And week three has come and gone, and the information continues to come. I have found this process incredibly inspiring and humbling. This week I focused a lot on the Black Panthers and the continued revelation that today’s damage is built from the ashes of our trauma. How profound for me as I think about spiritual healing and rebuilding.
How do we move forward in our spirits if we cannot heal the pain of the past, or even acknowledge it? This is a question I hope we continue to ask ourselves. In the meantime, the learning continues for all of us.
We are responsible to learn our history…. it is no longer acceptable to not know.
Today is an important day. I am up and dressed, outfit matching my black hoodie. I will go work with the exact kids that will walk in a world that values them a little less than others. And my hoodie today honors the life of Trayvon Martin and all those like him who are killed in a system built on fear, injustice and oppression. Today is important because it took the voice of the people to have the justice system do their jobs and uphold the law. And it is a chance to show that some people are not immune to the law just because of the color of the victim. Today we have a chance to show that the lives of our kids are important enough for a trial.
And so I rock my hoodie because our children are important.
Just noticed my kid’s cover photo looks a lot like he is holding up the power fist. It’s in the genes!
Personal Experiences with racism #8:
I was at the grocery store last month. I came out of the store with about 180.00 worth of groceries, basket overflowing. A young worker walked past me and went to a white gentleman and asked if he needed help with his groceries to the car. The guy had maybe 4 bags in his cart.
The guy looked surprised and looked at me. He told the guy that he did not need help and once again, he looked directly at me. The store worker said OK, turned around, looked at me, and walked right past my cart to go back into the store.
It was one of those moments that I instantly knew…. I could feel it in the air when he walked past me. And so I loaded my car by myself, using the disgust I felt as fuel.
I have posted this once before, and am posting it again in hopes that one or two more people might watch it. In the understanding of why it is so very important for us to stand up for justice for our children of color, the stats of Black people killed by some form of law enforcement is so sad and crazy. It is often truly hard to believe.
And in the wake of the trial for Zimmerman, people are asking why this is so important to us. Let’s look at a different case that has many similarities, and is all to common when black kids are killed.
This video breaks my heart and yet is so important. And if you watch it to the end, the truth is revealed… leaving a lot of questions about how the law is able to get away with such atrocities right under our noses.
Sometimes I am not prepared to process some of the things I uncover in my research. Sometimes it is challenging for me to grasp, even though I know it to be true. There are so many horrendous pieces to the puzzle of race relations in this country and the government’s role in that. And while I was looking for one fact on Huey P. Newton’s death (the exact location), I found some things I was not prepared for at all.
Once I can read it more fully and process it a bit….. I will be excited to share the records that I found. Records of corruption of unbelievable proportions in an attempt to neutralize the movement of the Black community and pride.
Just left the spot where Huey P Newton was shot and killed in West Oakland. Heart breaking to see…. and I could feel the struggle in a very tangible way. I will go later to take pics when it is a safer time of day.
This study is fascinating and the more I look, the more I find. This study talks about perceptions of skin color within the African American culture and how that is internalized with self esteem and racial identity. One of the fascinating things I just found was a break down of 5 steps that constitute racial consciousness development. Fabulously fantastic information.
“According to a culture-specific model of racial consciousness development in Black Americans, Cross (I 995) hypothesized a cognitive developmental model of racial identity in which it is proposed that as racial identity evolves, Blacks progress through a sequence of five stages (pre-encounter, encounter, immersion- emersion, internalization, and internalization-commitment). Cross suggested that Blacks begin their development at a stage called pre-encounter. This stage is characterized by dependency on White (not Black) society for definition and approval; attitudes are anti-Black and Eurocentric in nature. The encounter stage is entered when one has personally challenging experiences with White society.
