The African community of St. Petersburg, Florida, led by the Uhuru Movement, erected a sign, renaming what was previously known as 18th Avenue to TyRon Lewis Avenue in honor of the 20th anniversary of the police murder of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis on October 24, 2016.
It was a sign embraced by the African community; the murder of TyRon Lewis still bearing relevancy. African people erected this sign without the permission from the city, exercising our right to be a self-determined people.
Unfortunately, but not at all by surprise, the city is planning to remove it after a letter sent by the police union has backed them into a corner.
The leader of the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association requested that the city mayor take the sign down because of its “negative symbolic purpose.”
He went on to say that the sign was a slap in the face to all law enforcement, that it upholds a criminal, and it represents thousands of dollars in property damage after the uprisings of the African community in 1996.
It’s repulsing to see the the article covered by white colonial media. Twenty years later it holds onto this narrative of lies, criminalizing TyRon Lewis even still, claiming that the car he was stopped in was stolen (though that was proved false), or that James Knight, the officer that killed TyRon, was thrust upon the hood after TyRon moved the car forward a tad, though no evidence proves this claim.
But that’s the reason they want it to come down. Because it brings the question of Lewis’ death back to the forefront. It exposes the lies of the police. It reminds them every day of the horrible crime they’ve committed.
They expected TyRon to be another piece of dead meat that they could just discard and the African community would remain mute. The erection of this sign is a clear indication that they were sadly mistaken.
They say we didn’t have permission to put this sign up, but we did get permission, from the African community. We made this decision because we understand that only we are going to uphold our martyrs. They say we didn’t get permission that’s why it has to come down, but there has never been an instance where the police have taken the lives of one of our fathers, mothers, children, etc. with our permission!
The city had first tried to sweep the sign under the rug, which the police union has called them out for. They then tried to shift the responsibility of removing the sign to the Department of Transportation, in which the police union also said was unacceptable.
So the city is now moving to remove the sign on Monday November 14th. But we will be conducting our own press conference, organizing the people to defend the sign! Taking down that sign is in direct violation of our right to be a self-governing people. The African community are the only people who get to decide how we memorialize our lost ones, not the state!
If you are local and want to defend the sign, attend our press conference on the corner of 16ht street and TyRon Lewis Avenue, Monday at 10:00am!
“Across the board there is a general sentiment among feminists that selecting Hillary Clinton as president is the best hope to save U.S. democratic process and champion their position that a woman—at the helm of U.S. imperialism—is equality. Despite this, Hillary has not escaped criticism from feminists, particularly self-identified black feminists who find it difficult to reconcile their urge to vote for Hillary against her track record of spearheading policy that has had a damaging impact on black people in the U.S. and abroad. But even as it is difficult to reconcile these two opposing positions, black feminists overwhelmingly resolve to vote for Hillary Clinton—as the “lesser of the two evils”—thereby casting their lot in with U.S. imperialism”
In no other election over the past 30 years has the feminist voice been stronger than in the 2016 U.S. presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
This is partly because the 2016 presidential race is the closest that a woman has ever gotten to being selected for the seat of U.S. president.
The other reason is because Trump’s positions on everything makes it nearly impossible for any self-respecting feminist to support his candidacy.
From immigration to reproductive health, Trump’s disparaging remarks made Hillary the frontrunner for feminist camps—primarily because she’s a woman.
Across the board there is a general sentiment among feminists that selecting Hillary Clinton as president is the best hope to save U.S. democratic process and champion their position that a woman—at the helm of U.S. imperialism—is equality.
Despite this, Hillary has not escaped criticism from feminists, particularly self-identified black feminists who find it difficult to reconcile their urge to vote for Hillary against her track record of spearheading policy that has had a damaging impact on black people in the U.S. and abroad.
But even as it is difficult to reconcile these two opposing positions, black feminists overwhelmingly resolve to vote for Hillary Clinton—as the “lesser of the two evils”—thereby casting their lot in with U.S. imperialism.
