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The Congress of African People

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Printed by BlackCommentator on December 17, 2015

 

The Congress of African People
Understanding its importance from a personal narrative

 

…a new generation will always emerge to define the issues, the causes, and the challenges of their times. For those of us coming of age in the Congress of African People, we hope our experiences and history will help make the change they seek.”

-Michael Simanga

 

Michael Simanga
Michael Simanga

My plan was simple, my intent genuine. I was going to obtain a copy of Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People by Michael Simanga and write up an objective book review. It’s not going to happen.

With each turn of a page in Simanga’s book, a floodgate of memories was opened. I realized I am too close to the story to maintain true objectivity. My introduction to the Congress of African People (CAP) closely mirrored Simanga’s. A group of us were building the St. Louis CAP chapter around the same time as the Detroit chapter was emerging. We both made treks to the national CAP headquarters in –as Baraka would call it – NewArk, NJ.

There’s other subjective factors that come into play in responding to the book. My personal and political relationship with the author spans over four decades. My deference to Amiri and Amina Baraka as the most critical influences of my ideological and political development are unshakable.  Yes, it was going to be difficult to pen a traditional book review but I must do my part to ensure that the historical place of CAP in the continuum of the Black Liberation Movement (BLM) and radical black traditions are firmly established. Read more

Controlling the narrative & our streets

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For many, the thought of a random act of violence on Sunday night was unbelievable. After 2-1/2 days of commemorative, non-violent, rejuvenating activities planned for the anniversary weekend of Mike Brown’s murder, shooting erupted in Ferguson. Because police lie and deceive routinely, it is difficult to know what the circumstances were around the shoot out that left Tyrone Harris, Jr. (a black teen) critically wounded. The narrative about the weekend quickly pivoted to why police must be ready with their militarized department to quell any kind of unrest by black folks and their allies. The St. Louis Post Dispatch was compelled to change its whole cover page to make the adjustment, from a headline of “In This Together” to “A Violent Turn.” To add insult to injury, the Oath Keepers were allowed to come into town and patrol the streets, visibly armed and ready to carry out their oath to keep black people in their places. We must control our narrative and we must control our streets. Let’s get to work.

Beyond Corruption: Selling the Iraq War

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St. Louis American- March 6, 2013

Corruption in our country and throughout the world is rampant. No institution has been unscathed—government, the church, education, the media, the courts. The higher the office, the more power involved (perceived or real) and the more money involved, the deeper and wider the corruption. The consequences are usually expensive for the masses of people on a number of levels. It can also be deadly.

This month is the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion into Iraq. Hubris: Selling Iraq War is a documentary that serves as painful reminder of how our government took us into the illegal war.

The treacherous lie led to the deaths of 4,486 American troops, the wounding of 32,226 service members, over 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians—at a cost of $3 trillion.

If you were angered by some of the items purchased by Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi with stolen campaign funds (like a $43K Rolex watch, a hat of Michael Jackson, etc.), we should be on fire about the pack of lies that led us into a war. Read more