"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 6-30-19 guest Dr. William Rogers

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 6/30/2019 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) our guest was Educator, host of Black Reality Think Tank, Dr. William Rogers. Our discussion centered around the period of Reconstruction 1865-77 from an African Centered Perspective. We discussed some of the things our ancestors attempted to do Politically, Educationally, Economically, and see how that relates to our struggle moving forward.

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 6/09/2019 at 7:00 PM, guests was Activists, N.Y. Black Radio host, Keisha Forrester

Our guest was Sister Keisha, of the Straight Black Talk program out of N.Y. She highlighted her speaking in Philadelphia on the topic “One Hundred Years of Lynching Continued”, along with other hot topics that effect our community.

“Time For An Awakening” with Bro. Elliott, Sunday 6/02/2019 at 7:00 PM guests was Activist, Organizer, Bro. Brandon of the Ujima Peoples Progress Party.

We received an update from Bro. Brandon, of the initiatives currently in progress after the Statewide Convention of the Ujima Peoples Progress Party, that was held on May 11th 2019, and the need of our people to develop viable alternatives to the current political structure.

About the BE 100s Listing of the Largest Black-Owned Businesses

by  Selena Hill
June 26, 2019

From technology and manufacturing to food services and media, these companies represent the revenue and employment leaders of black business as well as its greatest innovators. Top 100 companies have also demonstrated economic impact by producing more than $25 billion in revenues and employed more than 70,000 workers.

FULL LIST

RANKCOMPANIESREVENUES ($M)
1World Wide Technology Inc.11,287.419
2Act 1 Group2,800.000
3Bridgewater Interiors L.L.C.1,969.340
4Coca-Cola Beverages Florida L.L.C.1,310.000
5Modular Assembly Innovations L.L.C.1,042.690
6Bridgeman Foods *870.000
7Thompson Hospitality Corp.760.000
8The Anderson-DuBose Co.702.856
9Urban One Inc.**440.041
10Hightowers Petroleum Co.434.265
11Fair Oaks Farms L.L.C.342.000
12Millennium Steel Service L.L.C.311.842
13Global Automotive Alliance Corp.274.800
14Millennium Steel of Texas266.023
15Adams Communication & Engineering Technology Inc.253.000
16Baldwin Richardson Foods Co.252.000
17Bird Electric237.890
18Georgetown Metal Processing L.L.C.235.000
19Devon Industrial Group L.L.C.234.000
20Salamander Hotels & Resorts212.727
21Harris & Ford L.L.C.206.000
22Health Resources Inc.204.283
23Trillion Communications Corp.191.000
24Diversant L.L.C.190.000
25H. J. Russell & Co.178.151
26Blue Spring Metals L.L.C.173.000
27Jackmont Hospitality Inc.165.900
28Sun State International Trucks L.L.C.148.500
29Chemico L.L.C.146.000
30James Group International Inc.138.000
31Systems Electro Coating L.L.C.131.175
32Powers & Sons Construction Co. Inc.118.070
33Advantage Living Centers***114.000
34PRWT Services Inc.108.747
35K. Neal Truck & Bus Center****103.500
36The Lewis Group L.L.P.101.858
37Epitec Inc.98.100
38Systems Automotive Interiors L.L.C.97.025
39Summus Industries Inc.96.910
40New Horizon Baking Co.†96.540
41MINACT Inc.94.569
42Mays Chemical Co. Inc.92.700
43Diversity Vuteq92.000
44V & J Holding Cos. Inc.89.000
45Engineering Design Technologies Inc.86.759
46Raven Transport Co. Inc.83.677
47All American Meats Inc.81.220
48Beauchamp Distributing Co.80.809
49Systems Application and Technologies Inc. (SA-TECH)79.000
50Neta Scientific Inc.76.625
51IMB Development Corp.76.000
52Harpo Inc.72.000
53Tolston Holding L.L.C69.450
54Arcade Travel Inc. ††69.287
55Parrish Restaurants Ltd.67.226
56Overland-Tandberg67.000
56The Client Base Funding Group Inc.†††67.000
58UJAMAA Construction Inc.65.000
59Benton-Georgia L.L.C.63.000
60Rocket Lawyer60.000
61C. D. Moody Construction Co. Inc.58.000
62MCLJASCO Inc. 52.336
63Frontier Development & Hospitality Group LLC51.000
64McKissack & McKissack50.000
64The Will Group50.000
66IAP Government Services Group/IAP Design Build L.L.C.††††46.000
67Oakland Consulting Group Inc.42.693
68TME Enterprises 1 Ltd.‡40.779
69w3r Consulting40.000
70Advanced Systems Development Inc.37.538
71General Microsystems Inc.36.800
72B & S Electric Supply Co. Inc.35.483
73Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Co.35.200
74Howard Stirk Holdings35.000
75Rickman Enterprise Group L.L.C.34.000
76Golden Krust Franchising Inc.‡‡ 32.702
77Brodie Contractors Inc.31.000
78TAG Holdings L.L.C.30.874
79JMA Solutions L.L.C.30.000
80TW Constructors L.L.C.28.900
81New England Greens L.L.C.‡‡‡24.300
82ChaseSource L.P.23.000
83Signature Packaging and Paper L.L.C.21.658
84Logistics Systems Inc.21.384
85DigiFlight Inc.20.970
86
TD4 Electrical L.L.C.
20.213
87Premier Management Corp.20.000
88Networking Technologies + Support17.279
89Bithgroup Technologies15.000
89Black Enterprise15.000
89Banneker Ventures L.L.C.15.000
92BCT Partners L.L.C.13.650
93Aire Sheet Metal Inc.12.100
94Mosaic Global Transportation Inc.11.474
95Skyline Industries LLC8.000
96Nursez R us 7.000
97The Roberts Cos.6.800
98Sudu Logistics Inc.5.800
99Cerulean Global Services L.L.C.5.000
100Castle Black Construction4.700

