Archive for June 2020

 Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: A segment of Black America has long been obsessed with promoting images or spokespersons that are positive representations of “The Race.” But, has that ever worked as a Black strategy for empowerment? And, a scholar says it’s vital that everybody read, but warns that lots of western literature is bad for your mental and political health.


But first – In the wake of last month’s huge George Floyd protests, polls show that majorities of white people now agree that Blacks don’t get the justice they deserve in the United States. But, what about fairness in housing, health care, employment, and all other aspects of life? Amson Hagan is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of North Carolina. Hagan’s made a study of “deservingness” – what kinds of people Americans think deserve humanitarian care.

Black people – or, at least, some Black folks – have long invested a great deal of energy in putting forward a positive image to properly “represent” African Americans to the rest of the world. Dr. Brenna Greer is a professor of Social Sciences and History at Wellesley College. Greer has authored a book, titled, “Represented: The Black Imagemakers Who Reimagined African American Citizenship.” Many Blacks thought Bill Cosby, the comedian and millionaire, was an excellent image for Black America – until he was convicted on sex charges. Dr. Greer has some thoughts about Cosby and Black “representation.”

The massive demonstrations against police racism that rocked the United States have also had a profound impact in Canada. Aparna Mistra Tarc is a professor of Education at York University, in Toronto. Dr. Tarc has written a book, titled, “Literacy of the Other: Renarrating Humanity.” She says, it’s not only a good time to protest, but also to get in some serious reading.

Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: It started in Baltimore, but now it seems that the government has spy planes over at least 15 U.S. cities; a Black scholar examines the role that rage plays in Black politics; and, we’ll take a look at the long history of African Americans’ engagement with the people of Haiti.

But first – the current wave of Black-led protests are the largest and most sustained since the 1960s. Joshua Myers teaches Africana Studies at Howard University. He’s author of the book, “We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989.” Dr. Myers rejects the idea that the current protests are unique to this particular moment in history.

RAGE is one of the engines that has kept the current wave of protests going, week after week. Nicholas Brady teaches Africana Studies at Bucknell University. 

It’s been revealed that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deployed airplanes, helicopters and drones over at least 15 cities to spy on the latest wave of public protests. The U.S. military isn’t supposed to back up local police without specific presidential authorization. Police spies in the skies are nothing new to the majority Black city of Baltimore. A police spy plane was discovered operating in secret four years ago. Now it openly spies on the public, as Vanessa Beck reported to a Zoom conference of her organization, the Black Alliance for Peace.

Haiti has seen wave after wave of popular protest against a succession of governments imposed on Haiti by the United States. African Americans have had a close relationship to the people of Haiti since the island’s slaves revolted and declared independence in 1804. We spoke with Vanderbilt University professor Brandon Byrd, who’s written a book entitled, “The Black Republic:: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti.”


Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: Black athletes earn billions of dollars for colleges, but who’s looking out for their interests? And -- solidarity. A veteran political organizer explains the meaning of the word.


But first – activists have been confronting local governments across the nation with lists of demands, mostly involving the police. Max Rameau is with Pan-African Community Action, which is calling for community control of the police In Washington DC. We asked Rameau why proposals to DEFUND the police have gotten so much more press coverage than community control.

Ajamu Baraka, national organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace, recently appeared on q podcast for Code Pink, the anti-war organization. Baraka agreed that U.S. advocates for peace overseas must also focus on police terror at home.

Bresha Meadows was 14 years old when she shot her abusive father to death in their home in Warren, Ohio. Meadows was threatened with trial for murder as an adult. Her case was championed by a number of criminal justice reform groups, including the organization called Survived and Punished. Ms. Meadows was allowed to plea to involuntary manslaughter charges, and was sentenced to a year in juvenile detention and six months in a mental health facility.  Bresha Meadows is now 18 years old, free, and looking forward to her future.

Dr. Gabby Yearwood is a socio-cultural anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin. He recently authored an article titled, “Playing Without Power: Black Male NC-double-A Student Athletes Living With Structural Racism.” We asked Dr. Yearwood, Can’t a bunch of big, muscular, star athletes take care of themselves?



Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: Among the demands on protesters lips and signs is Community Control of the Police. And, there’s nothing new about debates over the use of violence to get justice. A century and a half ago, some folks preached that the struggle against slavery should be non-violent.

But first – in some cities, protesters have zeroed in on corporations that have gotten too cozy with the police. We spoke with Dr. Brittany Friedman, a professor of sociology specializing in Race and Rights at Rutgers University.

Dr. Johnny Williams teaches at Trinity College, in Harford, Connecticut. He blames a self-serving Black leadership for selling out the poor.

The demand for community control of the police drew a thousand activists to Chicago, last fall. The conference was organized by the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, chaired by veteran activist Frank Chapman. He says community control of police is a demand whose time has come.

It took thousands of atrocities, mass killings and other outrages by slaveholders before some white abolitionists finally recognized the necessity of violence to overthrow the system. Professor Jesse Olavsky is an historian at Duke University, and a scholar on resistance to slavery. She wrote a recent article about “Women, Vigilance Committees, and the Rise of Militant Abolitionism.

 Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: The civil rights movement was not totally non-violent, certainly not in bloody Mississippi. An imprisoned former Black Panther battles Covid-19. And, Black women’s rights to control their own bodies are still under assault, a century and half after slavery. 


But first – It’s feeling much like the 1960s in America, with protests and clashes with police in scores of cities in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, in Minneapolis. One of those protests, in Newark, New Jersey, was led by Larry Hamm, chairman of the Peoples Organization for Progress. Larry Hamm is also running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Cory Booker. Hamm has been endorsed by Dr. Cornel West, the activist and public intellectual.

The U.S. civil rights movement may have been led by proponents of non-violence, but Black folks in Mississippi believed in defending themselves from racist attack. Akinyele Umoja is a professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University, and author of the book, "We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance and the Mississippi Freedom Movement.” In fact, he says most Black families in rural areas of the South owned guns.

Jalil Muntaqim is a former member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. Muntaqim has been behind bars for almost half a century, repeatedly denied parole. Now he’s battling Covid-19 in a New York prison hospital. For the latest on Muntaqim’s condition, we spoke with Jihad Abdulmumit, chair of the Jericho Movement

Slavery may have been abolished more than a century ago, but Black women still battle for the right to full ownership of their own bodies. Jill Morrison is director of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship at Georgetown University, where she is a law professor. Morrison has written an article titled "Resuscitating the Black Body: Reproductive Justice as Resistance to the State’s Property Interest in Black Women’s Reproductive Capacity." 

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