Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March began on this day. A group of civil rights demonstrators trekked over 50 miles from Selma to the state Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama to protest the denial of voting rights for Blacks. It was intended as a memorial march for Jimmy Lee Jackson, who was shot and later died during a voting rights march weeks earlier. En route to the Capitol, law enforcement officials confronted and violently assaulted the crowd, beating them with whips, clubs, tear gas and nightsticks as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This violent confrontation, which was seen on television, shocked the nation and became known as “Blood Sunday.” Two weeks later and under the protection of the federal court, 25,000 marchers joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and completed the historic march.
During the summer of 1965 a massive urban rebellion occurred in the Watts area of Los Angeles
In Louisiana the Deacons for Defense, an all-African-American self-defense organization had armed clashes with the Louisiana (KKK) police.
Bayard Rustin in his article “From Protest to Politics: Future of the Civil Rights Movement,” Commentary (February 1965 and “Black Power and Coalition Politics,” Commentary, (September 1966) predicted that the movement would shift from non-violent direct action to electoral politics. James and Grace Lee Boggs in their article, “The City is the Black man’s Land” in the April 1966 issue of Monthly Review foresaw the next phase of the civil rights struggle would become one for political empowerment in America’s mayor cities.
Carl B. Stokes , an African-American state senator ran as an independent for Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio and lost by a small questionable margin.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson proposed to Congress and signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act which ensured that a federal register would guarantee proper fair counting of votes in the South.
The year 1966 was marked by SNCC transition from non-violence and racial integration to building an all African American political party to armed self-defense and black power. After organizing in Lowndes County, Alabama, Stokely Carmicheal emerges as a leader in SNCC. On March 3, 1966 the Lowndes County Freedom Organization led by John Hullet announced plans to run candidates for tax assessor, tax collector, coroner, sheriff, and district attorney as an all-African-American party. It chose as its symbol a black panther and soon became known as the Black Panther Party. SNCC also published it’s opposition to the Vietnam war.
At the April SNCC staff meeting Stokely Carmicheal was elected the new chairman of SNCC. Dr. King entered into Chicago in efforts to desegregate housing and obtain job opportunities for the black urban poor. On the same day that King announced plans for a march on City Hall, Daley’s efforts defused King’s efforts when Daley announced he had negotiated a federal loan for housing renovation. On the same day, an African-American youth was beaten to death b y four white youths in the suburb of Cicero. King was called to Mississippi, when on the second day of his one-man march against fear, James Meredith was gunned down. Meredith was wounded and hospitalized. Civil Rights leaders from SCLC, SNCC, CORE and NAACP rushed to his bedside to pledge that they would carry the march forward.
As the march approached Greenwood, Mississippi, SNCC base, SNCC decided to raise the slogan of black power. At a night rally Stokely Carmicheal of SNCC raised the chant of What do We Want? and the reply of the audience, mostly youth was black power. From that evening black power was debated across the nation.
Why did SNCC change its slogan from “Freedom Now” to “Black Power”? The students had to learn what lower class African Americans already knew – that the power structure, i.e., courts, law enforcement, political leaders and leaders of the African American community would not come to their aid when things got rough. Stokely Carmichael coined the phrase and it was picked up by the African American community including the students.
Younger members of SNCC were beginning to turn away from Dr. King’s policy of non-violence. They were becoming increasingly more militant and favoring separatism. Stokely Carmichael spoke during the Meredith March Against Fear. His message went from “Freedom Now” to “Black Power.” The marchers began chanting “black power.” Black power became the new slogan and the raised fist became the symbol.
After the success of the Meredith march in Mississippi, after beatings, having their camp sites fired on with tear gas, Carmicheal became a sought after spokesman. Responding to calls for unity, Carmicheal traveled to New York to form a coalition with northern nationalist groups. There the first chapters of the Black Panther Party were born. Black Panther Party chapters began to be formed in Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, Los Angeles, California, San Francisco, California and Oakland, California.
