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The Creation of Birthright AFRICA

Amos Barshad

When Ashley Johnson, an artist from Chicago, heard about Taglit-Birthright—the program offering trips to Israel for young Americans of Jewish descent—she wondered why a similar program didn’t exist for people of the African diaspora. She Googled “birthright” and “Africa,” and was pleased to learn that one did—at least in theory.In 2005, Walla Elsheikh, a former Goldman Sachs associate whose father had been a Sudanese diplomat, heard a friend rave about a Taglit trip. She registered a Web site with the name Birthright AFRICA. She let the idea marinate, and nothing much happened, until she got a Facebook message from Johnson.

The two began a correspondence and eventually decided to launch the program together. In October, 2016, Johnson, who is thirty-three, and Elsheikh, who is thirty-eight, travelled to Ghana, where they met local entrepreneurs and saw relevant sights: everything from the notorious Cape Coast Castle, the center of the transatlantic slave trade, with its “door of no return,” to W. E. B. Du Bois’s last home, in Accra.

Elsheikh, who grew up in Uganda, Sudan, and Sweden, said, “Ghana is really seen as the gateway to Africa. Birthright AFRICA is built around the Ghanaian principal of sankofa—in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’re from.” The organization has, to date, financed a trip enabling seven young Americans to make the journey.

One evening, a City University program called Black Male Initiative, which supports access to higher education for students from underrepresented demographics, held a fund-raiser, in part for Birthright AFRICA. The m.c. was Jeff Gardere, also known as Dr. Jeff, a popular TV psychologist (Orion TV’s “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court,” Reelz’s “They Got Away with It”). Lots of B.M.I. students attended the event, which featured an open bar and trays of chocolate desserts. Guests could be overheard chatting about clubbing (“We used to slow-jam at Leviticus back in the day”) and medical appointments (“Black men don’t like two things: prostate exams and therapy”).

All CUNY B.M.I. students of African descent between the ages of eighteen and thirty are eligible to apply for free Birthright AFRICA trips. Those who make the cut, Gardere said, explaining the program to the crowd, will first visit the African Burial Ground National Monument, in downtown Manhattan, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C. Then, he said, dropping his voice to a whisper—“we’re going to give them ten days in Ghana.”

At Gardere’s prompting, guests began to raise their hands and pledge donations. An employee of Brooklyn College said, “A hundred dollars!” Gardere encouraged the crowd with impromptu personal incentives—“You wanna meet Phaedra from ‘Real Housewives’?”

Meanwhile, prospective Birthright AFRICA applicants were learning about the program for the first time. Jaleel Thomas, a young man in a suit, who was from Chicago, said he was intrigued. “I have a potential internship with Deloitte this summer,” he said. “But if you say, ‘Hey, Jaleel, I want you here in Ghana for ten days,’ I will make it happen.”

Devon Simmons, a tall criminal-justice student at John Jay, is the first graduate of CUNY’s Prison-to-College Pipeline, and he was interested in Birthright AFRICA’s international opportunities. “I just came back from study abroad in Cape Town, doing some research in regards to incarceration over there,” he said. “Next stop is Cuba, this summer.”

Elsheikh, Birthright AFRICA’s co-founder, is still in New York, but Johnson, now the program director, moved to Langma, Ghana, last year, in order to oversee ground operations. Elsheikh said, “Some of the scholars who made the trip were so into this myth” fuelled by the negative image of Africa presented to Americans. Making the trip “changed their life trajectory.”

The myth was further fuelled when President Trump referred to Haiti and some of the nations of Africa as “shithole” countries. “So it’s that much more relevant to dispel,” Elsheikh said, “particularly for people of African descent. Because it really hits your soul.” Johnson said, “We are not pushing a political agenda. But it’s inherently political to educate and empower black people.”

On the evening of the B.M.I. fund-raiser, a New York State assemblyman named Michael Blake gave the closing comments. “Don’t tell us our kids are not exceptional!” he shouted. “And I say to you, in the words of the great philosopher Fat Joe”—the Bronx’s own—“Nothing can stop you, you’re all the way up!”

