African America

If You Embrace Assata, You Must Fight the Black Misleadership Class

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Donald Trump’s lynch party seeking the extradition of Assata Shakur from Cuba includes every U.S. president -- most especially Barack Obama, who doubled the bounty on her head and demanded “that a home-grown Black revolutionary and escaped political prisoner be returned to captivity.” As for the Congressional Black Caucus, there is “no chance that the CBC as a body will protest either Trump’s persecution of Shakur or his general policy on Cuba.”

Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Add the name of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman from Seattle, to the list of victims of the U.S. State. Her name will soon move down the column, since killer cops “are inherent in the logic of repression that has always characterized the relationship between the U.S. racist settler-state and black people.” Killing Black people comes easily, especially at this stage of capitalism in which their labor is no longer needed.

Mayor-elect Lumumba: Jackson “to be the Most Radical City on the Planet”

by Anna Wolfe

Chokwe Antar Lumumba and his supporters won a second chance to make Jackson, Mississippi, the city that tests the limits of what can be accomplished in a mostly Black city under U.S. bourgeois democracy. Like his father, who died less than a year before capturing city hall, the young Lumumba embraces the radical label. “We all need to be prepared to be as radical as the circumstances dictate we should be."

A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago

by Ashley Finigan, Caine Jordan, Guy Emerson Mount, Kai Parker

The University of Chicago, the famous center of laissez-fair capitalist economics on the city’s South Side, was endowed by one of Mississippi’s worst slaveholders. Reparations are in order, but the process must be “a function of what black communities demand as payment to forgive an unforgivable debt.” The thief does not have the right to choose the method of restitution.

What’s Hidden Behind the Walls of America’s Prisons?

by Heather Ann Thompsom

The U.S. penal system is like a cosmic Black Hole: far more massive than its counterparts anywhere else in the world -- with 2.3 million behind bars, 4.5 million on probation or parole, and up to 100 million U.S. citizens with a criminal record – yet largely invisible to the general population. “For those without press credentials, finding out what is happening behind bars remains virtually impossible.”

America's Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration

by Candice Bernd, Zoe Loftus-Farren and Maureen Nandini Mitra

Most people realize that prisons are bad for the bodies and minds of the inmates. However, the vast U.S. prison gulag is also a huge source of pollution for surrounding communities. “Federal environmental regulations bar many of the types of pollution and contamination happening in prisons, but state and federal agencies seem to have little incentive to enforce these laws with regard to prisoners.”

100th Anniversary of Hubert Harrison’s Founding of the Militant “New Negro Movement”

by Jeffrey B. Perry

The modern Black liberation movement can be said to have begun with the founding of Hubert Harrison’s Liberty League, in Harlem, a century ago. The League demanded that lynching become a federal crime, and that Blacks defend themselves from racist attack. “Harrison advised ‘Negroes’ who faced mob violence in the South and elsewhere to ‘supply themselves with rifles and fight if necessary, to defend their lives and property.’"

In the Face of Trump's Surveillance Threats, Local Movements Demand Disclosure of Police Technologies

by Candice Bernd

In anticipation that the Trump administration will expand on Obama’s domestic spying practices, a coalition of civil liberties groups is pushing a Community Control Over Police Surveillance initiative in cities across the nation. The campaign would require local approval of police surveillance tools such as “cell phone tracking equipment, automated license plate readers, facial recognition technology and closed-circuit television cameras.”

Melissa Harris-Perry is Blowing Smoke Again

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

Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry brands the NAACP “irrelevant” in a May 30 New York Times opo ed without the bother of naming a single issue on which she disagrees with them. Shallow bran farts like this only make the New York Times because Harris-Perry is the unofficial spokeslady for a different faction of the black political class eager to supplant their elders under the brokerage model of black leadership we’ve been saddled with since Booker T;. Washington.

Black-Hating Negroes and Their Uses: David Clarke at Homeland Security

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Black sheriff from Milwaukee is a cartoon character whose elevation to Homeland Security is intended as an insult to Black people and a sop to the most bigoted elements of Donald Trump’s base. Clarke’s “talent is to cultivate a crude and shameless contempt for his own ethnicity, tuned to the racist receptors of his white patrons.” He’s a sick Black cat in a hat -- but he’s got company.