READ MORE AT: https://www.blackenterprise.com/be100s/top100/

The Storied History of the Black Press: ‘The Pillars of Black America’s Struggle for Justice’

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia

Since the founding of the Black Press 192 years ago, African American-owned newspapers have served their communities in ways that no other publications have.

Historically, these publications have operated on “shoe-string” budgets, are usually understaffed, and also face other severe limitations. Yet, the Black Press always has maintained its mission as the voice of Black America.

That tradition has held true through many transitions and has continued during the 79-year history of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). The NNPA is the trade organization representing America’s Black-owned newspapers and media companies. The organization’s members serve millions of readers that rely on the Black Press to provide content not regularly found in other media.

For many, the Black Press is just as essential to the culture of the community as the Black church.

“It is undeniable that the Black church and the Black Press have been, and continue to be, the foundational pillars of Black America’s long struggle for freedom, justice, equality and empowerment,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

“We know first-hand the power of the pen and we remain committed to helping to ensure and to mentor the next generation of freedom-fighting publishers, editors and journalists,” Chavis said.

On March 16, 1827, The Rev. Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm made history by publishing “Freedom’s Journal,” the nation’s first Black newspaper.

NNPA Chairman Dorothy R. Leavell, who publishes the Chicago and Gary Crusader newspapers, has often described “Freedom’s Journal” as courageous and she regularly cites the newspaper’s motto as one that remains a focus of the Black Press today.

“We wish to tell our own story,” Leavell said, quoting Russwurm and Cornish’s mission that, “for too long others have spoken for us, but we wish to tell our own story.”

Circulated in 11 states and in Europe, Canada and Haiti, “Freedom’s Journal” provided international, national and local details pertinent to the Black community. They denounced slavery and lynching and, among the many features that endeared the newspaper to its readers, were African American community-based marriage, birth and death announcements.

Soon, other Black-owned papers like the Savannah Tribune, The Afro-American in Baltimore, the Indianapolis Recorder, and The Philadelphia Tribune began publishing.

