Elliot Booker

Black Agenda Report: Bidens and Trumps, Foxes and Wolves

Glen Ford, BAR Executive Editor 08 Oct 2020

Bidens and Trumps, Foxes and Wolves

The fox and wolf parties – both corporate canines – debate how best to acclimate the masses to their deepening state of precarity.

“The white conservatives aren’t friends of the Negro either, but they at least don’t try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the ‘smiling’ fox. One is a wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.” – Malcolm X

Malcolm’s analysis of the U.S. duopoly electoral system still holds true. Donald Trump is the wolf that put a mind-lock on a majority of American whites in 2016 by showing his teeth and snarling at Blacks, Muslims and non-white immigrants, stampeding Black folks deeper into the Democrats’ open fox-jaws. If Trump is defeated at the polls in November, much of Black America will thank Joe Biden for their salvation, just as African Americans credited President Bill Clinton for resisting Newt Gingrich’s racist Republican congressional hordes and their far-right Contract with America, back in 1994. Positioning himself as the only alternative to a Confederate revival – and with the help of Biden, then a young carnivore — Clinton abolished welfare as we knew it, vastly expanded the U.S. prison gulag, and deregulated the Wall Street banks, smiling through his teeth the whole time.

Clinton’s second term coincided with a hi-tech boom that briefly brought the Black-white wage gap to its narrowest point in decades — for which the fox from Arkansas took credit. But a President Joe Biden will have no such luck. The current Covid-initiated depression – the second U.S.-centered global breakdown of the young century — has set in motion a deep restructuring that is once again accelerating the hyper-concentration of wealth and power that has characterized capitalism since the late Seventies, under both the wolf and fox parties. As an Oxfam America study reported  in July:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep systemic inequalities and massive failures in our economic system, leaving tens of millions of people in the United States without jobs, devastating public services, and bankrupting countless small businesses. Yet as we face our deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, a subset of companies is experiencing dramatic, windfall profits. 

“Seventeen of the top 25 most profitable US corporations, including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, Pfizer, and Visa, are expected to make almost $85 billion more in 2020 super-profits compared to previous years, new Oxfam estimates show.”

“A  subset of companies is experiencing dramatic, windfall profits.”

In truth, capitalism has always moved inexorably towards greater concentration of wealth. “Disaster capitalists” take advantage of the system’s periodic crises to restructure the economy to their further advantage. The fox and wolf parties – both corporate canines – debate how best to acclimate the masses to their deepening state of precarity, so as to avoid a popular revolt.  Appeals to white racism – the wolf’s howl –have always been effective in channeling the anger and pain of much of white America, although that diversion may not be sufficient to save Donald Trump from eviction, next month. The Democratic foxes, having beaten back a threat from their confused, captive and ineffectual left in the primary process, have assured the ruling oligarchy that, in Joe Biden’s words , “nothing would fundamentally change” when he is elected.

When the foxes promise to return the nation and world to stability after the tumultuous Trump years, they do not mean stability in domestic living standards or peace among nations, but a continuation of the neoliberal policies of endless war and austerity — the Global Race to the Bottom – minus Trump’s constant incitement of the “deplorable” half of the white population. For Black people, that augurs a bleak future of deepening immiseration tempered only by the rulers’ assurances that Black lives finally do matter. 

The job of the Black Misleadership Class –  who are the 21st century version of Malcolm’s “house Negroes,” only now holding high executive and elected positions — is to vouch for the sincerity of their white corporate overlords and to keep the Black masses in check.

However, Malcolm never despaired of our people’s will to resist:

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.” – Malcolm X, from an extended interview  in the final weeks of his life, in March-April, 1965.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com

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“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 9/20/20 guests: organizers of the Freedom Georgia Initiative

“Time for an Awakening” Sunday 9/20/20 our guests was Ashley Scott and Renee Walters, organizers of the Freedom, Georgia Initiative. Where 19 families just purchased nearly 100 acres of land to create a “safe haven” city for Black families.

