Haitians Need National Sovereignty Most of All
Framing Haiti as a charity case is insulting and wrong, said Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee. “The kind of support we need is to denounce the repression that has been imposed on the people of Haiti” since the U.S.-backed coup of 2004. Haiti doesn’t need handouts, said Labossiere; it needs solidarity in the struggle to resist the foreign “conspiracy to rob the country of its resources.”
Black Folk in Dark Times
Black academics and activists gathered at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, for a “Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom.” Organized by Dr. Jemima Pierre, an anthropologist, and historian Dr. Peter Hudson, the event was titled “Black Folk in Dark Times.” Author and community organizer Kevin Alexander Gray, from Columbia, South Carolina, looks forward to Barack Obama’s exit from the White House, in two years. Under the First Black President, “we bought into this idea of endless war, and we bought into the idea of star chambers where people are denied due process,” said Gray, author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.
Dr. Christina Sharpe, a professor of English at Tufts University, spoke of “ways of seeing and imagining responses to terror in the varied and various ways that our Black lives are lived under occupation.” She is author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects.
Dr. Maboula Soumahoro, an English professor born in France to Ivory Coast parents, told the gathering that “Afropea, Black Europe, is in the making.” “In my view,” she said, “Arabs and Muslims, sub-Saharan Africans, Afro-descended people born in France, people from the Caribbean…Asians of all kinds, Roma communities and all people of color are all Black” in France. Soumahoro is editor of the acclaimed essay collection, Constructing Black France: A Transatlantic Dialogue.
Mumia: A Half-Century of Civil Wrongs
“For the Black bourgeoisie,” the 50 years since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “has been a rush of opportunity and entre into doors once closed to them,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. However, “for the Black poor and working class,” mass incarceration has made “civil rights as ancient and distant as Reconstruction.”