Those newspapers and others, like the Pittsburgh Courier, the New Journal and Guide in Virginia, and The Kansas City Call, have maintained the tradition and continue to deliver news and insights today.

The NNPA honors the history and legacy of the Black Press via The Black Press Archives and Gallery of Distinguished Publishers at Howard University.

Each year during Black Press Week in Washington, DC, a NNPA member is posthumously enshrined in the Archives and Gallery.

“It’s so important we remember our past and remember those whose shoulders we stand upon,” Chavis said.

As community-focused publishers, the news that appears in NNPA’s member publications affects the day-to-day lives of their readership. For example, in Dallas, Texas, where voters recently elected a new mayor, U.S. congressman and Dallas County District Attorney.

For many in Dallas’ African American community, these much-needed changes were underscored through the resilient coverage of the city’s Black-owned North Dallas Gazette, which for decades has provided some of the most in-depth coverage of local elections for a publication of its size.

“We regularly inform our readers on the bills and positions offered by our new congressman and last year, we featured several stories on criminal justice and bail reform,” said the paper’s publisher Thurman Jones.

Since its first issue nearly 50 years ago, the South Florida-based Westside Gazette has maintained the high level of professional, insightful and reader-sensitive reporting that has gained the trust and respect of South Florida’s African American community.

Two of its signature events – “Sweet Potato Pie, Politics and Ice Cream,” and “The White Hat Gala,” – have proven a hit throughout the Sunshine State.

“The ‘Sweet Potato Pie, Politics and Ice Cream’ event is where our politicians come out and actually serve the audience sweet potato pie and ice cream,” said Westside Gazette publisher, Bobby Henry.

“It’s really unique and it gives an opportunity for an intimate formal discussion with those who are vying for political position,” he said.

The “White Hat Gala,” counts as a fundraiser for Sickle Cell Disease.

The Toledo Journal Newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, has been publishing since 1975 and, like the content found throughout its pages, its slogan is an attention-grabber: “Everybody is Somebody in The Toledo Journal.”

“This has made a difference in making our Black community feel important,” said the newspaper’s publisher, Sandra S. Stewart.

“Over the years, we have had an impact in the areas of business, political, social, recreational, religious, and sports, in our community. So, our readers believe in us and know we are fair to our community,” she said.

The impact of the legacy, history and challenges met and overcome by members of the Black Press has not been lost on or squandered by today’s NNPA members. While the Black Press has expanded to include cities and communities throughout the country, including New York, Washington, South Carolina, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Texas, and California, member publishers have continued to live up to the civil rights mantra of “Soldiers without Swords.”

READ MORES AT: https://www.afro.com/the-storied-history-of-the-black-press-the-pillars-of-black-americas-struggle-for-justice/

Pentagon Admitted to Using Black Soldiers as Human Guinea Pigs in WWII

By David Love – June 24, 2015

Pentagon Guinea pigs

Black enlisted men were used as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments during World War II—not by Nazi Germany, but by Uncle Sam.

As was reported by NPR, 60,000 American soldiers were enrolled in a secret chemical weapons testing program in which they were exposed to mustard gas and the chemical agent lewisite, which causes lung irritation and blisters. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Defense conducted the tests based on the race of the soldiers. Black, Japanese-American and Puerto Rican soldiers were locked in a gas chamber and exposed to the chemicals. White soldiers were used as the control group.

“They said we were being tested to see what effect these gases would have on Black skins,” said Rollins Edwards, 93, of Summerville, S.C. “You had no choice. You did not know where you were going. They didn’t tell you anything.”

Edwards says his skin still falls off in flakes as a result of the testing. For years, the World War II veteran carried around a jar full of flakes to convince people that something had happened to him.

Although the Pentagon had admitted as early as 1991 that the Army tested mustard gas on enlisted soldiers during World War II—and the experiment program was officially declassified in 1993—news about the racial targeting of soldiers was kept under wraps until recently.