Alprentice ‘Bunchy’ Carter ‘would have rode with Nat Turner

by Norman (Otis) Richmond, aka Jalali

“If Bunchy had been on the same plantation as Nat Turner, you can believe he would have rode with Nat Turner. That’s the type of person Bunchy was.” – Kumasi

Black Panther Party Deputy Minister of Defense Bunchy Carter
Black Panther Party Deputy Minister of Defense Bunchy Carter

Oct. 12 is the birthday of one of the most talented and promising young men martyred in the massive state repression against the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

NBC television has resurrected Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter with a series called “Aquarius.” The imperialist media has brought back both Carter and Charles Manson. Carter was an iconic Black revolutionary from Los Angeles. Manson was a cold-blooded serial killer who led the Manson Family that murdered many in California.

Somehow Hollyweird has united these two polar opposites for television. It is not that weird when we understand that these forces are part of the state whose job it is to keep Africa, Africans and all oppressed people confused.

Gerald Horne, who wrote the volume, “Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution and the Origins of the Dominican Republic,” taught Carter’s daughter Danon at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has written extensively on Hollywood. Horne says Hollywood has done a number on Africans in America from “Birth of a Nation” to “Gone with the Wind,” depicting Black women as mammies, servants and sex objects.

Linden Beckford Jr., a graduate of Grambling University, is currently writing a biography of Carter.

Carter is almost forgotten

Unlike Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson, Carter has almost been forgotten from the history of Africans in America except for diehards.

Bunchy Carter was a leader of the very strong and influential Black Panther Party in Los Angeles.
Bunchy Carter was a leader of the very strong and influential Black Panther Party in Los Angeles.

Yes, the Fugees – Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Pras Michel – mention Carter on the 1996 soundtrack film “When We Were Kings” about the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which took place in 1974. And yes, M-1 and stic man of dead prez did “B.I.G. Respect,” a song on their mixtape, “Turn off the Radio,” that mentions Carter. But that is about it.

Who were Carter and John Huggins and why are they important for the 21st century? Carter, then 26 (born Oct. 12, 1942), was assassinated on Jan. 17, 1969, along with John Huggins, 23 (born Feb. 11, 1945), in a Campbell Hall classroom at UCLA in Los Angeles.

The team of Carter and Huggins are interesting for several reasons. Number one, Carter was born in Louisiana but was made in Los Angeles. Huggins was born on the other side of the country in New Haven, Connecticut. Number two, Carter was a product of the Black proletariat while Huggins was from the Black middle class.

One of Huggins’ aunts, Constance Baker Motley (Sept. 14, 1921 – Sept. 28, 2005) was an African born in America whose parents hailed from Nevis in the Caribbean. She was a lawyer, judge, state senator and borough president of Manhattan, New York City. Huggins committed class suicide and he and Carter had no problem working together.

Bunchy Carter, a loving and fearless leader
Bunchy Carter, a loving and fearless leader

It is a tragic coincidence in history that eight years before Carter and Huggins joined the ancestors, Patrice Emery Lumumba, the first democratically elected president of the Congo, Joseph Okito, vice president of the Senate, and Maurice Mpolo, sports and youth minister, were killed in the Congo by an unholy alliance of the CIA, Belgian imperialism and other agents of imperialism headed by Mobuto Sese Seko Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, aka Col. Joseph Mobuto, on Jan. 17, 1961.

Carter and Huggins were gunned down by members of the cultural nationalist US Organization. An FBI memo dated Nov. 29, 1968, described a letter that the Los Angeles FBI office intended to mail to the Black Panther Party office.

This letter, which was made to appear as if it had come from the US Organization, described fictitious plans by US to ambush BPP members. The FBI memo stated, “It is hoped this counterintelligence measure will result in an ‘US’ and BPP vendetta.”

Many feel that the leader of US, Ron Karenga, was working for the other side. An article in the Wall Street Journal described Karenga as a thriving businessman, specializing in gas stations, who maintained close ties to Eastern Rockefeller family and LA’s mayor.