Despite the occasional sessions of intellectual masturbation that passes as “think pieces” or theory, feminism contributes nothing in the way of answers to solve the contradictions faced by African women.
Feminists have attempted to resolve this lack of analysis by creating dozens of iterations of feminism such as black feminism, radical feminism, intersectional feminism, anarcha-feminism, Marxist feminism and socialist feminism, which try to fill the gaping holes in feminist ideology that leave many African women unable to examine their own conditions, outside of feminist spaces.
The inability to use our history––from freedom to enslavement to colonization––to analyze the cold reality of our current material conditions make black feminists completely inept at solving the problems faced by African women.
Often their determination is for African women to entrench ourselves deeper into the capitalist system, siding with our oppressors as a means to usher in reform that almost never equals in the improvement of African women’s lives.
It ends up looking like voting for Hillary Clinton, a woman who has a track record in destroying black families through her support of the Crime Bill and the Adoption and Safe Families Act or her continued theft and exploitation of African people and resources in places like Haiti, the U.S. and Africa.
The final analysis is that feminism does not equal freedom or liberation for black women.
It does its best work in defining reasons why black women should distance ourselves from black men.
Whether it’s highlighting the falsehood that black men don’t get outraged or activated when black women and girls are killed by police or the rates at which black men murder their partners, feminism always focuses on patriarchy as the main issue and leaves imperialism unchallenged.
When these are the primary issues put before you, it is easy to think that white power is going to solve the problems faced by black women.
It’s easy to support so-called police reform, the U.S. presidency, the “injustice” system, U.S. or European military and NGOs that purport to protect the defenseless; and easy to unite with a white woman who has destroyed the lives of more black people than any black man.
This is what feminism does to African woman who are activated by injustice; it redirects us away from concluding that we need to be free and the thing that’s stopping our freedom is the U.S. imperialist state.
Freedom, pure unadulterated exhilarated freedom, is what black women can expect when we take on African internationalism as we worldview. It forces African people to center ourselves, look at our collective history and strategize our way to freedom, together.
It helps African women look at candidates like Trump and Clinton, and recognize that they are two sides of the same imperialist coin. No matter who wins, African people aren’t free.
With that realization we can end our stake in U.S. imperialism and begin to forge a path toward a free and liberated African people.
With this understanding, we can then expose the functions of State in its many different forms: police, education, child welfare, and welfare with laser sharp precision.
We can build principled strategy to dismantle anything that impedes the production and reproduction of African life like the National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination.
We can shape a future that is non-oppressive and inclusive of all sectors of the African nation.
And we can do this without siding with white power through imperialist elections. Instead we can vote for ourselves by voting for black power.
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It’s time to unite! It’s time for Africans to take back our power and create our own agenda. Join us in Washington, DC for the black people’s convention on November 5-6 and vote for Black Power.
The following is part one of three-part series of a transcribed speech which was made by Chairman of the Black is Back Coalition, Omali Yeshitela at the National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination Preparatory Conference. The conference was held by the Black in Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparation’s on August 17 and 18, 2016.
Here, Chairman Omali takes gives us an overview of the creation of the Black is Back Coalition. He outlines that the Coalition was created in response to the selection of Barack Obama as U.S. president.
Part two of our series will be available next Tuesday, November 1st.
First thing I want to do is introduce myself. I am Omali Yeshitela, I am the Chair of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. We are an organization that was begun on September 12, 2009.
We were organized in Washington, D.C. We were compelled to come together for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the election of Barack Hussein Obama some eight months prior.
It concerned many of the founders of the coalition that many people around the world and inside this country would be confused by the fact that imperialism—U.S. imperialism—historically categorized by white nationalism, rape and plunder of the non-white people around the world, would now have a black face.
We were concerned because there were people all around the world who have known of the struggle of our people historically and have recognized that we have always been on the side of social justice, and of peace. We have always been opposed to oppression, not only our own oppression, but oppression of the peoples around the world.
We have incidents historically where people who were fighting against U.S. imperialism would acknowledge publicly that they recognized that Africans in this country were not a part of the aggression of the United States government against their peoples.