This revelation that the Army tested chemical weapons on soldiers of color is both troubling and an outrage, but the concept of Black people being used in medical and other experiments is by no means a new phenomenon. There are numerous examples of Black people being used as guinea pigs in unethical medical experiments. Perhaps the most well-known example is the Tuskegee experiment, in which the Tuskegee Institute and the U.S. Public Health Service studied the natural progression of syphilis in 600 Black men, who were never notified of their condition and were not treated. The tests, which began in 1932, did not end until news reports exposed the inhumane and racist practice in 1972.

But there are other cases beyond Tuskegee. For example, in the early 1800s, Sara Baartman, or “Hottentot Venus,” one of two KhoiKhoi women made into freak show attractions in Europe, was subjected to medical experiments. And modern gynecology was the result of torturous gynecological experiments that J. Marion Sims performed on enslaved women without anesthesia.

Rollins Edwards, who lives in Summerville, S.C., shows one of his many scars from exposure to mustard gas in World War II military experiments. More than 70 years after the exposure, his skin still falls off in flakes. For years, he carried around a jar full of the flakes to try to convince people of what happened to him. Source: AMELIA PHILLIPS HALE FOR NPR
Rollins Edwards, who lives in Summerville, S.C., shows one of his many scars from exposure to mustard gas in World War II military experiments. More than 70 years after the exposure, his skin still falls off in flakes. For years, he carried around a jar full of the flakes to try to convince people of what happened to him. Source: AMELIA PHILLIPS HALE FOR NPR

At the turn of the century, the U.S. Public Health Service conducted experiments on Black prisoners suffering from pellagra, which is a B-13 or niacin deficiency leading to sensitivity to sunlight skin lesions, dementia and death. In 1945, 53-year-old truck driver, Ebb Cabe, was injected with plutonium by the U.S. Atomic Agency after he was taken to the hospital and kept there for six months following a car accident. Cabe received 40 times the amount of plutonium—the key ingredient for a nuclear bomb—a typical person is exposed to over the course of a lifetime. He died eight years later of heart failure.

During the 1950s, the CIA and the U.S. military released half a million mosquitoes with yellow and dengue fever into Black Florida communities, leading to multiple illnesses and deaths. The government wanted to assess the use of mosquitoes as military weapons. Also in that decade, Henrietta Lacks became the first test subject on cloning, without her knowledge or permission, with 20 tons of her cells grown since her death.

During the 1950s and 1960s, poor Black St. Louis neighborhoods were used in Cold War experiments in which the Army, using aerosol blowers mounted on vehicles and rooftops, sprayed a radiation-laced toxin called zinc cadmium sulfide, a fluorescent powder. Thousands likely inhaled the toxins.

In the 1990s, children in Los Angeles were injected with an experimental measles vaccine unapproved by the FDA, and one which had developed a bad reputation for increasing high death rates in Haiti, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.

Between 2006 and 2010, 148 female prisoners in two California prisons—the majority Black and Latino— were sterilized without their consent. Meanwhile, Israel subjected African immigrant women to mandatory contraceptive injections of Depo-Provera, leading to a 20 percent birth rate decline for Ethiopian Israelis.

In 2000, federally funded researchers placed sludge from a sewage treatment plant on lawns and vacant lots in Baltimore and East St. Louis. The communities were told the toxic waste was safe. And in 2012, at least 500 children in Chad were given MenAfriVac—whose side effects include convulsions and paralysis— without notification or parental consent.

Rollins Edwards as a young soldier in 1945 at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Source: AMELIA PHILLIPS HALE FOR NPR
Rollins Edwards as a young soldier in 1945 at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Source: AMELIA PHILLIPS HALE FOR NPR

In addition, the CDC hid evidence that Black babies had more than triple the chance of developing autism if they were given an experimental measles vaccine before the age of three.

For years, the Black community has warned of conspiracies against their communities, and were told they were neurotic and imagining things. But as the latest news from the Pentagon shows us, these conspiracies are not theories but reality.