Michael Newton pointed out in the volume, “Bitter Grain: Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party,” a Wall Street Journal article which reported: “A few weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King … Mr. Karenga slipped into Sacramento for a private chat with Gov. Reagan, at the governor’s request. The Black nationalist also met clandestinely with Los Angeles police chief Thomas Reddin after Mr. King was killed.”

We need some stronger stuff

At that moment in history, many cultural nationalists maintained that the cultural revolution must take place before a political one could proceed. Huey P. Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, countered with the view: “We believe that culture itself will not liberate us. We’re going to need some stronger stuff.”

The Black Panther Party led by Newton and Bobby Seale was like the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC). It was an anti-imperialist alliance; many like Carter embraced revolutionary nationalism while others like Newton, George Jackson and Fred Hampton took a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (MLM) position. Hampton openly said he was fighting for socialism leading to communism.

Carter named Geronimo

In its Feb. 17, 1969, edition, The Black Panther newspaper pays tribute to assassinated leaders Bunchy Carter and John Huggins. Click to enlarge.
In its Feb. 17, 1969, edition, The Black Panther newspaper pays tribute to assassinated leaders Bunchy Carter and John Huggins. Click to enlarge.

Carter was a firm supporter of the Native American struggle. It was Carter who changed Elmer Pratt into Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt (Sept. 13, 1947 – June 2, 2011) after the great Native American warrior Geronimo, “the one who yawns” (June 1829 – Feb. 17, 1909) was a prominent Apache leader who fought against Mexico and Arizona for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars.

Geronimo replaced Carter as the deputy minister of defense of the Southern California Chapter of the BPP after Carter was taken out. Carter left a memo saying his wish was for Geronimo to replace him.

Carter was never known as an anti-Communist. Before joining the Black Panther Party, Carter was recruited by Raymond “Maasi” Hewitt to a Maoist study group called the Red Guard. I was a part of the same group; however, Carter came in after I left Los Angeles.

Carter was influenced by Jean-Jacques Dessalines of Haiti and Dedan Kimathi of the Land and Freedom Army, the so-called Mau Mau. The Los Angeles Chapter under Bunchy’s leadership required that members take the Mau Mau Oath. Here is the Mau Mau Oath:

“I speak the truth and vow before God / And before this movement, / The movement of Unity, / The Unity which is put to the test, / The Unity that is mocked with the name of ‘Mau Mau,’ / That I shall go forward to fight for the land, / The lands of Kirinyaga that we cultivated, / The lands which were taken by the Europeans, / And if I fail to do this, / May this oath kill me, / May this seven kill me, / May this meat kill me.”

Days at Los Angeles City College

Carter and a small segment of people who lived in my area of Los Angeles had an international world view. He was a legendary figure in my neighborhood. After he was released from prison, he attended Los Angeles City College. Carter was my senior and I didn’t meet him until he was released from jail.

He and others, like Sigidi Abdullah and his S.O.S Band, “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”; Rhongea Southern, now Daar Malik El-Bey, who worked closely with Abdullah; Earl Randall, who went on to work with Willie Mitchell at Hi Records and wrote Al Green’s “God Bless Our Love”; Fred Goree, who became Masai Karega Kenyatta and a DJ on WCHB 1440AM in Detroit, went to LACC at the same time.

Sigidi told me that Carter asked him to organize a talent show at LACC. I remember singing the Spinners’ “I’ll Always Love You” at this event. El-Bey was my guitarist.

ltr-from-ericka-huggins-to-john-huggins-before-his-assassination-1969-cy-its-about-time-bpp-archives

Carter’s political consciousness was raised before he joined the Black Panther Party. Kumasi, who Huey P. Newton asked to replace Carter as the leader of the Southern California Chapter of the BPP, talked to me about the LA legend.

Says Kumasi: “When Malcolm X first came to Los Angeles, he built the first outpost right there in our neighborhood. The Mosque (Temple 27) itself was close to us and all of us had visited the Mosque. As a matter of fact, Bunchy and many of the Renegade Slausons (Bunchy had his own set of Slausons inside the Slausons) were the first youth Fruit of Islam (FOI) in LA. Carter was only 15 years old at that moment in history.