The Atlanta Project of SNCC started anti-draft and anti-war demonstrations at the draft board office in Atlanta, Georgia to protest the drafting of Micheal Simmons, a member of the Atlanta Project. Black Women Enraged, a black nationalist women’s group based in Queens, New York held support demonstrations at the draft board in Harlem, in support of SNCC anti-war demonstrations. Members of the New York Black Panther Party participated in the BWE (Black Women Enraged) demonstrations.
On July 10th King and SCLC held a huge rally in Soldier’s Field followed by a march in Chicago.
The Chicago Movement presented the city with eight demands, which involved a many-pronged attack on segregated housing and the real estate practices accompanying it, several proposals that would increase the number of jobs available to black people, establishment of a civilian review board by the police department, and other related issues.245 Dr. King faced greater obstacles in Chicago than he had faced in the South. The Chicago police precipitated an incident which exploded into a three-day urban rebellion. King decided to march through some of the segregated white communities. The American Nazi Party fanned the racism of white suburbanites with the slogan of white power.
At an August rally in Marquette Park, King was stunned by a rock thrown at him, and only the police presence held back mobs ready to kill. The virulence of aggressive racism was proving to be as bad in Chicago as any encountered in the South. But unlike the southern officials, Daley and Chicago dignitaries continued to meet with King and his CCCO allies.246 King held more marches and demonstrations while the Chicago city administration announced further plans to eliminate the slums. Movement leaders then decided to march through the racist suburb of Cicero. Two days before the march a compromise was reached between King, the city administration and the business community. King left Chicago. A group of African-Americans led by CORE, SNCC, the Brothers for Afro-American Equality, the League of Labor and Education, Chicago gangs who had been politicalized by RAM, and other organizations marched through Cicero on September 4, 1966. The marchers were attacked by racist white mobs even though the marchers were supposedly protected by National Guardmen and police. What saved the marchers was when the mob attacked the marchers, the marchers fought back including exchanging volleys of gunfire. Faced with the risng tide of the demand for Black power coming from the South and failure to win fundamental social change in the north (Chicago), Dr. King was faced with a dilemma he had to resolve.
In 1966 the Hough rebellion occurred in Cleveland, Ohio. It raised fears among white residents of Cleveland that Cleveland needed someone as mayor who would be able to ease the racial tension in the city.
On October 16, 1966 in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale after a series of discussions formed the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Lil Bobby Hutton, a young African-American teenager became the first member of the BPPSD.
Starting in February of 1967, RAM began to organize its mass youth, anti-war, self defense wing called the Black Guard.
On April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York, Dr. King gave his famous Riverside Speech in which he denounced U.S. involvement in the Vietnam civil war.
In May 1967, Black Guards at Howard University chased Selective Services director, Hershey off the stage in Howard’s auditorium. SNCC in other places led demonstrations against the draft.
On May 2, 1967, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense led a contingent of armed members to demonstrate at California State capitol in Sacremento, California to protest the passing of a bill limiting the carrying of firearms. On June 21, 1967, The Queens 17 (Assassination of Negro leaders) RAM case occurred.
After a speech on July 25, 1967 in Cambridge, Maryland, given by H. Rap Brown, chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) an urban rebellion (riot) broke out. Brown was shot in the head while he was walking a woman home. Surviving the assassination attempt, Brown received medical attention for his injury and left Cambridge early in the morning. Brown was later arrested for “inciting a riot.”247 The Newark, N.J. rebellion occurred and Le Roi Jones (Amiri Baraka) playwright and poet was beaten and arrested. The first Black Power Conference was held in Newark which Baraka attended after being released from jail.
In late July 1967 the Detroit Rebellion occurred being the largest rebellion up until that time along with two hundred rebellioins occurring during the same summer of 1967.
The National Welfare Rights Organization was founded in 1967.
Women in Cleveland, New York, DC and several other cities had formed similar organizations. By 1967 the elements had come together for the founding of the National Welfare Rights Organization - a dynamic, combustible, fighting formation. George Wiley was its inspired, driven, passionate executive director. 248 On November 17, 1967, 4,000 African-American students marched on the Philadelphia Board of Education demanding the inclusion of African-American history in the public school curriculum. The demonstrators (high school students, including girls) were attacked and beaten by Frank Rizzo’s racist faction of the Philadelphia police department.