This stage is marked by feelings of confusion and an increasing desire to become more aligned with one’s Black identity. The immersion-emersion stage follows the encounter stage and is characterized by a period of pro-Black or Afrocentric, anti-White feelings. One is absorbed in the Black experience and completely rejects the White world. Immersion-emersion is followed by the internalization stage, during which one has grasped the fact that both Blacks and Whites have strengths and weaknesses. In addition, one’s Black identity is experienced as a positive, important, and valued aspect of self. One’s attitude toward Whites is one of tolerance and respect for differences. Along with this level of internalization comes an achievement of pride and security in the Black race and identity. The internalization-commitment stage follows internalization. The primary distinction between the two stages is that internalization-commitment reflects a behavioral style characterized by social activism, and internalization reflects one’s level of cognitive development. Cross and others (eg, Helms, 1990; Parham & Helms, 1985b) have recommended that internalization-commitment be considered the second mode or phase of the internalization stage because of the difficulty in distinguishing motivation from behavior. With this latter view in mind, internalization behavior may involve participation in social and political activities designed to eliminate racism or oppression, regardless of the race of perpetrators and victims.”
Killed by a Black man… for rank within a prison gang (black gorilla family) that had turf on the streets. The pumping of drugs into the “ghettos” of Oakland turned us against one another, just as planned, and took the life of a warrior.
I don’t think many of the beautiful kids of West Oakland even know they are walking past the place he died on the way to school. I found this exact spot today and cried…. cried for the loss of someone so important to our steps towards social, legal and political humanity. Dead before 50 because of the self hatred we internalize, and our collective inability to see beyond the moment.
I found out today where he was buried, the same place I picked up my mom’s ashes from. I plan to go visit him if I can.
The incredible, intelligent, giving, fierce power of Huey P. Newton gave something to the people that we had not seen before, especially in the west. He gave a image of the everyday power that is held in the power of the average person, and the ability to stand up to the oppressor. He fought the law with his presence and gave pride to the fight of the impoverished and the disenfranchised.
He died a warriors death years after the fight was over, and the system had won. The system beat him down and took his community… but he still represented the fight, until his last breath. He died on the streets he fought for, in his own blood, in the streets of West Oakland.
My research of the Black Panthers and Huey started in high school. And so tonight I want to highlight the warrior, and some of my favorite quotes from him and about him. He died by way of Revolutionary Suicide, the title of one of his books.
“My foes have called me bum, hoodlum, criminal. Some have even called me nigger. I imagine now they’ll at least have to call me Dr. Nigger.” – Press conference (July 1980), quoted in Hugh Pearsons (1994) The Shadow of the Panther
“I think what motivates people is not great hate, but great love for other people.”
“You can kill my body, but you can’t kill my soul. My soul will live forever!”
Last words, quoted in Hugh Pearsons (1994) The Shadow of the Panther.
And my favorite quote about Huey?
“Huey P. Newton is the baddest motherfucker ever to set foot inside of history. Huey has a very special meaning to black people, because for four hundred years black people have been wanting to do exactly what Huey Newton did, that is, to stand up in front of the most deadly tentacle of the white racist power structure, and to defy that deadly tentacle, and to tell that tentacle that he will not accept the aggression and the brutality, and that if he is moved against, he will retaliate in kind.” – Eldridge Cleaver (1969) Post-Prison Writings
All Power to the People…..
Sitting at my son’s 5th grade promotion and can’t help but think about the research done on racial and cultural axiology. Amazing how research comes to life as I watch the differences in white and black cultural values. Our value in relationships often do not correlate with the value of things, such as perfect grades. I can’t help but see the world from a much different place.
Some pretty intense argument behind the idea of reparations for African Americans because of the intensive oppression from the government. I particularly appreciate some of the in-depth analysis that this piece goes into in regards to the “costs” of slavery and current oppression, and how that connects to continued inequality in the future generations. Devastating….
This piece, Documenting the Costs of Slavery,Segregation, and Contemporary Racism: Why Reparations Are in Order for African Americans, is published as a part of the Harvard law journal.
“Without significant reparations for African Americans, the deepest racial divide in the United States will never be eliminated. As Randall Robinson has put it in The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, “if . . . African Americans will not be compensated for the massive wrongs and social injuries inflicted upon them by their government, during and after slavery, then there is no chance that America can solve its racial problems.”
This is a strong statement, yet true.
