“Economic disparities, police brutality, inequalities et al. go together with capitalism.”
I was privileged to learn from and work with Harry Haywood. Most if not all readers of the Black Agenda Report know his legacy and history in the black struggle. If not, please do check him out.
He viewed blacks as an oppressed nation in the Black Belt South and an oppressed minority in the North. The black struggle demanded its independence for true liberation. Haywood said that the merits of black nationalism required “an independent course for the movement; to shake off the dead hand of liberalism, paternalism, gradualism, and dependency.” It needed a revolutionary program consistent with sentiments of the black masses. Haywood's view necessitated that the black independent struggle for self-determination is necessary to connect with the revolutionary working-class movement to bring about U.S. socialism -- and to end black oppression.
Haywood said that it was not enough to just talk about whether you desire integration or separation. Both maintain their issues.
Black nationalism isolated and detached does not bring about black liberation. Turning money over to the black community that originates and stays in the black community is a pipe dream if you understand imperialism. Developing black businesses as a way forward is yet another empty basket.
“Different groupings and formations today have adopted pieces of Haywood’s worldview.”
Black community organizing with only the aim of making things better is temporary at best. The movement to end police brutality is an example.
Malcolm X got it right. Economic disparities, police brutality, inequalities et al. go together with capitalism. Malcolm still did not say what must replace it. He was moving on that track.
On the integration end, there continues to be a trend that wrongly places the black petty bourgeois at the helm. Dissing Trump and voting for Bernie Sanders draws us no closer to black liberation. How many of us think that we will obtain true equality through these methods?
We in the black left still grapple with trying to put black liberation on a proper course using black nationalism. Different groupings and formations today have adopted pieces of Haywood’s worldview. I suggest that we thoroughly examine Haywood’s premise, and emulate it according to today’s current environment.
Yes, building black anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist formations put us in the right direction. Getting together to do joint work around common goals remains essential, but is limited.
It looks like we have to help to build or re-build the revolutionary working class movement. That is, if Harry Haywood’s view is followed. As the most oppressed and the vanguard of the working class movement, we learned our lessons. Why not apply them?
Dr. Morgan can be reached at [email protected].