Freedom Rider: Ocasio-Cortez and the Left

Freedom Rider: Ocasio-Cortez and the Left

Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist

“Ocasio-Cortez deserves credit for beating a corrupt but powerful system.”

Freedom Rider: Ocasio-Cortez and the Left

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a living Rorschach test for leftists. Her primary win over incumbent Joseph Crowley in a New York City congressional district is impressive on many levels. But the reaction to her victory demonstrates the sad state of affairs of left wing politics in this country.

The contradictory responses from people who are otherwise in agreement is the result of defeat after defeat and the lack of consensus on how to change the paradigm. The Democrats are the putative party of progressives but over the years they have morphed into a center right formation that differs all too little from the far right Republicans.

Regardless of motive Crowley was, as the saying goes, “phoning it in.” He had a lackluster debate performance and then didn’t show up for another. Instead he sent a former City Council Member to represent him. That level of disrespect was punished when voters went to the polls. It is true that turnout was low but such is the always the case in primary races. A win is a win and Ocasio-Cortez deserves credit for beating a corrupt but powerful system.

“The Democratic Party gas lighting which blames Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders or Vladimir Putin has been all too successful.”

Now the Democrats can’t even muster a “lesser evilism” argument after having lost state houses, Congress and, finally, the presidency. Left wing disdain for them is well deserved but there is still no agreed upon mechanism for ending their rule. In addition, the fear of being labeled a spoiler is still quite strong. The unbridled racism of the Donald Trump administration doesn’t make the debate any easier. The Democratic Party gas lighting which blames Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders or Vladimir Putin has been all too successful. The protection racket for failure has worked quite well.

Ocasio-Cortez is in the unenviable position of being dismissed by some leftists because she is a Democrat at all or lionized by others when she ought to be called to account. The Democratic Party bosses have already dismissed the significance of her win over a man who had a 10:1 fund raising advantage. That in itself is reason to give her credit. A large war chest is used not just to defeat but to scare off challengers before they can even mount a campaign. It isn’t surprising that Democratic Party leadership seek to minimize her achievement. If others follow in her footsteps the house of cards may begin to wobble.

“Ocasio-Cortez’s Peace Economy platform disappeared from her campaign website.”

Even Latino political leadership didn’t back her. Crowley’s debate stand-in was Latina and even Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz, Jr. lamented Crowley’s loss. “It’s unfortunate he had a primary,” said Diaz. “We need him in Washington D.C. Washington is about consistency and seniority.” It seems that black people aren’t the only group with a misleadership class.

But Ocasio-Cortez can’t be let off the hook either. Astute observers noticed that her Peace Economy platform disappeared from her campaign website. She blamed a volunteer-run web team and promised to “look into it.” A few days later the statement reemerged but doubters such as this columnist believe that it would never have reappeared if she hadn’t been questioned about its absence.

Ocasio-Cortez is expected to be all things to a desperate group of people. She both benefits from her connection to Bernie Sanders and is tainted by his sheep dogging for the Democrats. Yet she is rightly held up as a hopeful sign by people eager to see even a small chance of progressive politics taking hold. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is actually not the only issue for debate. The discredited Democratic Party and the inability of leftists to mount a successful attack against it should also be a focal point of discussion.

“Even Ocasio-Cortez falls prey to using liberal gibberish about America being a ‘force for good.’”

The Democrats have purged any semblance of progressive politics from their ranks. Democratic party attacks and Republican chicanery were used to end Cynthia McKinney’s congressional career. When Ohio lost a congressional seat after the last census it was no surprise that Dennis Kucinich ended up with the short straw. There isn’t one Democratic member of congress who consistently advances an anti-war platform. Even Ocasio-Cortez falls prey to using liberal gibberish about America being a “force for good” and demanding congressional approval for wars that should never be waged at all. But if she wins her general election in November she will be the lone member who says anything at all about the issues of war and peace.

Yet it is proper, indeed it is necessary, to call her to account when she follows Bernie Sanders and others in repeating unproven assertions that the Russian government helped Trump to victory. She can’t be held up as a progressive icon if she sounds like the imperialist democrats eager to deflect blame for their failures.

“There isn’t one Democratic member of congress who consistently advances an anti-war platform.”

