Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: A new book makes the connection between mass Black incarceration, the growing police state apparatus besieging non-white immigrants, and the legacy of slavery in the United States: and, Ajamu Baraka says it’s time for a revival – of the Black American peace movement.

Bobi Wine, the wildly popular Ugandan entertainer and national legislator who was hospitalized in the United States after being viciously beaten by President Yoweri Museveni’s police, plans to hold a giant concert in the central African nation’s capital city, Kampala. Wine says Museveni is “drunk on power” after more than three decades in office, and is worse than former dictator Idi Amin. In Brooklyn, New York, Ugandan native Milton Allimadi, publisher of Black Star News, agrees with Bobi Wine’s assessment.

Four decades ago, Black politicians and grassroots activists could be counted on to at least pay lip-service to the cause of international peace. But nowadays, most Black elected officials behave much like other Democrats on foreign policy issues, and the Black peace movement is in disrepair. Veteran human rights activist Ajamu Baraka, who was the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2016, is trying to revive the Black movement against imperialist wars. Baraka is director of the Black Alliance for Peace.  

In the Black Radical Tradition, there is no fine line between foreign and domestic policy. Much the same can be said of the politics of Latin American  immigrant activists. Martha Escobar is an associate professor of Chicano Studies at California State University, at Northridge.” She’s author of the new book, “Captivity Beyond Prisons: Criminalization Experiences of Latina Immigrants.” Escobar says the U.S. mass incarceration system can only be understood as an extension of slavery.

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: The civil rights movement shook American racial apartheid to its foundations, inflicting profound defeats on white supremacy, but the defenders of the old racial regime have turned that history into a feather in the cap of American exceptionalism; and, the Pennsylvania prison system is using a dubious alleged drug-induced health crisis to impose unprecedented restrictions on inmate mail and visitation.

Israel is the only nuclear power on Earth that has not only refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement, but enforces a vow of silence on U.S. presidents from both political parties. The Washington DC-based Institute for Research on Middle Eastern Policy has filed suit in federal court to make public letters that the New Yorker magazine says every president since Bill Clinton has signed, promising to never publicly discuss Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons or to pressure Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We spoke with Grant Smith, director of the Institute, and asked him, How could it be that, for two generations, all discussion of Israeli nukes has been forbidden in official Washington?

The same people who fought the civil rights movement tooth and nail, defending discrimination and segregation, now use the movement’s victories as proof that the United States is an inherently good country, a nation that means well even when it is wrong. As proof, they point to the successes of the U.S. civil rights movement, two generations ago. Jeanne Theoharis is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, and author of the new book, “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.” Theoharis says the civil rights movement and its leaders have become props for American exceptionalism.

Pennsylvania’s 25 state prisons all went on lockdown, last month, with no notification to inmates or the public. It eventually emerged that the state was claiming that prison guards and other employees had been poisoned by contraband drugs that were smuggled into prison. Medical experts and others questioned the state’s story. Among the most skeptical parties are the lawyers for the Abolitionist Law Center and the Amistad Law Project, who fight for prisoners’ rights in Pennsylvania. Kris Henderson is with the Amistad Law Project, in Philadelphia.

Dr. Joseph Harris is a former member of the Black Panther Party, and currently the personal physician to Mumia Abu Jamal, the best known political prisoner in the Pennsylvania prison system. Dr. Harris has visited Mumia since the lockdown and shakeup of the state prison system. Harris played a key role in Mumia’s fight to be cured of hepatitis-C, for himself and thousands of other inmates.

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: A critique of the recent national prison strike. A veteran activist says the strike’s organizers failed to consult local people on the ground; a California prisons activist addresses the difference between prison abolition and prison reform; and, we’ll talk to the author of a new book on How to be Less Stupid About Race.

Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to be the next Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, had a hard time during last week’s Senate confirmation hearings. One of the many Americans that was glued to the television was Kevin Alexander Gray, the activist and author from Columbia, South Carolina. Gray says, even when the subject of contention is women’s rights, the SUBTEXT in America, is race.

