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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 scholar of Native American and Black U.S. ancestry finds a path to greater unity among the two groups, in Hip Hop; Pan Africanists from the United States and elsewhere in the Diaspora make common cause with townspeople in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and, What role did the CIA play in the election of a fascist as president of Brazil?

An educator who has long studied policing in the United States says efforts to curb law enforcement abuse of Black communities are largely misdirected. Alex Vitale is a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and coordinator of the college’s Policing and Social Justice Project. Vitale is author of the new book, “The End of Policing.” He says attempts to reform the police simply won’t work.

Kyle Mays teaches at the Department of African American Studies and the Native American Center at the University of California, in Los Angeles. Mays is author of the new book, “Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in North America.” He gives equal attention to the histories of both peoples.

On January 1st, Brazil, the colossus of South America, with the largest Black population outside of Africa, will fall under the rule of Jair Bolsonaro, a racist and fascist, by any definition. Bolsonaro was elected president after a long period of political chaos that saw the legislative overthrow of the left-wing Workers Party government of Dilma Rousseff and the imprisonment of her predecessor, “Lula” da Silva. The United States had long sought to undermine the Workers Party. We spoke with Alexander Main, director of international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington. Main is a longtime observer of Brazilian politics. He says Brazilians suspect the CIA had a hand in the defeat of the Left, and the rise of Bolsonaro.

Foday Ajamu Mansaray is a Black American Pan Africanist, now living in Freetown, the capital of the West African nation of Sierra Leone. Mansaray is executive director of the Black Star Action Network International, which includes many ex-patriots from the Black Diaspora who have chosen to live and work on the continent. The Black Star Network’s latest project is called the “Be Clean” campaign.


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 researcher tells how solitary confinement has been used to punish Black prison inmates for political reasons since at least the 1950s; a new book traces the growth of the armed and violent white power movement in the United States; and an international tribunal finds the United States guilty of crimes against the lives and rights of the people of Puerto Rico.

Activists in the prison abolition movement have been assessing the effectiveness of the latest national prison strike, which took place between August 21st and September 9th. Max Parthas is an internationally recognized prison slavery abolition activist, a spoken word artist, and former co-host of the Black Talk Radio program, Abolition Radio. Parthas and other abolitionists say slavery was legalized for prison inmates by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He was interviewed by Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser, who asked, How did the latest national prison strike advance the cause of abolition?

A new book shows that, at least as far back as the 1950s prison officials have used solitary confinement as a political punishment against Black inmates. Brittany Friedman is a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, and author of new the book, “Solitary Confinement and the Nation of Islam.”

Kathleen Belew teaches history at the University of Chicago, and is author of a new book that puts the recent killings of Blacks and Jews in historical perspective. Belew’s book is titled. “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.”

A people’s international tribunal put the United States government on trial for crimes against the people of Puerto Rico, an island country seized by the U.S. 120 years ago, and which was recently ravaged by a deadly hurricane. The people’s tribunal verdict was read in New York City.


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: Philadelphia activsts hold a two-day conference on the role central role of Black working people in reshaping U.S. society; and, Haiti is still occupied by foreign soldiers, but its people are in the streets, demanding that the U.S.-backed regime step down.

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is gearing up for its annual march on the White House and conference, on November 3rd and 4th. This year the theme is “US Out of Africa.” Omali Yeshitela is chairman of Black Is Back. He says the U.S. military command in Africa, AFRICOM, is there to prop up foreign economic and political control over the continent. But Yeshitela says American global rule is in disarray.

In Philadelphia, activists are gearing up for an examination of the role of the Black worker. The two-day event, November 8th and 9th, is part of a year-long celebration of the life and work of WEB Dubois. Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a Duboisian scholar and activist with the Philadelphia Free School, the organizers of the event on Black workers.

The people of Haiti took to the streets, this month, to protest government corruption and massive hikes in the prices of fuel. In New York City, members of the Committee  to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti have been protesting outside the Haitian consulate, every Thursday, denouncing the Haitian government as a puppet of the United States. Committee spokesperson Daoud Andre says Haitians want an end to the regime.


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: It seems that everybody and their momma claims to be for reforming the police, these days. But we’ll speak with an author who says police reform is impossible, because violence is a the center of their contract with the state. And, some of the world’s wealthiest people try to reconcile their vast riches by giving billions to charity. But we’ll speak with an activist who says we need to get rid of charity, by getting rid of poverty

Activists from around the country brought their anti-war message to headquarters of U.S. wars, last Sunday. Black Agenda Report was there, for the Women’s March on the Pentagon.

Police reform is a watchword of Black politics. Most Black officials claim to be in favor of stronger measures to restrain police violence. Micol Seigel, an associate professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University, has a new book, titled “Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police.” She writes that “police reform” can’t work, because the rock-bottom function of the police is to do the work of the state – and the work of the state is violence.

Rich people claim that they make the world a better place by giving a portion of their wealth to charity. But author and activist Julie Wark says rich people’s philanthropy is profoundly self-serving, because the system that makes them rich also creates poor people and the need for charity. Wark lives in Barcelona, Spain, and is author of the new book, “Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom.”



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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