Carter was a 20th century renaissance man. He was great at many things and was a poet and a singer. Elaine Brown has written that many Panthers sang together: “John (Huggins) sang bass to my contralto and Bunchy’s falsetto.”

Brown pointed out in her autobiography, “A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story,” how the trio used to sing the Young Hearts’ “I’ve Got Love for My Baby.” He was also a great dancer. David Hilliard maintains that if it were not for racism, Carter may have become an Olympic swimmer.

Brown says while all this is true, Carter was first and foremost a revolutionary. This is extraordinary if you consider that Carter suffered a childhood bout of polio and moved to South Central LA, where his mother, Nola Carter, enrolled him in a “therapeutic” dance class.

Carter’s Louisiana-born mother is still in the land of the living at the time of this writing. She is almost a century old and has lost two sons: Arthur Morris, Carter’s older step brother, acted as Carter’s bodyguard and was the first member of the BPP to lose his life. He was killed in March of 1968. Little Bobby Hutton, who was influenced by Carter, was killed on April 6, 1968. Her youngest son, Kenneth Fati Carter, is currently locked down in Corcoran State Prison in California.

Caffee Greene, mother of Raymond Nat Turner, Black Agenda Report’s poet-in-residence, hired Carter to work at the Teen Post in Los Angeles. Greene first hired Raymond “Masai” Hewitt, who was replaced by Carter. It was at the Teen Post that I first heard Eldridge Cleaver speak. Cleaver and Carter were both Nation of Islam ministers in prison.

The Afrikan Students Union at UCLA keeps alive the memory of Black Panther leaders Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins with an annual commemorative gathering in Campbell Hall Classroom 1201, where they were gunned down, on the anniversary of their assassination on Jan. 17, 1969. At the 2014 gathering, panel member Ericka Huggins, also a leader in the Black Panther Party and widow of the late John Huggins, encouraged them to “make a portal for students way younger than you to be here … Use the skills the university has given you and turn them toward your community … We are all standing on someone’s shoulders; imagine someone is standing on yours.” – Photo: Afrikan Students Union
The Afrikan Students Union at UCLA keeps alive the memory of Black Panther leaders Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins with an annual commemorative gathering in Campbell Hall Classroom 1201, where they were gunned down, on the anniversary of their assassination on Jan. 17, 1969. At the 2014 gathering, panel member Ericka Huggins, also a leader in the Black Panther Party and widow of the late John Huggins, encouraged them to “make a portal for students way younger than you to be here … Use the skills the university has given you and turn them toward your community … We are all standing on someone’s shoulders; imagine someone is standing on yours.” – Photo: Afrikan Students Union

Turner saw the cultural side of Carter: “Yeah, I heard Bunchy sing Stevie’s ‘I’m Wondering’ and ‘I Was Made to Love Her,’ and I used to hear Tommy (Lewis) play piano at the Teen Post my mom directed. … It was also fun to watch Bunchy dance – Philly Dog, Jerk and Twine … a lil’ ‘Bitter Dog’ with the Philly Dog every once in a while … ‘Bebop Santa from the Cool North Pole’ and ‘Black Mother’ were also great to hear.” Tommy Lewis, Robert Lawrence and Steve Bartholomew were murdered by the Los Angeles police at a service station on Aug. 25, 1968.

Kumasi opines that Carter and George Jackson were like Henri Christophe and Jean-Jacques Dessalines. While they were well-versed in history, revolutionary theory and current events, both were soldiers ready to take to the battlefield. Carter made a contribution to Africa, Africans and oppressed humanity. We should remember him every Oct. 12.

Post script

In his Executive Order No. 1, “The Correct Handling of Differences Between Black Organizations,” issued in 1968, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, then the deputy minister of defense of the Southern California Chapter at Los Angeles of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, wrote: “Let this be heard: The Black Panther Party must never be the enemy of the people. The Black Panther Party must never put itself in that other organizations can make them seem to be the enemy of Black People …

“History will show we have the correct analysis of the problem. The people will relate to the party that relates to them. Therefore, we must continue to relate to the people. Therefore, we do not get into squabbles with other Black organizations; we do not have time for this when engaging in revolution. Let this be done.”