READ MORE AT: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/12/roots/amp

Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

Muhammida el-Muhajir says as an African American in the US, she felt she could 'never win' [Courtesy of Muhammida el-Muhajir]
Muhammida el-Muhajir says as an African American in the US, she felt she could ‘never win’ [Courtesy of Muhammida el-Muhajir]

by

Accra, Ghana – They have come from the big cities of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Thousands of them. And many refuse to return.

A new wave of African Americans is escaping the incessant racism and prejudice in the United States. From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They are teachers in small towns in the west or entrepreneurs in the capital and say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

Take Muhammida el-Muhajir, a digital marketer from New York City, who left her job to move to Accra.

She says she moved, because despite her education and experience, she was always made to feel like a second-class citizen. Moving was an opportunity to fulfil her potential and avoid being targeted by racial violence.

She told Al Jazeera her story:

On life as a second-class citizen in the US…

“I grew up in Philadelphia and then New York. I went to Howard, which is a historically black university. I tell people that Ghana is like Howard in real life. It felt like a microcosm of the world. At university, they tell us the world isn’t black, but there are places where this is the real world. Howard prepares you for a world where black people are in charge, which is a completely different experience compared to people who  have gone to predominantly white universities.”

I can’t say what’s happening in America today is any worse than what’s been happening at any other time.

Muhammida el-Muhajir

On her first trip to Africa…

“The first country I went to was Kenya. I was 15 and travelled with a group of kids. I was one of two black kids. I saw early that I could fit in and wasn’t an outsider. Suddenly it switched, I came from America where I was an outsider, but in Africa, I no longer felt like that. I did graduate school in Ghana in 2003 and went back to New York and then moved to Ghana in 2014.

“I have no connection to Ghana. Some people in my family did tests, and we found ties to Senegal and The Gambia, but I don’t think you can ever figure it out. No matter where you were sold or left the port, Senegal or Ghana, no one can be certain where you came from.”

No matter where you were sold or left the port, Senegal or Ghana, no one can be certain where you came from.

Muhammida el-Muhajir

Market in Agbogbloshie, a district in Accra, Ghana’s capital [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images]

On leaving New York for Accra…

“Even when you live in a place like New York as a black person, you’re always an outsider.

“You hear stories about the richest black people, like Oprah Winfrey, getting shut out of a store or Jay-Z not being allowed to buy [an apartment]. Those things happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity, you’re a second-class citizen. This was the biggest issue for me.

“In America, you’re always trying to prove yourself; I don’t need to prove myself to anyone else’s standards here. I’m a champion, I ran track and went to university, and I like to win, so I refuse to be in a situation where I will never win.”

You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.

Muhammida el-Muhajir

On moving to Ghana…

“There are amenities that I am used to at home in New York – like parties, open bars and fashion, so when I realised I could do the same things in Africa as I could back in the US, I was sold. There is also a big street art festival here, and that was the difference from when I came [as a student]. I saw the things that I love at home here, so I decided that now is the time.”

On Ghanaian reactions…

“When Ghanaians find out that I live here, they’re usually confused about why I chose to live here as an American. There is definitely certain access and privilege being American here, but it’s great to finally cash in on that because it doesn’t mean anything in America.

“There are also plenty of privileged Ghanaians; if you take away race there’s a class system.”

Modern architecture in Ghana’s capital [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images]

On the ‘Blaxit’ documentary…

“In my documentary, I chose five people that I’ve met since I’ve been here and every one of them went to a black college in the US. It’s something that prepares you mentally to realise you aren’t a second-class citizen. Something like that can help you make a transition to live in Africa.

“I made Blaxit because of this wave of African-Americans moving to Africa. This trend started to happen around independence of African countries, but the new wave [comprises] people who come to places like this. This new group has certain access in America and comes here to have that lifestyle in Africa.

“Unbeknown to us, we’re living out the vision that [Ghanaian politician and revolutionary] Kwame Nkrumah set out for us, of this country being the gateway to Africa for the black diaspora.

“I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here.

“You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.

