Black millenials

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 3-08-20 guest Shawn D. Rochester

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 3/08/2020 at 7:00 PM our guest was Author, Financial Educator, CEO of Good Steward LLC, Shawn D. Rochester. “The Black Tax: The Cost Of Being Black In America”, and related topics was the discussion with our guest, Mr. Shawn Rochester.

Why is Jay-Z’s Criminal Justice Reform Helping To Erase the Struggle to Free Political Prisoners?

Omowale Afrika

Omowale Afrika Feb 25 ·

What’s Free?

“…to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”

~ Assata Shakur

For the past 65 years, the United States of America has avoided answering for its continued crimes against humanity, through the strategic use of “window-dressing” reforms, and handpicked “Negro” ambassadors. The use of Black entertainers to protect America’s image against foreign accusations of human rights violations, was a strategy devised by the Eisenhower administration during the Cold War.

When we examine the modern day Criminal Justice Reform movement, it readily exposes itself as another attempt by America, to cover its long trail of human rights abuses. The movement, as currently constructed, was birthed in the early 2000’s by the Brookings Institute, and was meant to serve as a Democratic Party, policy carrot, during the 2004 election. As fate would have it, this initial push for criminal justice reform was drowned out by the sound of the nations war drums, and wouldn’t be picked up again for more than a decade.

During Barack Obama’s 2nd term in office, the issue of Criminal Justice Reform was put back on the table as a strategic policy baton (i.e. hand-off to Hillary Clinton), for succession planning. Rapper Jay Z, having replaced Reverend Al Sharpton, as Black America’s #1 surrogate for the Democratic Party, was at the forefront of the newly revived, Brookings Institute, reform discussions. Serving as Barack Obama’s Chief Hip Hop Ambassador, Jay Z was given unprecedented access to the Democratic Party’s media outlets, to lead the public discussion on the need for reform.

Jay Z, like Eisenhower’s “Jazz Ambassadors” before him, has very little awareness of how his hard-won political capital, within the Black Community, is being mined for the political gold needed to finance the Democratic Party’s domestic and foreign agenda. On the local level, neoliberal criminal justice reform was needed as the policy center-piece for the 2016 presidential platform of Hillary — My Prisoners at the Governor’s Mansion — Clinton.


It was strategic enough, as a policy, to ingratiate Hillary Clinton with the Black community — by presenting it as something she was “doing for us” — while at the same time it could be pitched as non-race-specific policy, to avoid alienating the Democratic Party’s, racist, white voter base.

To add even more weight behind this political gambit, Obama summoned his version of Eisenhower’s “Jazz Ambassadors” to the white house, in the middle of a hotly contested Democratic Primary between HRC and Bernie Sanders, for a so-called “Criminal Justice Reform” summit (4/15/16), which was nothing more than a thinly veiled Hip Hop recruitment gathering for Hillary ’16.

On an international level, it was the strategic cover America needed to drown out the continued claims of human rights violations, as evidenced by the disproportionate number of Black men, and growing number of Black women, being held in America’s political concentration camps.

Enters Meek Mill

The November 2017 sentencing of rapper Robert “Meek Mill” Williams, was the catalyst needed to galvanize Jay Z, the State, and the Democratic Party’s billionaire donor-base, around a single issue: PROBATION REFORM.

The lunacy of Meek Mills arrest and imprisonment, was so outlandish that it made international headlines, positioning Meek as America’s new, most iconic “Political Prisoner,” overnight — The former being, Mumia Abu Jamal.

Meek’s arrest was political gold for the Democratic Party’s reform agenda, because it provided a grassroots movement, that appeared organic enough, to move full steam ahead with neoliberal criminal justice reform. Meek’s release also symbolized just how this new “reform” movement, would be used to drown out advocacy efforts on behalf of Political prisoners.

Just as Obama’s rise to the presidency, forever deafened the cries for justice by African Americans, Meek Mills ascendancy as America’s most iconic political prisoner, has aided in silencing the cry for justice by the Afrikans that have been held captive, since before Meek was born.

Meek’s Cinderella debut, and helicopter ride to the Sixers game, completely overshadowed, Mumia Abu Jamal, who on that same day, was finally back in court for his long awaited hearing to have his case reopened.