Norman (Otis) Richmond, aka Jalali, was born in Arcadia, Louisiana, and grew up in Los Angeles. He left Los Angles after refusing to fight in Vietnam because he felt that, like the Vietnamese, Africans in the United States were colonial subjects. In the 1960s, Richmond moved to Toronto, where he co-founded the Afro American Progressive Association, one of the first Black Power organizations in that part of the world. Before moving to Toronto permanently, Richmond worked with the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers. He was the youngest member of the central staff. When the League split, he joined the African People’s Party. In 1992, Richmond received the Toronto Arts Award. In front of an audience that included the mayor of Toronto, Richmond dedicated his award to Mumia Abu-Jamal, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, the African National Congress of South Africa and Fidel Castro and the people of Cuba. In 1984 he co-founded the Toronto Chapter of the Black Music Association with Milton Blake. Richmond began his career in journalism at the African Canadian weekly Contrast. He went on to be published in the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Jackson Advocate, Share, the Islander, the Black American, Pan African News Wire, and Black Agenda Report. Internationally, he has written for the United Nations, the Jamaican Gleaner, the Nation (Barbados) and Pambazuka News. Currently, he produces Diasporic Music, a radio show for Uhuru Radio, and writes a column, Diasporic Music, for The Burning Spear newspaper. For more information, contact him at norman.o.richmond@gmail.com

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 9-13-20 guest: Activist, N.Y. Assemblyman Charles Barron

“Time for An Awakening” for Sunday 9/13/2020 our guest was Activist, 60th District of the New York Assemblyman, Charles Barron. Can “Black Radical Politics” help us control the economy of our community and more? We discussed this concept and other important topics with our guest, Mr. Charles Barron. 

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 08/23/2020 our guests Author, Cultural Historian, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy studies at Howard University, Dr. Kmt Shockley

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Huey P. Newton, the Canadian Connection

By Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

Huey P. Newton was murdered 31 years ago in Oakland, California during the month of August. Because Black freedom fighters like George and Jonathan Jackson, Khatari Gaulden and others lost their lives during this month, revolutionaries inside the California prison system have deemed it Black August.
It is August 22, 1989 at about 8:30 a.m. the late Gwen Johnston, the co-owner of Third World Books and Crafts (Toronto’s first African Canadian owned bookstore) phones me. The news is shocking, dreadful even. Mrs.Johnston is in tears stating, “Otis they have killed Huey”.
Mrs. Johnston and her husband Lennie were huge supporters of Newton, the Black Panther Party and the struggle for African and human liberation.
When Newton returned to the United States after his exile inrevolutionary Cuba in 1977 he first landed in Toronto. He was detained in Brampton, Ontario and was represented by the progressive Euro-Canadian lawyer, Paul Copeland. Toronto’s African community supported Newton and the Panthers had several chapters in this county.
Toronto’s African community was represented by Owen Sankara Leach, Lennox Farrell, the late Sharona Hall, Mitch Holder, Bryan Hyman, Cikiah Thomas and others at the Brampton courthouse. It was covered by the Toronto dailies and even was discussed by Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News.
Spider Jones discusses his brief tenure with the Black Panther Party in his autobiography “Out of the Darkness: The Spider Jones Story”. Another African born in Canada Rocky Jone created a Black Panther Party chapter in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Whatever his shortcomings and there were many, Newton led many of us ideologically. For a brief moment in the history of Africans in America Newton was” the tallest tree in the forest”.
Malcolm X was the first national leader in the African community in the United States to oppose the war in Vietnam. Dr. Martin Luther King later followed Malcolm’s lead on this issue; Newton took it to the next limit. He offered troops to fight on the side of the North Vietnamese. In 1970, when was released from prison in California, his first act was to offer troops to fight in Vietnam on the side of the Vietnamese people.
On August 29, 1970 Newton wrote “In the spirit of internationalrevolutionary solidarity the Black Panther Party hereby offers to the National Liberation Front and Provisional revolutionary Government of South Vietnam an undetermined number of troops to assist you in your fight against American imperialism. It is appropriate for the Black Panther Party to take this action at this time in recognition of the fact that your struggle is also our struggle, for we recognize that our common enemy is the American imperialist who is the leader of international bourgeois domination.”
Newton also raised the questions of the liberation of women and even gays. At that time in our history this was not fashionable.
Nationalists, Pan-Africanist and even some socialist formations did not wish to touch the hot potato of gay rights. Newton did. He was the bold one. His speech given on August 15, 1970 created a firestorm in the African liberation movement. At that time I did not support Newton’s thoughts on the issue of gays and lesbians.
Newton said: “We should be careful about using those terms that might turn our friends off. The terms ‘faggot’ and ‘punk’ should be deleted from our vocabulary and, especially, we should not attach names normally designed for homosexuals to men who are enemies of the people. Homosexuals are not enemies of the people. We should try to form a working coalition with the gay liberation and women’s liberation groups. We must always handle social forces in the most appropriate manner.”
Newton was born in Oak Grove, Louisiana on February 17, 1942.
Louisiana has always been a problem for the ruling circle in the United States. Queen Mother Moore, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, Raymond “Maasi” Hewitt, Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), PaulMooney Richard Williams (father of Serena and Venus Willisms )and Newton all hail from Louisiana.
Queen Mother Moore from New Iberia, Carter and Hewiitt from Shreveport, Geronimo from Morgan City, Imam Al-Amin from Baton Rouge and Newton from Oak Grove.
There were 74 chapters of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) in Louisiana alone. Tony Martin pointed this out in his volume, “Race First: The Ideological and Organizational truggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association”.
In the 1950s and 1960s the militant Deacons for Defense sprang up in the pecan state. Jesse Jackson won the primaries for the Democratic Party in 1984 and 1988. Barack Hussein Obama, rode a wave of black support to victory in Louisiana.
The state has also produced its share of sell-outs, buffoons and idiots.
As we commemorate the 39th Anniversary of Black August and the 31th anniversary of Newton joining the ancestors we should remember the words of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Says Mumia: “Huey was, it must be said, no godling, no saint. He was, however, intensely human, curious, acutely brilliant, a lover of the world’s children, an implacable foe of all the world’s oppressors.”

Norman (Otis) Richmond, aka Jalali, was born in Arcadia, Louisiana, and grew up in Los Angeles. He left Los Angles after refusing to fight in Vietnam because he felt that, like the Vietnamese, Africans in the United States were colonial subjects. After leaving Los Angeles in the 1960s Richmond moved to Toronto, where he co-founded the Afro American Progressive Association, one of the first Black Power organizations in that part of the world. Before moving to Toronto permanently, Richmond worked with the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers. He was the youngest member of the central staff. When the League split he joined the African People’s Party. In 1992, Richmond received the Toronto Arts Award. In front of an audience that included the mayor of Toronto, Richmond dedicated his award to Mumia Abu-Jamal, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, the African National Congress of South Africa, and Fidel Castro and the people of Cuba. In 1984 he co-founded the Toronto Chapter of the Black Music Association with Milton Blake. Richmond began his career in journalism at the African Canadian weekly Contrast which was owned by Al Hamilton. He went on to be published in the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Jackson Advocate, Share, the Islander, the Black American, Pan African News Wire, and Black Agenda Report. Internationally he has written for the United Nations, the Jamaican Gleaner, the Nation (Barbados),the Nation (Sri Lanka), the Zimbabwe Herald and Pambazuka News. Currently, he produces Diasporic Music a radio show and writes a column, Diasporic Music for the Burning Spear Newspaper

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 8/16/20 guest Author, Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Jerome Fox

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Black August, George Jackson and Marcus Garvey

“Garvey was a race FIRST man, never a race ONLY person.”

