Saturday, November 16, 2019
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Dr. Maulana Karenga
Focusing on Freedom with Harriet Tubman: Enduring Advice on Relentless Resistance
November 14, 2019
Indeed, for her, freedom meant more than seeking and finding a comfortable place in oppression and letting those who would and could follow you. That is why, having escaped form enslavement, she could only feel free and happy for a brief while and was thus compelled to turn around and bring all she could out of bondage so that they could enjoy the collective and inclusive freedom both she and they needed. For she tells us that all the people she loved and knew and who suffered and longed for freedom were back in the belly of the beast, fighting daily against the deadening, debilitating and acidicly corrosive and erosive effects of the Holocaust of enslavement, and she was determined and duty-bound to liberate them. ... read more »
Remembering Times of Revolution and Revolt: Recapturing the Spirit, Pursing the Practice
November 7, 2019
It was a fundamental teaching and central source of battlefield talk, derived and discussed in the Sixties about the motion and meaning of history. There are, we assumed and argued with no small amount of certainty, two tendencies in history, that which is rising, grounding itself and growing stronger and that which is dying, decaying and passing away. And we defiantly declared that we and other oppressed and struggling peoples of this country and of the world belong to that rising tide of history. Likewise, we asserted with equal surety that oppressors of all kinds—racists, colonialists, capitalists, imperialists—and their lackeys, collaborators, hirelings, henchmen and handmaidens, belong to the declining side of history. And they would eventually be defeated, and freedom and justice for all would emerge and triumph in the world. ... read more »
Trump’s America By Dawn’s Early Light: Notes on Lynching, Lying and Seeking Justice
October 31, 2019
Pushing back the thick fog and fumes of the putrid propaganda of White supremacist triumphalism, what can we really see and sing by the dawn’s early light except Trump’s deformed and deficient conception of America unmasked? For all the hype, hustle and hypocrisy around “making America great again," it presupposes an imaginary past void of its victims and of the violence, genocide, enslavement, segregation and other forms of decimation and oppression they suffered. And such a deficient and dishonest vision also fails to confront the contradictions obvious and oppressive in the lived conditions of current daily life in America. For surely there is no greatness in greed and no virtue or bravery in creating and indicting victims; no freedom, justice or honor in oppression, imperial aggression and betrayal of allies; and no pride to be praised in corporate plunder and predation against vulnerable others and the earth. ... read more »
Righteous and Relentless Struggle: Reflections on the Principle and Practice
October 24, 2019
(Remembering, reflecting and recommitting.) We cannot say it too often, stress it too much and certainly must never downplay in any way the definitive, determining and decisive role the principle and practice of righteous and relentless struggle have played in the self-conception, ... read more »
Essential Teachings of Messenger Muhammad: A Careful Kawaida Reading
October 17, 2019
In re-remembrance and reflection on the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s contribution to our self-consciousness and self-assertion as a people in that critical time of turning and overturning we call the Sixties.This is a careful Kawaida reading of some of the essential teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in rightful remembrance and respect of his life and work in the wilderness of oppression and illusion in this country, in this the month of his birth, (October 7, 1897—February 25, 1975). ... read more »
Religionizing Racism: The Spectacle And Special Function of Black Forgiveness
October 10, 2019
Clearly, there are important lessons we may sadly learn from the spectacle of Black forgiveness in a recent Dallas court after a White policewoman, Amber Guyger, was convicted of the murder of a Black accountant, Botham Jean, in his home while watching TV and eating ice cream. After Guyger was found guilty and during the period for the victims’ impact statements, Botham’s brother, Brandt, declared his forgiveness, love and desire for leniency for his brother’s murderer. ... read more »
Homage to Fannie Lou Hamer: Womanist, Warrior and Way-Opener
October 3, 2019
This is a profoundly respectful re-remembering and raising up, an offering of word and water in tambiko, sacred offering to a most honored ancestor. ... read more »
Talk Freedom to the People: Framing Our Future in Struggle
September 26, 2019
In the fierce and inhuman face of oppression and unfreedom that we confronted in the Sixties, we stood up and declared and demanded of ourselves and others that we talk freedom to the people. And over five decades later, we have not abandoned, diluted or deviated from this indispensable ethical imperative and practice. For conditions of oppression and unfreedom remain even today and thus the fight remains unfinished and the struggle must continue, deepen and intensify. So, let us continue to talk freedom to the people. ... read more »