In the final analysis progressives should keep Ocasio-Cortez under scrutiny lest she fall prey to big money and the pull of a partywhich wants to stamp out any and all divergence from their losing but powerful apparatus. The Democrats are openly backing former intelligence operatives and ex-military candidates to win in November. Ocasio-Cortez should be supported if only to fight against the Democrats and their ever more rightward moves.

The fight isn’t hers alone. The difficult discussions, debates and struggles must be waged by everyone. If not the leftist perpetual beat down will go on without resolution. We will be left with endless and useless argument rather than finding a way to make successful progressive politics a reality.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com . Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

black agenda report

Angela Davis Talks Black Liberation, History and the Contemporary Vision – News & Views – EBONY

Angela Davis Talks Black Liberation, History and the Contemporary Vision[INTERVIEW] The iconic freedom struggle leader speaks with EBONY.com about Black human rights activism stretching back decades and her recently released book observing global movementsBY SHERYL HUGGINS SALOMON, FEBRUARY 17, 2016COMMENTSAngela Davis speaking at Myer Horowitz Theatre of the University of Alberta. Nick Wiebe/Wikimedia CommonsFifty years after the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the agenda and style of the legendary Black revolutionary organization remains relevant in today’s public discourse. An end to “police brutality and the murder of Black people,” central to the Black Lives Matter movement, was laid out in the Black Panthers’ 10-Point Platform five decades ago. Both acclaim and condemnation erupted when their iconic black berets made an appearance recently in Beyoncé’s half-time show performance during the Super Bowl.It’s telling that America is still grappling with many of the same racial inequities and injustices that it did 50 years ago – and that Black pride remains a controversial topic. Not so to renowned scholar, activist and feminist icon and close associate of the Black Panthers Angela Y. Davis.“If one looks at the 10-point program of the Black Panther Party, one sees that the very same issues that were raised in the aftermath of slavery are at the center of a program that was formulated in 1966,” said Davis, now a professor emeritus at University of California, Santa Cruz. “In 2008 when Barack Obama was elected, those issues had not been sufficiently addressed, certainly not yet solved, so therefore the election of one person to political office was not going to automatically reverse a history of a racist inspired economic oppression, which isn’t to say that it wasn’t important that we elected Barack Obama, but those struggles continue.”While in Spain last week advocating for the release of imprisoned Basque separatist politician Arnaldo Otegi, Davis took a few moments with EBONY.com to discuss contemporary issues like Black Lives Matter, the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and details from her latest book, Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (Haymarket Books, 2016), edited by human rights activist Frank Barat.“I’ve been involved in the Palestine Solidarity movement for a very long time,” explained Davis. “When the Ferguson uprising happened a year and a half ago activists on the ground in occupied Palestine were the first to tweet support and advice to protesters in Ferguson. Out of that has come a very interesting, a very rich development of connections across the ocean. A delegation from Palestine visited Ferguson. Black Lives Matter and Ferguson activists, [as well as members of] Dream Defenders, Black Youth Project 100 made a trip to Palestine over about a year ago to express their solidarity.”  Related Articles CONNECTING PALESTINE AND POLICE VIOLENCE SIDRA SMITH ON ANGELA DAVIS DOC DIRECTOR TALKS ANGELA DAVIS DOCUMENTARYMore highlights of what Davis said are in the Q&A below.EBONY.COM: What’s the message of your new book?Angela Davis: I am particularly interested in [having] activists associated with the Black freedom movement to realize that our struggles never would have achieved this universality that they have achieved without solidarity that has come from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and Australia. Our struggles are global, therefore, it is important for us to incorporate this global vision into our on the ground battles against police crimes and the prison industrial complex. Since I was very young I have been involved in organizations— the Communist Party, the Black Panther Party— that have had this global perspective.EBONY.COM: As you note in your book, events in Ferguson after the police shooting of Michael Brown exposed the militarization of police forces. Where is this push toward militarization headed and how can it be stopped?Davis: If one looks at the history of policing, especially over the last 15 years in the aftermath of 9/11, one can see the emphasis on the shifting of resources from the military to the police. This actually has a much longer history if one looks at the way in which the Vietnam War resulted in an impact on local police. The S.W.A.T. squads emerged as a result of using techniques and technology that were used by the Green Berets in the Vietnam War. The Los Angeles Police Department was the first to use such tactics against the Black Panther Party. We have also seen the emergence of privatized policing corporations. In the book, I refer to G4S (Group 4 Security), which is a private security corporation that has spread policing and prisons all over the world. It’s important not only to look at the ways in which these moments of inflicting terror have been taken up by police departments, but it’s also essential to look at the economic dimension by such processes. G4S, of course, is the thir