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

Black August 2020 is here. Africa, Africans and our allies should commemorate this historical event which began in the dungeons of California in 1979.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940) appealed to the anti-capitalist and the pro-capitalist forces in the African world. While Garvey was respectful of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) and other leaders of the 1917 Russian Revolution, he fought the U.S. Communist Party tooth and nail. Rupert Charles Lewis, the author of the book, Walter Rodney’s Intellectual and Political Thought, discusses this: Says Lewis “The Comintern out of Moscow had a resolution that the Garvey movement should be attacked and Communist Parties throughout the world including CPUSA and South African Communist Party were very hostile. They toned down their hostilities during Garvey’s imprisonment.”
Garvey supported a limited form of capitalism. However, I don’t think Bill Gates would be too fond of Garvey’s ideas. Garvey put a limit of how much profit an individual and a corporation could earn. He said an individual could earn two million dollars and a corporation only five. In 2020 this would be roughly ($60 million dollars). This would make the One Percenter bust out in laugher.
“Huey P. Newton (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989), who founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense with Bobby Seale, counted Garvey among his heroes.”
Garvey’s position on race was more complex than has been presented. He was a race FIRST man, never a race ONLY person. David Brundage, Professor and Graduate Program Director, History Department, University of California, Santa Cruz reveals:
“Most surprising of all in light of the deep currents of anti-black racism that ran through the history of the Irish in America was the enthusiasm of Marcus Garvey and other African-American protest leaders for the Irish cause.”
It may come as a surprise to many that Huey P. Newton (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989), who founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense with Bobby Seale, counted Garvey among his heroes. Also, the Field Marshal of the Black Panther Party, George Jackson (September 23, 1941 – August 21, 1971) was a student of Garvey, and at one point in his political development actually wanted to go fight in Africa. Newton and Jackson were among the anti-capitalist forces that admired Garvey.
Newton wrote about Garvey in his volume, To Die for the People. He wrote: “Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X were the two Black men of the 20th century who posed an implacable challenge to both the oppressor and the endorsed spokesmen.” Newton recognized and acknowledged that Garvey was a threat to the power structures in the USA and Western Europe. Jackson also shared Garvey’s hatred for Europe’s hand in the underdevelopment of Africa.
James Carr was one of Jackson’s allies in prison. Carr wrote in his autobiography Bad, about the political changes Jackson went through in prison:
“He (Jackson) had become convinced that there would never be any social change in this country, that everyone, Blacks included, had been too brainwashed. He believed that our only hope lay in going back to Africa to participate in the political struggles going on there. George had studied Pan-Africanism and thoroughly mastered African history while I was away. According to George, the new Black man was being formed in the struggles for national liberation going on in the Portuguese colonies of Angola, Guinea and Mozambique.”
“George Jackson also shared Garvey’s hatred for Europe’s hand in the underdevelopment of Africa.”
This was where the highest principles of justice and equality were being put into practice: “To promote his ideas, George had started giving political education classes to the Pack (a group of Black convicts joined together for survival inside Soledad prison); each dude had to read a certain amount of material by Garvey and other nationalists and different things from Pan-African magazines George had collected… Africa was on our minds, but we had plenty to worry about right where we were, too.”
Ironically, it was the African liberation movements in the Portuguese colonies plus Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) South West Africa (Namibia) and South Africa that helped turn many Africans in the West to anti-capitalist politics. Amilcar Cabral, the central leader of the struggle in Guinea-Bissau, told Africans in the West that the best thing they could do for Africans struggling against colonialism was fight their governments where they lived.
Jackson was one of many who decided to fight for Africa where they were. Walter Rodney was moved by Jackson’s politics. Rupert Charles Lewis’ book, Walter Rodney’s Intellectual and Political Thought, mentions how Rodney respected Jackson:
“Many of the lectures he gave in the US in the 1970s were concerned with the relevance of Marxism to Africa and the Third World. In his essay on George Jackson, written in Dar es Salaam, he demonstrated the merits of his approach which grasped both class and race dynamics of the Black experience in the US.”
African communities around the globe should find creative ways to commemorate all the historical events that take place in August. Emancipation Day, August 1 is an important day in the history of millions of Africa’s children. This is an important moment for those who fought against the Empire in Britain. The sun has forever set on the British Empire and U.S. Empire is declining every day. August 17 is the birthday of Garvey and it should be remembered. Also, August 7 and August 21 are important in the revolutionary calendar of African people. George Jackson’s younger brother, 17-year-old Jonathan, was killed by police gunfire on August 7, 1970 as he attempted to free James McClain, William Christmas and Ruchell Cinque Magee from a courthouse in Marin County, California. Magee was the only survivor of the Marin County slave rebellion, and is the longest serving political prisoner in the USA.
“Amilcar Cabral told Africans in the West that the best thing they could do for Africans struggling against colonialism was fight their governments where they lived.“
As we reflect on the lives of Garvey, Rodney, George and Jonathan Jackson we must also remember Magee. He can be contacted: Ruchell Magee, A-902051, CMC P.O. Box 8103, San Luis Obispo, and CA 93409. We cannot allow Ruchcell Magee to die in prison. Every effort should be made to free Magee and all political prisoners inside the United States.
In an unpublished commentary on an earlier version of this article, Richard Sutherland writes:
“Any discussion of Garvey must do so dialectically, in motion, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of Garvey and showing how subsequent generations promoted the strengths yet transcended the weaknesses.
“In the first paragraph, you pointed out the contradiction in Garvey but showed the two possibilities emanating from this contradiction (pro- or anti- capitalist) and (correctly) focused your attention on the revolutionary legacy that flowed from GARVEY. Objectively, this is the correct way of dealing with Garvey, especially if we call ourselves progressive which implies FORWARD MOVEMENT!
“As you point out, Huey and George represented the revolutionary aspects of what Garvey wasn’t, yet manifested the spiritual and emotional relevance of what Garvey was.
“Again, it was Garvey’s emphasis on Africa that stimulated future generation of revolutionary Africans to “look to Africa” for inspiration. And we did! As you’ve shown, Huey and George were inspired by revolutionaries in Africa who looked like GARVEY in the form of Amilcar Cabral and others. They adopted their Garveyism to Marxism and their Marxism to Garveyism, analysing their concrete conditions. Huey and George saw how revolutionary Africans on the Continent were struggling to realize one of Garvey’s dreams of a free and liberated Africa for Africans and incorporated some of the new and progressives ideas that were lacking in Garvey. Again, Garvey transcended. This is the dialectical negation!
“Dialectically, we start with Garvey and end with his revolutionary progeny! You did! You started with Garvey and ended with BLACK AUGUST! This is necessary to properly understand Garvey and his contribution to the further development of the PROGRESSIVE struggle of oppressed Africans and other oppressed people.”