What happened in Cleveland in 1967 that impacted on the condition of the entire national African American Community? The election of Carl Stokes as the first African American mayor of a major city in the United States. Cleveland became the first city in American history to elect a black mayor when Democrat Carl Stokes beat his white republican opponent by 1,679 votes. He won 95% of the black vote and almost 20% of the white vote. This was a political victory for African Americans.
Richard Hatcher was elected mayor of Gray, Indiana later the same month, November 1967.
The National Democratic Party of Alabama (NDPA) formed on January 12, 1968.
On 8 February, 1968, a throng of angry frustrated black-American students faced heavily armed police on the grounds of their own college campus in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The focus of their demonstration also involved elementary justice, for it was against the exclusion of blacks from a local bowling alley. Yet the tense police began firing wildly into the unarmed crowd. In a matter of seconds, there was an American bloodbath.249 The Republican Party supported conservative Richard M. Nixon for President on a coded racist white backlash vote of Law and Order. Republicans were not receptive to inclusion of the African-American vote. In Detroit at a conference of 500 nationalists, the Republic of New Africa was formed. In New Orleans under Jesse Gray and Maxine Green, the National Tenants Organization was formed. Reacting to the cry for black power, resistance to achieving racial equality in the white community, Dr. King became radicalized and began to expand his perspective.
King’s internationalism, like Malcolm’s had been gaining strength, and his increased concern with the poor of all races was symbolized by a proposed Poor People’s March in Washington to take place in 1968. Planning and preparation for this campaign were interrupted when King was called to Memphis. His last major action was to support striking garbage workers in that city, a move that can be seen as class as well as race oriented. At the time of his death, the Poor People’s campaign was distastefully anticipated by the FBI and official Washington. Criticism of a class system that created poverty alongside of plenty smacked of revolution rather than reform, of attempts to change the economic system rather than become integrated into it. Though he never abandoned nonviolence, King’s belief in the need for more radical change had increased long after the days when the FBI had harassed him for alleged left-wing influences.250 Dr. King anti-war stance announcing his Poor People’s March on Washington campaign and helping the Memphis, Tennessee striking Sanitation workers alarmed the intelligence apparatus of the U.S. government. Dr. King was not only attempting to present a bill of rights for the poor to Congress but was planning on asking Jimmy Hoffa, president of the teamsters to call a National strike if the Sanitation workers were not successful.
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Two hundred and forty-eight cities experienced urban rebellions as anger over Dr. Kings assassination swept the nation. For millions of African-Americans non-violent protest seemed futile because they felt, if they will kill King, what will they do to me? 110 cities responded in rebellion to Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination SNCC and BPP formed an alliance. The alliance soon broke apart. Stokley Carmicheal was expelled from SNCC and he joined the BPP only to be expelled from the BPP a year later.
On April 6, 1968, a shootout between police and the Black Panther Party occurred on the west coast (Bay Area). Lil Bobby Hutton of the BPP and 14 years old, was murdered in the shootout. Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not run for re-election for President of the U.S. Robert Kennedy won the presidential nomination in the state of California and was assassinated at the state nomination primary convention.
