Friday, September 18, 2020
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Dr Maulana Karenga
Us’ 55 Years of Unbudging Blackness: Africa as Our Moral Ideal
September 17, 2020
Now the interrelated moral imperative to be ourselves and to free ourselves is intimately related to our commitment as advocates of Us to the principle and practice of unbudging Blackness and the deep-rooted and irreversible embrace of Africa as our moral ideal. To talk of our Blackness, again, is to talk not simply of our color, i.e., our appearance and genetic makeup, but also and most defining in distinctiveness, our culture and our self-conscious practice of it. In a word, Blackness at its core is about culture and consciousness and commitment to constantly maintain, cultivate and expand both without dismissing or diminishing respect for our color in its various shades as identifying attributes. ... read more »
Us’ 55 Years of Unbudging Blackness: Africa As Our Moral Ideal
September 10, 2020
Since I first conceived Us as a vanguard organization and called its founding meeting in the wake of the August Revolt and the martyrdom of Min. Malcolm X, we have been committed to three overarching and interrelated goals: cultural revolution, Black liberation and the radical reconception and reconstruction of American society. ... read more »
Garvey’s Whirlwind; Watts’ and Ferguson’s Fire: Signs and Obligations of Our Times – PART 2
August 27, 2020
Now, it is Min. Malcolm who said, “There are signs for those who would see,” those who look for signs of the times to understand where we are in history and “where we fit in the scheme of things” in the time in which we live, work and struggle. And if we read the signs rightly, every sign is an indication of obligation to understand and act in definitive ways. Thus, we cannot see and hear the whirlwind and not know the obligation Marcus Garvey left us as a legacy to free Africa and Africans everywhere. Nor can we see the transformative fires of today’s struggle or remember those of the past and not realize their significance as signs and obligations of fierce, righteous and relentless resistance. ... read more »
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Garvey’s Whirlwind; Watts’ and Ferguson’s Fire: Signs and Obligations of Our Times – PART 1
August 20, 2020
Part 1: In our awesome and exacting history in this country, the month of August is a time of remembering and recommitment to prophesies, promises and practices of whirlwind and fire. Indeed, it is good to remember and reflect deeply on the fact that, as a people, we were born, baptized and built up in the transformative waters, whirlwinds and fires of righteous and relentless struggle for liberation and inclusive good in the world. It has been a historic, heavy and ceaseless striving to free ourselves, be ourselves and create conditions for us and all to live lives of dignity, decency, development and flourishing. And now in this time of the pandemic COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic and pathology of oppression, of police violence and vicious systemic racism, we find ourselves pushed against another wall and defiantly pushing back in countless ways. Indeed, even when we do not realize it, we are the whirlwind and fire, the ongoing source and instructive symbol of critical transformative struggles in this country and the world.  ... read more »
“Recognizing Aurora as America Unmasked: No Exemption, Even For Our Children”
August 13, 2020
As the pandemic of COVID-19 continues to ravage our community and the country, the pandemic of the pathology of racist oppression continues to claim its victims among us also. And this is not only because of the inequalities in our life conditions, health access, working needs and circumstances, and other structural disadvantages, but also because Black people and other people of color remain targets of racist violence. One of the latest cases is from Aurora, Colorado, August 2, where the police targeted, stopped, terrorized and humiliated four Black girls and a mother, out to get their nails done at a salon. Not satisfied with drawing guns on the children, 6, 12, 14 and 17, causing them to fear for their lives and call for their mother and sister, the White officers, men and women, ordered them out of the car, handcuffed them, except the 6-year old, and forced them all to lay face down on the parking lot pavement. The repulsively transparent lie told for this unjustifiable act of targeting and terrorism was that the police mistook the family’s SUV for a stolen motorcycle with the same license plate number but from another state.  ... read more »
“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 »
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 »
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