In this Article, I examine why large-scale reparations should be made to African Americans and how that task might be accomplished. In a pioneering 1973 book, The Case for Black Reparations, Yale law professor Boris Bittker argued that the oppression faced by African Americans was more extensive than that faced by other racial groups and required major reparations in compensation.
At the time, almost no one paid any attention to his analysis. Today, however, many analysts have ªnally resurrected the idea of reparations and have begun to take action on that idea. There are many voices concerned about the high costs of anti-black oppression that have continued over four centuries. It seems ever more likely that reparations in some form will be paid to African Americans over the next half century.”
I went again today. I parked, got out of the car, said my thanks to his revolutionary spirit, and took pictures of where he died. I honored Huey in this place and then drove to a promotion ceremony of 8th graders from West Oakland, the very children he fought for years before they were born.
And in driving away I saw this gem two blocks away. I pulled around, got out of the car once again in a neighborhood that many people are scared to think about, and took more pictures.
All power to the people. Thank you Huey.
And speaking of CointelPro…. The assassination of Fred Hampton…. while he laid in his bed with his 8 month pregnant fiance. This video shows actual footage of his fiance talking about the government raid and assassination of Hampton, and the investigation then and now…. It is in two parts.
“The only revolution that is worth fighting is the human revolution…. The first lesson the revolutionary must learn? That he is a doomed man…..You can jail the revolutionary but you cannot jail the revolution……”
Listen to him speak, listen to the youth speak his words, listen to the revolution that is continuing underneath the noses of a blinded society that thinks we are post-racism. These youth are deep… talking about the brainwashing of black history month… the pacifying of race demands yet not teaching anything new. Uncover the truth behind the truth we thought we knew.
It is well known within higher education institutions that the history that is taught to our children is often a stripped down version of history that is lacking in accuracy. In an attempt to limit cognitive dissonance for society, we teach our children a version of history that is not only light and “friendly”, but also a means of social control in conditioning our children to what Americans should believe.
I have many examples of this, as I am sure many of us do if we have been diligent enough to question and research. Not only are our textbooks written to condition, our teachers are not always educated in the actualities of our history or the facts. It is a broken system……
My fascination with the Black Panther Party for Self Defense started in my Senior year. My social studies/history teacher was teaching us about Black people in the 28 day allotted slot… you know, Black History Month.. (as if we are not a part of building this country from the ground up and not relevant the other 8 months of the school year).
She put a continuum scale on the board and was teaching us about extremists. She told the class that the Black Panthers were the equivalent to the KKK “on the Black side”. I remember being outraged when she said this. She minimized, and discounted our struggle for safety within our communities, and for equal access to survival… as a hate mission that was based in distaste for white people. Every bone in my body was motivated to prove her wrong. And so I started reading and researching.
I am still angry with that teacher… because she taught at that high school for years!!!! And I can only imagine how much misinformation she taught to our children around the actualities of the revolution. I wanted to find her for a long time to give her accurate historical information.
I have seen her one time since graduation, I was with my sister and long time bestie Marian in a restaurant in Berkeley. She begged me not to run out of the door and confront her, so I didn’t.
a lot of my life’s motivation was based in her (and others like her) who were improperly educated, and did not do their own work or research…. and then continued the mis-education of our youth through positions of power in the school system.
Proper education is the lifeline to social change. We will never open the door to true change and equality if we are not WILLING to dig in the pain of our true history.
The next part… to destroy them by any means necessary.
Love, love, love this. A response to the “haters” of the cheerios, multi-racial family commercial. Take THAT Haters!
Everyone has an opinion….. But how many are informed? How many are willing to do the work and research to have informed opinions? Sadly… in today’s day and age, we are too busy thinking we already know instead of humbling ourselves to do the research. We really need to change that.
What is Juneteenth? It is a holiday that is celebrated as our Independence Day. It was the day, June 19th, 1865, (two years after the Emancipation Proclamation) that slavery was ended in Texas. It became official that the slaves were freed.