Not an extraordinary example was in 1979 when the people of Iran rose up and overturned the government that was supported and put in place by the United States government––the Shah of Iran.
At that point, when they had captured the U.S. embassy, that they correctly categorized as a “nest of spies,” they offered the African people that were there an opportunity to leave because they recognized the historical relationship of our oppression to their own oppression and exploitation.
This has been something that was historically true and now, finally, we have this representative of white power who has a black face. He looks just like most of the oppressed peoples around the world but he’s carrying out a white nationalist agenda. So it became a real concern.
It became a concern because many of the people who we knew who had gained reputations in the past era of significant struggle as being against imperialism and, being against capitalism, and who called themselves “black nationalists,” and “socialists” and sometimes “black communists,” as well as those who stated that they were a part of the movement for social justice were deeply in the camp of Barack Hussein Obama. They revealed that they were against an oppression as long as it came in a white face.
But the arrival of Obama seemed to suggest to many of them who saw the election of Barack Hussein Obama as a path forward for aspiring African petty bourgeois forces and they were deeply in his camp.
We had a situation where many Africans throughout this country were in a state of near- hysteria because of the election of Barack Hussein Obama.
There were several of us who felt like it was absolutely necessary for our community to make a profound statement. It didn’t matter to us what color the representative of white power happened to be.
It didn’t matter to us the color or gender––black, white, male, female––homosexual, heterosexual. Imperialism is imperialism and we had to make a statement that African people needed to know that it is permissible to be opposed to U.S. imperialism, even if it does have a black face.
So on September 12, 2009 in Washington D.C., we pulled together a meeting of several African groups and personalities and institutions that had demonstrated, many of them, in opposition to the direction of U.S. imperialism, even as it was articulated by Barack Hussein Obama.
We pulled together a meeting of people who came from the Muslim community that was being held in detention.
Africans and Muslims being held in detention throughout this country and then stuck on occupied Cuban territory––Guantanamo Bay. Many people who were just ordinary folk.
Interestingly, some of whom were actually supporters of Obama but who had real problems with his direction of U.S. policy––we came together and we created the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.
It was November 7th, where we called for a national rally, march on the White House and a conference in opposition to the Obama regime. It was in fact the first national mobilization against Barack Hussein Obama’s regime––African mobilization.
The Coalition holds that up as just an incredibly significant event. I think that we felt at the time that it didn’t matter if masses of people did support this guy, because we recognized that what we were dealing with, was the consequence that we’re still struggling to correct.
The Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s was crushed. With the assassination of Malcolm X, the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the destruction of the Black Panther Party––with the arrests of hundreds of people swept up off the streets of this country. The movement was replaced with charlatans and hustlers who were in bed with U.S. imperialism.
Time to time they led a liberal, religious rite that they call protest or something to that effect.
And so we had masses of people without the benefit of leadership. There was no Malcolm X, there was no effective Black Panther Party, there was no revolutionary organization that could provide leadership to the masses of our people.
So masses of people fell back on the Democratic party and its representatives and that which comes in various different forms and other liberal and middle class black leadership and the ruling class media.
And what that leadership told us was that the best thing that we had going for us was the fact that Barack Hussein Obama had been selected––and I say selected quite purposely––to become the new president of the United States.
The man who came to that seat with the largest amount of money contributed to the candidate from Wall Street than any candidate in history, who actually had something like a billion-dollar campaign fund, to put himself forward to the world and who won the majority of African people who were so tired of being described, by white power, by the bourgeois media, as incompetent, as being unable to even speak in clear sentences and what have you.
Africans had this vicarious and in many ways incipient, nationalist kind of response to the selection of Barack Hussein Obama. Africans voted for this man––it was important for African people to see this black man standing up with all of these white people being articulated in the face of them. Clearly seeming to be somebody through whom they could show the world that African people were competent.
So this vicarious relationship that we have with Barack Hussein Obama was something that swept the masses of African people into accepting the same imperialist policies that George W. Bush had put forward.
So the coalition came together. We called for the mobilization against Obama.
