Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Dr. Maulana Karenga
“Honoring Black Resistance in August: Pursuing Liberation thru Love and Struggle”
August 6, 2020
We come into this August conscious of its meaning as an honored month and central site of 400 years of righteous and relentless resistance. It is both a month and a monument to a series of significant events in our history: our arrival and beginning resistance in the U.S. (1619); the history-changing Haiti Revolution (1791); the audacious revolts of enslaved Africans led by Gabriel and Nana Prosser (1800) and Nat Turner (1830); and the critical founding of the Underground Railroad (1850) involving Nana Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and numerous other freedom fighters dedicated to increased resistance to the Holocaust of enslavement and the liberation of our people.  ... read more »
Resisting the White-Washing of Ethnic Studies: Keeping Color in Life and Learning
July 30, 2020
The Ethnic Studies requirement bill, AB 1460, which will reach Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk this week, will help determine not only the quality of higher education and campus life for decades to come in the CSU system. But it will also shape the quality of life conceived and built by students who will benefit from that education and use it to ground, enrich and expand their lives with mutually beneficial relations of learning, life, work and service. This bill, AB 1460, requires each graduating student to take ONE three-unit class in one of the Ethnic Studies disciplines – Native American, African American, Latino/a American and Asian American Studies. And all people who value the lives, learning needs, culture, history, intellectual traditions and life experiences of peoples of color and the indispensable and enriching contribution Ethnic Studies makes to creating an inclusive quality education should support this bill. Likewise, Governor Newsom should surely sign it when it reaches his desk.  ... read more »
Lifting Up Lowery, Vivian and Lewis: Living the Legacy, Freeing the People
July 23, 2020
Clearly, there are several lessons to be gleaned from the legacy of these freedom warriors and workers for a new society and world. And the first is to rightfully locate them in Black history among their people, our people in the midst of an unfinished and ongoing Black freedom struggle. Indeed, there can be no correct understanding, appropriate appreciation or honest emulation of their lives and the lives of all those who preceded them and made them and us possible and of those who were their co-combatants, unless we place them all in the context of their people, our people, Black people and our struggle. ... read more »
Achieving Justice for George Floyd: Radically Reimagining and Rebuilding America
July 16, 2020
Indeed, it is a clear and constant given that if we are to achieve real justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and all the victims of this racist violent democracy called America, to paraphrase Min. Malcolm, then we have two interrelated objectives that must be achieved. They are: radically reimagining and rebuilding America; and sustaining the struggle on every level which will make this possible. And key to all of this is holding the ground we’ve gained, building on what we have and fighting fiercely to move forward, day by day, year by year and battle by battle until victory is clearly won. ... read more »
Taking Down Flags and Tearing Down Walls: Some Seriously Needed Distinctions
July 9, 2020
This is a revisiting of an ongoing conversation beginning in 2015 about taking down symbols of oppression, especially Confederate flags, but also statues, murals and all public signs, symbols and celebrations of our domination, deprivation and degradation as a people and other people of color. My argument here, as then, is that these acts are necessary, but not sufficient, an important start, but not the end of the long, difficult and dangerous journey to a radical reconception and reconstruction of the source of these racist symbols, signs and celebrations, i.e., society itself.   ... read more »
Questioning the Country with Frederick Douglass: Judgment, Not Joy on July 4th
July 2, 2020
If we are to honor and rightfully appreciate our history and struggle to liberate ourselves and expand the realm of freedom and justice in this country, we must stand with Frederick Douglass at Rochester, New York in 1852, at every Fourth of July celebration. To stand with Douglass on this day is not only to read, discuss and study his July 4th speech, but to join him then and now and afterward in questioning and critical judgment of society. Indeed, this calls for questioning and rejecting celebration of a myth of an inclusive freedom that doesn’t exist, a society still deformed and ruined by racism and the practice of an infantile, mindless and immoral patriotism which requires forgetting one’s own oppression and that of others to be a part of this madness.  ... read more »
Righteous and Relentless Struggle: Again, Reflections on the Principle and Practice
June 25, 2020
Even without understanding it in the depth that would come later, we were in, 1965, a new generation building on centuries of sacrifice and struggles of all those who preceded us, those who cleared firm and sacred ground on which we stood and still stand and who opened essential and upward ways on which we would continue the unfinished struggle for liberation and ever higher levels of human life. ... read more »
Maintaining the Meaning of Juneteenth: Staying Focused on Freedom
June 18, 2020