“I want people to understand that they have options and alternatives. Most black people in America don’t know that these options exist; they think they have to suffer because there’s nowhere else to go. But no, there are other places.”

On the prospect of more African-Americans moving…

“I think more will come when they begin to see it as a viable alternative. But it’s not easy and it not cheap. I can’t say what’s happening in America today is any worse than what’s been happening at any other time. I think now is the time that people are starting to see they can live somewhere else.”

READ MORE AT:  http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/african-americans-moving-africa-180116092736345.html

CARIBBEAT: ‘Charcoal’ film on self-hate, colorism and black women

In an attempt to lighten her complexion, a young woman applies a scrub to her face in a scene from the 2017 Francesca Andre film short, "Charcoal."

In an attempt to lighten her complexion, a young woman applies a scrub to her face in a scene from the 2017 Francesca Andre film short, “Charcoal.”

(francescaandrephotography.com)

Haiti-born filmmaker Francesca Andre has accomplished quite a feat with her film “Charcoal” — a five-minute work that tackles the continuing, generations-old issue of black women vehemently hating the dark skin they’re in.

The 2017 film’s subject is colorism — defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone.

Influenced by predominately-white societies, colorism is widespread among black women — eating away at their self-esteem and maintaining an enormous industry of skin brighteners fading creams, bleaching treatments and other skin lightening products.

“My intention with Charcoal is to spark conversations that address these colonial traumas, and show that redefining one’s own beauty standards is possible and often necessaryfor one’s survival which the characters in the film had to in order to heal and reclaim their power,” said Andre, the Connecticut-based writer, director and cinematographer. Charcoal was edited Andre’s husband, Gustavo Azael Torres.

Haiti-born Francesca Andre addresses the persistent and painful colorism issue in her film, "Charcoal."

Haiti-born Francesca Andre addresses the persistent and painful colorism issue in her film, “Charcoal.”

(Gustavo Azael Torres/Optik 21)

“Like many black women around the globe, I have also experienced it and wanted to show the devastation from the perspective of a child, a teenager and a young adult. To many, colorism is a social disease that exists not just among black communities, but in many parts of Asia and Latin America,” she said, adding that “discussions on race, class, and gender have become more common, but the conversation on the destructive, generational cycle of colorism is lacking.”

The film stars Chengusoyane Kargbo, Lorry Francois, Heather Smith, Kweta Henry, Destiny Derosiers, Deanna Derosiers and Khamaly Bryan.

The next screening of “Charcoal” will be Feb. 9 at St. John’s University’s Manhattan campus, 101 Astor Place, at 7 p.m. as part of “Claudia Rankine’s ‘Citizen’ in Pictures” event, curated and moderated by Michelle Materre of the Creatively Speaking film series.

Charcoal can also be seen March 14 at BAM — Brooklyn part of the “Through Her Eyes: Contemporary shorts by Women of Color-Identify” event, also presented by Materre.

For information on the Andre, visit www.francescaandrephotography.com. For more on the screenings, visit www.creativelyspeaking.tv/new-events/

For African-Americans, Kwanzaa is not just any “Black holiday.”

 

What Kwanzaa means for black Americans

Kwanzaa celebrations. Black Hour, CC BY-NC

Associate Dean of Students, Vanderbilt University

On Dec. 26, millions throughout the world’s African community will start weeklong celebrations of Kwanzaa. There will be daily ceremonies with food, decorations and other cultural objects, such as the kinara, which holds seven candles. At many Kwanzaa ceremonies, there is also African drumming and dancing.

It is a time of communal self-affirmation – when famous black heroes and heroines, as well as late family members – are celebrated.

As a scholar who has written about racially motivated violence against blacks, directed black cultural centers on college campuses and sponsored numerous Kwanzaa celebrations, I understand the importance of this holiday.

For the African-American community, Kwanzaa is not just any “black holiday.” It is a recognition that knowledge of black history is worthwhile.

History of Kwanzaa

Maulana Karenga, a noted black American scholar and activist created Kwanzaa in 1966. Its name is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, the most widely spoken African language. However, Kwanzaa, the holiday, did not exist in Africa.