Source: Angela Davis Talks Black Liberation, History and the Contemporary Vision – News & Views – EBONY

Remembering “Dr. Ben” ll In Conversation with Sirius/XM Host, Dr. Wilmer Leon,

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

This Week

Tribute to Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan  In Conversation with Dr. Wilmer Leon
HOST, “Inside the Issues with Dr. Wilmer Leon
Sirius/XM Radio
March 21, 2015 10 pm ET LIVE

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Join the broadcast Here: http://bit.ly/1bkVIxc

dr.ben2ABOUT Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan

He was one of the most courageous and inspiring scholars of our time would live for nearly a century, paying personal witness to dramatic transformations in the lives of Black people across the globe. Now a Beloved Ancestor.

ABOUT Dr. WilmerLeon Dr. Leon’s Prescription

Wilmer Leon is the Nationally Broadcast Talk Show Host of “Inside The Issues with Wilmer Leon” Saturday’s from 11:00 am to 2:00pm on Sirius XM (126).

Wilmer_Leon_2011-02-17_18-12-03_webWilmer J. Leon III, Ph.D. is a Political Scientist whose primary areas of expertise are Black Politics and Public Policy. Wilmer has a BS degree in Political Science from Hampton Institute, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Howard University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University.Dr. Leon is also the host of XM Satellite Radio’s, “Inside The Issues”, a three-hour, call-in, talk radio program airing live nationally on XM Satellite Radio channel 126.”

Dr. Leon was a featured commentator on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and is also a regular contributor to The Grio.com, The Root.com, TruthOut.org, The Maynard Institute.com and PoliticsInColor.com. He is an OUR COMMON GROUND Voice for more than 5 years.

We will discuss with Dr. Leon about today’s urgent and pressing issues and events before African-Americans.


                                                                               

Sankofa 2015

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KineticsLive.com | When and Where I Grieve‏

When and Where I Grieve

By Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D.,

The tears started while I was sitting in a Barnes and Noble bookstore and they refused to stop. I gathered my laptop and purse, hurried back to the car, and sat quietly – expecting the flow to cease. But it would not. Tears were in my eyes on the way back home and tears stayed with me throughout the day. I wept while folding the laundry and while trying to decide what to cook for dinner. There is a moment when you grieve that you can no longer make tears – instead, your silent cries are felt in the pit of your stomach or in the wordless moans that escape your mouth.

It is difficult to put into words what triggered this particular moment of grief. All I can explain is that the weight of being black in a world that hates black existence came rushing forward and I could no longer contain my anger, rage, or grief in a series of polite conversations and academic panels. I could no longer form the right words to describe how it feels to wake up in a world where a police officer can brutally assault and rape black women, violate the terms of his bail, and yet again be released from jail a second time since the courts have determined that he poses “no significant threat” while he awaits trial. I no longer had the means for polite discourse when trying to describe how police leaving the dead body of a murdered teen uncovered on the street for over four hours paralleled the worse of the American tradition for lynching. I did not have the right language to express my horror at the multiple deaths of black women whose only “crime” had been to say no to sexual advances. I had no language in response to the horrors of racism and misogyny that greeted me each morning.

Our culture privileges words and texts. If you want to be taken seriously and considered intelligent and rational, you are asked to respond to horrific events with sustained textual or oral analysis. I had been doing my best…writing, when I was asked to write, and speaking and preaching, when asked to do so. I’ve lectured and written on the historical, theological, racial, and societal implications of several recent events. But while sitting in Barnes and Nobles, my words failed because my words were no longer adequate. Living with terror requires more than just words. Dealing with the realities of the terrorized black body in America requires my entire soul…and my soul wept. The horrors had simply surpassed the ability of my pen to write and so my tears took up where my pen left off.