In May 1968, DRUM (Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement) led a wildcat strike of 4,000 workers (mostly African-American) at Dodge Main, in Hamtramick, Michigan (Detroit). Anti-war demonstrations occurred a the National Democratic Convention in Chicago. The SDS (Weatherman faction) fought back as the police created a riot. Eight leaders of the demonstrations were indicted for conspiracy, called the Chicago 8, including Bobby Seale, chairman of the BPP who is bound and gagged in court. Inside the national democratic convention, the multi-racial Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, now called the Mississippi loyalists are seated and replaced the Mississippi racist regulars who had a choice to join the loyalists or leave the convention. This starts the process of inclusion of African-Americans in the Democratic Party in the South. Those white racist Democrats who can’t stand this leave the Democratic Party in the South and build the Republican Party in the South.251 Under the leadership of Bob Moses and Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer of SNCC and many others the multi-racial Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was formed in 1964. The MFDP challenged the regular racist Democratic Party in seating at the National Democratic Party Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1964.252 The MFDP failed at first, but as Comrade Mao Tse Tung used to say, “Try, Fail, Try, Fail, Try again until you succeed”. The MFDP did that. They challenged the racist Mississippi regulars again in 1966 and lost again. A year later inside the Democratic party in the North, Carl B. Stokes won the mayoral election in Cleveland and Richard Hatcher won as mayor in Gary, Indiana.253 Facing mounting opposition to his aggressive imperialist policy against the people of Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for President in 1968. Popularized by RAM, SNCC, CORE, BPP, SCLC, Deacons for Defense, Muhammad Ali and others, hundreds of thousand of white progressives joined the anti-war movement. The Democratic Party was in crisis: The MFDP now worked with liberal white Mississippi loyalists who were seated inside the Democratic Convention in 1968, replacing the racist regular Mississippian democrats. The Mississippi Loyalists believed in including African-Americans into the Democratic Party in Mississpi254. Thus started the process of deracialifying the democratic party in the South.
So from 1968 to 2006 the racist (KKK) in the South changed their party allegiance and that’s how you have a solid white racist right wing Republican party in the South. It is the party of the KKK, Nazis, the Nixons, Reagans, Bushes.
In Lowndes County, Alabama, the original Black Panthers; the Lowndes County Freedom Organization decided because of the negative publicity the BPP on the west coast was getting they must change their name. In spring of 1968 they joined others in calling for and creating a state-wide bi-racial political party called the National Democratic Party of Alabama. The NDPA challenged George Wallace and the racist Alabama Democratic Party in elections and forced Wallace to develop a more progressive platform. The NDPA won elections on the county and city levels in Alabama until 1972.
In South Carolina a similar attempt was made to build a state-wide, bi-racial party. The party was called the Citizens Party. The Citizens Party felt that the creation of bi-racial coalitions outside of the regular political process would democratize the South. The Citizens Party believed that independent parties offered whites a way to stand up and defy the racist political majority in the South.
In spring of 1968 there were mass walkouts of African American high school students demanding the inclusions of African American history in the high schools in Chicago (50,000) and in New York. The movement grew and reached mass proportions in Detroit in 1969 with boycotts and the establishment of freedom schools. Queen Mother Audley Moore petitioned the United Nations for reparations for persons of African descent in America. At the 1968 Olympics, gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos of the 200 meters race mounted the victory stand and gave the Black Power salute to dramatize racial injustice in the United States.
SNCC and the Black Panther Party formed alliance but the alliance soon broke down. Stokely Carmichael was expelled from SNCC and he joined the Black Panther Party.
The Roots of the African American Revolution While many historians negate the influence of African American nationalism within the African American community, African American nationalism has been the underlying ideology within black America since 1800’s emerging in different periods, the main period being the 1920’s creating the only mass movement of black people in America involving millions in the Garvey movement.
When the nationalist tide rises, the theory of the charismatic leader is produced and becomes the philosophy of the masses of our people during that time. But after the destruction of the movement, the nationalist philosophy becomes just a memory because the ideology of the nationalist leader is not theorized in a historical setting. The failure of African American people in America to form a dynamic and continuous nationalist movement has been because nationalist discontinuity occurs as a result of the state’s oppression of any mass nationalist movement. This nationalist discontinuity exists also because Negro intellectuals in the past shied away from revolutionary, nationalist ideology and movements. Thus, once a particular nationalist movement is crushed, discontinuity occurs in the African American community’s ranks, creating a nationalist vacuum waiting to be fulfilled by the next charismatic leader that comes along.