It is the one day that we celebrate freedom from captivity in this country. So how come we are so open to celebration liberation from Great Britain on July the 4th but not the liberation of slaves on June 19th? For the same reason we cannot to teach the truth about Black history here in the United States. We cannot celebrate the idea that Black people were no longer chattel, for fear that it would make us think about how inhumane the treatment of our fellow human beings was (or are). And to avoid cognitive dissonance, we just ignore one of the most important days to Black people, and to this country.
Will you celebrate Juneteenth this year? Will you celebrate the last moment of captive slavery in the U.S.?
Loving My Blackness: A Personal Reflection:
I love the way my natural hair curls; twisting and turning into a pattern of beauty and wonder. Each day the curls tell a different story, unpredictable and yet defined in excellence.
I love how my skin is a mixture of the history of my past. It is the color of the trauma of rape, and yet is the symbol of resilience. It is the color of a revolutionary, and an agent for change.
I love how my history shows fierceness from the experience of warriors, healers, mothers, fathers, kings, queens, slaves, and visionaries. It is within the path of their pain that I have been born into a life of potential.
I love that my culture teaches me humility. The sacrifice of millions teaches me to be grateful for what I have and humble in my understanding of survival.
I love the intensity that is encoded in my DNA and courses through the blood within my veins. I see the immense drive to persevere within my ancestor’s stories, and I know that I too have been born with the DNA of legends.
I love the depth of the Black spirit. It is often indescribably deep, connected to unconscious transgenerational knowledge that is not always taught but felt.
I love the fullness of my lips, reminding me to connect with the sensations of life and love. It is through these lips that I kiss my partner and that I encourage my children. My speech is full, and my love is whole.
I love the shadow of my Blackness, for it is a part of my ancestral pride. The shadow of our past has always been the motivating fuel for our future. We are stronger than imaginable, and connected in strength through a shared lineage of pain. It is the balance of the dark and the light that illuminates from the resilience of our past; in partnership with one another.
Don’t feel sorry for my Blackness, it is a source of pride. It is not something I am ashamed of or scared to embrace, it is my ancestors mark on my visual soul. I wear it like a badge; showing that I will always be protected by the strength of the survivors before me, cloaked in the brilliance of color.
Don’t be afraid of my power, we cannot change the world if we are afraid of the brilliance within one another.
Don’t be afraid to hear my Black pride, it is not meant to take away from yours. It is within my connection to my culture that I can truly respect and love who you are too.
Don’t run from my history, it is yours too, and together we can learn to write the future.
It is our collective Blackness and our whiteness, our brown and our tan, our history and our present, our hopes and our fears, our pain and our joys, our dreams and our future that we are working for together.
Personal Experience with Racism #9: Last summer I was training someone in connecting with inner city kids, learning how to engage authentically. Her previous experience was with kids in another area, a more diverse and upper socioeconomic area. She mentioned to me, in one of our conversations, that kids here in West Oakland were different. When I asked her how they were different, she appeared to be at a loss for words. She stumbled into saying that their styles were different (especially hair styles), and that they were……. “dirtier”.
I immediately had a churn in my stomach that did not settle. I approached it from a learning place, talking about culture, socio-economic limitations, and sensitivity to the struggle of the disenfranchised. And while the conversation stayed professional, I struggled with the concept that someone could be Black and so far removed from the struggles of our people that we use words like “dirty” to describe the challenges of poverty.
Someone might question why I categorize this as racism, and it is because it is a form of aversive racism. It is not meant to be racist to the person, and yet the cultural norms and expectations are used to judge those who do not fall in the category of acceptability. In a neighborhood that is predominantly Black, under-educated, disenfranchised, under-resourced, saturated with drugs and crime….. how do we define kids by the appearance of their clothing? It is because some of us (Black people) are so conditioned to mainstreaming, that we too forget the struggle. It doesn’t make her a bad person, it just means she is affected. (As we all are).
Personal Experience with Racism #10: New Orleans…. I went there to support a previous friend with her move several years ago, I think it was 2007. I was floored at the discrepancies of the popularized French Quarter and the extreme poverty in the rest of the city. The disparities of what we see on TV are nothing like the realities in this city. But none the less, I got to visit some of the French Quarter and see a lot of the devastation of Katrina.
