Archive for September 2019

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: Donald Trump has made the United States a nightmare destination for poor, non white immigrants, but a Black Canadian activist says her country is no safe haven; Philadelphia celebrates Muhatma Gandhi along with Martin Luther King; and, the leader of a small Caribbean country blasts the United States for its regime change campaign against Venezuela.

One could get the impression, from listening to today’s Black politicians, that African Americans don’t know or care much about what goes on in the rest of the world. We spoke with Professor Paul Ortiz, a professor of history at the University of Florida, and author of the new book, “An African American  and Latinx History of the United States.” Ortiz says the struggle for Black liberation in the U.S. has always been international.

 Immigration to the United States is way down, this year, as President Trump succeeds in making Coming to America a nightmare experience. Canada takes in even more immigrants, proportionately, than the United States.  Black Canadian activist and writer Robyn Maynard is author of the book, “Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present.”  She warns that her country is no safe haven for Black newcomers.

All this year, the Philadelphia Saturday Free School has been publicizing the life and philosophy of Muhatma Gandhi, the Indian national liberation leader. On Thursday, October 3rd, the Free School will hold a special program titled, “Mahatma Gandhi and Our Single Garment of Destiny: Our Inescapable Struggle for Peace and Justice.” Philadelphia Free School activist Jahan Choudry says any study of Gandhi must include Dr. Martin Luther King.

 Heads of state from all over the planet journeyed to New York City last week to attend the yearly opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. Among them was Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of the tiny Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Prime Minister Gonsalves criticized the Global North for polluting and warming planet, denounced the US economic blockade of Venezuela, and celebrated new movement towards unity within the African diaspora.

 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: Lots of African Americans don’t think of immigration as a Black issue. But a large proportion of people seeking to enter the U.S. come from the African Diaspora, and they may be getting the worst treatment of all. And,  Black women with guns --- have always been willing to confront the enemy with force.

 President Trump has taken weaponization of the dollar to new levels of financial aggression. U.S. economic sanctions use to mean the United States would not trade with a country targeted by Washington. Now it means the targeted country is forbidden to use dollars, the world’s reserve currency, and anybody that spends dollars to trade with the targeted country will also be punished. We spoke with Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Dubosian scholar based in Philadelphia.

There has never been a time when U.S. immigration policy has not been shaped by race. Throughout U.S. history, Blacks have been unwelcome at U.S. borders, unless they arrived in chains.  Ben Ndugga Kabuye is on the staff of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. He says U.S. immigration policy has always been shaped by anti-Blackness.

Jasmine Young is a doctoral fellow at the University of California’s Department of African American Studies, where she’s working on a manuscript titled, “Black Women with Guns: Armed Resistance in the Black Freedom Struggle.” Young says Black women have always been represented in Black people’s armed resistance to the racist powers that be.


 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 people get the worst health care in the United States, but we’ll talk with a doctor and author who says Blacks also pay more for bad health outcomes; and, a researcher on education says Black and brown students have every right to be outraged at the racist treatment they are subjected to in US schools.

 Brazil has long been a killing ground for Black and brown people, but the carnage has increased with the election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who some call the Donald Trump of South America. In just three months, police in Rio de Janeiro killed 434 people, most of them young Black men. We spoke with Joao Costa Vargas, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, at Riverside. Dr. Costa Vargas is from Brazil, and is author of the book, “The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil.” We asked him if Bolsonaro is encouraging police massacres of young Blacks.

We all know that Black folks are disproportionately given subprime loans by banks. But, Dr. Leslie Hinkson says, the same is true in healthcare. Dr. Hinkson is co-editor of the new book, “Subprime Health: Debt and Race in U.S. Medicine.

The corporate media has long been obsessed with violence in urban schools, but they seldom consider the violence that the schools exert against Black and brown students. Dr. Connie Wun is an analyst an researcher who advocates for women and girls of color. Dr. Wun wrote an influential article in The Feminist Wire titled, “Racialized and Gendered Violence Permeates School Discipline.” She begins the article with the plight of Jada Williams, an eighth-grade student in Rochester, New York.


 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 Green Party will hold a national conference on Eco-Socialism, this month in Chicago; The FBI’s dreaded Watch List is ruled unconstitutional in a federal court; and, we’ll hear about the method behind the madness of the whole arbitrary system of book banning in the U.S. Prison Gulag.

The rapper known as Jay-Z started out as a dope dealer in Brooklyn, went on to become a billionaire in the entertainment business, and was soon hob-nobbing in circles of wealth and power. Jay-Z recently interjected himself into the controversy over football players that refuse to honor the Star Spangled Banner anthem, in protest of police killings of Blacks. We spoke with Louis Jefferson, an activist from San Jose, California, who wrote a poem critical of Jay-Z that appeared in Black Agenda Report. It was titled, “Anthem 4 Rappers Wrapped in the Flag.” Some speculate that Jay-Z cut his deal to advise and provide entertainment services to the National Football League as part of a scheme to eventually own an NFL team. But Jefferson sees a larger political picture.

Green Party is gearing up for a national conference on Eco-Socialism, to be held in Chicago, September 28th. Anita Rios is co-chair of the Green Party National Committee.

Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford says the United States is always making lists of nations to make war against, or people to silence and incarcerate.

Prisons are constantly banning the books and periodicals that inmates are allowed to read, for what seems like the most arbitrary of reasons and often with no explanation at all. Many activists make the comparison with slavery, when it was a crime for enslaved people to read. We spoke with Britanny Friedman, a professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, specializing in criminal justice.

Donte Mitchell is a prisoner of the State of New York. He sees a Great Contradiction in the whole mass incarceration system.


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 are Muslims always part of the story when a mass shooting occurs, even when a white American is the perpetrator? We’ll discuss that question. And, Black women from across the Diaspora have produced an important book on Gender Studies in Africa

A bill that would require all students in the California state university system to pass a course in Ethnic Studies before graduating has been put on hold after meeting fierce opposition. Dr. Gilda Ochoa, a professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at Pomona College, was a key player in pushing for the legislation. Ochoa and her brother Enrique wrote an article calling for passage of the Ethnic Studies bill. She’s not happy that it’s been sidelined.

 Most mass shootings in the United States are committed by white men. But Dr. Maha Hilal, co-director of the Justice for Muslims Collective, and an organizer with Witness Against Torture, says even when the perpetrators of mass murder are white, Muslims are somehow brought into the discussion. Dr. Hilal wrote an article for Truthout, titled “Leave Muslims Out of This. Let’s Discuss White Violence on It’s Own Terms.”

 Cheryl Rodriquez is co-editor of a fascinating new book, titled “TransAtlantic Feminism: Women and Gender Studies in Africa.” Roderiguez’s co-editors are drawn from a range of countries in the African Diaspora, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, and Uganda. She says Black people are always seen as “the enemy” in the U.S. 

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