Secret Courts in America Fuels Mass Incarceration—-Not Actual Conviction of Criminals”

By Antone White

In the 1630’s, King Charles I of England administrated ‘The Star Chamber’, a sui generis court (a form of legal protection that exist outside of typical legal protection) that presided in absentia of the public to suppress dissent. Due to its secrecy, ‘The Star Chamber’ became an absolute abuse of power.

Originally, ‘The Star Chamber’ was established in the 15th Century to enforce jurisprudence against social & political notables so powerful that ordinary courts would be hesitant to convict them of any crimes. However, ‘The Star Chamber’ became synonymous to a tyrannical court through unchallenged punishment of defendants wielded in secrecy, for crimes the court deemed to be morally reprehensible, but were not in violation of the letter of the law. For example, committing adultery is not illegal but it is highly frowned upon in the moral sense.

The vile reputation and absolute power of application of ‘The Star Chamber’ became a potent symbol in America of oppression; and the hostility of the ‘Founding-Fathers’ morale to reject the abuse of power of ‘The Star Chamber’; and sought a liberty interest & protection for democracy independent of England’s crown.

In the U.S. Constitution, the enumeration of certain rights as specified in the 9th Amendment, the right to a public trial by jury is ascribed to be among the most important privileges of an American; and further decreed to receive the highest form of judicial protection. “According to the Supreme Court the right to a public trial by jury under the 6th Amendment is granted to criminal defendants in order to prevent oppression by the government, and safeguard against any attempts to employ the courts as instruments of persecution”.

In the mid-1980’s, during America’s declaration on the ‘war on drugs’, the ‘Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guideline’ was enacted into law. The primary goal was to alleviate sentencing disparity that research had indicated was prevalent in the previous sentencing system. Nonetheless, upon initiation, it has subsequently cited as evidence of an unconstitutional pandect that utterly marginalized the ‘Due Process Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution. Therein, the 5th Amendment determined that, ” No person shall be held to answer for an infamous crime unless on a presentment of an indictment…. nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”.

The Supreme Court has ruled that ‘Due Process’ requires the government to comply with certain standards in criminal cases, specifically mentioned in the ‘Bill of Rights’; such as a public trial by jury. As well as, the right to a presumption of innocence, and to have the government prove its case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The underlying concept is that the government many not behave arbitrarily and capriciously, but must act fairly according to established rules.

Notwithstanding, under the guise of the ‘Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guideline’, we have an instrument of persecution that dubiously infringes on defendants’ right to due process, and to a

trial by jury; by employing ‘Federal Prosecutors’ and its team of ‘Probation Officers’ to reconvene in place of a jury trial, and veto the decision by the jury. Hence the Federal Prosecutors and its team dictates what element of facts of the crime that the defendant will be sentenced without regards to the letter of the actual conviction. This action is similar to the tyrannical court of ‘The Star Chamber’. In Baltimore and Carolina Line vs. Redman (1935), the Supreme Court upheld that juries decide facts of a case, and judges determine what laws are relevant to those facts.

For over a span of 30 years, since the inception of the ‘Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Regime’, criminal defendants have been damned to ‘cruel and unusual’ inflated sentencing above the guideline range of their actual convictions for elements of hearsay and suspicion of uncharged or unindicted crimes; and stridently bizarre for indicted charges that were acquitted or dismissed. Which consequently, double, triple or aggregate a life without parole prison sentence. A summary of this authoritarian proceeding is riddled in Criminal Defendants’ PSI (Pre-Sentenced Investigation Report), or what I deem to be equivalent to “The Star Chamber Report”.

The ‘Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guideline’, imputes the government and its probation authorities, or the court – at sentencing, to go outside the presentment of an indictment and forged up other crimes; and additionally, undermine the jury’s verdict and determine their own theoretical belief of the case; as well as, utilize acquitted conduct to enhance a defendant’s sentence above the maximum range of the guideline of their actual conviction. At sentencing, a defendant can be acquitted of counts on their indictment and found guilty on other accounts, but be sentenced as if they were guilty of every account based on evidence the court has deemed fact in “The Star Chamber Report”. This is un-American and antithetical to all the tenets in which the ‘Founding-Fathers’ and Farmer’s sought to preserve and protect in the ‘Bill of Rights’.