On the last day in the city, we went to breakfast at this fancy restaurant where I ate great banana fosters. Walking back to the car, a guy rode past me on his bike. For no apparent reason, he yelled out to me, “NIGGER BITCH”. It took us a minute to recognize that it was directed to me. It was so overt that it was hard to believe that I was just walking on the sidewalk on vacation and was verbally assaulted as such.
I didn’t respond, and he didn’t stop. It is my opinion that he had some type of mental health challenges, but none the less….. that moment popped my vacation bubble.
No matter where I go, how good the food might be, how eye opening the experiences, or how much fun I might have…. someone might just decide I am a Nigger that day. It is something we have to accept in this world.
The unconscious, and sometimes conscious, effects of society’s messages around being Black continue to have a profound impact on self esteem for Black people. Internalized racism and self hatred are common among black people, and we often suffer an unconscious inability to connect to being good or whole. Very interesting academic work here…
Black self-hatred exemplifies the hatred a black person has for himself and the members of his racial group. The history of blacks and the effects of slavery in American society, along with the prominent ideals of the dominant white culture, have relegated blacks to an inferior status within society. Blacks have internalized the negative thoughts and attitudes against them as a race. As a result, it has negatively influenced the development of their self-esteem. This research looks at the effect of being black on self-esteem.”
Despite research, I have ran into far too many people who question the effects of slavery on African American’s today. Part of the motivation to do this 30 day series…. And so I share…..
“Passing Down the Effects of Trauma……
Upon hearing the term Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome some of my readers might think to themselves, “How could African Americans today possibly be affected by events that occurred so long ago? After all, African Americans are free now! In fact, they have been free for a long time!”
I have often heard European Americans irately say, “You know what, I didn’t own slaves, okay? And I’m tired of feeling guilty about what happened over a hundred years ago, so get over it”. My response to them is that I am not a slave now, nor have I ever been a slave, and so far as I know, nobody I have known personally was a slave. The fact is, I don’t have any experience of being a slave. However, 246 years of protracted slavery guaranteed the prosperity and privilege of the south’s white progeny while correspondingly relegating its black progeny to a legacy of debt and suffering. It doesn’t really matter today if either of us, black or white, directly experienced or participated in slavery. What doe s matter is that African Americans have experienced a LEGACY of trauma.
What is this legacy? How is it transmitted? The legacy of trauma is reflected in many of our behaviors and our beliefs; behaviors and beliefs that at one time were necessary to adopt in order to survive, yet today serve to undermine our ability to be successful. Remember the stories I told in the introduction? These are examples of behaviors that have been passed down through generations.
Beliefs can be somewhat harder to see, yet they are there nonetheless. I have a friend who has been working with teens for the past 14 years in both the African American community and in the affluent white suburbs. One day we were discussing the differences in his experiences and he told me,
“Joy, there is one major difference between the two groups that I have noticed. Both groups of teens I have worked with are very capable, both groups are made up of basically good kids, and both groups have aspirations for their future. The biggest difference I have seen is that in their hearts and minds the kids from affluent families assume they will be successful; the black kids from less affluence do not make this assumption.”
When I later reflected on his observations I knew that in far too many instances he was right. This is reflective of debilitating beliefs and assumptions that are also part of the legacy of trauma.” – Dr. Joy DeGruy in Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome; American’s legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (page 120).
“The question remains, how are such effects of trauma transmitted through generations? The answer is quite straightforward. How do we learn to raise our children? Almost entirely through our own experience of being raised. Most of us raise our children based upon how we ourselves were raised. Of course there are things our parents did that we decide we’ll do differently, but for the most part parenting is one of a myriad of skills that is passed down generation to generation. What do you think gets passed down through generations if what was experienced were lifetimes of abuse at the hands of slave masters and other authorities? What do you think the result would be if generations after generation of young men were not allowed the power and authority to parent their own children? What do you think the result would be if education was prohibited for generations? What do you think the result would be if the primary skills that mothers teach their children are those associated with adapting to a lifetime of torture?
