Burning Spear News
Black is Back annual March on the White House deepens the resistance to colonial State terror
WASHINGTON, DC—“2, 4, 6, 8, tell the people who we hate! Republicans, Democrats, the whole damn State!”
This chant and more was heard down the streets of Washington D.C. during the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) annual Black People’s March on the White House, on November 6, 2021.
It was a powerful weekend packed with rallies at Malcolm X and Lafayette Park, a march with over 100 participants from various organizations and a virtual conference on Sunday, November 7.
The theme of this year’s mobilization was “Deepening the Resistance to Police Terror: Honoring our Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War - Black Community Control of the Police!”
This theme was serving as a call to, “...actively join in the critical anti-colonial resistance that is shaking the system of white power to its very foundation.
African people traveled by bus, train or plane, hailing from the west coast, midwestern, southern and northern parts of the U.S to participate in this process.
On Saturday, the event kicked off with a rally at Malcolm X Park featuring profound presentations by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, leader of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and worldwide African Revolution as well as the Co-founder and Chair of the BIBC.
Also on the program were cultural performances headed up by Lucy Murphy and the Black Workers Center Chorus, a recognition of our fallen Comrade Glen Ford given by BIBC Vice-Chair Lisa Davis, presentations from Marsha Coleman-Adebayo of the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition, Salim Adofo of the National Black United Front, Matsemela Odom, Vice-President of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) and Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC).
The rally was also attended by families who are victims of police murders, such as Deanne Lewis, sister of TyRon Lewis, an 18-year-old African killed in St. Petersburg, FL in 1996 and the family of DeAndre Johnson, who was shot and killed by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) on October 18 of this year. There at the rally holding a banner with his name was his sister Jonetta Johnson, mother Sharnene Johnson and DeAndre’s two-year old daughter Reign Johnson.
Following the rally, which saw a crowd of Africans across generations galvanized to take to the streets, everyone was lined up by the incredible security contingent organized by the APSP.
InPDUM President Kalambayi Andenet and APSP AgitProp Director Akilé Anai led the chants, which drew people out of their homes and into the streets, or taking a break from their lunches at the downtown cafes to see what was going on.
The Black Revolution speaks for itself
The mobilization penetrated the status quo, raising demands to free all political prisoners and Black Community Control of the Police, defining the fundamental contradiction in the world as colonialism with chants like “Colonialism must go! Capitalism must go! Gentrification must go!”
And most importantly, it thrust forward the reality that “Black is Back,” meaning the Black Power movement has recaptured its voice and restored our course to free ourselves from this social system once and for all.
The Black is Back came into existence in 2008, with the expressed mission to unite black organizations around the principles of power and self-determination for African people. Since its founding, it has challenged the presence of neocolonial stooges like Barack Hussein Obama, who was put into power by imperialism as a way to mask direct white power. It has also challenged the age-old cynical sentiment that African people cannot unite.
For 13 years, the Black is Back has held countless conferences and demonstrations, and this latest march has been a reinforcement of the correctness of this strategy spearheaded by Chairman Omali Yeshitela.
The March on the White House reinforced the leadership of the APSP as the Vanguard, witnessed not only in the physical presence of Party membership, but the expression of the theory of African Internationalism in the presentations both at the rally and conference.
It is becoming clear that African Internationalism is en route to becoming the dominating worldview - the theory used to explain the world and what we see happening in it.
The march concluded at the gates of the white house and broke out into another rally at Lafayette Park, where we heard from the African National Women’s Organization’s President Yejide Orunmila, InPDUM President Kalambayi, President General of the Universal African People’s Organization (UAPO), Zaki Baruti and UAPO member and candidate for Missouri U.S. Senate 2022 Coffee Wright, Lisa Davis, Chair of the BIBC Healthcare Working Group, APSP member Charlie Square, who provided testimony regarding his son being incarcerated, and a closing summary of the day’s events by Chairman Omali Yeshitela.
The people recount their experience
Comrades Ghenaé from New York and Autumn from Germany, first year Political Science majors at Howard University, attended the 2021 Black People’s March on the White House after noticing the posters around D.C. and near the university campus.
While enjoying the cultural performances in the hours before the actual march, Comrade Ghenaé expressed her excitement at the event by “immediately signing up” after hearing about the march through the posters. The attendance of these comrades, as well as many other Howard University students, goes to show the thirst for mobilization that is instilled in the African youth.
“Growing up in a world where our voices are silenced, I found a place where mine was heard,” Ghenaé expressed.
Comrade Maria Fernendez attended the march with the D.C. chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. She expressed that her organization was enacting a week of action around the struggle to free Dr. Mutulu Shakur, a political prisoner who has been in prison since 1986.
Comrade Maria said that her organization attended the march in solidarity with the Black is Back Coalition’s similar struggle and campaign to free political prisoners. As Comrade Maria put it, “I believe we have the duty to free all political prisoners, and the importance of socialism to achieve that.”
When asked did he learn anything new at the march, attendee Khent Neter replied:
“It was dope seeing an intergenerational community show up in action. Especially after the powerful protest and riots that we had last year. It’s inspired me to look into joining one of the Pan African socialist organizations that I learned about.”
In an interview with attendee Lefty, Vice President of State Burners Motorcycle club, the oldest black motor.cycle club on the east coast, he said:
"I brought my kids down to experience it with me. [It was our first time.] It was great to see the unity, to see different organizations come together and be of one accord. I like that; that's why I volunteer for Uhuru now because I like the positive energy. [My kids were] marching [and] people were taking a lot of pictures of them. The young one, he's five, Gary, seemed like everyone liked him, he was very vocal, he had his fist up chanting, 'Black Power!' It was good. I wanna do more of these."
The task at hand
On Sunday commenced the virtual conference, which featured presentations and panels of the Black is Back steering committee. Chairman Omali Yeshitela continued to bring clarifying analysis and provided leadership for the overall discussion.
Comrade Matsemela Odom gave a presentation on behalf of the Black Community Control of the Police working group where he made this definitive statement:
“The solution that we are struggling towards is power placed into the hands of African people - not kinder, nicer police officers that go and play basketball with people, and then you find out that that same officer who shot a three pointer, shot a black kid.”
The fact is, this mobilization and conference was conducted to bring more definition to our movement that suffered a crushing defeat in the 1960s at the hands of U.S. imperialism, in what was called the counterinsurgency.
African leaders around the world were assassinated or imprisoned, organizations disintegrated through various forms of assault, we were rendered ideologically disoriented, the CIA flushed our communities with crack cocaine, as part of the finishing touches to remove Africans from political life.
The Black Revolution of the 60s, that was providing leadership in the world where revolution was the main trend, was defeated and replaced by neocolonialism, white power in black face.
But the Black is Back Coalition is representative of the revival of the Black Power movement. We have the benefit of our own revolutionary political party in the form of the African People’s Socialist Party.
We have forged the greatest weapon against ideological imperialism, and that’s the theory of African Internationalism, the scientific worldview of the African working class.
The task now is to go beyond protest and complete the Black Revolution. That was what this year’s Black is Back annual March on the White House and conference was all about.
We are on course, comrades!
Black is back!