The marginalization of due process based on Secret Courts fact finding continuously results in countless defendants being ‘Unjustly Sentenced’; this has been perpetuated to an extravagant numbers of decades that aligned Criminal Defendants to their life expectancy, or outright execrate a life without parole prison sentence for nonviolent conviction. These Secret Court proceedings are uniquely malevolent and blameworthy to have fueled the decades of growth of ‘Mass Incarceration’ and as a consequence defendants will continue to receive unjustly punishment for years to come. Which undoubtedly will continue to fuel the United States as number # 1 in Mass Incarceration.

Bounding criminal defendants to punishment according to their actual conviction can cure the Mass Incarceration crisis almost overnight; and thus, the system won’t have to alter their stance on crime policy.

“Federal Sentencing Guidelines Demoralizes the U.S Constitution”

By: Antone White 

The U.S Constitution body of rules and principles endows protections and enforcements of private rights( as to life, liberty and property). The constitution body of rules reposes ultimate power in the people, by the people and for the people of the United States to preserve and maintain a liberty thesis of “Freedom, Justice and Equality”.

The genius of the “Constitution Protection” was established to safeguard its democracy against the will and tyrannical effect of a government to imprison and exercise complete control over its citizens; stemming from the oppression of England’s Star Chamber. The protection ordains that an individual’s life, liberty or property can only be stripped away by due process of law; from results in either a plea of guilt (by the individual) or by a jury of its peers upon proof of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The foundational role of due process is that all citizens have entitlement to a presumption of innocence! Otherwise, a person may not be convicted of a crime unless the government proves them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; without any burden placed on the accused to prove its innocence. Due process grounds citizens’ the right to a trail by jury. Thereby, according to an underlying provision in the “Due Process Clause” of the U.S Constitution, “ no courts, nor any officer of law may presume a person guilty of a crime enough to demand sanctions ( as to life liberty, or property).

However, congress legislated a policy imputed by the United States Sentencing Commission in 1984; the Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines. Spanning three decades, almost four, these guidelines have eroded the foundational tenants of America’s Democracy bringing forth a Jim Crow climate that systematically demoralizes criminal defendants “Constitutional Protection”, at sentencing.

At sentencing, the courts are authorized to consider “relevant conduct” for the purpose of calculating the sentencing guidelines, which may include uncharted crimes that otherwise are inadmissible at trial.Even more, the courts are permitted to extract offenses from acquitted and dismissed charges which consequently nullify principles of the 5th Amendment of the constitution that decrees ..” no person shall be held to answer for an infamous crime, unless on the presentment of an indictment of a Grand Jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process.

In a constitutional system that relies upon the jury to stand as a great bulwark and neutral arbiter between criminal defendants and government bent on depriving them of their civic duty; hereof, an axiom adhered by Judge Millet of DC Circuit Court of Appeal:

 “Allowing courts at sentencing to materially increase the length of imprisonment based on conduct for which the jury acquitted the defendant guts the role of the jury in preserving individual liberty, and preventing oppression by the government”.

The unfairness perpetuated by the use of uncharged, dismissed, and acquitted conduct to heighten criminal defendants sentences in federal court are uniquely malevolent. As well as a dubious infringement of individuals rights to due process and trial by jury.

Imagine the abhorrent act of a man or woman’s sentence being double, triple or virtually scaled to a lifetime of imprisonment for crimes or otherwise conducts for which they were neither charged nor convicted. One wonders what the reaction of the jury would be if the jurors were told at outset:

“If you convict the defendant on one charge, but deadlock or acquit them on the other count, that the court may utilize a different standard of proof and consequently sentence the defendant as though he was convicted of both “

Would this resonate with the jury as being fair and worthwhile of their time and effort while still respecting the admiration for our system of justice? I sincerely doubt it!