Today we know that if a child has an abusive parent, the likelihood that he or she will grow to be abusive is greater than if that child came from a safe and supportive home. We know that if a child comes from a violent home, there is a greater likelihood the child will grow to be violent. We know that if a child comes from a home in which one or both parents went to college, there is a greater likelihood that child wil go to college. We know that our children receive most of their attitudes, life skills and approaches to life from their parents. We also know that most of these are learned by the time they are five or six years old. What training did children in bondage receive? James P. Comer writes:
‘The slave family existed only to serve the master and in order to survive physically, psychologically and socially, the slave family had to develop a system which made survival possible under degrading conditions. The slave society prepared the young to accept exploitation and abuse, to ignore the absence of dignity and respect for themselves as blacks. The social, emotional and psychological price of this adjustment is well known’”. – Dr. Joy DeGruy in Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome; American’s legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (page 122).
When I started this 30 day Real Black History challenge…. my hubbie and I were laughing. I have a tendency to bite off a chunk of a project, and be a bit…. obsessive. He was like, “uhhh…. do you think 30 days is a bit too much?” And I was like….. “maybe but I’m gonna do it anyway”. We laughed together. (I love my hubbie).
And now? Damn it!!!! I am running out of time. 30 days isn’t even enough to scratch the surface. I am finding that I am a bit sad at the idea that I won’t have a solid reason to continue to share all the research that I am compiling.
My journey didn’t start and won’t stop when this challenge is over…. it was a response that gave me a reason to share publicly all that I am researching. But damn it…. I like sharing the fascinating things I am learning.
And i still have stuff to find out…. rituals for healing, cultural integration, self empowerment, cross-cultural trust, recognizing and embracing privilege in healthy ways, and forgiveness rituals to write about.
I am gonna hit it hard the last week. Packing the ammo tight and shooting some knowledge. We don’t have time to die in the cloud of ignorance while our children are looking to us for ways to learn who they are. If we remain ignorant by choice, we are teaching our children to cover their eyes and pretend the world is something it is not.
Change comes with choice….. choice comes with the ability to identify the truth and recognize that there is a choice.
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
So what did the Black Panthers want anyway? What were they fighting for? What was the platform of their beliefs?
Here is the 10 point program that was the outline of demands that the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was willing to fight for. The amazing thing about reading this in 2013, is that the same issues apply as they did in the 1960’s. The same problems have now continued to become magnified by a society that still has not righted the wrongs of structural and historical oppression.
The BPP wanted true freedom to determine our own destiny, on an even playing field. Was that so much to ask? Is it now?
The Ten Point Plan:
WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.
WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
WE WANT DECENT HOUSING, FIT FOR THE SHELTER OF HUMAN BEINGS.
We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.
WE WANT DECENT EDUCATION FOR OUR PEOPLE THAT EXPOSES THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS DECADENT AMERICAN SOCIETY. WE WANT EDUCATION THAT TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT-DAY SOCIETY.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.
WE WANT COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR All BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide our selves with proper medical attention and care.
WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, All OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.
WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION.
We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.
WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE NOW HELD IN U. S. FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY AND MILITARY PRISONS AND JAILS. WE WANT TRIALS BY A JURY OF PEERS FOR All PERSONS CHARGED WITH SO-CALLED CRIMES UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY.
We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.
WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, PEACE AND PEOPLE’S COMMUNITY CONTROL OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Little Bobby Hutton, first member to join the Black Panther party for self defense… at 16 years old. He was one of the originals, when it was just a grassroots Oakland organization. Small, POWERFUL, Black man of 16…. standing up to society on behalf of his community.
Little Bobby Hutton was murdered by the Oakland Police a year and a half after he joined. He was 17 years old when he was killed… with his hands up. Always been one of the ones that made me the most sad, more sad than angry. He was a baby and was more concerned about fighting for the rights of his people, and so he could not live to enjoy his life as a young man. Died before his prime….. buried with the struggle.
Here is actual footage of the eulogy done by Marlon Brando, and parts of his funeral. Raw footage…. You can see Bobby Seal in the video standing next to Marlon Brando… but (if I am not mistaken) Huey was in jail and unable to attend. I can imagine his heart was broken behind those bars.