A candle is lit each day to celebrate the seven basic values of African culture. Ailisa via Shutterstock.com

Each day of Kwanzaa is devoted to celebrating the seven basic values of African culture or the “Nguzo Saba” which in Swahili means the seven principles. Translated these are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics (building black businesses), purpose, creativity and faith. A candle is lit on each day to celebrate each one of these principles. On the last day, a black candle is lit and gifts are shared.

Today, Kwanzaa is quite popular. It is celebrated widely on college campuses, the U.S. Postal Service has periodically issued Kwanzaa stamps, there is at least one municipal park named for it, and there are special Kwanzaa greeting cards.

Kwanzaa’s meaning for black community

Kwanzaa was created by Karenga out of the turbulent times of the 1960’s in Los Angeles, following the 1965 Watts riots, when a young African-American was pulled over on suspicions of drunk driving, resulting in an outbreak of violence.

Subsequently, Karenga founded an organization called Us – meaning, black people – which promoted black culture. The purpose of the organization was to provide a platform, which would help to rebuild the Watts neighborhood through a strong organization rooted in African culture.

Karenga called its creation an act of cultural discovery, which simply meant that he wished to point African-Americans to greater knowledge of their African heritage and past.

Rooted in the struggles and the gains of the civil rights and black power movements of the 1950s and 1960s, it was a way of defining a unique black American identity. As Keith A. Mayes, a scholar of African-American history, notes in his book,

“For black power activists, Kwanzaa was just as important as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Kwanzaa was their answer to what they understood as the ubiquity of white cultural practices that oppressed them as thoroughly as had Jim Crow laws.”

Overturning white definitions

Today, the holiday has come to occupy a central role, not only in the U.S. but also in the global African diaspora.

A 2008 documentary, “The Black Candle” that filmed Kwanzaa observances in the United States and Europe, shows children not only in the United States, but as far away as France, reciting the principles of the Nguzo Saba.

It brings together the black community not on the basis of their religious faith, but a shared cultural heritage. Explaining the importance of the holiday for African-Americans today, writer Amiri Baraka, says during an interview in the documentary,

“We looked at Kwanzaa as part of the struggle to overturn white definitions for our lives.”

Indeed, since the early years of the holiday, until today, Kwanzaa has provided many black families with tools for instructing their children about their African heritage.

Current activism and Kwanzaa

Students celebrate Kwanzaa. Black Hour, CC BY-NC

This spirit of activism and pride in the African heritage is evident on college campus Kwanzaa celebrations – one of which I recently attended. (It was done a few days early so that students going on break could participate.)

The speaker, a veteran of the Nashville civil rights movement, spoke about Kwanzaa as a time of memory and celebration. Wearing an African dashiki, he led those in attendance – blacks and whites and those of other ethnicities – in Kwanzaa songs and recitations. On a table decorated in kente cloth, a traditional African fabric, was a kinara, which contains seven holes, to correspond to the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. There were three red candles on the left side of the kinara, and three green candles on the right side of the kinara. The center candle was black. The colors of the candles represent the red, black and green of the African Liberation flag.

The auditorium was packed. Those in attendance, young and old, black and white, held hands and chanted slogans celebrating black heroes and heroines, as diverse as the civil rights icons, Rosa Parks and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Jamaican musician Bob Marley.

It was a cultural observance that acknowledged solidarity with the struggles of the past and with one another. Like the black power movements, such as today’s Black Lives Matter movement, it is an affirmation of “Black folks’ humanity,” their “contributions to this society” and “resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

Karenga wanted to “reaffirm the bonds between us” (black people) and to counter the damage done by the “holocaust of slavery.” Kwanzaa celebrations are a moment of this awareness and reflection.