For the constitution to have meaning it must not be pure words we recite but also the words we live by as Dr. Martin Luther King Junior emphasize from Birmingham jail or April 16, 1963.

“An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law”

*For more information on the Star Chamber, read article “Star Chamber: How Secret Courts Fuels Mass Incarceration”

Trump’s rise: African-American politicians must lead on Africa’s affairs

BECAUSE OF FEAR AND COMPLACENCY, DON’T EXPECT ANYMORE FROM THE BLACK MIS-LEADERSHIP CLASS THAN WHAT WE HAVE. IT WILL TAKE CONSCIOUS BLACK PEOPLE BOTH IN THE DIASPORA AND ON THE CONTINENT, TO FORGE BETTER RELATIONSHIP’S FOR THE SALVATION OF OUR PEOPLE! IT WILL HAPPEN, AND IS HAPPENING NOW. BECOME PART OF A CONSCIOUS BLACK ORGANIZATION TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, BE PART OF A SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM.  HERE ARE JUST A FEW.

https://www.letsbuyblack365.com/

http://www.iamoneofthemillion.com/

Home

http://www.harvestinstitute.org/

Read the article and leave comments.

Trump’s rise: African-American politicians must lead on Africa’s affairs

Benjamin Talton

Trump’s disregard for Africa and its affairs is worrying but presents a unique opportunity for progressive black leaders to shape US foreign policy

The Black Caucus continued with some relevance into the new century. But its collective voice has diminished to near silence. (Reuters/Joe Skipper)
The Black Caucus continued with some relevance into the new century. But its collective voice has diminished to near silence. (Reuters/Joe Skipper)

A Donald Trump presidency has grave implications for US relations with Africa. His meteoric political ascension ushers in an era of right-wing domestic extremism and international disregard.

Trump has exhibited an unabashed lack of interest in Africa. This is a continent where numerous countries play a key role in the US war on terrorism. Africa’s geopolitical importance also extends from its numerous natural resources, which are essential to global manufacturing industries. Other areas of import include its growing population, China’s broadening involvement, and rapid democratisation in many countries.

Trump’s lack of substantive interest in African affairs is worrying. But his disregard presents a unique opportunity for progressive leadership to shape US foreign policy.

The political left should leverage Trump’s foreign policy weaknesses to strengthen rather than weaken international partnerships. This is much the same as Democrats did during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The left should also expand rather than retract US support for Africa’s democracies, democratic movements and its economic development.

African American elected officials, in particular, have an opportunity – if not an obligation – to reassert themselves on African affairs.

Visionary leadership in dark times

I was fortunate to come of age during the 1980s. It was a decade in which the Congressional Black Caucus exercised considerable influence on African affairs. In fact, it had greater influence than any African American organisation in history.

Reagan viewed issues of the global south through a Cold War lens. He was fixated on anticommunism. Such a narrow framework blurred the details of local and regional politics. But it provided opportunities for the Black Caucus to shape political narratives that advocated a radical departure from traditional US-Africa relations.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Black Caucus’s initiatives toward African countries were shaped by progressive, activist politicians. Their roots lay in the civil rights struggle, the Black Power Movement and organised labour.

Its leaders included such charismatic, activist legislators as Ronald Dellums and Maxine Waters of California, Mickey Leland of Texas and Pennsylvania’s William Gray.

This high water mark of African American influence was a unique moment in US history. It holds many lessons for today’s politics. To effectively mobilise African American congressional leadership, it is useful to understand the Black Caucus’s strategic vision, nimbleness and political acumen during the 1980s. This was the decade of strength, despite the obstacles of the Reagan administration’s fixation on communism.

History’s lessons

Congressman Charles Diggs, a radical Democrat from Detroit, Michigan, was the founding chairman of the Black Caucus in 1971. He and his colleagues thrust African issues into congressional foreign policy debates. These included apartheid in South Africa, ongoing Portuguese colonialism, white-minority rule in Rhodesia and democracy and oil in Nigeria.

