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Amiri Baraka: Class Struggle and Cultural Revolution

by Anthony Monteiro

Amiri Baraka, the poet/activist who was laid to rest in his native Newark, New Jersey, last Saturday, came to understand 40 years ago that all art is ideological. “It is the courageous move from cultural nationalism to Cultural Revolution that liberated Baraka, and ultimately us, to understand the democratic and revolutionary possibilities inherent in our artistic and cultural traditions.”

Syria Peace Conference: the Obama’s Administration Orwellian Subterfuge

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

It is difficult to call this week’s gathering in Montreux, Switzerland, a “peace conference” on Syria, since the U.S. and its allies are determined to change the regime by force of arms. Washington has forged an “unholy alliance with its “Wahhabi allies from Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda,” who act as America’s “boots on the ground.”

French Complicity in the Crisis in Central African Republic

by Antoine Roger Lokongo

Readers of the corporate media might conclude that France is carrying the White Man’s Burden in the Central African Republic, without which the Africans would descend into barbarism. However, “it is France that is ‘a burden’ to CAR and its other former colonies in Africa, not the other way round.”

What Should it Mean to be Haitian in 2014

by Pascal Robert

The white colonialists have never forgiven Haitians for the revolution of 1804, the first successful revolt against white supremacy. “The slander and degradation against us about our poverty, alleged political incompetence, and poor educational infrastructure is tied to the persistent desire of our historical enemies to wipe our revolution from our minds and the rest of the world’s.”

Remembering the Politics of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama

by Danny Haiphong

Barack Obama took his presidential oath on Dr. King’s bible, but has spent every day in office fighting against MLK’s legacy. “If King were alive today, he would be on the streets opposing each and every one of Obama’s neo-liberal economic policies and imperialist wars.”

A Call for Justice -­ Free the Cuban 5: An Interview with Netfa Freeman

by Gregory Elich

Marked as spies by the U.S. corporate media, the Cuban 5 are actually heroes in the fight against imperial terror. “U.S. official policy has been to wage a multifaceted and protracted war against Cuba and its people, which includes all forms of economic and political sabotage to destabilize the island.”

My Wise Country Cousin on Con-yay Wez

by Raymond Nat Turner

He go Wes’

You stay Eas’

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/20/14

IFCO Tax Exemption Imperiled

The IRS is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, IFCO, the venerable anti-poverty and human rights group. The government is investigating IFCO’s aid to Palestinians in Gaza and its assistance to U.S. students that want to avail themselves of medical scholarships in Cuba. The web site of the pro-Israel Investigative Project on Terrorism accuses IFCO of links to Hamas. “To have the IRS utilize a blog to come after a 47-year old, faith-based, non-profit organization run by people of color since its inception, is an outrage and an insult,” said IFCO co-director Gail Walker.

Health Disparities Rooted in Racist Legacy

Racial income and wealth gaps lead to racial health disparities, said Brian Miller, executive director of United for a Fair Economy, UFE. “Vast economic disparities are still with us, and these disparities, coupled with racial segregation, create a toxic soup that is brewing up health problems and shortening people’s lives,” said Biller, at a press conference to debut UFE’s 2014 State of the Dream Report, “Healthcare for Whom? Enduring Racial Disparities.”

War on Poverty was Great Success

The War on Poverty accomplished many of its goals, according to Annelise Orleck, professor of history at Dartmouth University and co-editor of The War on Poverty: A Grassroots History, 1964 – 1980. President Lyndon Johnson’s community action programs made enemies. “It shook things up when poor people demanded representation in school boards and housing boards and welfare boards,” said Orleck. The War on Poverty was attacked “not because it failed, but because it succeeded.”

White Racism Undermined Anti-Poverty Effort

“White backlash” scuttled some War on Poverty programs, including job training for minorities in the skilled trades. White workers whose union hiring halls had “for decades hired their sons, their nephews” became Reagan Democrats, said Jill Quadango, professor of sociology at Florida State University and author of The Color of Welfare: How Racism Undermined the War on Poverty. White union members saw minority trainees as “a direct threat to their prerogative to choose who was hired.”

Mumia on COINTELPRO

A new book reveals the identities of three people who broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and made off with files on the bureau’s COINTELPRO campaign against Blacks and the Left. Mumia Abu Jamal, America’s best-known political prisoner, recalled learning of the revelations, shortly after he left the Black Panther Party. “To read about people who you’ve known for years, who were FBI informants, was absolutely mindblowing,” Abu Jamal told Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and host of WBAI Radio’s Law and Disorder program.

Socialism Needed – Quickly

Capitalism “is utterly irrational, it’s out of control, and unless we democratically organize and plan this economy, they’re going to kill us, literally, through climate change,” said Michael Steven Smith, co-editor of Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. The new book contains 31 essays by a wide range of Left activists and writers.

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Moral Monday A Branding Exercise Blaming Republicans for Stuff Democrats Helped Them Do

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Is Moral Monday “sweeping the nation”? Is it the beginning of a new movement, or the revival of an old one? Or is it a sad, cynical and partisan attempt at renewing the brand of the black political class as fighters for justice and representatives of the oppressed?

The Obama-Paul Scam Zones

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama and his Republican friends agree that low-tax, low-wage, deregulated zones are the anti-poverty program for the 21st century. Both parties are engaged in a race to the bottom. Rand Paul, “the free market barbarian from Kentucky, dispenses his poison unadulterated, while the banker’s man in the White House mixes arsenic with Kool-Aid.”

Freedom Rider: The Burglary and COINTELPRO

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Forty three years ago, a group of brave activists clandestinely liberated documents from an FBI office that proved the existence of COINTELPRO, the government program to destroy the Freedom Movement. A new book recounts how most of the media refused to touch the story. Today, the chill is even deeper.

Amiri Baraka Has Died: Long Live Baraka

by Anthony Monteiro

To truly honor Amiri Baraka, one must examine his travels, the political journeys he undertook in search of paths to self-determination for his people and all humanity. He sought a liberatory synthesis of culture and politics. “We need a Cultural Revolution in the US and internationally, to reorient the world and ultimately transform it where we and everybody else is self-determining.”

US Court of Appeals: The Internet is a Plantation, With Comcast, Verizon, AT&T Its Masters

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Thanks to a ruling by the US Circuit Court of Appeals in DC, telecom companies are free to dictate every aspect of what you can and cannot see, hear or do over the internet. It's an emergency. It's time to demand immediate presidential intervention to head off the end of the internet as we know it.

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South Sudan: When the Empire is Your Liberator, You're Not Really Independent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The United States, which boasts that South Sudan owes its independence to Washington, seems poised to repossess the new nation’s sovereignty. With Sudan’s uniformed warlords locked in combat, the usual American “experts” are calling for the U.S. to assume trusteeship of the country – especially its oil.

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South Sudan: Peace, Democracy and Reconstruction Instead of War

by Horace G. Campbell

The dissolution of the South Sudanese military and government into rival factions puts the future of the world’s newest country in question. We must ask “whether this scenario had been planned by the forward planners in Washington who felt that they had not profited enough from the support of the SPLA since independence.”

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