The celebration of freedom is to be encouraged and applauded everywhere and all the time, and the celebration of Juneteenth, June 19th as Emancipation Day, is, of necessity, no exception. For freedom is so essential to our lives, our concepts of ourselves and our understanding of what it means to live and flourish as human beings. In this context, Min. Malcolm X makes freedom the most essential value in his ethical insistence on freedom, justice and equality as non-negotiable needs and rights of the human person. Thus, he states that “freedom is essential to life itself” and equally, “freedom is essential to the development of the human being.” Moreover, he says, “if we don’t have freedom we can never expect justice and equality.” For “only after we have freedom, does justice and equality become a reality.”  ... read more »
Achieving Justice for George Floyd: Radically Reimagining and Rebuilding America
June 11, 2020
Part 1. The transformative fires and formations of revolt and rebellion have reached around the world in rightful resistance to police violence against Black men, women and children and against the system of savage racism which fosters, facilitates and sanctions it at virtually every level of social life. In North America, the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Asia, Western Asia (Middle East), the Islands of the Seas, Australia and Europe, the rallying and battle cries of “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” and “No Justice No Peace” are raised and heard in powerful, unavoidable and transformative ways.  ... read more »
Reigniting Ferguson’s Fires of Resistance: Reaffirming Our Right and Will to Breathe
June 4, 2020
The racist public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has now added to a list of recent and historical victims of police violence and racist terrorism, including Devon Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arberry, Tamir Rice, Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile and numerous others. And as our people rise up in massive resistance seeking justice for these Black men, women and children, martyred on the altar of White supremacy, they serve as bright lights and fierce fires lifted up to show the way forward in struggle. Indeed, they call on us to intensify and continue the struggle against the radical evil of these murderous police and vigilante practices and against the savage system which sanctions and supports them and other related forms of oppression. And we owe it to ourselves and to our martyrs to continue the intensified struggle, keep the faith and hold the line until victory. ... read more »
Message from Minister Malcolm on ALD: Silencing the Guns of Pandemic Oppression
May 28, 2020
Our annual reflective and resistance-focused celebration of the birth and life of Min. Malcolm X, May 19th and African Liberation Day, May 25th, finds us confronting an especially dangerous, difficult and demanding time. It is a taxing time of dealing with two global interrelated challenges: the pandemic of COVID-19 and the pathology of oppression in which this virus and other natural diseases and social sicknesses are rooted and replicated. Indeed, the pathology of oppression is a pandemic itself, i.e., a world-wide disease or social sickness clearly harmful to human life and even the well-being of the world. ... read more »
Larry Aubry, Lying Down Like a Hill: Still Having Height, Always Pointing Upward
May 21, 2020
It is the sacred wisdom of our ancestors that a great person lies down in death like a hill, still having height and always pointing the way upward, constantly calling us to the upward paths of our best ideas, values and practices as persons and a people. And so it is with our beloved and honored brother, Larry Aubry, an all-seasons soldier and uncompromising servant of his people, who made transition and ascension, Saturday, May 16, 2020 (6260), and now sits in the sacred circle of the ancestors, among the doers of good, the righteous and the rightfully rewarded. ... read more »
Honoring Our Mothers With Our Lives: Lessons of Love, Life and Struggle
May 14, 2020
This is a special Mother’s Day Message delivered at our Sunday Soul Session and dedicated to all our mothers, but especially to our mother. The mother I share with our brothers and sisters. ... read more »
Summer Will Not Save Us: Faultlines, Battlelines, Affirmation and Resistance
May 7, 2020
In this winter of pandemic devastation and an ice cold lack of official focus, concern and actions to address our unequal suffering and disproportionate number of deaths, there is talk of summer possibly lessening the overall impact of the virus. But even a lessening of the overall impact of the virus does not mean we will benefit equally or similarly by it. For like all the other trickle-down, “rising tide and lifting all boats pablum,” it does not recognize that equal effect requires equal capacity and conditions which we lack. Moreover, we know our problems of health and life are not seasonal, but social.   ... read more »
Madcapping and Conning with Trump: Feeding Americans Addiction to Illusions
April 30, 2020
Nurturing and asserting the narrowest and most degraded forms of individualism, they find it difficult to feel for others, delay gratification and think seriously about the consequences of their actions and those of their monster mentor. Afterall, Trump has assured them he needs no mask, argued early that the virus was a hoax, dismissed it for months and made no national preparations for it. Instead, he has offered them safety and salvation behind apartheid walls, bans on Muslims, Africans - Continental and Caribbean, Latinos and Asians, imprisoning and packing immigrants together in unsanitary and disease producing conditions, and urging them, his followers, to rush into the streets and rage against restrictions and rules instituted to save lives, including their own. ... read more »
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