities to the chagrin of many yuppies and buppies and elites of all stripes. So when we think about the BLM, its really about both that structural critique and the robust, in-your-face tactics that theyre using. On the movements decentralization of leadership Thats a good thing in that theyre very similar civil rights organizing vis-a-vis the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Their nickname was SNCC, and when we think about SNCC, we associate them by 1966 with Stokely Carmichael and the call for Black Power. But initially, they were founded by Ella Jo Baker, whos an activist from North Carolina, a feminist, a trade unionist and really one of the most important organizers of the 1960s. And she tells the young people not to be hijacked or come under the thumb of any of the older leadership. Even though Ella Bakers around 60 at this time, shes making an argument that decentralized leadership is better than having one central political mobilizer like King, who the movement sort of rises and falls with. So, when we think about the BLM movement, whats so great about the dozens of chapters that they have is that there isnt one person whos leading all of this. That makes it harder for media to identify and set up neat narratives with the movement. But I think that it means that the movements going to be much longer lasting because we actually have people doing work and organizing, and its not a top down hierarchical leadership structure. And weve seen that through BLM and the Movement for Black Lives policy agenda that was published last summer that talked about ending the war against black people, divesting from criminal justice institutions that incarcerate and lead to mass incarceration and investing in black youth in neighborhoods and communities. I would say we do have several young activists who people know who they are, including Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, DeRay McKesson and others, who are organizing and young people know who they are. But its just not the top-down celebrity culture that we saw in the context of the 1960s and 70s. And remember that also it didnt work. Very, very famous people didnt lead to the kind of substantive transformation that people had hoped for because if it had, we wouldnt have the need for BLM movement 50 years later in 2017. On what hed say to people who think the pendulum has swung too far fromgovernment standing up for law enforcement Well, Id say thats absolutely the wrong perspective because the BLM movement really illustrated the depth and breadth of structural racism and state violence through law enforcement against African-American, against Latino and, at times, poor white communities in the United States. If anything, we need dramatic and radical reform that actually goes beyond what Obamas Justice Department politically could achieve. We have to change and transform this whole society. And in that way, they do go back to Dr. King and when King talked about a bitter and beautiful struggle for social and political change.

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Why Black Lives Matter Still Matters – New Republic