Articles you may find interesting: How “Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform” Institutionalizes a Right-Wing, Neoliberal Agenda


But even beyond Mumia, the great tragedy, and injustice of this corporate-owned reform movement, is that it has allowed American policy makers to spin a narrative that U.S. Mass Incarceration is somehow the result of a “broken system,” and not the direct result of neoliberal policies intended to deal with the threat of Black radicalism.

The sad irony here, is that two Black men who are the products of America’s fear of creating a new generation of George Jacksons and Fred Hamptons — Meek Mill & Jay Z — are both having their ignorance weaponized against the same group of political prisoners, who were the impetus for the neoliberal era of Mass Incarceration in America.

That any Black man in America would be willing to entertain a discussion on Prison reform, that doesn’t involve the release of these political prisoners, and the pardon of those still in exile (e.g. Mama Assata Shakur) is the deepest of tragedies.

But even with my deep feelings of betrayal, I still continue to hope that our Brothers Meek Mill & Jay Z, will experience a legitimate awakening, as they had no control over the manufacturing of their consciousness, which has ultimately shaped their character.

In the wake of the generation of George Jacksons and Fred Hamptons, America sort to provide itself with an army of Jay Zs and Meek Mills, from which they could handpick the winners and losers. The consciousness of this new generation of black male youth has been manufactured to embrace hyper capitalism, and rugged individualism. Thoughts of collective struggle, don’t have a chance of entering such a mind, without the light of a proper political education.

“As a slave, the social phenomenon that engages my whole consciousness is, of course, revolution.”

~ George Jackson

This lack of proper analysis, is one of the reasons why Jay Z can name drop scholars like Ruthie Gilmore, to score criminal justice points, but wouldn’t be caught whispering the names of any of our political prisoners, in earshot of his corporate sponsors.

This inability for Jay Z to wrestle with his own contradictions, makes him the perfect running back on behalf of the State, and corporate America’s private interests. Sometimes I ask myself, “does he realize how he’s being used to run interference, or is he blinded by the prestige and corporate deals that come with being useful?”

In no case was this more evident than his “Obama approved” trip to Cuba in 2014. Six-months ahead of Obama publicly announcing that he was easing restrictions on travel to Cuba, Obama skillfully uses his Hip Hop diplomacy to signal a change is US policy with Cuba, the same way Nixon used Ping-pong diplomacy, to signal a change in foreign policy with China.

What was despicable about Jay Z allowing himself to be maneuvered in the interest of US foreign policy, was the Obama Administration also added Assata Shakur to the FBI’s most wanted list, and placed an additional one-million dollar bounty on her head, within one-month of Jay Z’s return from his Hiplomatic excursion to Cuba.

To date, Jay Z has never come out an condemned the Obama Administration, or America, who he assisted with changing their Cold War policy towards Cuba, even as they doubled-down on their Cold War policy towards Assata.

To be fair, I genuinely believe, that both Meek Mill and Jay Z feel they are doing the right thing. The challenge I have with them, is they’ve both shown just how willing they are, to abandon the struggle of their people, when it aligns with their economic interests.

During his visit to the Breakfast Club to discuss “standing up for reform,” Meek Mill was asked by one of the hosts (at the 18:18 mark), if he’s concerned with his activism around prison reform “f*cking with those peoples money?”

Meek’s Reply:

All y’all gotta do is give me a warning, I’ll get out y’all way. I aint here to sacrifice my life for everybody… I’m here to sacrifice my life for my family and my son…


This one statement by the famed freedom fighter, sums up the consciousness of an entire generation — where the movement builders of yesterday, have been replaced by the brand builders of today. This notion that I will fight for my people, as long as it comes with corporate endorsements, speaking fees, a one-way ticket to the island of Black excellence — and no resistance from my oppressor, is the prevailing consciousness of our generation.

This cancerous mindset, as well as the aforementioned reasons, is what led me to write this open letter to you (Dr. Shakur). Marcus Garvey once said, “What you do today that is worthwhile, inspires others to act at some future time.” It is my hope that by writing this open letter, it will inspire others to examine and confront their own fears, as I have done my own.

Only time will tell if the island of Black excellence, can be transformed into an edifice of maroon resistance, or if it’ll remain America’s decadent colonization scheme, for it’s newly manumitted slaves — who falsely believe that the chains of mental enslavement can be broken with dollars.

“The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.”

~ Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Written by

Omowale Afrika

READ MORE AT: https://medium.com/@omowaleafrika/why-is-jay-zs-criminal-justice-reform-helping-to-erase-the-struggle-to-free-political-prisoners-cd202298f338


“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 3-01-20 guest Dr. Ava Muhammad

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 3/01/2020 at 7:00 PM (EST) our guest was Attorney, Author, National Spokesperson for Minister Louis Farrakhan, Dr. Ava Muhammad. “THE CASE FOR SEPARATION“, along with related subjects was topics for discussion with our guest, Dr. Ava Muhammad.

Young Black Americans who want to explore their roots can take a free birthright trip to Africa. Here’s how

By Alaa Elassar

Scholars drumming with artisans from the Arts Centre Market in Accra, Ghana.

Scholars drumming with artisans from the Arts Centre Market in Accra, Ghana.

(CNN)There are a lot of things that make up who we are as people. Our physical features, our pet peeves, our passions — and our roots. It’s a puzzle we spend our entire lives trying to finish.As human beings, we are complex and difficult to understand. But sometimes, looking back at where we came from and discovering the successes, struggles and sacrifices of our ancestors can make that puzzle a bit more complete.For young black people, that discovery can mean the world. That’s why Birthright AFRICA, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, offers free trips to Africa for youth and young adults of African descent looking to explore their cultural roots. The organization also funds local and national exploration in cities like New York City and Washington, where scholars live and are a bus ride away from gaining an understanding of their history and contributions in the US before visiting the continent. “National Black History Month often focuses on the past, but this is about creating an infrastructure so that we can help people transform their futures,” Birthright AFRICA co-founder Diallo Shabazz told CNN.”This isn’t about validating black identity. It’s about providing an opportunity for people to explore their ancestry. “

An education you can’t find at school

One of Birthright AFRICA’s most important goals is giving young scholars the knowledge that the American school system often fails to provide.Those who go on the trip visit cultural sites, museums, universities, and organizations managed and led by people of African descent to learn about the “historic and present-day resilience and brilliance of their heritage often lacking in our school curriculums,” according to Birthright AFRICA co-founder and CEO Walla Elsheikh.While it’s been more than a half a century since the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling found that “separate but equal” has no place in US public schools, true racial equality in our education system has yet to exist.

Scholars on a Birthright AFRICA trip to Ghana in 2017.

Scholars on a Birthright AFRICA trip to Ghana in 2017.Schools with more black students are less likely to provide counselors, offer advanced classes, and hire teachers with proper licenses. Consequently, black students are more likely to be absent from school and get suspended. Although black students in colleges have more access (and freedom) to choose their own courses, when it comes to study abroad programs, the lack of diversity and equal opportunities continues.”Only 6% of study abroad students are black or of African descent. And only 2% of US managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs are of African descent,” Elsheikh said.”To address this gap in diversity and talent, Birthright AFRICA is creating the next generation of global leaders and entrepreneurs that are proud of their African heritage, confident in their innovative aspirations and connected to the African continent.”

“My life will never be the same”

While tourists visiting Africa are more likely to remember the food or safaris, those who have taken the birthright trip have something else to cherish.For Shaina Louis, a 23-year-old Haitian student born and raised in New York, her birthright trip to Ghana in 2018 as a student at the City University of New York gave her one thing she’d never expected to find: closure. “Prior to Birthright Africa, I had a lot of pent up resentment and antagonism due to a history that I felt my people had no say in. For those of us in the diaspora, our history, according to the textbooks, starts with slavery. I was doubtful and kind of cynical about what the future held not only for me as an individual, but also for black people as a whole,” Louis told CNN.After years of wondering where she fit in in a world where her ancestors were “stifled” and doubting the connection between Africa and those whose were forced to leave, Louis finally got the answers to all of her unspoken questions.”We may not speak the same language, but the foods we eat, the way we carry ourselves, the way we relate to one another, and our deeply ingrained spirituality reflect a bond that is still there,” she said. “There is a sense of inner peace and ease I now have, that wasn’t there before. I can move forward with my life, with intention behind everything I do.”

Scholars dancing with a professor from the University of Ghana's Performing Arts School in Accra, Ghana in 2018.

