Archive for August 2020

Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m , along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Both the AIDS epidemic and Covid-19 inflicted disproportionate deaths in the Black community. We’ll explore the reasons why. And, the second volume on a biography of the most important Black activist and intellectual that you may never have heard of, is about to published. Stay tuned to learn why you MUST know the name and works of Hubert Harrison.


But first – U.S. politicians have for generations gained power by scaring white people with threatening images Black males. President Trump is running on a platform that essentially mimics the old newspaper headline, “Black Buck Runs Amuk.” Douglas Flow is professor of History at Washington University, in St. Louis. He’s written a book, titled, “Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York.” “Uncontrollable Blackness” is a provocative title. Was it planned that way?


There’s nothing new about the high death toll Blacks are suffering from the Covid-19 contagion. Thirty years ago, the HIV-AIDS epidemic killed disproportionate numbers of Blacks. J.T. Roane is a Research Fellow at the Schomburg Research Center in Black Culture, in New York City. He wrote an article about AIDS and Black Philadelphia.


In the first quarter of the 20th century, an immigrant from the Virgin Islands named Hubert Harrison influenced a whole generation of Black activists, including Marcus Garvey, A. Phillip Randolph and the entire so-called “New Negro” movement. Activist and scholar Jeff Perry has spent more than a decade chronicling the life and works of Hubert Harrison, and will soon release the second volume of his biography, titled “Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality.”


 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’s not September yet, so it’s still “Black August,” the month when we pay respect to political prisoners held by the United States. The Black Is Back Coalition recently held a national conference on political prisoners. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee runs a project and twitter account that empowers political prisoners to tell their own stories. And, a long-time prisoner of the state of California reports on how incarcerated people on coping with Covid-19.


But first – David West played for 15 seasons with the National Basketball Association, and is a two-time NBA All Star and NBA Champion. West is now living comfortably in California, serving as chief operating officer of the Professional Collegiate League, which aims to put money in college athletes’ pockets and prepare them for a future outside of sports. It’s long been common to hear Black folks say that high paid athletes should pool their capital to develop a stronger Black American economy and politics. We asked David West his take on that line of thought.

August is political prisoners’ month – a time to remember those captured while resisting U.S. government oppression, and to step up efforts to free those prisoners that are still behind bars. Jihad Abdulmumit is a former Black Panther who spent 23 years in prison. He’s now co-chair of the Jericho Society, and a member of the Black is Back Coalition for Peace, Social Justice and Reparations. The Coalition recently held a conference under the banner, “Fight for Black Power” and “Free All Political Prisoners.”

YOUR-gen Ostensen is the son of a former political prisoner. Ostenson is with the New York chapter of IWOC, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. He’s part of IWOC’s “Inside Prison Journalism” project and edits the organization’s twitter page, #PrisonsKill.

U.S. prisons are among the worst places to be during a pandemic. But Vice television news reporters recently shined a light on Covid-19 behind bars, and their revelations seem to have made a difference. Prison Radio has this report from the California penal system.

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 Brazilians are dying by the tens of thousands from Covid-19, and from police bullets on the streets. Slavery was all about money, and insurance companies collected their share of the profits in human flesh. And, a Black scholar says mid-wives can help reduce the high rates of death among birth-mothers and their babies.


But first – activists around the country are commemorating “Black August,” in honor of the political prisoners who are still incarcerated, half a century after the crushing of the Black Liberation Movement.  We spoke with Jihad Abdulmumit, the chairperson of the Jericho Movement, and a former Black Panther Party political prisoner who spent 23 years behind bars. The Jericho Movement is part of the Black Is Back Coalition, which this weekend holds its national conference – where Jihad Abdulmumit will speak on the significance of “Black August.”


Brazil has the largest Black population outside of Africa, and is among the top three Covid-19 hotspots on the planet, along with the United States.  Brazilian social anthropologist Jaime Amparo Alves teaches at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He’s written a book on Brazilian police terror against Blacks, and is busy raising funds for Black families caught in the coronavirus epidemic.

Dr. Amparo Alves notes that Blacks in Brazil and the U.S. have another thing in common: white supremacist presidents.


To send money to help Black Brazilian families survive the Coronavirus onslaught, Google UNEAFRO [OOH-Knee-Afro] Brazil. That’s U-N-E-A-F-R-O Brazil.


Slavery in the United States was the nation’s biggest business by far, and all of the financial sectors got their cut of the profits. Dr. Michael Ralph, director of Africana Studies at New York University, says the insurance industry was central to how white masters measured the value of their human property. 


Most people in the United States were born under the care of professional doctors and nurses. But mid-wives played a huge role in child-bearing, not so long ago. Dr. Sasha Turner, a professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, has written a book on mid-wives and the role they played in helping Black mothers give birth, during and after slavery in the Americas. Turner says mid-wife-ing – or mid-wiffery [whiff-ery] – was the norm before professional medicine took over.

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: Activists have designated August 15th a national Reparations Day, with protests targeting Christopher Columbus and Donald Trump. A former political prisoner says folks are fooling themselves if they think Joe Biden will fix the criminal IN-Justice System. And, I’ll have some comments on Washington’s Cold War Against China.


But first – the institution of policing in the United States has been buffeted by the most massive demonstrations of the 21st century. The wave of protests began in Minneapolis, with the police killing of George Floyd. Adam Bledsoe is a Minneapolis native who teaches at the University of Minnesota. Bledsoe has put together what he calls a “Syllabus on the Minneapolis Uprising.” 


The Brooklyn-based December 12th Movement is calling for a national day of demonstrations to demand reparations for slavery and racist oppression. Roger Wareham is a longtime activist and human rights lawyer. 


Dhoruba Bin Wahad is a former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army political prisoner. He spent 19 years behind bars before his conviction was reversed. Bin Wahad talked politics on Dr. Jared Ball’s podcast, “I Mix What I Like.”


The wave of protests against U.S. policing and prisons has been keenly followed by the nation’s two million incarcerated people. Sergio Hyland filed this report for Prison Radio.


 Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley took part in a globally-watched web event that called on Americans, especially, to say “No to the New Cold War.”

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