2023 Electoral Campaign School
1245 18th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is convening our Seventh Electoral Campaign School on April 7-9, 2023.
On April 7-9, 2023 the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold our 7th annual electoral campaign school. The electoral school is a tradition begun by our Coalition in 2017 as part of our work to deny a total monopoly of the electoral process by our colonizers and their minions in our midst.
Our Coalition has no illusions about the electoral process in the U.S. We have always recognized that the electoral process is an instrument of non-violent struggle between contending sectors of the settler-colonial ruling class for control of the state to their own profitable advantage.
It is also true that the electoral process within the U.S., as initially established, had no intention of participation from the domestically colonized enslaved Africans and other subject peoples trapped within the U.S. prison of nations. The independent interests of the colonized, especially Africans, were never expected to be debated and voted on within the electoral process.
Colonialism was not to be a ballot issue. Democracy was to be defined by those who benefited from colonialism, not by the interests of the colonized. Hence, the political violence always directed against Africans in our efforts to utilize the electoral process in our own selfish interests, violence that also occasionally targeted the white settler-colonizers who had the temerity to work with Africans to place anti-colonial democracy on the ballot.
The struggle by Africans to win access to the electoral process was secondary to the struggle for African liberation within the U.S. It only achieved its primary status with the U.S. government’s success in crushing other forms of resistance, especially those which called for self-determination, the highest expression of democracy.
As various forms of anti-colonial struggle heated up during the 1950s – from the Mau Mau in Kenya, the Cuban revolution in Latin America and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, all of which were represented by the Africa-Asia Bandung Conference in 1955 – the right for Africans to vote in the U.S. was an effort by domestically-colonized Africans to sharpen the contradiction revealed by the U.S. claim to be the embodiment of democracy while shamelessly maintaining its bloody, autocratic colonial domination of Africans within the U.S.
Passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, allowing Africans the right to vote, conferred the presumption of universal suffrage within the U.S. However, this was a form of political sleight of hand, exemplified in various iterations throughout the colonized world: The appearance of democratic inclusion within an anti-democratic colonial system.
In the U.S. the actions surrounding passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act included the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X and the 1969 assassination of Fred Hampton, both of which occurred within a sea of political violence designed to neutralize electoral participation by the colonized that would criticize and/or undermine colonialism. Hence, democratic electoral participation was characterized by the ability of the colonized African population to play a role in defining and participating in our own colonization.
For all practical purposes the Black Revolution of the Sixties had been militarily defeated and the political terrain within the U.S. and throughout the world shuddered from the crisis of the colonial-capitalist social system. Within the U.S. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton, more than 30 members of the Black Panther Party, among others, were summarily murdered and countless other anti-colonial militants were jailed by military sweeps that left the political landscape nearly naked of organized anti-colonial political activity.
Hence, the colonial ruling class Democratic Party became the legitimated de facto leadership of the now-disorganized African masses and the electoral process the de facto legitimated process through which political aims of the colonized would be permissible.
Hence, the significance of the decision of the Black is Back Coalition to initiate our electoral campaign school in 2017.
Through our electoral campaign school the Coalition has fractured the near-monopoly of the colonial ruling class utilization of elections as a popular means through which the continued oppression and exploitation of our people achieve and maintain an appearance of legitimacy.
Our Coalition represents the united will of eighteen different organizations bent on achieving self-determination. We are an organization of organizations that is united in our general aim to end the colonial domination of our people and the capitalist exploitation the colonial mode of production effectuates for all the toiling masses within the U.S. and throughout the world.
In 2016, the Black is Back Coalition laid the foundation for participation in any election by initiating a successful year-long popular process to create a National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination as a general guide to political work throughout the U.S.
In addition to teaching African people the steps for running for office, we were intent on arming activists with a platform for self-determination as the basis for their electoral campaigns.
Our National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination provides us with a program that is both historical and timely.
The demands for reparations, black community control of police, and education represent part of a historical continuum, bringing key demands from the revolutionary period of the 1960s into today’s electoral arena.
Our platform also addresses the issues of African women and the black family as well as the vicious population displacement known as gentrification.
Activists who attend the Coalition’s Electoral Campaign School will be expected to address these issues and others, like the genocidal incarceration of our people, political prisoners, joblessness, healthcare and the host of other planks from our National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination for use in their electoral campaigns.
The Black is Back electoral campaign school is part of the process of completing the Black Revolution of the Sixties that was violently disrupted through imprisonment, assassinations and destruction of key anti-colonial organizations. It is part of the process to complete the arsenal of our struggle to end colonialism and make ourselves free.
The U.S. government has recognized the importance of our electoral campaign school for extending the struggle for freedom to an arena usually monopolized by neo-colonialist African petty bourgeois forces. The Black is Back Electoral School is evidence of the growing maturation of our movement since the violent attack we withstood in the 1960s.
It is precisely for this reason that on July 29th, 2022, the U.S. domestic political police, the FBI, launched pre-dawn, two-state military raids that attacked seven offices, homes and leaders of the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement who play leading roles in our Coalition.
This is the basis of the FBI’s bogus claim that the Uhuru Movement and its leader are agents of Russia, that their political work forwarding our Coalition’s National Black Agenda for Self-determination is really the handiwork of nefarious Russian interference designed to undermine an imaginary internal unity of the U.S.
We are winning! and we will resist this latest 21st century effort to deny our people access to the electoral process that Africans, more than anyone in the U.S., sacrificed life, limb and liberty to utilize as part of our struggle against U.S. domestic colonialism.
The U.S. colonial ruling class bosses determined years ago that the electoral process is the legitimate method through which our people should pursue our aims. While our Coalition disagrees with that conclusion, we are determined not to be pushed back to the period of the 1950s where we were denied the ability to use the electoral process.
We deny the right of the U.S. government to determine that constitutionally-guaranteed free speech and association are only guaranteed when our people speak and associate on the terms set by our oppressor. This is not free speech and association. It is naked autocratic colonial domination. It is the negation of freedom. We deny the right of the U.S. government to accede to the demand of our people for access to the electoral process, but to then declare that we can only use the electoral process in a manner that undermines our freedom struggle.
Nor will we allow to go unchallenged the specious and “racist” claim by the U.S. government that Africans are so backward that the Russian government or some other authority it recognizes as “white,” has to tell black people that we are oppressed.
This is a call for every African to take up the struggle for the right by our people to unimpeded participation in the electoral process – a right so many people fought, suffered and died to achieve.
Forward to St. Petersburg, Florida!
We will win!
We are winning!