Co-founder Bobby Seal speaks about the desire of the Black Panther party. Amazing how he can speak of the foundation of the Panthers and call out the misrepresentation of the “white press” that was attempting to taint the image of the desire of the revolution…. he speaks with such grace. He speaks of the police and government occupying black communities and black people like an occupying hostile army.
He also talks about organizing to stop racism and hating white people is a waste of energy. he said that that energy should be used for action and not hate.
Black Panthers racist? WHAT??? Listen to them speak…. not the anti-Panther, fear based propaganda that was taught to us in school as a means to condition against the principals of true freedom.
History is waiting to be learned…..
Last note before bed: You may wonder why I have not posted about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks. Those names are so important. And I feel that they get more time during the 28 days of pride in February that America granted us. (sarcasm there…) But we learn the same information over, and over, and over again.
We don’t learn about the Panthers, Stokley Charmichael, Eldridge Clever, the Soledad brothers, W.E.B. Bois, Angela Davis, Kathleen Clever, Little Bobby Hutton, and the other more “radical” of our history. Even with Malcolm X… they teach us but still painting with a negative lens.
so for a different kind of history… I am focusing on the others. In addition to the research of damage of slavery, personal experiences, current racist policy, Jim Crow.. The point is that we expand beyond the narrow box of acceptable Black folk that they approve.
And so in this last week of the official 30 days, I will be profiling some of these incredible people, along with continued research and empirical information.
And may it be so… All POWER TO THE PEOPLE… so mote it be.
James Brown said to say it loud. No matter what race you are, be proud of who you are. Your heritage is your foundation. If you know it, be excited you have the privilege and support those who do not have that privilege. If you don’t have all the facts about your heritage, join the fight to unlearn and relearn.
And as you dance to your bed tonight, say it loud….. Cause tonight, “I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Show society what real pride looks like….. it is beautiful and powerful. It uplifts you and those around you. It encompasses everything good in your ancestry, and all the things that might not have been… leading to you.
So say it loud!
“People called me a hoodlum and a thug. But they didn’t tell you I was a carpenter, an architect, a stand-up comic–even a bartender. And a barbecue cook. But they didn’t tell you that.” – Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
I found this piece to be very interesting in the write up about the controversial and yet dynamic Eldridge Cleaver. The mixed emotions of many people around this figure revolve around his writings in his book Soul on Ice, where he wrote a series of essays processing his life. He talked about his history of intentional rape as a means to revenge.
” I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically — though looking back I see that I was in a frantic, wild and completely abandoned frame of mind.”
”Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women — and this point, I believe, was the most satisfying to me because I was very resentful over the historical fact of how the white man has used the black woman. I felt I was getting revenge.”
I find this very interesting and complex beyond one set of reasoning. It is a good ecological theory perspective (social work language and theory) of how environment effects behavior and behavior effects environment. It is a bit of a glimpse into the psyche of “Black Rage” and concepts of extreme anger that resides within the oppressed. Eldridge, like others, had choices to make in how to use that anger. He did not make good choices at that time….
After some different incarcerations, realizations, and support… he was released and met Huey and Bobby Seale. It was there that he began to become a part of channeling that same past anger and rage into another form, one that became a part of a revolution.
This article talks a little about the multiple transformations he made from growing up in an abused home, to criminal, to rage filled, to revolutionary, to politician, to professor. Very interesting and profound indeed.
I could only read a little of this… Because it pushes me past the point of holding onto a harm none principle that I believe in. And the only reason I would post this… is to continue to turn the flashlight on for those who struggle with understanding that we still live in a very racist society.
This site is an anti black site. Here is how they put it….
“A black plague is descending upon civilization. That plague is called the nigger. Here at Chimpout we provide up to the minute nigger facts and news stories that are either covered up or buried by the mainstream media. Everything you read here is the truth, gleaned from worldwide sources.
Our message is simple. Niggers are a cancer upon human society. ”
Thanks to my cousin for bringing this to my attention. It is disgusting and yet necessary to know that it is real, it is still here and we are still in the fight.