Efia Nwangaza is an activist and attorney based in Greenville, South Carolina, where she’s director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination. The center also operates radio station WMXP. Nwangaza has been organizing around prison issues in South Carolina since 1978. She is critical of the leaders of the recent national prison strike, conducted from August 21st to September 9th. Nwangaza says the organizers failed to consult with local activists, inside or outside the prison walls.

Romarilyn Ralston spent 23 years as an inmate of the California prison system. She’s now the Program Coordinator of Project Rebound, at the State University at Fullerton, and serves as Policy Coordinator for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. It seems that Ralston has been on a mission since the moment she set foot outside the prison walls.

Much of today’s political conversation seems to blame Donald Trump for American racism, sexism and endless wars. That’s not very smart, according to Dr. Crystal Fleming, a professor of sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University, on Long Island, New York. Fleming is author of a new book, titled, “How to Be Less Stupid About Race.” She says, yes, Trump is a white supremacist warmonger, but so was his Democratic predecessor.

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: A professor of theology says Black folks would do well to return to a time when leadership followed a higher law; Dr. Anthony Monteiro says the U.S. empire is in crisis, largely because Russia and China refuse to buckle under to Washington; and, the President of Cuba will meet this week with community members in New York City.

The author of a new book says sports can never be separated from the racial history of the United States. David Leonard is a professor at Washington State University. His book is titled “Playing While White: Privilege and Power On and Off the Field.” Leonard says, even whites that are involved in mass shootings are treated as redeemable, but Black people who have never been charged with a crime are still marked as dangerous to society.

Another author whose work has recently been the focus of the Black Agenda Book Forum, is Vincent Lloyd, an associate professor of Theology at Villanova University. Professor Lloyd believes that the finest hours of Black political organizing occurred when leaders appealed to a higher law of justice.

Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a Duboisian scholar in Philadelphia, where he works with the Saturday Free School. Monteiro says the world has changed in ways that auger badly for U.S. imperialism.

he president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, will be among the many global heads of state that will be in New York City this week for the opening of this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly. On Wednesday, President Diaz-Canel will speak with community members at New York’s historic Riverside Church. One of the organizers of the event is Gail Walker, executive director of IFCO, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations. Walker was interviewed by Black Agenda Radio Producer Kyle Fraser.

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Why did Spike Lee use his movie to make a hero out of a cop that spied on Black activists. We’ll put that question to one of the nation’s most respected Black academics. And, we’ll get an assessment of the impact of the just concluded national prisons strike.

A civil rights organization in Washington, DC, has discovered that the Trump administration has plans to drastically raise the cost of staging protests in the Nation’s Capital. According to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, President Trump’s people want to charge protesters for the cost of police, and to ban demonstrators from the sidewalk in front of the White House.

Spike Lee’s movie, Blackkklansmam. made a hero out of Black former policeman Ron Stallworth, who spied on both the Klu Klux Klan and Black political activists, in the 1970s. Black activist, entertainer and filmmaker Boots Riley wrote an essay, blasting Spike Lee for glorifying the police spy. We spoke with another prominent Black social critic. Robin DG Kelly is a professor of history at UCLA and a prolific author and essayist. The Boots Riley essay on Spike Lee’s movie really sparked Dr. Kelly’s interest.

Supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal are optimistic that the nation’s best known political prisoner stands a good chance of winning a new trial. Mumia charges that his conviction in the death of a Philadelphia policeman was obtained through prosecutorial and judicial bias involving former prosecutor and judge Ronald Castille. Those charges were the subject of a court hearing, on August 30th. We spoke with professor Johanna Fernandez, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

In an essay for Prison Radio, Mumia Abu Jamal says the State of Pennsylvania has put the U.S. Constitution on lockdown.

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: A killer cop goes on trial in Chicago, claiming he shot Laquan McDonald 16 times because that’s what police are trained to do; and, the U.S. corporate media lies about Venezuela every day, but Facebook shuts down the page of one of the only publications that tells the truth about that country.