Black Power inspired sweeping changes in American literature, art, and poetry; created a new wave of black scholarship in higher education; and helped elect two generations of black officials at every level of government. Without the consciousness-raising of the Black Power movement, there would likely be no King holiday or Black History Month, no movements to end mass incarceration or apartheid, no free breakfasts in public schools (an outgrowth of hot-meal programs launched by the Black Panthers), no black studies programs at Harvard and other major universities, no Do the Right Thing or Lemonade, no Barack Obama. Like BLM, which was born in the wake of widespread incidents of police brutality, Black Power came of age in the violent racial landscape confronted by civil rights activists. If Martin Luther King presented himself as a shield capable of defending the black community from the evils of racial segregation, Malcolm X entered the world stage as a sword capable of defeating a Jim Crow system that excluded and brutalized black Americans. Message to the Grassroots, Malcolms historic speech in Detroit in November 1963, offered a blueprint for a black revolution, one sophisticated enough to recognize white supremacy as a national issue, rather than a regional concern, and bold enough to deploy radical strategiesincluding armed self-defense and political self-determinationto defeat it. The Fire Last Time An elite police squad was supposed to clean up the streets of 1970s Detroit. Instead, it terrorized African Americans, and turned the city into a battleground. By Mark Binelli Professor Carnage Dave Grossman teaches police officers to think like “warriors.” But is the rise of a militarized mindset turning black citizens into targets? By Steve Featherstone Publishing on April 17 The movement gained its name three years later when Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), a Trinidad-born student activist who became a leader among the Freedom Riders and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, gave a speech in Greenwood, Mississippi, calling for Black Power. To Carmichael, Black Power was a call for radical self-determination: social, political, economic, and cultural. Black people, he insisted, had the right to define the framework of racial oppressionand the tools to combat itfor themselves. A new society must be born, Carmichael insisted in one of his most important and powerful speeches, before 10,000 people at the University of California in Berkeley. Racism must die, he said, and economic exploitation of nonwhites must end. He then posed a fundamental question that BLM activists implicitly continue to ask: How can white society move to see black people as human beings? The Black Panther Party answered this question with a vengeance. Inspired by Malcolm X, anti-colonial movements in Africa and Latin America, and an eclectic reading of Marxist-Leninism and the literature of Third World revolution, the Panthers (whose leadership at times veered toward authoritarianism and violence) deliberately cut a combative posture to strike fear in white Americans. But like BLM, the group quickly expanded its initial focus on police brutality to embrace a ten-point program that called for the radical transformation of American democracy. Within a year of their founding, the Panthers ended their armed surveillance of white police officers, and created local chapters in poor black neighborhoods that provided free breakfasts, health care, legal and housing aid, drug rehab, and transportation to visit relatives in prison. Equally important, the groups revolutionary politics evolved into a full-blown anti-imperialist framework that connected racism and economic injustice at home with Americas wars in Vietnam and beyond. Like the Panthers and others in the Black Power movement, BLM rose to prominence in a landscape of police violence and entrenched racism. The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 by Opal Tometi, Patrice Cullors, and Alecia Garza, three queer, black activists who were outraged at the acquittal of the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old black Trayvon Martin. BLM evolved into a full-fledged movement during the urban rebellions in Ferguson in 2014 and Baltimore in 2015. Those political uprisings, like the larger conflagrations that spread throughout America during the long, hot summers from 1963 to 1969, represent a direct confrontation of institutional racism and economic injustice. But BLM has moved beyond many of the blind spots and shortcomings of its predecessors, embracing the full complexity of black identity and forging a movement that is far more inclusive and democratic than either the Panthers or civil rights activists ever envisioned. Many of its most active leaders are queer women and feminists. Its decentralized structure fosters participation and power sharing. It makes direct links between the struggles of black Americans and the marginalization and oppression of women, those in LGBTQ communities, and other people of color. It has made full use of the power and potential of social media, but it has also organized local chapters and articulated a broader political agenda. Last summer, following critiques that they had failed to put forth specific demands, BLM activists and affiliated organizations published The Movement for Black Lives, a detailed and ambitious agenda. Divided into six parts, it includes a host of interconnected demands: a shift of public resources away from policing and prisons and into jobs and health care, a progressive overhaul of the tax code to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth, expanded rights to clean air and fair housing and union organizing, and greater community control over police and schools. More detailed than the ten-point program issued by the Black Panthers, the BLM policy agenda offers a remarkably pragmatic yet potentially revolutionary blueprintone that it aims to implement through the concerted use of both protest and politics. Unlike the activists of the civil rights era, those in BLM do not feel forced to make an either/or choice about which model of black liberation struggle they follow. Instead, BLM has merged the nonviolent civil disobedience of the civil rights movement with the radical structural critique of white supremacy and capitalist inequality articulated by Black Power activists. Indeed, the decentralized organizational philosophy of BLM most closely mirrors that of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Founded in the aftermath of the sit-in movement that swept the South in 1960, SNCC became the most important grassroots social justice organization of the era. It served as a convergence point for several overlapping, at times contradictory, political tendencies. Christian pacifists, black nationalists, liberal integrationists, black and white feminists, and peace activists were all, at various points, a part of the group, which successfully straddled the competing models of black identity advocated by the civil rights and Black Power movements. Like SNCC, BLM embraces what we now call the intersectional nature of black identity. By placing the lives of trans and queer black women, young people, and the poor at the center of its policy agenda, the group has enlarged our collective vision of what constitutes membership in the black community. In doing so, it has expanded the terrain of what it means to be human in a society that has, since its inception as a democratic republic founded in racial slavery, insisted that black lives were disposable. Whatever future success it achieves on the policy front, BLM recognizes that what Malcolm X called a struggle for black dignity has always traveled a path toward universal human rights. Freedom for black Americans, the group reminds us, ultimately means a better nation for all. Until the most marginalized among usthe trans teenagers traumatized by dehumanizing legislation, the Latina and queer youth with no access to HIV treatment, the single black women struggling to raise their children while holding down three jobsare recognized as part of our collective American family, we all remain imprisoned.