 

 

READ MORE AT: https://theconversation.com/what-kwanzaa-means-for-black-americans-88220

Study: High Stress and Adversity Negatively Affect the Developing Brains and Bodies of Young Children

ACEs
Study findings indicate that children who suffer traumatic life experiences increase their risk of developing chronic illnesses like asthma and heart disease later in life. (Photo by Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

Nationally, nearly 25 percent of children aged 17 and under have experienced at least one traumatic event, whether it be physical abuse, neglect or living with a family member who has struggled with alcoholism or drug use, recent federal data shows.

Among Black youth, however, 30 percent have suffered a traumatic event, with another 35 percent suffering two or more adverse childhood experiences, also known as “ACEs.”

The stats are the findings of a state-by-state poll released last year from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, a survey aimed at providing data on the health and well-being of children by studying factors that affect their physical and emotional health. This includes everything from access to health care, family interactions and neighborhood characteristics, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, which helped fund the annual survey.

The data also offers an inside look at the rate of children and teens impacted by adverse events, which several studies have shown put them at higher risk for developing chronic ailments like heart disease, asthma and even depression. Now, public health proponents are hoping to use the findings to influence policies aimed at counteracting said traumatic childhood experiences.

“These numbers tell a story about what is happening nationally to children,” Martha Davis, senior program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports policies to combat childhood adversity, told The Washington Post. “They have implications for schools and families and communities and health care.”

According to the survey, nearly a quarter of youth in the United States have endured a traumatic event by the time they turned 18 years old. New York topped the list with an ACEs rate of 30.3 percent, while Arizona had the lowest rate at 19 percent. The top five states with the highest rates of childhood adversity were also located in the Northeast, Western and Southern regions of the United States.

The idea that such negative episodes can have a long-term impact has only recently been popularized, however, with the federal government first inquiring about them in the 2010/ 2011 survey, WaPo reported. The term “ACEs” gained steam after a 1998 landmark study from Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that traumatic childhood experiences were incredibly common and linked to poor health outcomes.

A growing body of research around brain science and biology has helped to explain this connection, showing just how high “doses” of stress, and adversity can negatively affect the developing brains and bodies of young children. Nearly two–thirds of those polled for the Kaiser study reported experiencing at least one traumatic childhood event. Compared to those who reported no trauma, participants who suffered four or more adverse events were twice as likely to be diagnosed with heart disease, six times as likely to suffer from depression and were more likely to engage in risky behaviors.

“I went to medical school; I never heard about this,” pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris said of the groundbreaking research. “When I did, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.”

Harris now runs her own practice, the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, Calif., where her staff utilizes a method that not only examines a patient’s medical history but their social history, too. Every child that walks through the center’s doors is screened for ACEs that might cause toxic stress and lead to chronic health issues in the future.

“We heal children’s brains and bodies by piloting treatments for toxic stress and sharing our findings nationally,” according to the Center. “We prevent toxic stress by raising awareness among those who can make a difference — from parents and pediatricians to policymakers. Our mission is to improve the health of children and adolescents exposed to [ACEs].”

Health advocates define adverse childhood events as stressful or traumatic episodes youth experience before age 18, including violence at home, substance abuse, neglect and living with a parent who has mental illness. Repeated or high exposure to said events without the preventative support of a loving adult can disrupt children’s stress response, making it that much harder to deal with toxic stress, research shows.

Like Harris, teachers, practitioners, the courts and others in the medical community have begun to adapt and respond to the startling research behind these adverse episodes. ACE Response, an organization born out of a partnership between Prevent Child Abuse America and the University at Albany (SUNY) School of Social Welfare suggests that ACE prevention begins with the integration of brain science and policy. For instance, Davis and colleagues over at the RWJF have pushed for policies to help counter childhood adversity, such as paid family leave, home visiting programs and other resources to give parents the time they need to better support their children.

Meanwhile, sites like ACE Response serve as an online resource connecting policymakers, program directors and researchers involved with the implementation of other ACE prevention measures in the United States and beyond. This way, both doctors and decision-makers have a common understanding on the ramifications of childhood trauma and the importance of buffering it.