Diggs was a model activist legislator. He led official delegations to Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. He also created an NGO to raise awareness and funds in response to the growing famine in the Sahel.

Donald Trump has little interest in or knowledge about African affairs. Reuters

Under his leadership, the Black Caucus submitted legislation and resolutions to steer US policy toward a country-specific approach and away from anticommunism as the determinant for where the US engaged in Africa.

During the 1980s activist Black Caucus members demonstrated solidarity with leftist regimes in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America. They led the push for historic anti-apartheid legislation in 1986 and record-level famine relief in 1985. They pushed the US government to give greater market access to African goods and political and humanitarian support for southern Africa’s Front Line States, the organisation of southern African countries opposed to apartheid.

The number of African Americans in Congress increased during this period. They asserted themselves as the most strident critics of Reagan’s Africa policies. The Black Caucus countered his deleterious programmes with the triple threat of legislation, mass organising and protests. They also coordinated with organisations such as the Free South Africa Movement and, beginning in the late 1970s, TransAfrica. Black Caucus members helped launch both organisations.

These are mere snapshots of the array of issues that kept the Black Caucus at the centre of US political discourse through the 1990s.

The decline of the Black Caucus

The Black Caucus continued with some relevance into the new century. But its collective voice has diminished to near silence. Many factors contributed to its current weak and largely symbolic political position.

In 1995, Congress eliminated funding for all legislative service organisations, including the Caucus. This forced its members to raise money for their initiatives.

Another constraint was George W. Bush’s War on Terror. This radical foreign policy crowded out possibilities for a progressive, humane foreign policy toward global south nations in the early 2000s.

During the Obama presidency, African American elected officials generally avoided presenting alternatives to the president’s policies. They feared weakening his capacity to withstand attacks from the right. Without this tacit support, it would have been impossible to push his policies past an obstructionist Republican-controlled House and Senate.

The Trump mandate

The consequences for African economies will be dire if Trump privileges a terrorism lens and pulls away from trade agreements, as he has threatened.

His trade policies will imperil the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which President Bill Clinton signed in 2000. The result will be increased tariffs on US imports from Africa. The Black Caucus must make the importance of AGOA evident to the public and the new US president. It must work to protect this legislation.

It should also protect Obama’s important Africa initiatives, particularly Power Africa, Feed the Future and the highly innovative Young African Leaders Initiative.

Barack Obama delivers remarks at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington. Reuters

The Black Caucus must chart the US economic path in Africa. Trump’s protectionist policies will cause the economies of the leading US trading partners in Africa – South Africa, Nigeria and Angola – to tailspin. The Black Caucus should use press conferences, press releases, conferences and legislation to make clear the ways the US benefits from these African economic giants.

Ethiopia is also a country to watch. Although US-Ethiopian relations have recently strained around human rights and governance issues, Ethiopia has enjoyed a special status under Obama. This is largely through its cooperation in fighting terrorist groups in East Africa and its contracts with the Boeing Company. The Black Caucus must raise awareness of the US-Ethiopian partnership. But it must also demonstrate support for the ongoing movement for true democracy and political freedoms in Ethiopia.

In addition, the Black Caucus should outline specific ways the new administration might bolster the vibrant democracies of Ghana, Namibia, and Botswana. They must be promoted as examples for the entire continent.

Recently, its members have spoken out forcefully in support of the kidnapped Nigerian school girls. Their actions are laudable. But symbolic stances must be accompanied by policy and security recommendations for the US as it confronts Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Shabaab in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

During the Trump presidency, African American elected officials would do well to look at their own history of acting within Congress on behalf of African governments, movements and issues for strategies toward a progressive agenda on African affairs. It is imperative that the Black Caucus define the popular narrative for the US approach to African countries. They should weaken Trump’s hand before he whittles Africa into a caricature of terrorism, poverty and migration across the Mediterranean. History is the Caucus’s greatest weapon.

Benjamin Talton, Associate Professor of African History, Temple University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

Other Podcast Programs

Scroll to top