Us, Culture and Struggle: Ultimately Engaged and Achieved on the Ground
September 19, 2019
This is a sankofa retrieval of thoughts on an anniversary past that still reveals positions and principles as relevant and real as rain in monsoon season. And it is reflective of the deep and enduring commitment we of Us have to the priority of our people, opposition to our oppressor and oppression, and to a communitarian African way of life and thus to the unfinished and ongoing liberation struggle we must continue to wage to achieve this. ... read more »
Africa, Our Moral Ideal: Radical Reasoning About Ourselves and Our Culture
September 12, 2019
For it is on their tall shoulders we stand and look back into our past and forward into our future, extracting and applying the instructive lessons of their legacy. And it is in their long and sheltering shadows that we continue the legacy they left in the life-affirming and liberating ways we live our lives, do our work, and wage our struggle for liberation and good in the world. Indeed, as Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune taught us, our obligation is and must be a “ceaseless striving” and struggle for the Good for ourselves, others and the world. ... read more »
Us Reminiscing at Half Century and 4: The Architecture of Our Work and Will
September 5, 2019
On this our 54th anniversary, I remember and raise up the momentous marking of our 50th anniversary. I said then and reaffirm now with four added years this. September 7 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of our organization Us, the introduction of the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa and Kawaida philosophy), and the establishment of the African American Cultural Center. These signature events and initiatives in our history as an organization also have a unique history in the intellectual and political culture and history of our people. In fact, we would argue, with due modesty, that no other organization of the Black Power period of similar size, with no real budget and no hidden or exposed European hand, influencing or directing it, has had more impact on the political and intellectual culture of our people since the 60s. ... read more »
Remembering the Watts Revolt: A Shared Condition, Consciousness and Commitment
August 29, 2019
The Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Revolt occurs in the context of a larger history of Black struggle, sacrifices and achievements: the assassination, sacrifice and martyrdom of Min. Malcolm X; the Selma March; the Voting Rights Act; the founding of our organization Us and the African American Cultural Center; and the introduction of the Black value system, the Nguzo Saba, which became the core values of the pan-African holiday Kwanzaa and of Kawaida, a major Movement philosophy of life and struggle. ... read more »
Holocaust, Haiti, Ferguson and Watts: Honoring Our People Through Struggle
August 22, 2019
The month of August for our people is a special month, full and overflowing with commemorations of our awesome march and movement through human history in our ongoing quest for freedom, justice, expanded human good and the sustained well-being of the world. This year and month mark the 400thyear of our brutal insertion in this country, enslaved and in resistance. And so, we must mark it, not simply as the time of our beginning savage oppression, but also as the time of our resistance and forming ourselves into a community of struggle, righteous and relentless struggle to be ourselves and free ourselves and build the good society and world we all want and deserve to live in. ... read more »
Undiscussed Dimensions of Mass Killings: Transforming A Profoundly Sick Society
August 15, 2019
The recent open admission and general concession that the pretending president is a racist came with much reluctance and continuing reservation. For even with all his mean-spirited and harmful practices, and his garbage pitching and peddling, Trump is seen as serving White, corporate and Christian right-wing interests. Indeed, he is protected and promoted as the biblical King Cyrus, vice-ridden and vulgarly flawed but useful. Also, by some millenary evangelicals, he is seen as a god-sent biblical-like savior in a time of trouble and coming chaos. And for others, he represents a breath of strangely invigorating stale air reeking with the stench of an unadorned and undisguised racism, so cherished and championed by White supremacists. ... read more »
Undiscussed Dimensions of Mass Killings: Transforming A Profoundly Sick Society
August 8, 2019
We don’t have to be familiar with Frantz Fanon to concede that social conditions create, shape and even determine social consciousness. Nor do we have to be conversant with Kawaida philosophy to realize that ideas do not drop from the sky, grow from the ground or float in from the sea. They come from the society in which we live and learn to be and become the persons and peoples we are. Moreover, although there are numerous ideas which exist in society from which we may choose, the ruling ideas of any society are the ideas of those races, ethnicities, classes and elites which rule. And if we find them oppressive and unacceptable, we have the right and responsibility to resist and radically change them. ... read more »
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