Scholars dancing with a professor from the University of Ghana’s Performing Arts School in Accra, Ghana in 2018.Kareem Williams, a 26-year-old scholar who went to Ghana on his birthright trip in 2019 as a participant of community-based GrowHouse NYC, said he felt extremely disconnected from his Jamaican roots while growing up in New York. What surprised Williams the most, he said, was the kindness he received from people in the country. Unlike the “feeling of separation” he’s experienced in the US, for once, he felt like he belonged. “Before I had even touched down in Ghana, the energy I felt as I got closer to Africa, I felt a rush, a vibration, and it was so strong,” Williams said. “It felt like something was pulling me towards the country. It felt surreal.”Visiting Ghana, he said, made him feel that he had a place where he didn’t have to “constantly face resistance,” an environment — and a system — that would help him thrive instead of hold him back.”It has to do with the American system. There’s so much prejudice and micro aggressions that I didn’t feel in Ghana. I felt so connected to my ancestors for the first time. When I came back to the US, I realized how much it changed me. Like my life will never be the same.”Now, Williams says he plans to someday return to Africa in hopes of getting into a position where he can become a global leader with the ability to influence reform, economic decisions, and infrastructure to collaboratively strengthen African businesses and communities.

What it takes to take a birthright trip to Africa

To take a birthright trip to Africa, you have to be a US citizen and between 13 to 30 years old.You also have to be of African descent; this includes African American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Europeans, Afro-Asian and Afro-Latinx, according to Elsheikh.”We consider all black people of African descent,” Elsheikh said. “Our target groups are those who have been negatively impacted by the traumatizing enslavement and colonization of black people.”Birthright AFRICA collaborates with high school, college, or community-based organization who are then considered “partners.” These educational partners select the participants and the country they will visit as part of the Birthright AFRICA program.Anyone who isn’t already a part of one of these education partners can register through the Birthright AFRICA website which will then redirect them to a partner in their area with available spaces where they can apply. Those who take the trip to Africa get to go for free — flights, hotels, food, and costs of museums are covered by Birthright AFRICA and the educational partners.For those who aren’t interested in a trip but would like to help fund them, Birthright AFRICA heavily relies on donations to make these life-changing trips possible.

CNN’s Saeed Ahmed contributed to this report.

READ MORE AT: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/03/us/africa-birthright-program-national-black-history-month-trnd/index.html

AND https://birthrightafrica.org/

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott 1-19-20 guest Omowale Afrika

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 1/19/2020 at 7:00 PM (EST) our guest was Vice Shenuti for the Philadelphia Chapter of Afrocentricity International, Omowale Afrika. We heared from Bro. Omowale about the current outreach, and overview of the upcoming lecture series at Phila. chapter of Afrocentricity International.

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 1-12-20 guest Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor

https://media.blubrry.com/timeforanawakeningmedia/p/www.timeforanawakening.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Time-for-an-Awakening-with-Bro.Elliott-1-13-20-guest-Jessica-Ann-Mitchell-Aiwuyor.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:25:51 — 67.1MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Android | Email | RSS “Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 1/12/2020 at 7:00 PM our guest was Cultural Storyteller, Author, Journalist, Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor. The discussion with our guest centered around her latest article, “Understanding ADOS: The Movement to Hijack Black Identity...

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“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 12-08-19 special guest Dr.Arikana Chihombori-Quao

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“Time For An Awakening” with Bro.Elliott Friday 11/08/2019, “Freestyle Friday” Open Forum

“Time For An Awakening” for Friday 11/08/2019 at 8:00 PM (EST) our guest was the listeners in Freestyle Friday” conversation. Comcast Cable  attempting to undo the Civil Rights Act of 1866, was one of this weeks hot topics.

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 11-3-19 Special Guest: Dr. Jeff Menzise Clinical Psychology, Spiritual Life Coach

http://media.blubrry.com/timeforanawakeningmedia/p/www.timeforanawakening.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Time-for-an-Awakening-with-Bro.Elliott-11-03-19-guest-Dr.-Jeff-Menzise-mp3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:09:09 — 59.3MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Android | Email | RSS “Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 11/03/2019 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) our guest was Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Spiritual Life Coach, Dr. Jeff Menzise. “The African Origin Of Freemasonry” was among the topics discussed...

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“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott 10-27-19 special guest: Documentary Filmmaker, Producer, Jeremiah Camara

http://media.blubrry.com/timeforanawakeningmedia/p/www.timeforanawakening.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Time-for-an-Awakening-with-Bro.Elliott-10-27-19-guest-Filmmaker-Jeremiah-Camara-mp3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:43:49 — 75.2MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Android | Email | RSS “Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 10/27/2019 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) our guest was Documentary Filmmaker, Producer, Jeremiah Camara. Is there is a correlation between the number of churches in the Black Community coexisting...

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