Tue, 15 March 2016
“We arrive at the current election season with both corporate parties in a state of flux and an incipient Black movement that is anxious to transform the political landscape.”
Self-determination. It’s a term that was once at the center of the Black political discussion. How should Black folks organize themselves to gain the power to shape their own destinies, and in the process, build a better world and break the power of our enemies? Black people in the United States made great strides when we engaged in mass mobilization under independent Black leadership with the focus on self-determination. WE set the terms of discussion, and put forward principled demands that were designed – always – to result in the accumulation of more power in the hands of our people. Sometimes that involved elections, but more often not, because elections only occur every two or four years, while the struggle for power and self-determination is constant.
The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is putting Black people’s self-determination back in the discussion this election season, with a National Conference on the 2016 Election and the Struggle for Self-Determination. The conference takes place on Saturday, April 9, at St. Mary’s Church in Harlem, New York City. The Black Is Back Coalition will explore the possibilities and the dangers that the current electoral scene presents for the future of Black people and the world. This is a conference about power: the power to kick the killer cops out of our neighborhoods and establish Black community control of the police. The power to keep our people from being dispersed from the cities at the whim of rich corporations. The power to control our schools and the content and quality of our children’s educations. The power that comes from economic security. The power to say Yes to our friends and No to our enemies.
The Black Is Back Coalition was founded in October, 2009, when a broad range of Black organizations decided to work together based on the principle of Black self-determination and the struggle against imperialism. President Obama had just begun his first term in office. The new Coalition understood that the election of a Black corporate Democrat to the highest office in the land was not a step towards Black self-determination. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Obama’s election meant that lots of Black folks would celebrate as their own incomes and wealth went further down the drain, and that many would cheering while a Black commander-in-chief slaughtered people of color all over the world. And we were right.
But something else happened in the second half of Barack Obama’s tenure in office: the beginnings of a mass movement. And so, we arrive at the current election season with both corporate parties in a state of flux and, most importantly, an incipient Black movement that is anxious to transform the political landscape through struggle outside the ballot box. Which is why the Black Is Back Coalition is holding a National Conference on the 2016 Election and the Struggle for Self-Determination, Saturday, April 9, at St. Mary’s Church, at 521 West 126th Street, in Harlem, New York. To make arrangements, go to the Black Is Back Coalition web site. Because Black Power matters.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.