Burning Spear News
Black is Back March on the White House & National Conference 2017
Black militants march through the streets of Washington, D.C. proclaiming, "Black is back!"
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations held its annual march on the White House and national conference in Washington, D.C. under the theme, “The Ballot and the Bullet: Elections, War, and Peace in the Era of Donald Trump” on November 4-5.
The march and conference were a resounding victory, proving that African people are uniting around a genuine anti-imperialist agenda.
The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) is a leading force of the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC), founded in 2009.
Inside the coalition and in the world at large, the Party is the advanced detachment of the African working class.
The Black is Back Coalition is a critical instrument through which we engage in the struggle for national liberation, the struggle to free all black people from colonial domination.
It is the responsibility of the African People’s Socialist Party to unite the African nation and all democratic forces within it under the leadership of the African working class.
BIBC created to expose neocolonialism
The Black is Back Coalition was founded by Chairman Omali Yeshitela to unite an ideologically diverse spectrum of African organizations and individuals around the common principles of African independence and anti-imperialism.
Black is Back was created during the era of Obama. Obama’s presidency revealed the need to win the masses of African people to anti-imperialism in order to identify someone like Obama as a neocolonial white power in black face, as a stooge of imperialism.
The Black is Back Coalition is a testament to the fact that we have defied the assumptions of our enemies that we, as black people, cannot unite.
It is the position of the Party that only the African working class can lead the African nation to the ultimate aim of total liberation and unification.
Travelers from around the country gathered on Friday night, November 3rd, at Stephen’s Church for a pre-rally meet and greet.
The revolutionary energy was high as coalition members enjoyed powerful liberation anthems performed by the Black Workers Center Choir.
After a great summation by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Africans broke into groups to make up chants, paint the placards, and prepare logistics for the next day.
On Saturday, protesters gathered in Malcolm X park for a mobilizing rally led by African revolutionary cultural icon, Gazi Kodzo.
Attendees add their voices
Africans from around the U.S. came up onstage and stated why they had come to the event. The most common answer was, “To fight for the liberation of black people everywhere!”
Each person had their own story of how their lives had been impacted by colonial police violence, poverty, and gentrification.
Fourteen-year-old Naila Brandi, one of the youngest members of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) from St. Louis, Missouri, proclaimed, “I’m here because I want to be free and I will do whatever is necessary to get my freedom!”
Betty Davis, a New York-based activist who has been a vanguard fighter for African political prisoners and for black community control of schools, made a profound statement against neocolonialism: “We had a black middle class that got the jobs and sold the rest of us out.
“They are traitors. Our love of blackness cannot blind us to traitors in our midst. Until we hold these black politicians accountable for what’s happening to us, we will never get free.
“The Vietnamese had to kill Vietnamese to get their freedom. What makes you think we won’t have to deal with some of these sell-outs?”
March to the seat of imperialism
The march militantly rolled through the newly gentrified streets of Washington, D.C., which was once 71 percent black and known as the Chocolate City.
White coffee sippers and yoga practitioners turned their heads and stared aghast—while Africans cheered—as the march raised high the red black and green flag and declared, “Black is Back!” and “U.S. out of Africa! Pigs out of the black community!”
The people marched right up to the front gates of the White House, their voices booming in unison with the demands of the African working class: the end of police murders, the removal of U.S. military from Africa and the rest of the world, and reparations for the stolen labor of African people.
Speakers who addressed the rally in the park across from the White House included Penny Hess, Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC), Jesse Nevel, Chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM), a representative from Friends of the Congo, and Lawrence Hamm, the Chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress.
Day 3 of the Black is Back event began at Howard University.
Chairman Omali Yeshiteia gave a brilliant overview explaining the strategy of using “the ballot AND the ballot,” tracing it back to the speech African martyr Malcolm X gave in which he recognized that African people would have to fight on all fronts: whether through electoral politics or through revolutionary violence.
“We are African people who are part of a dispersed African nation,” said the Chairman.
“Inside the United States we are the U.S. front of the international African revolution. We are internationalists to the core.
“The whole social system was given birth by the enslavement of African people, what Marx referred to as ‘primitive accumulation.’
“This thrust Europe and capitalism into existence. The birth of capitalism is the birth of white power.
“The state has been here since the emergence of class divisions in human society, but the capitalist state came into existence through enslaving and colonizing people around the world.
“Neocolonialism is an expression of the capitalist state.”
U.S. militarial imperialism yields AFRICOM
One of the highlights was a forum on the issue of U.S. military attacks on the African continent.
Glen Ford, a Black is Back co-founder and the editor of the Black Agenda Report, broke down the expansion of AFRICOM, stating: “We can’t discuss AFRICOM without discussing Barack Obama.
“The explosion of U.S. military activities in Africa occurred under his guidance.”
The lively Q&A included a question from the audience about how to deal with the fact that Arabs had once enslaved Africans and the role played by African sell-outs in facilitating the slave trade.
The Chairman responded: “I’m also a historical materialist. It’s important to understand events in history not as a series of events.
“Transformations happen that change the nature of society we live in. The Arabs engaged in the slave trade for 1500 years. So some Africans say, let’s go fight the Muslims.
“Black people sold us too, let’s go get them. But the rise of capitalism changed the nature of the whole world.
“Now capitalism, imperialism is the dominant political economic force. You cannot get free by fighting Muslims and old black people who sold us long time ago.
“The way to get free is by fighting this imperialist capitalist social system.”
Black community control of the police
Diop Olugbala, Chair of the BIB Black Community Control of the Police Working Group, gave an in-depth presentation.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela summed up the need for the struggle for Black Community Control of Police is to win the people who are the true makers of history.
The crowd cheered in agreement.
St. Petersburg electoral campaign
Akilé Anai reported on her groundbreaking electoral campaign for District 6 City Council in St. Petersburg, Florida, which used a platform based on the 19-point Black is Back agenda for self-determination.
Akilé ran on a platform of black community control of schools and police and unity through reparations.
An agent provocateur commandeered the microphone during the Q&A to attack the Black is Back Coalition and the Chairman for supposedly not being “intersectional and inclusive.”
Gazi Kodzo, the APSP-USA Director of Recruitment and Membership, responded, “Intersectionality is a feminist tool to equate the interests of white women, white trans and white homosexuals with the struggle of African people.”
Gazi, himself a same gender-loving individual, went on to put forward comrades like Diakiesse Lingusani, Muteba Tshinabu wa Munda, Akilé Anai, and other African women and Gender and Sexuality Nonconforming Africans (GSNA), brought into revolutionary political life by the Chairman, the Party and the Black is Back Coalition.
The crowd cheered.
Free all African prisoners!
Ralph Poynter and Betty Davis, two leading forces on the forefront of the political prisoner question, inspired everyone with their bold, unwavering stance in defense of African prisoners and made a call that all African people must unite with the liberation of African political prisoners by writing letters, holding rallies, prison visits and most importantly building the Political Prisoner working group of the Black is Back Coalition.
The Black is Back Coalition renewed the commitment of all the participants to forward the struggle for African national liberation and independence in our lifetime.
Free all Political Prisoners!
We are Winning!