On that particular morning, my tears were triggered by a rendition of “There is Room at the Cross,” playing on my headphones. I thought about all the various meanings of the cross for Christians: a place of atonement and redemption; a place of suffering and shame; a place of lynching and execution; even a place of promise and resurrection. But on that particular morning, the cross represented a place where I was encouraged to grieve. Whatever the cross means in a person’s own theology, we know that the family of Jesus and his disciples grieved the death of one whom they loved. We know that tears were shed at the death of a beloved child, a cherished teacher, a dear friend, and a valued leader whose entire existence confounded Roman authority. The cross is a place where there is always more room for the grieving.

The foot of the cross is a place where I can grieve for all the deaths and for all the people that are “ungrievable.” And so I grieve for the women whose claims of rape aren’t taken seriously because they are sex workers. I grieve for those whose only crime is walking while black or driving while black. I grieve for the mothers and fathers burying their children much too soon. I grieve for women who stay home rather than face street harassment. I grieve for those triggered by the sight of blue lights in their rearview windows. I grieve for parents who have to teach racial life lessons while their children are still toddlers. I grieve for black women whose murdered bodies barely rate a mention during the evening’s news. And I grieve for those who do not have a community to support them while they grieve.

At the foot of the cross, or at the site of any of these lynchings, state executions, murders, or injustices, there must be a place to allow the tears to flow and the moans to escape. There must be a place – beyond words or sermons or essays – which allows the body to grieve. Before we can heal the land, repair the breach, or right the wrongs, our souls are crying for a moment to mourn. The grief is both personal and collective as we grieve for our own losses and for the losses of others.  But when and where I grieve, my heart, body, and soul insist that this space, this moment, and this loss must be acknowledged. I grieve because it matters. I grieve because even when my voice is silenced, my tears will tell their own story.

Dr. Yolanda Pierce is the Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Liaison with the Princeton University Center for African American Studies. She blogs @ Reflections of an Afro-Christian Scholar 

 

 

KineticsLive.com | When and Where I Grieve‏.

America’s Moral Debt To African Americans l Smithsonian.com

America’s Moral Debt To African Americans

SLAVERY
 As a historian, I know slavery has left a deep scar on America. The reasons are many. I have found wisdom in the words of Cornelius Holmes, a former slave, interviewed in 1939, a man who saw brutality and separation of families. Holmes shared the dreams and melodies before freedom and then witnessed the reality of freedom.

One reason for my current retrospection is the fine essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates in the June issue of the Atlantic arguing that reparations are deserved and long overdue. He has gathered an amazing array of facts about racism, economics, violence and the role of the U.S. government, implicit and explicit. With pinpoint clarity, Coates has focused a scholarly light that shines into all the dark corners of this shameful chapter in our history.

Read the whole story at Smithsonian.com

Print Article

 

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Teaching Peace in Violence-Torn Regions of Africa φ Carmen del Rosario, Anti-violence Educator and Activist φ LIVE 10 pm ET 3-29-14

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

Teaching a New Peace in Africa and Hoping to Change a Nation

Guest:   Anti-Violence EducatorActivist Carmen del Rosario
Founder, Roots of Transformation

 

03-29 Carmen

Saturday, March 29, 2014 10 pm ET

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“When I dare to be powerful– to use my strength in service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” – Audre Lorde

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout Carmen del Rosario

Carmen is a highly driven and motivated, partnership, and programme management professional with over 20 years of professional experience working in the field of violence against women and children with government and development organizations, community networks and institutions in the US, El Salvador, Rwanda, Burundi, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Congo (RDC) and Liberia

Ms. Carmen Del Rosario served as the Director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Domestic Violence Program for 10 years. Del Rosario was a pioneer in developing strategies to engage boys and men in positive ways to prevent violence and to promote healthy relationships. In the year 2000, under her leadership, de Domestic Violence Program received funding from the CDC to develop , implement and evaluate a five years demonstration project working with men as fathers.

Over the past eight years Carmen has been working in East Africa, (Tanzania) Central Africa (Eastern Congo) and West Africa (Liberia), developing, coordinating and implementing programs to respond to survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV), Women’s Empowerment Program as well as prevention initiatives with men from different background; these include, refugees’ men, religious leaders, traditional leaders, the police, and the UN peacekeepers. Carmen has developed intervention and prevention programs providing technical support to capacity development of the implementing partners in partnership with government, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and INGO.

ABOUT ROOTS of TRANSFORMATION

Roots of Transformation, is a non-government grassroots organization working toward the prevention of VAWC by catalyzing changes in communities and by supporting organizational sustainability. The organization works to prevent violence by addressing its roots causes, such as traditional gender roles, and the imbalance of power between women and men.