Child health advocates in Iowa are now working to do just that. In 2011, the state began collecting ACEs data from within its borders, prompting leaders with Prevent Child Abuse–Iowa to launch the Connections Matter campaign, an initiative aimed at promoting the importance of care, trusting relationships and reducing the impact of childhood trauma. The goal, according to PCA-Iowa director Liz Cox, is to build “thriving communities that foster resilience and reduce the intergenerational transmission of abuse and neglect.”

While the idea that children should grow up in loving environments free from abuse and neglect is nothing new, the connection between childhood trauma and long-term health issues is. Now cities and states are working to keep kids healthy from the get-go.

In a piece for the National Resilience Institute, Cox cited the notable progress Washington state has made in decreasing childhood adversity, resulting in billions of dollars saved to its state budget, reduced high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy and even suicide attempts among children. She and other child advocates across the state are now pushing to achieve similar results by utilizing strategies to help foster conversations around ACEs, create policy centered on prevention and promote funding of evidence-based trauma intervention, such as after-school programs.

“Reducing ACEs requires collaborative [social] work further upstream in prevention,” Cox wrote. “Proportionate funding of evidence-based prevention, like parenting classes, sexual abuse prevention training for teachers, respite care, home visits and community capacity building — is an investment that strengthens families and reduces the demands on foster care systems.”

“Support from community foundations, corporations, and private donors can help leverage investments from the state and federal governments to create better access to prevention services for youth,” she added.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, has offered similar suggestions for buffering ACEs, which include keeping local decision-makers in the  loop on current state and county-level ACEs data and taking into account the primary risk and protective factors when mapping out prevention planning efforts. Like Harris, some family doctors have even started questioning patients on urban-related stressors, such as how safe their neighborhoods are or if they’ve witnessed any violence.

As research continues to grow around adverse childhood experiences, it’s hoped that efforts aimed at reducing childhood trauma will flourish as well.

 

READ MORE AT: http://atlantablackstar.com/2017/12/20/study-high-stress-adversity-negatively-affect-developing-brains-bodies-young-children/

Debating Black Freedom

 

Throughout US history, African Americans have pushed the limits — and beyond — of what America claims to be. The questions posed by both intellectuals and everyday African Americans during the Reconstruction, New Deal, and Civil Rights eras have all left lasting effects on the country. So too with the US left: time and again, black radicals have pressed for an expanded scope of political and economic freedoms, for Americans at home and for people abroad.

Christopher Tinson’s important new book, Radical Intellect: Liberator Magazine and Black Activism in the 1960s, spotlights one critical organ of the African-American left during the tumultuous Civil Rights and Black Power eras. At a time when intellectual currents were in flux, inchoate and colliding, Liberator simultaneously served as an important forum for debate and a reminder of the diversity of the African-American left. The magazine, Tinson writes, “stood at the crossroads of knowledge production and insurrection,” providing activists and intellectuals a place where they could hash out their ideas and make appeals to others. Intellectually, it proved to be an important waypoint between the resurgent black nationalism seen in places like Harlem in the early 1960s and the burgeoning Black Power movement of the late 1960s.

Liberator magazine was founded in 1961 by several radical African Americans living in New York City. It operated at the nexus of a rising black nationalism, the nascent New Left, the remains of the Old Left, and the more militant elements of the Civil Rights Movement. The founders of the publication embodied this ideological and temporal mix. Pete Beveridge was a former member of the Communist Party, while Richard Gibson spent his early career reporting on the anticolonial struggle in Africa. (Editor in chief Dan Watts was the relative outlier, with a background as an architect.)

Two tenets anchored the magazine’s politics: a Pan-Africanism “that appreciated some sense of the political and cultural unity of African descendants, while also fully embracing local exigencies of considerable difference”; and a skepticism “of liberalism and gradualist approaches to social change.”

Founded to provide news and analysis about decolonization from a more radical perspective than mainstream publications, Liberator was an unabashed partisan of anticolonial struggles. The magazine deplored the depredations of colonial regimes and championed the movements seeking to overthrow them. Emerging as it did in the early 1960s, when elements of the US left were concerned the Cold War superpowers would pull newly independent Third World nations into their spheres of influence, the magazine became an important organ for those opposing oppression in the Global South.