Much of the corporate media is talking about the New York Times op-ed piece, supposedly written by a high ranking staffer in the Trump administration who claims to be working to undermine the President’s policies. The writer claims to be part of a “resistance” and wishes to remain Anonymous. We called Dr. Gerald Horne, the professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, to see what he thinks about Mr. Anonymous.

One of the best political journals on Latin America, written in English, is Venezuel-a-nalysis, which keeps track of the ups and downs of the socialist movement in that South American country. Last month, the long, algorithmic arm of Facebook reached out to temporarily shut down the Venezuel-a-nalysis page, for no announced reason. We spoke with Venezeul-a-nalysis reporter Jeanette Charles.

The trial of white former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke began last week. Back in 2014, Van Dyke fired 16 bullets into the body of 17 year-old Laquan McDonald -- a killing that was captured on video, but the tape was kept hidden for more than a year. When the video was finally released, it caused a political crisis for Mayor Rham Emanuel and his top cops and prosecutors. Paul Street is an historian, an author and political activist from Chicago. He’s keeping a close watch on the trial of the killer cop.

Ramona Africa, the longtime spokesperson for the MOVE Family, is in failing health. The MOVE Family has suffered horribly at the hands of the Philadelphia police.  Many MOVE members remain in prison for alleged involvement in the death of a cop, in 1978, and 11 family members were killed – including five children – when police bombed their house, in 1985. Ramona Africa was of the two people that survived the inferno. Ralph Poynter is a human rights activist, the husband of the late people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart. Poynter says the movement must embrace Ramona Africa during her health crisis.

 

 

 

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: What lessons can today’s Black activists learn from the Black Panther Party? The author of a new book has some answers. And, it’s the second week of the national prisons strike. We’ll speak to some activists in the prisoners support network, and we’ll discuss the role of cellphones in bringing public attention to massive human rights violations behind prison walls.

President Trump had to call off his planned military parade on Veterans’ Day, which means anti-war groups don’t have to hold counter-demonstrations on the streets of Washington. But peace activists do plan a number of activities this autumn. Ajamu Baraka is executive director of the Black Alliance for Peace. He explains how Trump’s parade got cancelled.

Robyn Spencer is the author of a new book on the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. It’s titled, “The Revolution Has Come.” Spencer thinks today’s anti-police violence activists could learn valuable lessons from the Panthers, who began as a kind of cop-watch organization, in Oakland, California.

Inmates at a number of prisons around the country are on strike. They describe the mass incarceration system as slavery by another name. In recent years, prison officials have gone apoplectic over inmate access to cell-phones. We spoke with Nazgol Ghandnoosh, senior research analyst for The Sentencing Project, in Washington DC.

The national prisons strike has been underway since August 21st, and continues through September 9. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee is part of the inmate support network OUTSIDE the prison walls. Bruce Terpstra is an activist with the Committee. He put the prisoners strike in historical perspective.

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Black Agenda Radio this week examines two questions that confront those who want to bring down the 500-year reign of Euro-American colonialism and imperialism: How do people free themselves from the oppressor’s rule without becoming like the colonial master? And, how can the nations of what used to be called the Third World create economies of prosperity while still respecting the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples?

Some news from central Africa. -- Bobi Wine, a wildly popular musician and member of the Ugandan parliament, was arrested and severely beaten by police, along with several other elected officials. The police shot Bobi Wine’s driver dead. Wine and his colleagues are vehemently opposed to the 32-year rule of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, one of Washington’s closest military allies on the African continent. We spoke with Milton Allamadi, publisher of Black Start News, in New York City, and a native of Uganda. We asked Allamadi what the arrest and brutalization of Bobi Wine says about the Museveni regime.

