Archive for February 2020

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: Bail has been abolished for some offenses in New York State, but people held on one dollar bail find it hard to get out of jail; A Black professor says Emmet Till and Trayvon Martin both died on the alter of white womanhood; and, Mumia Abu Jamal makes some comparisons between 21st century poverty and the Great Depression.

Most people think of environmental damage as having to do with pollution of the air and water. But Willie Wright, a professor of geography and African American Studies at Florida State University, in Tallahassee, says the landscape can also be damaged by using it to commit or conceal acts of violence against Black people. Professor Wright wrote an article for a radical journal on geography.

New York is one of several states that have abolished cash bail, which has been used to keep poor people locked up before they’ve even been convicted of a crime. But it’s often difficult to get out of jail, even if the bail is set at only one dollar. Amanda Lawson is a student at New York University and a co-founder of the Dollar Bail Brigade, whose volunteers have helped hundreds to navigate the jail bureaucracy.

Fifty seven years transpired between the murder of Emmet Till by white racists in Mississippi, and the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, in Florida. But Angela 

Own-WATCH-ee, a professor at Boston University School of Law, says both Black teenagers were killed for much the same reasons. Professor Own-WATCH-ee wrote a paper for the Dubois Review, titled From Emmet Till to Trayvon Martin: The Persistence of White Womanhood and the Preservation of White Manhood.”

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, sees parallels between low paid workers today, and during the Great Depression. He files this report for Prison Radio. 

 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 America has invested much of its energies in the promise of public education, but a Black educator wants schools, as we know them, abolished. And, Julian Assange is in the courts, fighting against extradition to the United States. Why are BOTH corporate political parties so intent in imprisoning the founder of Wikileaks?

Kansas City, Kansas, like most American cities, is the site of massive gentrification, forcing Black and poor people out of the urban core. But, in the past year, tenants in Kansas City have fought back, winning passage of a Tenants Bill of Rights. We spoke to one of the main organizers of the city’s tenant organization, Tara Rah-who-Veer. She said Kansas City tenants have made great strides in a short space of time.

Growing numbers of activists are calling for the abolition of prisons in the US, as vestiges of slavery that cannot be reformed. David Stovall is a professor of African American Studies and Criminology at the University of Illinois, in Chicago. Stovall says, not only should prisons be done away with, but schooling, as we know it, should also be abolished.

Hearings begin on February 24, in Great Britain, on U.S. requests to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, to stand trail on 18 charges that could put him prison for 175 years. Assange is currently being held in Britain’s Belmarsh prison, where he is reported in poor health. Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford says Julian Assange is a political prisoner of Empire, who deserves support, along with all the other U.S. political prisoners. Ford was interviewed on Randy Credico’s radio show. 

Chuck Africa, the last of the MOVE 9 Black political prisoners convicted in the death of a Philadelphia cop back in 1978.  That was cause for celebration for the nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, who has been locked up since 1981 in the death of another Philadelphia cop. Abu Jamal is jubilant that Move member is out of prison.

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 women have taken the lead in calling for a basic makeover in health care in the United States, a profession that was largely built on experimentation on enslaved Black people, and which has failed to serve Black men, women and children, ever since. And, reading may be fundamental, but much of what young people read in school is a racist lie. We’ll talk with a professor whose reading list tries to correct the misinformation of US and world history.

Democrats and Republicans alike stood up and cheered at President Trump’s State of the Union Address, when he introduced Juan Guaido, the right-wing politician who last year proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Nobody voted for Guaido, and Venezuela already had an elected government, but the U.S. recognized Guaido, anyway. American activists then occupied the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, to keep it from being taken over by Guaido supporters. They called themselves the Embassy Defenders. After almost a month-long siege, four of the Defenders were arrested. They face trial on February 11th, and could be imprisoned for up to a year and fined $100,000 each. One of the defenders is Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. He says they’re being prevented from mounting an effective defense.

Black women in the United States are three times as likely to die in childbirth than white women, and Black American infant mortality is worse than in many poor countries of the world. Deirdre Cooper Owens is with the Department of History and the Humanities-in-Medicine Program of the University of Nebraska. She co-wrote a paper entitled, “Black Maternal and Infant Health: the Historical Legacies of Slavery.” Cooper Owens says much of modern U.S. medicine is based on medical practices devised during slavery.

It’s often said that reading is fundamental. But, what if most of what people read is historically wrong? Nana Osei-Opare teaches history at Fordham University. He submitted an article to Black Agenda Report’s “Books I Teach” feature. Osei-Opare has his students read a comprehensive list of authors and subjects, from the Kenyan Mau Mau, to South African liberationist Steve, former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, and radical writer and psychiatrist Franz Fanon. Near the top of the list is a book by Ruth First, who was assassinated by the white regime in South Africa.

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 amazingly prolific and ground-breaking Black scholar Dr. Gerald Horne talks about untangling the racist distortions of history; a French writer and activist maintains that racism is baked into the culture of the colonial powers of Europe; and, we’ll learn about the deep connections between Black people’s religions on both sides of the Atlantic Oc

Erica Caines is an activist and writer in Ann Arundel County, Maryland. Caines has created a program that brings Black-themed books to children. She hopes to raise a generation of revolutionaries.

Dr. Gerald Horne is professor History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, and a phenomenally prolific author. Horne’s scholarship has challenged long-held beliefs about the actual nature of the white American settlers war for independence from Britain. Dr. Horne recently appeared on a Washington Babylon podcast. He defended the New York Times’ 1619 project, which examined the origins of the Black presence in the English-speaking North American colonies.

The Black rebellion against the legitimacy of white domination rages on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Ro-KIGH-ah Dialo is a French journalist, writer and film-maker, and a host of Black Entertainment Television—France. Diallo says white supremacy is baked into the culture of France and all the colonial powers of Europe. Ufortunately, however, the French never experienced a civil rights movement on their own soil.

Eziaku Nwokocha perceived intimate connections between Black people’s religious practices in Africa and the Western Hemisphere. Nwokocha has earned a Phd in in Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylavnia, and she’s studying for her Masters degree in Theology at the Harvard Divinity School. She’s focused her studies on African and African American religions.

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