Burning Spear News
Study of the Party's Platform arms the African working class
African People's Socialist Party hero Omowale Kefing contributes to a discussion of African Internationalist theory during a 2014 Cadre Development School.
The 14-Point Working Platform of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) was adopted on September 23, 1979.
Two years later, it was revised and adopted again at the First Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party on September 6, 1981.
The Party’s Platform is printed in every edition of The Burning Spear newspaper.
Along with the Rules of Party Discipline, the regular publication of the Working Platform of the African People’s Socialist Party is of direct political importance.
It holds members of The Party and the Movement accountable to the African working class.
It also allows for the readers of The Spear and the public to develop unity with The Party and advances their political development.
The Party’s Platform offers a practical understanding of African Internationalism, the revolutionary theory of the African working class, and its relationship to the objective conditions of African people around the world.
The Party’s Platform is uniquely structured. “What We Want” defines what the APSP is striving to achieve and “What We Believe” outlines the African Internationalist understandings that informs what our aims are.
This is not about requesting concessions. It is a call to action.
The APSP has initiated a public political education series of the Party’s Platform that is happening throughout all of the Party’s regions.
The Platform arms the African working class
The story of Damesha Blackearth’s leadership in the Free Dessie Woods Campaign underscores the power of the 14-Point Platform. Damesha Blackearth was the Chairwoman of the National Committee to Defend Dessie Woods.
In the summer of 1979, Damesha Blackearth toured Europe.
According to the October 1979 edition of The Burning Spear, the tour was organized “to expose the case of Dessie Woods as a human rights violation in the U.S. By doing so, it will bring the conditions of all African people colonized within the U.S. before the eyes of the world.” Some of the cities that Blackearth visited were Copenhagen, Denmark; Amsterdam, Netherlands and Hamburg, Germany.
During the tour, Blackearth spoke at press conferences, radio interviews, and public lectures. The Spear notes that every city the tour reached “the women had said that no support for Dessie Woods could be won if anti-colonial politics were put out.” Upon departure from those cities, women had “been won to an anti-colonial position.”
Dessie Woods Support Committees were organized in multiple European cities because of this tour. Important contacts had been made with African people who lived in Europe during this tour. Damesha Blackearth’s tour became an important impetus for the establishment of the African Socialist International (ASI) as well.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela notes that Damesha Blackearth was only 19 years old when she was at the helm of the Free Dessie Woods Campaign. Nevertheless, she was able to do immense work in building the campaign and the Party globally, because she understood the 14-Point Working Platform, the Party line and how to apply it.
Department of Cadre Development organized
Under the leadership and vision of Chairman Omali Yeshitela, the APSP has created the Department of Cadre Development which operates under the leadership of the Department of Agitation and Propaganda.
Matsemela Odom serves as the Director of Cadre Development alongside his role as the International Vice President of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM). Matsemela holds a doctorate in history and teaches Black Studies.
The APSP calls on skilled Africans to recognize that those skills do not belong to them individually but instead belongs to the African Nation. The academic field of Africana Studies emerged in the 1960s as the result of African working class demands. When the African working class does not have power, their intellectual labor is controlled by the white North American bourgeoisie and African petty bourgeoisie.
The Burning Spear, the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) and the multiple wings of Burning Spear Media are all campaigns led by the APSP that place the genius of the African working class into the service of the African Nation.
14-Point Platform series studied worldwide
The APSP’s 14-Point Platform is being taken to all parts of the African world and has been translated into even more languages. The 14-Point Platform was already published in English, French and Spanish. It has recently been translated to Haitian Creole, Portuguese and even Tagalog.
Broadsheets of the 14-Point Platform have been produced and are being publicly posted in African communities around the world.
The 14-Point Platform Political Education Series is designed as a 14 week-long series. One point should be studied per week. The studies involve reading the point, the main ideas from each point and discussion questions.
There are two forms of discussion questioning: objective and subjective. The objective questioning consists of multiple-choice questions of which one person in the study group gives the answer. These answers can be deepened by further discussion.
The subjective questions are meant for multiple people to answer in the study group. It asks the study group participants to examine the Platform point in relationship to the material conditions of African people, the work of the APSP and the Uhuru Movement and work that they themselves are involved in.
The final question asks the study group participants to consider how a better comprehension of the Platform point helps to push their work forward.
Study the Platform
This political education series should only be the beginning. As organizers, we need to take this Platform to all segments of the African community. Hold discussions, forums, and study groups around the Platform and the work of the Uhuru Movement everywhere African people are—on the block, in schools, at the workplace, even church Bible studies.
The 14-Point Working Platform informs and arms the African Nation with a practical understanding of African Internationalist theory and practice.
Study the 14-Point Platform!
Build the African Socialist International!
Freedom in our lifetime!