It was one of the things that helped to dwindle out forces who were incapable in speaking for the interests of black people when that interest was in black face.
Many people were driven to the coalition as Muslims because they were terrified of what was happening in this country because what the United States government had done to neutralize domestic opposition to U.S. foreign policy throughout the Middle East––where they were still killing and maiming people in occupied Palestine.
Where they were intent upon controlling the petroleum resources of the world, and in so doing, control the rest of the world including European imperialist allies through the war, the attack on Iraq and the overthrow and lynching of its president.
The war that was made against Afghanistan had a number of people who were terrified because they were having trials in this country where they were arresting people and refusing even to show them the evidence of any crime that had been committed.
People accepted this because they were easily buying the myth that was being put forth by the Bush regime and others, initially that it was alright to take away all of the democratic rights of the people in defense of what they would call, terrorism, that was coming from other peoples around the world.
So, right before, in public view, there was an ongoing process of actually stealing of basic democratic rights. This is not an empty discussion for African people. We talk about democratic rights and we do so while recognizing that even what is characterized as democracy in the United States, in this century, is something that was defined by the struggle of black people.
It was the Black Liberation Movement, it was the struggle of African people, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker, sharecroppers and the poor black people that made it necessary for the United States government to even conceive that black people should have any rights and democracy, should even have a broad reach throughout the general population.
So when we saw the United States government using any pretext to attack basic democratic rights, we understood immediately that it was not some abstract struggle that we were involved in but it was a struggle that reached deeply into the essence of freedom for African people and other oppressed peoples around the world. So, it was absolutely necessary for the coalition to intervene in this process.
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Watermelon is one of the superfoods that comes from Africa. This delicious and nutritious food is enjoyed all over the word, but many people don’t know it originated on the African continent. It is widely believed that watermelons originated in southern Africa. This vine like plant was cultivate by Africans in the Nile valley at least 5000 years ago. It might be just a coincidence that it shares the same red black and green colors of the African liberation flag, but let’s take a closer look at this favorite of young and old.
Through migration, trade and colonialism the watermelon has been introduced to the rest of the world. There are many varieties and cultivars of water melon, some with stripes, no stripes and dots. There are also seedless varieties and some with red, yellow, orange and even white flesh. Watermelon has been considered both a fruit and a vegetable. Many parts are used for food including the flesh, seeds, and rind. Juice and even wine can be made from the melon. Watermelons are 90% water and contain many nutrients. Vitamins A, B6, C,
Vitamins A, B6, C, lycopene and antioxidants are some of the nutrients contained in this nourishing food. In desert areas where watermelon grows wild both people and animals use it for water and nourishment. There are many reported health benefits that this food provides including, lowering blood pressure, being anti-inflammatory and improving erectile dysfunction. Watermelon known by many names:“inhabe” in Zulu, “elegede” in Yoruba, “nwiwa” in Shona, “tikitimaji”, in Kiswahili, and “Georgia Ham” in the southeastern U.S.
Like all of our Natural resource watermelon can be another tool used in the development and liberation of African people. With the correct infrastructure in place, Africans growing watermelons, in Jamaica, Mississippi, Brazil or Nigeria, could send fresh melons along with medicine and clean water to drought stricken areas where African people live. We could send the same, to places like Haiti when disaster strikes.
With the true African development Africans in parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic would be able to provide this relief. There are so many resources available to African people. With true development these resources can be used to benefit African People. Join AAPDEP so we can start to build real African development for African people.
Reparations. We demand reparations consistent with international norms regarding redress for crimes against humanity. This includes the enslavement, colonialism and apartheid from which we suffer up to today. The totality of the repair, according to international law, must include policies, programs and projects that cease ongoing racial crimes, offer restitution and returns us to wholeness, provides compensation that allows for a quality standard of life and individual and collective wealth creation, ensures satisfaction that returns our dignity and achieves rehabilitation for the heart, mind, body and spirit injuries resulting from the centuries of trauma and abuse.