 Mission

DSC00577Roots of Transformation is committed to equipping people with the knowledge, wisdom and tools needed to make decisions that will positively impact their futures, the future of their family and their nation.

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OUR COMMON GROUND Kwanzaa 2013 -14

KWANZAA

Kwanzaa (kwahn-ZAH) is an annual cultural observance, which is recognized by Black people from December 26 thru January 1, each year:

  • Kwanzaa is non-political.
  • Kwanzaa is non-religious.
  • Kwanzaa is not related to Christmas.*

* Annual Kwanzaa observances begin on December 26th, each year] 

2013 Kwanzaa banner

This year’s OUR COMMON GROUND KWANZAA message comes from our Brother, Friend and Comrade,OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Dr. Ron Daniels.

The Nguzo Saba contains the core concepts and values of Kawaida and the foundation for Kwanzaa.  In a recent article, First Call for State of the Black World Conference III, I suggested that a spiritual and cultural revival is essential to combat and overcome the devastating State of Emergency afflicting the “dark ghettos” in Black America.  As we begin the celebration of Kwanzaa, it might be useful to restate the N’guzo Saba and discuss its relevance to healing our families and communities in a time of crisis.  So, I offer these reflections.

Dr. Ron Daniels, Founder and Director, IBW 21

Ron Daniels

The first Principle in the Nguzo Saba is Umoja/Unity. That Africans in America should be unified or act in concert to confront the State of Emergency should be self evident.  However, achieving Black unity can be challenging and illusive. In the name of pursuing the interests of Black people, what we have in the Black community is a myriad of leaders and organizations that all too often compete rather than cooperate with each other.  Moreover, various leaders and organizations have different ideologies and strategies for achieving full freedom/liberation. There is also a “class divide” between the more affluent sisters and brothers who have benefited from the “movement” and moved up in the world and the dispossessed left behind in abandoned and devastated “dark ghettos,” the “hood.”  Overcoming disunity  requires a conscious effort to create “united front” structures which bring people together despite their differences in philosophy and approach.  Dr. Karenga has advocated “operational unity” as a concept to enable leaders and organizations with differing philosophies and approaches to work together.  Operational unity means focusing on issues and areas where there is agreement among organizations and leaders rather than disagreement.  Dr. Karenga calls this “unity without uniformity.” With so many problems/issues affecting the Black community, the goal of operational unity is to have leaders and organizations collaborate/act collectively around specific issues, projects and initiatives they agree on.

Unity in the Black community requires bridging the class divide.  Brothers and sisters who have seized on a pathway to the middle and upper class paved by the blood and sacrifice of heroes and sheroes of the Black freedom struggle have an obligation to spiritually and/or physically return to “Tobacco Road,” the urban inner-city neighborhoods of this country, to give back, to reinvest their time, talent and resources to reconstruct/revive the “dark ghettos” from which they escaped.

 The second Principle is Kujichagulia/Self-Determination.  There has been much talk about a “post-racial society” in the aftermath of the election of Barack Obama as America’s first African American president. And, there have always been some within the race who wanted to escape the “burden” of their Blackness.  The State of Emergency in Black America clearly suggests that “race still matters” as a determinant of one’s life chances in this country. Dr. Karenga has said that to chart a course toward full freedom, a theory/ideology of liberation must provide an “identity, purpose and direction.” I believe that if we are to permanently rise above the crises plaguing our families and communities, we must name and claim our identity, proudly embrace ourselves and be resolutely committed to being “of the race and for the race.”  As descendants from the African motherland, “we are an African people.” And, part of our mission in life should be to unapologetically work for the advancement of people of African descent in the U.S. and the Pan African world.  This does not mean disrespecting, disregarding or disdaining other racial/ethnic groups; it simply means “charity begins at home and spreads abroad,” and “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  We cannot, must not abandon the race, especially our sisters and brothers in the “hood,” in an ill conceived effort to become absorbed in a “colorblind” or “post racial society.”  We have a right to define who we are and determine our own destiny as people!

