PHILADELPHIA––For two days, August 13th and 14th, Africans from throughout the U.S. convened in Philadelphia at the First Unitarian Church to attend a historic conference.
This conference was the clearest demonstration yet that the struggle for our liberation has reached a new height.
Called by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, the conference was a preparatory meeting where African people defiantly established our own National Black Agenda for Self-determination.
It was a declaration of independence from the predatory Democratic Party and its partner in crime, the Republican Party.
The August 13th and 14th Preparatory Conference was a logical outcome of the seven-year history of the Coalition to win broad unity within our liberation movement with the politics of African self-determination and anti-imperialism.
The conference was attended by Africans from Pittsburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama; St. Louis, Missouri; St. Petersburg, Florida; Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey; Wilmington, Delaware and a host of other locations where Africans are organizing to fight back against our oppression.
These cities and states represent part of an expanding network of African people determined to transform the growing, mostly spontaneous movement against police violence into a struggle for national liberation.
The black community’s Declaration and 19 Points
Unlike many of the individuals and groups that have been thrust into political consciousness and activism by the heroic working class resistance in Ferguson, Missouri following the brutal police murder of 18-year-old Mike Brown, the Declaration of the National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination was able to connect the police murders to a historic relationship we have with U.S. and white nationalist imperialism:
“Because the world capitalist system owes its existence to the enslavement of our people and the colonial domination of much of the world, capitalism rests uneasily on a fault line of oppression,” states the Declaration that goes on to say:
“The historical oppression of our people stems from this cruel fact of history: Like most peoples of the world we trace our current conditions of existence to the birth of the capitalist system at the expense of our happiness and human and material resources.
“We recognize the escalation of terror against black people that includes State and popular attacks and police and civilian murder.
“We understand that the prominent expressions of white nationalism revealed through the electoral process to select a new president of the United States are due to the growth of resistance among oppressed populations of the world and within the U.S.”
The 19 Points of the National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination, which speaks specifically to 19 core issues which the black community suffers from, deepens the Declaration.
The first point, for example, speaks to the special oppression that African women face:
“With this National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination, the entire black or African nation declares our commitment to facilitate the elevation of African women to full, equal partnership in our struggle to create a new world of freedom and socialist democracy for a united black community and a world shorn forever of bosses and workers and slaves and masters and where African women will share the power to guarantee that African women are adequately empowered as equal architects of our new world.”
Compiled by various members of the Coalition, such as Glenn Ford of the Black Agenda Report and Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African People’s Socialist Party, the Declaration and 19 Points, thoroughly speak to the black community and should be viewed as the black community’s declaration.
This statement materialized itself during the Preparatory Conference as Africans had the opportunity to discuss and provide their input on the Declaration and 19 points.
The same cannot be said for the agendas of Democratic and Republican parties.
(Visit Blackisbackcoalition.org to read the full Declaration and 19 points.)
A powerful Preparatory Conference
The Preparatory Conference was a powerful display of Organizational unity between different African-led organizations and African individuals.
The event was characterized by fruitful discussions as solid plans were made to forward the work of the Coalition.
There were key presentations made by members of the Coalition’s Steering Committee which expounded upon the Declaration and 19 Points.
Lisa Davis, Vice Chair of the Coalition and Chair of the Health Care Working Group, gave a moving report on the state of African healthcare in the U.S. She outlined various health care statistics to illustrate the disparities which exist for African people.
Her report spoke to the 14th point of the 19-Point Declaration which demands: “Free, Universal, Quality Healthcare for All: by a public system that serves the health needs of entire communities, as well as individuals.
“Given that group health outcomes are closely linked to group political and economic status, past and present, a universal health care policy must provide both equal care to all, regardless of social and financial circumstances, and restorative care to historically oppressed communities, which require political self-determination to achieve social and biological wellness.”
Kamm Howard, Chair of the Reparations Working Group gave a video report on the necessity to carry out the verdicts of the Durban, South Africa 2002 Conference which reached a legal decision the the U.S. owe Africans reparations.
Kamm’s report spoke to point 17 of the declarations which demands reparations for all Africans.
Ralph Poynter, Chair of the Political Prisoners Working Group, gave a moving presentation which spoke to point four: “We reject the authority of the U.S. State to imprison persons whose imprisonment is rooted in their defense of Black people’s democratic and self-determination rights…”
Glenn Ford of the Black Agenda Report, a co-founder of the BIB Coalition, made an excellent closing remarks on the necessity for a Black Political Agenda.
He stated that “we are in a very auspicious political time.”
Indeed, this is a favorable time for the Black Political Agenda for Self-determination.
Mobilize your region with the State Conventions!
As a strategy to mobilize for the November 5th and 6th National Convention, the Coalition is calling on its participating organizations and individuals to organize state conventions in different parts of the country.
The Coalition is calling for state conventions to be held in Washington D.C., New York, Florida, Missouri, Chicago, and anywhere else where black people reside.
At these state conventions participants will have the opportunity to unite with the Declaration and 19 Points and bring it to members of their community so that they can unite with it as well.
It is critical that the black community forwards our own black agenda.
Black Is Back National Convention of resistance: The way forward
The Agenda will be presented at the National Black Political Agenda Convention scheduled by the Coalition for November 5th and 6th, two days before the U.S. presidential election to identify the chief imperialist spokesperson designated to rule the world.
The imperialist, white nationalist conventions of the Democratic and Republican parties were both conventions to consolidate a white nationalist imperialist agenda.
The Black is Back National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination Convention will be a convention of resistance that will begin with a massive rally at Malcolm X Park and a march on the White House on November 5th.
On November 6th, the Convention will convene at Howard University’s Blackburn Center, where the agenda will be formally adopted in a gala celebration that marks the beginning of a new era of independent black political struggle by Africans in the U.S. that is informed by our own selfish interests to build a future of freedom for ourselves and our children.
Forward to Washington, DC, November 5th and 6th!
Forward the Black Political Agenda for Self-determination!
For more information and to register to the Convention, visit BlackIsBackCoalition.org!