“Neither charity, pity nor prayer will change the material conditions that have been imposed on our people. Only by consolidating the dispersed African Nation in our struggle for self-determination and self-government will we ensure our collective safety as a people whether in Haiti, New Orleans, in the Continent of Africa or any other place African people are located….Although charity is the most popular and accepted way of dealing with the objective conditions in Africa and African communities around the world, it often demoralizes Africans, the recipients as well as other Africans who witness it. Furthermore, charity does nothing to transform the dismal reality of African people, and instead often works as a cover for the imperialist-imposed root cause of the symptom the charity attempts to address.” – Dr. Aisha Fields, AAPDEP International Director
How many more Africans have to suffer before we decide to struggle for self-government? How many more African Countries have to be destroyed before we decide it’s time to unite and take back our resources? Well, Dr. Fields says it best in the above quote.
Join AAPDEP today and struggle for self-determination and self-government for All African People!
The United Nations’ refusal to accept responsibility for the devastating cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 9,000 lives in Haiti has been branded a “disgrace” by the organisation’s own human rights special rapporteur.
Human rights groups working with victims had reacted with jubilation earlier this year following the UN’s first tacit admission that it was to blame for the outbreak after doggedly refusing to address how its peacekeepers brought the disease to Haiti in 2010.
However, in a scathing report (pdf) to the UN general assembly, the organisation’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said that flawed and unfounded legal advice provided by the UN lawyers was preventing it from accepting responsibility for the outbreak.
“The UN’s explicit and unqualified denial of anything other than a moral responsibility is a disgrace,” Alston said. “If the United Nations bluntly refuses to hold itself accountable for human rights violations, it makes a mockery of its efforts to hold governments and others to account.”
Alston accused the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) for coming up with a “patently artificial and wholly unfounded legal pretence for insisting that the organisation must not take legal responsibility for what it has done”.
The criticism comes as the administration of the outgoing UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, is moving to provide compensation for the first time to victims of the outbreak. The UN plans to make cash payments from a proposed $400m (£328m) cholera response package, the New York Times reported.
Alston added that the OLA’s approach “has been cloaked in secrecy: there has been no satisfactory official explanation of the policy, no public attempt to justify it, and no known assessment of its consequences for future cases. This goes directly against the principles of accountability, transparency and the rule of law that the UN itself promotes globally.”
Peacekeepers who were relocated from Nepal to Haiti in 2010 in the wake of a major earthquake imported the deadly cholera bacterium with them. Studies have found that the UN troops could have been screened for the illness, and the disaster averted, for as little as $2,000.
Alston said the UN’s legal position appears to be largely explained by the approach of the US, the main contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping budget. “Despite numerous requests to do so, the United States itself has never publicly stated its legal position on the responsibility of the UN for causing cholera in Haiti,” he added.
“Instead, it seems to have pressed the UN to adopt the position frequently taken by lawyers in the US that responsibility should never be accepted voluntarily, since it could complicate future litigation. But this rationale is completely inapplicable to the UN, which enjoys absolute immunity from suit in national courts and whose reputation depends almost entirely on being seen to act with integrity.”
The special rapporteur said that the current stance of the UN’s lawyers ensures that it would never admit its responsibility for introducing cholera. “And avoiding legal responsibility hinders the UN from learning lessons and making sure that the fatal mistakes made in Haiti are not repeated elsewhere.”
Ban’s office said in a statement earlier this year that the organisation had decided to step up its efforts to fight cholera in one of the world’s poorest countries. A reference to the UN’s “involvement in the initial outbreak” was greeted as a breakthrough by groups working with cholera victims.
Ban appeared to have been bounced into making a clearer recognition of responsibility than ever before by the advent of a draft report by Alston into how the UN handled the crisis. Alston had also been one of five experts working for the UN who earlier this year wrote a heavily critical letter to Ban in which the secretary general’s resistance to accepting any responsibility was torn apart.
Houston is AAPDEP’s long-standing agriculture project and is currently still going strong today. If you are in the Houston area and are interested in helping to keep this project going, join AAPDEP and come out to the garden to lend a hand. This garden is here to provide for the community. Every helping hand matters. Let’s build the community, and be self-determined to do for ourselves. There is no better time than now. Here are a few pics of the garden and some of the comrades who are maintaining it. We are winning!
