Glen Ford was deeply committed to liberating people everywhere.
Marxist Glen Ford never wavered from his core belief of self-determination for oppressed nations and the struggles of working people around the world dehumanized by U.S. imperialism, a geopolitical paradigm for global domination. Its ruthless and terrifying destruction of Iraq shocked the civilized world. On the domestic front, deindustrialization and corporate trade agreements plunged the middle and working class into an austerity abyss. This political quagmire demanded a capitalist reset to shore up a collapsing empire in fear of a restless populace weary of wars that cost billions of dollars and countless deaths. Enter into this foray the $1 billion presidential campaign that mesmerized Black folks of every political stripe. Ironically, it was the Obama campaign that led me to reach out to Glen in 2007.
I held the unpopular position that Obama was the brown face of U.S. imperialism. The popularly held notion that Obama gave Black people a wink and a nod belied the reality of the racist U.S. empire. Glen agreed to participate in a community forum entitled: “Is Obama Good for Black People”, a debate between Glen and Amiri Baraka, an outspoken supporter of Obama. An enthusiastic and overwhelmingly young audience cheered Glen. That was the beginning of my 13-year membership with the BAR family.
Few are aware of Glen’s support for our anti-gentrification resistance campaign against predatory capital that decimated Black and Brown neighborhoods. He met with the tenant president of a seven-building complex that housed over 1,700 units of rent regulated housing. Glen stood with us against Columbia University's $6 billion expansion that displaced hundreds of low income families. In 2012, he protested with us against Obama's self-serving appearance at the Apollo theater.
What I loved most about Glen was his unconditional love for Black people and our liberation struggles founded on the Black Radical Tradition. He taught us that revolutionary nationalism was not antithetical to Marxism.
In every brilliant analysis, Glen engaged readers and his audience in the battle of ideas as a path for clarity of analysis centered around anti-imperialist doctrines. History will absolve our movement around the world.
Thank you Glen for your shining light of wisdom and love. You left us too soon. I will remember you forever!
Glen Ford, Presente!
Nellie Bailey is Former Co-host, Black Agenda Radio and Organizer, Black Agenda Events