Norman (Otis) Richmond, aka Jalali, was born in Arcadia, Louisiana, and grew up in Los Angeles. He left Los Angles after refusing to fight in Vietnam because he felt that, like the Vietnamese, Africans in the United States were colonial subjects. After leaving Los Angeles in the 1960s Richmond moved to Toronto, where he co-founded the Afro American Progressive Association, one of the first Black Power organizations in that part of the world. Before moving to Toronto permanently, Richmond worked with the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers. He was the youngest member of the central staff. When the League split he joined the African People’s Party. In 1992, Richmond received the Toronto Arts Award. In front of an audience that included the mayor of Toronto, Richmond dedicated his award to Mumia Abu-Jamal, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, the African National Congress of South Africa, and Fidel Castro and the people of Cuba. In 1984 he co-founded the Toronto Chapter of the Black Music Association with Milton Blake. Richmond began his career in journalism at the African Canadian weekly Contrast which was owned by Al Hamilton. He went on to be published in the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Jackson Advocate, Share, the Islander, the Black American, Pan African News Wire, and Black Agenda Report. Internationally he has written for the United Nations, the Jamaican Gleaner, the Nation (Barbados),the Nation (Sri Lanka), the Zimbabwe Herald and Pambazuka News. Currently, he produces Diasporic Music a radio show for http://blackpower96.org/http://www.theburningspear.com/uhuru-radio and Radio Regent http://www.radioregent.com/ and writes a column, Diasporic Music for the Burning Spear Newspaper.
For more informantion norman.o.richmond@gmail.com
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