To those colonial and neocolonialist leaders, as well as parasitic organizations expressing concern for Africans in Haiti, we say “hands off of Haiti!” Hands off Haiti, hands off Africa and hands off Africans wherever we were forcefully displaced on this planet!
Free Haiti! Join AAPDEP Today!
AYITI––Over 850 (and counting) Africans lost their lives to Hurricane Matthew—a category four hurricane with sustained winds of 145 mph—on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Thousands are left homeless.
The hurricane hit Southern Haiti––“Le Sud”––one of Haiti’s ten departments. Cities in the South include Leogane, Petit-Goave, Jeremie and Les Cayes, all of which have been severely damaged by the raging waters. A key bridge in Ti Goave has been destroyed, keeping the most damages parts of southern Haiti isolated.
Prior to the hurricane, Port-au-Prince—the country’s capital—became a major safety concern. This is where the earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, killing hundreds of thousands of people, injuring at least 300,000 and leaving more than 1.5 million homeless.
When news first spread about the earthquake in 2010, people everywhere donated money to major charity organizations. The American Red Cross (ARC) and the Clinton Foundation were two of the organizations that received the most money, raising $500 million and over $30 million, respectively.
It was revealed that with half a billion dollars, the Red Cross only built six houses—if you can even call them that. The Clintons, on the other hand, pocketed the money and have no response to where the money has gone.
It has been six years since the earthquake and an estimated 55,000 Haitians are still living in tents. Disgustingly enough, both of these scamming organizations have asked for donations in response to Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti.
Rightfully so, they received heavy backlash from various people on social media. It’s clear to us that they see these disasters as just another ‘come up.’ This is why we Africans in Haiti must be able to exercise our right to self-determination and self-reliance!
Whenever colonial media speaks about Haiti, the first thing they mention is that Haiti is “the poorest country in the western Hemisphere,” without ever acknowledging why that is.
Africans in Haiti are still paying for our victory as the first successful revolutionary liberation struggle of African or oppressed people, in the world. Defeating three European superpowers—the English, Spanish and the French—the Africans in Haiti stunned the world when we took freedom into our own hands.
Since then, Haiti was to be made an example of to all other Africans. Haiti was forced—by the U.S., Britain and France—to pay reparations to France for its loss of property. The property were the Africans themselves!
Haiti paid France $90 billion in today’s gold prices. The payments took 122 years, ending in 1947. Haiti’s Africans face attack after attack, placed on us by the U.S. and its allies, making it nearly impossible for economic growth.
Some of these include the sugar quota placed in the 1980s, being forced to drop the tariffs on imported subsidized U.S. rice—a move made by Bill Clinton—and being forced to keep the minimum wage at $.24 an hour instead of raising it to $.61 an hour by Hillary Clinton in 2009.
Hurricane Matthew alone is not what took many African lives; the lack of proper infrastructure also played a major role. Many of the Africans are living in slums, in shack houses with corrugated pieces of metal as roofs.
Deforestation and the lack of a natural defense against aggressive weather is another thing that caused so many lives to be taken. Haitian farmers are cutting down trees to turn into charcoal to sell and raise resources, because of the various agricultural policies placed on us by imperialist powers to keep the economy from flourishing.
To those colonial and neocolonialist leaders, as well as parasitic organizations expressing concern for Africans in Haiti, we say “hands off of Haiti!” Hands off Haiti, hands off Africa and hands off Africans wherever we were forcefully displaced on this planet!
We call on all Africans to join the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), today! We Africans must be able to build to prepare for and protect ourselves against any natural disasters.
AAPDEP’s mission is “to collectivize the vast skills of Africans around the world in order to establish community-based development projects that improve the quality of life for African people everywhere while promoting self-reliance and self-determination as key to genuine,sustainable development.”
Donate to AAPDEP’s Black Ankh Project at www.DevelopmentForAfrica.org!