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Booker T. Washington

Happy 131st Birthday Hubert Harrison, Giant of Black History

by Jeffrey B. Perry

More race conscious than A. Philip Randolph and more class conscious than Marcus Garvey, Hubert H. Harrison’s “ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/24/14

CIA Losing Friends in Congress

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s recent denunciation of CIA spying on her Intelligence Committee “suggests that criticism of the national security state has reached such a fever pitch that even its entrenched allies in Congress are starting to peel off,” said Shahid Buttar, of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Feinstein’s committee is considering whether to release a report on CIA torture and detention programs. “It’s up to us to force the institutional actors to grapple with these issues,” said Buttar.

Omnivorous Banks Seek to Devour Detroit

Activists are encouraging Detroiters to send a bankruptcy court their formal objections to state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr’s plans to restructure the city. Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman, pastor of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and a key member of D-REM, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, said the banks are Detroit’s ultimate nemesis. “They’re eating out the city from below, at the base,” through predatory home lending, and “extracting wealth from above, as well,” through derivatives deals that bury the municipality in debt,” he said.

Booker T. Obama’s Black Bourgeois Song

The My Brother’s Keeper initiative, President Obama’s project for young Black males, is mainly concerned with “Black behavior, about the need to make good choices, the need of teenagers not to have children, to stay in school,” said historian and activist Paul Street, author of the new book They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy. “I don’t see any real call for significant resources to seriously tackle” the material conditions that afflict young Blacks, said Street. Obama’s approach resembles “the longstanding conservative Black bourgeoisie’s ‘politics of respectability’ that was trotted out to great white approval by Booker T. Washington and the early Urban League” at the start of the 20th century.

Book is “Hatchet Job” Against Carmichael/Ture

Dr. Peniel Joseph’s book on Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, leader of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, is “part of a continuing COINTELPRO and disinformation mission against Kwame Ture and our wing of the movement,” said Bob Brown, a close confident of the Black Freedom Movement activist. Brown said Joseph wrongly “condemns” Ture “for having left the country” to live in Guinea, West Africa, where he died in 1998 – although W.E.B. Dubois also left the U.S. for Ghana, where he died in 1963. Brown unsuccessfully tried to halt publication of Stokely: A Life, charging Joseph falsely claimed to have interviewed him for book.

Mumia: Hypocrisy on Venezuela

In a report for Prison Radio, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal blasted congressional supporters of “rightwing and corporate-backed forces” that are “trying to stir up a popular revolt” against the socialist government of Venezuela. Abu Jamal notes that the U.S. Congress was largely silent when police, “corporate greed and the brutality of the One Percent” shut down the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the U.S.

Cuba’s Role in African Liberation

“For Fidel Castro, the struggle against apartheid was ‘the most beautiful cause of mankind,’” said Dr. Peiro Gleijeses, professor of U.S. foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Cuba’s early intervention in Angola’s liberation struggle, in 1975-76, allowed South African and Namibian revolutionaries to open training camps in Angola, said Gleijeses, author of Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa. He was interviewed for Your World News by host Solomon Comissiong.

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Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition

by Chris Hedges

African Americans have historically been the most progressive U.S. constituency because of the Black prophetic tradition, best personified today by Dr. Cornel West. This tradition has also saved the United States from itself. “America without the black prophetic tradition, from Frederick Douglass to Fannie Lou Hamer, means an American authoritarian regime, American fascism.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Danger of the Black Cultural Tour Guide

by Pascal Robert

How does one become rated “the best writer on race today?” By telling white people what they want to hear. Ta-Nehisi Coates is “the new favorite Black cultural tour guide of the chattering class” because he “talks about racism in a way that makes White Liberals feel good.”

The Historical Failure of Black Leadership

by Pascal Robert

There’s something wrong with the process by which Black leadership is selected. “Black people are trapped in a viscous cycle of looking at their favorite leaders and revering them like baseball cards.” What’s needed is democracy in struggle. “People must be trained with the organizational and political capital to advocate and fight for policy and economic models that best serve their needs.”

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by Dr. Radut