At home, the magazine’s brand of radicalism led it to look askance at more mainstream left figures. In their eyes, Martin Luther King Jr and other civil rights leaders were too cozy with liberal politicians, too limited in their tactics and demands. More laudable were figures like Malcolm X and radical organizations such as the Revolutionary Action Movement, or RAM.

The publication’s analysis of the 1963 March on Washington reflected these ambiguities. While they agreed with the economic aims of the demonstration — remember, it was a march for “jobs and freedom” — many of Liberator’s writers and editors expressed skepticism about the utility of “relying on such a dramatization to generate the full range of black political and economic desires.”

The question of what African Americans could achieve in the US — not just through civil rights victories but through wholesale changes in the American system — kept the Liberator’s pages alive with debate throughout the 1960s. New Left collided with Old Left, old-school Pan-Africanism came into play with the new black nationalism. The journal, Tinson writes, “demonstrate(d) the sheer amount of energy devoted to black radical futures, and yet it also reveals how deeply contested definitions and practices of radicalism were in this period.”

One noted participant in these intellectual battles was Harold Cruse. In 1963 and 1964, Liberator published a series of essays by the University of Michigan scholar titled “Rebellion or Revolution?” Cruse argued that Africans Americans needed to fight for thoroughgoing cultural change, to “move the struggle from a civil rights-based rebellion to a full-fledged revolution.” He explicitly linked the US civil rights struggle to Third World revolutions, where people waging battles for independence from European rule were fighting for control of not just political and economic but also cultural institutions.

Later that decade, in his 1967 magnum opus Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, Cruse would issue stinging rebukes of numerous black radicals and publications, including Liberator. But he was better off for having the magazine as a clearinghouse for his early, wide-ranging essays on black nationalism and Marxism.

Larry Neal also benefited from having Liberator as a playground for his ideas on black aesthetics, which would serve as key frameworks for the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. Like Cruse and many others at Liberator, Neal argued that black people had to take ownership of the arts and culture within their community, and use them to benefit their fellow African Americans.

At the same time, he was critical of stalwarts on the black left like Bayard Rustin, who was close to labor liberals. In a 1965 Liberator essay, Neal invoked Malcolm X to push against Rustin, arguing that African Americans had to make their struggle part of a larger, international movement for human rights. Neal’s case for a “black spiritual and intellectual awakening” was, again, a window into the debates among African Americans over the future of the black freedom struggle in America.

Tinson also shows how Liberator served as an intellectual home for radical African-American women. Liberator ran articles about figures like playwright Loraine Hansberry and activist Gloria Richardson, and published some of the earliest works of Toni Cade Bambara, future editor of the groundbreaking anthology The Black Woman. The magazine gave women a chance to hone their literary and debating skills before assuming leadership roles in the Black Power and feminist movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Liberator operated during a golden age for African-American radical publications. Freedomways, cofounded by W. E. B. Du Bois, launched in 1961, the same year as Liberator. By the end of the decade, a revitalized Negro Digest — printed under the Johnson Publication Company banner (the same publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines) — would establish itself as a redoubt of black intellectual thought (and change its name to Black World to reflect its more radical stance on social issues). Black Scholar set up shop in 1969, and helped catalyze the first wave of black studies scholarship in the early 1970s.

But money was always a problem for publications like Liberator. In 1971, lacking a steady stream of income — and beset by personality clashes — the magazine closed its pages. Others on the black left would follow. Black World stopped printing in 1976. Freedomways made it through the decade, but closed in 1985. The Institute of the Black World, a black-run think tank that was another important institution for thinking through the black radical tradition was finished by the early 1980s.

Liberator’s lifespan was relatively short, and its subscription base was relatively small. Yet it was read by radicals across the United States — and quite a few abroad — who wanted to make sense of the world they lived in. Its links to groups well outside its New York City base gave the publication greater influence than its editors could have initially imagined. Fusing intellectual life and activism, the magazine demonstrated anew the centrality of the black radical tradition to the larger left project in America.