 The third Principle is Ujima/Collective Work and Responsibility.  As noted earlier, the Doctrine of Kawaida as conceived by Dr. Karenga is grounded in the traditional worldview and way of life of African people. As such it emphasizes “we, us and our” in terms of the values that are important to building and sustaining wholesome families and communities.  This is diametrically opposed to the “me, myself and I” values of “individualism” and “competition” stressed as central to the “cherished” American/western way of life.  The concept of the “collective” is frowned upon in America as “socialist” or communist.” And yet, the idea of extended families working together for a common purpose within communities with a sense of mutual obligation and responsibility is deeply ingrained in African societies – and our own experience as Africans in America, particularly in the South.  We certainly will not permit class or status to divide us if we see ourselves as one people committed to promoting the common good of the race. This is a clear example of the need to retain the values/principles of our forebears as opposed to adopting a value orientation which has proven to be destructive to Black families and communities.

 The fourth Principle is Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics.  This principle is closely linked to Ujima in that it encourages people of African descent to share resources and engage in joint efforts to build and sustain an economic foundation for our families and communities. Cooperatives, credit unions, investment clubs and community development corporations are examples of economic structures based on pooling and sharing resources for the common good.  Ujamaa does not preclude for-profit corporations or individual entrepreneurship. But, the value/principle of Ujamaa dictates that entrepreneurs and businesses explore ways of collaborating/cooperating, exchanging ideas and pooling resources where appropriate to enhance the collective economic empowerment of the Black community. This is what Dr. Claud Anderson has promoted through the concept of Powernomics and George Fraser through Power Networking.  In the spirit of Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, it is imperative that people of African descent persistently work to build an economic infrastructure to undergird our social and political institutions.

 The fifth Principle is Nia/Purpose. When we survey the incredible fratricide/carnage occurring in Black communities, largely committed by young Black males, one has the feeling that it may be because many of our young people lack a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.  And, this may be related to a lack of collective purpose in the Black community as a whole. Gone are the days of the civil rights/human rights and Black Power movements when there was a pervasive spirit of purpose in the air. There was a dynamic movement and a feeling that Black people were on the move! In the face of a daunting State of Emergency, we urgently need to restore a sense of purpose in Black America. And, that purpose should be a commitment to reclaim and rebuild our communities, a fervent determination that America’s desolate dark ghettos will become new communities that are bright beacons of hope and possibility. The collective conviction/purpose and the struggle required to rebuild our communities will be contagious; it will capture the hearts and minds of our youth/young people by restoring a sense of mission to their lives as part of a people fighting to liberate themselves from an oppressive value system and society.

The Sixth Principle is Kuumba/Creativity.  People of African descent gave the world its first multi-genius in the person of Imhotep, the Egyptian physician, architect and engineer who mastered the science of building in stone that led to the erection of the pyramids as one of the greatest wonders of the world! One might say that creativity is in our DNA.  Africans from the Caribbean took old barrels and transformed them into “steel drums” that produce amazing music.  Those of us who came up on the “rough side of the mountain” in America (most of us) bear witness to the fact that our mothers and fathers were masters of “making something out of nothing.”  They had to in order to survive.  Overcoming the State of Emergency to rebuild our families and communities is a formidable undertaking.  It will not be easy, but we should act with the absolute confidence that we possess the creativity, the knowledge, skill and will to meet the challenge.

 The Seventh and final Principle is Imani/Faith.  Given the obstacles our forebears faced, they had to have an abiding faith that survival was possible, that beyond the brutality, hardships, suffering and sacrifice of the moment, “joy would come in the morning,” that someday, a generation that sprang from their loins – sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren … would be able to proclaim “free at last.” For millions it was the belief that “we’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord.” For others it was a spiritual force deep down inside that could be tapped to carry forth for another day and another day … the faith that a better day was coming for the sons and daughters of Africa in America. In this current crisis, we too must have faith, a belief that enables us to scale heights, not normally possible, because we believe and act on our beliefs. Similar to the Principle of Kuumba/Creativity, we must have faith that there are no odds too great for a people to overcome if we act with Umoja/Unity, Kujichagulia/Self-Determination, Ujima/Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics, Nia/Purpose, Kuumba/Creativity, and Imani/Faith.  “Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome some day!”

– See more at: http://ibw21.org/vantage-point/the-nguzo-saba-and-kwanzaa-in-a-time-of-crisis/#sthash.gap6irva.dpuf

2014-3Kwanzaa