Burning Spear News
The Ballot and the Bullet Electoral School: “Can Electoral Politics be a Path Towards Black Self-Determination?”
The 2018 Black is Back Coalition Electoral Campaign School, St. Louis, Missouri
A Call to Activists!
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will convene its second Electoral Campaign School April 6 through 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg, FL.
The Electoral Campaign School is a means by which the Coalition opens up a new front in the struggle for black self-determination within the U.S. and elsewhere.
It will challenge the monopoly of the electoral arena by a select sector of our community that has special ties to capitalist white power.
We will teach ordinary African people—workers, activists, women and youth—how to run for office.
The Black is Back Electoral School will also address the age-old question of whether or not there are any legitimate gains to be won by Africans participating in elections in a capitalist system.
Our Coalition has concluded that elections are not the only method of struggle and we have responded to the 1963 declaration by Malcolm X of “the ballot or the bullet,” with the timely refrain that it will be the ballot and the bullet.
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 April of 2017, we held our first Electoral Campaign School in St. Petersburg, Florida, attended by Africans from several states within 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.
The Coalition has turned over custody of an electoral process that has historically been separated from and used against our people and struggle.
We now have a tool that we can use to positively affect the lives of our community.
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 School has already won commitments from some of the same presenters that spoke in 2018.
Lisa Davis, Glen Ford, Zaki Baruti, Kamm Howard, Diop Olugbala, New York State Assemblyman Charles Barron, Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Khalid Raheem are among those who will be returning this year.
These presenters will be joined by Akilé Anai, 2017 candidate for City Council in St. Petersburg, FL, Nellie Bailey from Harlem, New York, Betty Davis and Ralph Poynter from New York, Rev. Edward Pinkney from Benton Harbor, Michigan and 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate, Ajamu Baraka. There will also be others.
Those of you who are interested in running for office or knowing how the electoral process works should be there.
Everyone with an interest in extending the struggle for African liberation should attend this important school.
The school will not only instruct attendees on how to run for office, but they will also learn how to get issues like reparations and community control of police and education on local ballots where legal.
Not only will the school teach attendees how to get candidates on ballots and win elections, but there will also be instructions on how to initiate recalls to remove opponents of our freedom from office.
Join the scores of activists who will attend this school
Take this opportunity to extend the recognized parameters of our struggle to include all fronts.
In the past, the methods of struggle for liberation of our people have been posed as either the ballot or the bullet. Today we must be able to redefine the struggle as one using every method – the ballot and the bullet.
Forward to St. Petersburg!