Today, as the Black Lives Matter movement calls out the contradictions of American democracy and sparks debates about the direction of the country, Radical Intellect reminds us of the vital role that intellectuals and periodicals can play in that tradition.

READ MORE AT: https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/radical-intellect-tinson-review-liberator-magazine

“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C.) the Host of REVIVE!!! 11/01/2017

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

“WINNING WEDNESDAY”

#TabM0neyHabits #CurrentEvents 

#WeeklyThrills 

#FinancialLiteracy

#Investing

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.

This episode on REVIVE is entitled “WINNING WEDNESDAY” on REVIVE RADIO! You don’t want to miss #TabM0neyHabits segmentCALL IN FOR A CHANCE TO WIN SOME #REVIVE GEAR at 215-490-9832 you never know what may happen!

GUEST:

Khadija Wali-Uhud: Khadija Wali-Uhud is a successful business woman and the CEO of Jazzundaground International, a non- profit organization. She endeavors to change the music world forever by opening the doors for independent artists. She operates from the Undaground, and creating her own legacy by advocating for domestic
violence. She will be joining us with Oasiris Yates.

YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11 AM-1 PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8 PM-10 PM!!!  

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter, IG & Facebook @REVIVE_POC 

 WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!

“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C.) the Host of REVIVE!!! 10/25/2017

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

“WEDNESDAY Edition”

#PopCulture #CurrentEvents 

#WeeklyThrills 

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.

This episode on REVIVE is entitled “WINNING WEDNESDAY” on REVIVE RADIO! Call in to REVIVE at (215)490-9832, you never know what may happen!

GUEST:

Aunyea Lachelle: Aunyea Lachelle is a YouTube personality who gives hilarious, yet insightful commentary on the latest entertainment news and celebrity gossip. Aunyéa began her YouTube journey in December 2016, and has since been a guest host on the Los Angeles based entertainment news show Hollyscoop, and works as a freelance host and red correspondent for several media outlets in Philadelphia. Aunyéa also works as a producer for the #1 news station in Philadelphia, 6abc, WPVI-TV. ​When she’s not working or uploading YouTube videos, Aunyéa loves crafting new TV show ideas, spending time with her family, and playing the guitar.

YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11 AM-1 PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8 PM-10 PM!!!  

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter, IG & Facebook @REVIVE_POC 

 WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!

“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C.) the Host of REVIVE!!! 10/22/2017

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

“Sunday Edition”

#TLSpolitics #CurrentEvents 

#WeeklyThrills 

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.

This episode on REVIVE is entitled “Sunday Edition” we will be talking with your guy Keith Taylor from TLSpolitics! We also have a weekly thrill guest that is out of this world! Call in to REVIVE at (215)490-9832, you never know what may happen!

GUEST:

Brittany Garret: Brittany Garret originally from NYC found her passion for saving young lives, similar to her own. She used her inner fat girl, as a voice for change, and has embraced herself from inside out. She is the creator if Dear fat girl.  It’s a brand that is dedicated to promoting body positivity among women and young girls through mentor-ship, workshops and a variety of events. It is a brand that inspires and motivates women and young girls to be true and unapologetic in their journey to self awareness and acceptance. Their Motto is “Fat is not always physical , sometimes it’s a mindset.”

YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11 AM-1 PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8 PM-10 PM!!!  

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter, IG & Facebook @REVIVE_POC 

 WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!

“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C) the Host of REVIVE!!! 10/18/2017

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

“WINNING WEDNESDAY”

#TabM0neyHabits #CurrentEvents 

#WeeklyThrills 

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.

This episode on REVIVE is entitled “WINNING WEDNESDAY” on REVIVE RADIO! Call in to REVIVE at (215)490-9832, you never know what may happen!

GUEST:

Diamond Mitchell: Diamond Mitchell born and raised in Washington D.C. she goes by the name of Casinodiamond. She just dropped her first project called R&B POETRY on ITunes, also streaming on Apple Music and Spotify!

YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11 AM-1 PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8 PM-10 PM!!!  

It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter, IG & Facebook @REVIVE_POC 

 WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!

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