Burning Spear News
Letters to the Editor: April 2014
Apr 23, 2014
Editors Note: The Drum and Spear – Letters to the Editor page inside The Burning Spear newspaper is nearly as old as The Spear itself.
The Drum and the Spear have a special attachment to African people,that even today when drum is mentioned, one thinks of Africa. When Spear is mentioned, one thinks of Africa. The Talking Drums of Africa can be transcribed in to many of the different African Languages.
So even 40 years ago, the African People’s Socialist Party was able to put the Drum and Spear together to form a mighty weapon of communication – The Burning Spear newspaper. The historical concept of the Drum as a major form of communication and the Spear as a mighty weapon is as much alive today as it was nearly 40 years ago when it was first introduced to our readers.
Letters to the Editor are an important function of any newspaper. In the African world, it is especially important that we feel the pulse of what our readers are talking about and thinking.
We should know the opinions the people have about our work and about how this work is going or should be going.
From the very beginning of Drum and Spear, our brothers and sisters who have been locked down by the colonialists have most definitely used the pages of Drum and Spear to communicate with the outside and inside world. It has been an invaluable source to African prisoners, and we are bringing back Drum and Spear so that a forum can once again be opened up for those of us who are locked down, and those of us who would want to share your opinions to the world.
Drum and Spear is here to advance the African Revolution. And we invite you to be a part of this process.
Long Live The Spear!
Omowale Kefing, Drum and Spear Editor
From: Robert Saleem Holbrook #BL-5140, SCI Coal Township, PA
Uhuru! I hope this letter finds you in great health and continued fighting spirit.
I am well, occupied in the trenches behind the lines. There are only two places a revolutionary ought to be—in the trenches or in the bush.
I want to begin by thanking you for having the Political Report to the Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party sent to me. I received it and have spent the last two weeks pouring through it and studying its analysis and political theory and posture.
While reading it I thought of the late great Amilcar Cabral’s statement that our objective is to “put theory into practice.”
Chairman Yeshitela provided a sweeping overview of not only our people’s struggle in the United States but also international challenges Africans are contending with all over the planet.
It is seldom that I read a book of material that I am in complete agreement with; however that was the case while reading the Sixth Congress Report.
I can relate to the position of African Internationalism on Pan-Africanism.
I just completed rereading Chinweizu’s “The West and the Rest of Us,” about the march of neocolonialism across Africa.
Everything Chinweizu warned us about, Yeshitela touches on when discussing how discredited the concept of Pan-Africanism has become.
As if to support Yeshitela’s position, a magazine called “Ventures Africa” boasted that Africa now has 55 billionaires, including the world’s richest African woman.
This magazine is a venture capitalist publication that describes itself as a Pan African magazine!
The magazine conveniently neglects to mention that these 55 African billionaires acquired their stolen wealth by being the spearheads of Western neocolonialism and are robbers of their country’s national treasures.
While reading the Sixth Congress Report I asked myself where could I contribute to this movement? I could serve the movement by participating in and contributing to the revitalization of the African National Prison Organization or any African People’s Socialist Party (APSP)-sponsored campaign against the government, counterinsurgency concept of mass imprisonment, which is devastating our communities.
I could also participate in the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC), another concept I am really feeling because of its mass character and inclusiveness, operating as a united front for committed African revolutionary community activists and organizations.
I actually corresponded with a Sista from Philly, who is involved in the BIBC in the city, and was unaware it was involved with the APSP. With your assistance I could provide articles and perspectives for the Coalition.
I was impressed and touched by the political maturity expressed within the Report to the Sixth Congress by Chairman Yeshitela.
I was aware of the rift between Chairman Yeshitela and Chokwe Lumumba of the New Afrikan Independence Movement and it is always painful to see a rift within the family of African Liberation Movement, however to see that the BIBC endorsed Chokwe Lumumba’s successful candidacy for mayor of Jackson, Mississippi was a great demonstration of unity by two committed and long-serving freedom fighters.
There is no doubt this type of unity makes the settler state government shudder.
I also must give props to Chairman Yeshitela and the APSP for providing the framework to mounting a broad based political campaign and initiating the dual power concept in St Petersburg, as this is what Yeshitela did in St Petersburg in 2001.
A lot of movement activists and cadre were following his campaign and it created a blueprint for mobilization within the communities.
So, while many may not admit it, Chairman Yeshitela’s 2001 campaign was the forerunner to Bro. Chokwe Lumumba’s successful campaign in 2012.
Bro. Chokwe would do well to heed Yeshitela’s warning that “Situations of dual power are never permanent. They are fleeting and temporary. We were not able to win all power to the people and consequently the state has been able to reassert its general authority over our colonized people with a vengeance.” – Report to the Sixth Congress, p. 167.
If it is alright with you I would like to send you a pamphlet I wrote on systems of autonomous dual power structures for your review and feedback.
I remember Chairman Yeshitela, in a recent Burning Spear article, recommended that we start exploring how we can take advantage of the electoral structure within our communities on the local (block) level.
I believe we should concentrate on a strategy of winning the “block captain” elections and then move on to winning the wards and maybe even the districts.
These electoral substructures are often overlooked by the masses and are usually the private domain of the “city party bureaucrats” who take it for granted that they will be elected to the positions because usually only the “party insiders” vote in these elections as the masses are too occupied with life to pay attention to these minor elections.
By seizing the foundation or bedrock of the traditional city powers, it could really put cadres in a position to consolidate and mobilize the neighborhood, around meeting its own needs and pursuing its own interests.
Of course, the pursuit of electoral victories is not our objective. Self-determination is our objective.
This is a viable concept that could pull more people into the African Liberation Movement while also, in the words of Yeshitela, “compromise and expose the limitations of the state.”
I am going to close this letter. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you need any articles written.
Once again, thank you for the Political Report to the Sixth Congress. When you have time between the rounds I look forward to hearing back from you.