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April 6, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

The power of poetry – News-Press Now

Way Down South in Dixie, (Break the heart of me) They hung my black young lover To a crossroads tree. Way Down South in Dixie (Bruised body high in air) I asked the white Lord Jesus What was the use of prayer. Way Down South in Dixie (Break the heart of me) Love is a naked shadow On a gnarled and naked tree. I never knew poetry had power until I heard the above piece of work. Song for a Dark Girl by Langston Hughes, Strange Fruit, a poem song as sung by Nina Simone and Howl by Alan Ginsburg. Before then, I didnt know poetry had power. It was the cutesy sing-song stuff teachers had you recite in grade school. Catchy phrasing that stuck in your head but didnt stick in your soul like this new poetry. This new poetry spoke of the conditions of minorities, the underprivileged and the downtrodden in a way that no other medium could convey. Long before Grandmaster Flash put out a street rap called The Message, which spoke of the ills in the inner city, Gil-Scott-Heron and the Last Poets put anger to rhyme. Rhyme poems like The Revolution Will not be Televised, Winter in America, and Black People What Yall Gon Do? spoke to a burgeoning black consciousness in the 1960s. Nikki Giovanni is born of that passion. The Tennessee-born poet, activist and educator is a living legend who was a huge part of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement in the 1960s. Her poems like Balances, A poem for the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and Beautiful Black Men took on the issues of race and gender in a powerful and inspirational way. Poetry seems more important during time of uncertainty and unrest. Its always necessary, but it might be even more necessary today. Best-selling author, speaker and poet Roger Housden said in a recent Huffington Post essay that poetry calls forth our deep being. Its both necessary and dangerous. It opens our eyes and our doors and welcomes us to a bigger world. Poetry is a way of rescuing the world from oblivion by the practice of attention. It is our attention that honors and gives value to living things, that gives them proper name and particularlity; that retrieves them from the obscurity of the general, Housden wrote. April is National Poetry Month. Started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world. Schools, publishers, libraries and poets themselves celebrate the mediums place in culture. Missouri Western State University will do its part in helping citizens and students celebrate National Poetry Month tomorrow when Giovanni will be on campus to not only judge a poetry event but also speak on the craft. The event, called The Mochila Review Presents: In the Shadow of Nikki Giovanni, will take place at 7 p.m. tomorrow inside Missouri Western State Universitys Potter Hall theater. It is free and open to the public. It could inspire others to make poetry a force once again.

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April 6, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Nu Black Power Movement of South Bend plans ‘Peace Week’ events – WNDU-TV

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) The Nu Black Power Movement of South Bend is addressing youth violence through multiple “Peace Week” events. Leaders from the Nu Black Power Movement and the Fremont Park Youth Foundation met Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. The groups are trying to be proactive and get to the root of the problem of youth violence. They want to reduce violence by tackling poverty in the community. They say those two things are tied closely together. ‘We can learn, we can console each other, we can be angry, all of those things, but until we start getting to the root of the problem, we’re going to continue this cycle, and we know the problems really stem out of a deep need from our community,” explains Regina Williams-Preston, South Bend Common Council member from the 2nd district. Events include a movie screening, lectures, and a youth conference, and it all culminates in a march on Saturday. (Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the march was moved due to weather.) You can find more information at facebook.com/NuBlackPowerMovement

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April 4, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed


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