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Burning Spear News

A personal tribute to Glen Ford, my Comrade and friend

Oct 2, 2021
Chairman Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party


Glen Ford speaks in Malcolm X Park at the Black is Back Coalition's March on Washington PHOTO: THE BURNING SPEAR

 

My relationship with Comrade Glen Ford began in 2009 with the founding of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.

We were drawn to Glen Ford, because unlike most who professed opposition to imperialism, he had the courage to criticize Barack Hussein Obama who represented the most grotesque, dangerous manifestation of imperialism in our times.

From its inception, ours was a political relationship based on a mutual hatred of the oppressive exploitation of African people that is central to the immiseration of the peoples of the world living under a global colonial-capitalist system that has African colonialism at its center and foundation.

When we met it was part of my more than 40-year pursuit to complete the Black Revolution of the Sixties. The Black Revolution had been militarily defeated as part of a global U.S.-based counterinsurgency that carried out a host of assassinations and jailings of key leaders of our struggle, the destruction of revolutionary organizations and the dispersal of their membership to the wind.

The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) that I lead was founded with the stated mission of completing that revolution. Like some other revolutionaries in history who suffered counterinsurgency by the colonial powers, many survivors of the Black Revolution of the 60s became subsumed by defeatism, superstition and other expressions of philosophical idealism imported into our struggle by hostile national and class interests.

This is what made my introduction to Glen Ford profoundly important to me and to our struggle for national liberation and socialism.

It was not mesmerization by his mellifluous radio voice or his well-recognized efficacy as a wordsmith. What made our introduction historically significant was the fact that he was a philosophical materialist and fought for revolutionary analysis based on empirical evidence without himself, bowing completely to empiricism.

For forty years prior to meeting Comrade Glen, the African People’s Socialist Party was actively engaged in solving the problems of the revolution that was inherited by our defeat. We
worked to build revolutionary organization and cadres whose activity was informed by advanced, scientific, revolutionary theory. We organized communities, mass organizations and institutions globally to institutionalize our revolution on a scientific, materialist basis.

Contrary to what some erroneously believed, Glen Ford was never a member of the African People’s Socialist Party. Neither was Comrade Glen a complete adherent of our philosophical worldview of African Internationalism.

However, these differences did not prevent the African People’s Socialist Party and me from recognizing his tremendous value to our revolution. For one thing, we found Comrade Glen to have the political integrity to uphold the organizational principles that he agreed to in helping to build the Black is Back Coalition around which our political relationship revolved.

Moreover, the fact that Glen was a materialist and could be won to a position based on empirical arguments and the fact that African Internationalism is a theory of practice around which is surrounded by innumerable examples of practical success of which Glen was aware, made me absolutely certain that our philosophical convergence was only a matter of time.

Our Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations that bears his political and ideological imprint, is the best possible evidence of a growing convergence of our worldviews.

Indeed, the worldview of African Internationalism that functioned to bring me into this relationship with Comrade Glen Ford, is the unspoken political and ideological glue that holds the Coalition together in advancing the overall struggle of our people against colonial-capitalism and any other imperialist iteration.

It is this that allows me to say without bowing to philosophical idealism that Comrade Glen Ford lives today. He lives in the continuing existence of the Black is Back Coalition he gave so much to build and lead, and he lives in we who will carry on with the political and philosophical trajectory made real in the Coalition and all the years of work he engaged in leading up to his participation in founding the Coalition.

Truly, it is appropriate to say: memorialize Comrade Glen Ford by being like him. Join the struggle to end African colonial oppression and the exploitation of the toiling masses of the world.

Long live Glen Ford!

Uhuru!

 

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