The Europe and the United States became great industrial powers through centuries of theft of the labor and land of the colonized people of the planet. In the process, great harm has been inflicted on both the environment and the indigenous peoples of formerly colonized world – destruction that continues, even in those developing countries with left-wing government. Macarena Gomez-Barris is author of, “The Extraction Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives.” She’s also chair of the Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, at Pratt Institute. Gomez-Barris warns that those activists who claim the Earth has no future are unwittingly allowing the rich to continue spreading their ideology of disposability.

 

And so was a book by Dr. Julietta Singh, titled “Unthinking Mastery: “Dehumanization and Decolonial Entanglements.” Singh is an associate professor of English at the University of Richmond. She’s deeply concerned that previously oppressed people not internalize the ideology and behavior of the Oppressor. We asked Dr. Singh the question: How do people wage a liberation struggle against ruthless capitalists, or imperial powers like the United States – including armed struggle – and not appear to be behaving like the oppressor, like The Master?

 

 

 

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: a Black historian reports on how U.S. banks stole the resources and sovereignty of whole nations in the Caribbean and Latin America; a new book explores the political culture spawned by the radical movements of the Sixties and Seventies; and, supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal believe upcoming hearings provide a real chance for freedom for the nation’s best known political prisoner.

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations recently held a national conference in St. Louis. The theme of the gathering was, “There is No Peace: Africa and Africans are at War.” Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela told the audience

President Donald Trump angered much of the world when he called nations in the Caribbean and Africa “feces-holes.” In an article for Black Agenda Report, historian Peter James Hudson pointed out that U.S. banks played a key role in making countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa into places of poverty and oppression. Hudson is author of the book, “Bankers of Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean.”

The radical movements of the 1960s and 70s produced a unique and compelling political culture, according to a new book titled, “Fugitive Life: The Queer Politics of the Prison State,” by Stephen Dillon. The book is featured in the Black Agenda Report Book Forum, edited by Roberto Sirvent. Stephen Dillon’s work is rooted in the writings and actions of the hundreds of activists that tried to stay one step ahead of U.S. law enforcement, four decades ago. Dillon says these activists produced a political culture of “fugitivity.”

This is the month of Black August, which always means increased efforts to free political prisoners in the U.S. The next days and weeks will see a flurry of activity to end the long incarceration of the nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. Orie Lumumba is a member of the MOVE Family, and of Family and Concerned Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal.

That was prison abolition activist Orie Lumumba. From his place of incarceration in Pennsylvania, Mumia Abu Jamal files this Prison Radio report on the passing one of the Greats of Black American culture.

 

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Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: The Black economic condition has dramatically worsened in the 21st Century, with median Black household wealth on a track to disappearing entirely in the next few decades. However, the author of a new book says there’s not much that Black-owned banks can do to head of the disaster. And, the nation’s best known political prisoner has been behind bars for 35 years, but his supporters are stepping up the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

Donald Trump’s presidency has seen U.S. prestige in the world hit new lows. But the U.S. had long been regarded as having little respect for international law. Black Agenda Report contributor Danny Haiphong has teamed up with Roberto Sirvent to author an upcoming book, titled, “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: The Fake News of Wall Street, White Supremacy and the U.S. War Machine.” Haiphong says Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were champions of American exceptionalism.

Danny Haiphong’s co-author, Roberto Sirvent, is the editor of the Black Agenda Book Forum. Last week, the BAR Book Forum featured Mehrsa BaRAdaran, author of “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.” BaRAdaran is a law professor at the University of Georgia, specializing in banking law. She says Black banks are useful and should be supported, but they are not the solution to Black economic precariousness and the drastic decline of household Black wealth

This month is known as “Black August” among many Black activists, a month to remember political prisoners and those that have died in service to the Liberation Movement. Mumia Abu Jamal has spent the last 35 years behind bars in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Hearings resume on his contention that judicial bias led to his wrongful conviction. And, Dr. Johanna Fernandez, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, says there is photographic evidence of police tampering with evidence. Dr. Fernandez was part of the group that produced the 2010 film, “Justice on Trial,” which is being screened on August 23rd at the Maysles Cinema, In Harlem. She was interviewed by Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser.

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