African American nationalist circles remained dormant after the destruction of the Garvey movement. It resurged for a brief period in the 1940’s. While the petty black bourgeoisie adopted the philosophy of integration, the masses had the ideology of African American nationalism. Even the black bourgeoisie would admit that the philosophy of African American nationalism had remained latent among our people In the 1950’s African American nationalism began to recover under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Mr. Muhammad introduced Islam into African American nationalism and developed a religious consciousness for the ideology. This religious consciousness had a lot to do with future development because it provided the African American community with a clear historical and religious sense of destiny. It gave rise to the expectations of a mass nationalist consciousness and movement. The Nation of Islam kept the continuity of African American nationalism going in the African American community for a forty-year period. It soon was the best organized of African American nationalist groups, being unique in its religious approach. Revolutionary African American nationalism is not a new ideology for it has developed from the historical roots of Henry Highland Garnet, David Walker, Denmark Vesey, Martin Delaney, and the Garvey movement, DuBois’ Pan African congresses and the Nation of Islam. Revolutionary African American nationalism is a root ideology using the historical experiences and philosophies of African American nationalist leaders of the past and present and combing them with the tactics and revolutionary ideology of other revolutionary movements. Malcolm X is the transitional figure in the development of revolutionary African American inter-nationalism. From his speeches and writings come the foundation of the ideology.
While this essay does not deal with much of Malcolm’s content, it does try to provide insight into some of Malcolm’s organizational plans. Though Malcolm’s organization, the OAAU (Organization of Afro-American Unity), never became an action center for the African American revolution, part of its program was adopted by younger revolutionaries who are now making today’s headlines. Revolutionary African American Internationalism still very much stands undefined. It is the philosophy that is being produced by the African American revolution in America. It becomes internationalism – or Pan-African – when reflecting on the international aspects of the process of decolonization.
Today, African peoples in every country are witnessing a new racial awakening. African consciousness is rising each day. African American nationalism, the ideology of Black Power and Pan Africanism and the international expression of African American nationalism are developing mass followings.
The Black Power Movement in America is still relatively young. The white power structure, realizing what the Black Power philosophy would mean once our people digested it moved to crush the movement. Revolutionary African American Internationalist, were soon hit with mass conspiracy cases. 1967 found it. Rap Brown, Huey Newton, Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), myself and a number of other brothers in jail. These jailings were part of a white power conspiracy to crush the emerging Black Power Movement. The power structure could not have assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King when they did it these brothers and others had been on the streets during ’67 and ’68, because the brothers would have had sizable followings and could have mobilized the millions of our people.
King’s Assassination and Aftermath After King’s assassination, the power structure moved through its fifth column – the Ford Foundation and the white American left. The Ford, other foundations, and local banks attempted to buy off the Black Power leaderships. C.O.R.E. was almost completely usurped. In Philadelphia, the African American nationalist leadership split into factions, fighting over a measly million dollars during the black coalition conspiracy. It was at that time that the movement suffered serious setbacks. Bourgeois “Black power” spokesmen, all of a sudden, began to crop up with powerful white financial backings. They traveled under the garb of cultural nationalism. These new house compadors were sanctioned by the capitalist class to keep the masses confused through black cultural rhetoric.
Mysticism became a way of life for many young brothers and sisters. This new form of escapism was propagated to keep African American youth from becoming revolutionary African American internationalists and forming a African American cadre organization. On the other hand brothers who romanticized African American revolution on the West coast, made some serious mistakes. We must realize the revolutions are not made over television, radio, or through the capitalist’s press. A revolutionary never warms the enemy of what he is going to do.
The year 1970 opened up a new decade for the universal African. The question for the African captive in America is: How should we proceed to nation building? In order to answer that question we must first analyze the alternatives that are being presented to us.
The Drive for Legal African American Political Power The movement toward running African American candidates for public office, utilizing the black vote, represents the last legal stage of the black middle-class interest in the capitalist political system. It is a continuation from post civil war days; when the black middle class obtained a degree of political power in the South. The attempt to achieve political equality has been the main emphasis of our national democratic revolution. While this drive doesn’t totally serve the interests of the African American working class – the vast majority of our people – it will help to exhaust the legal means of protest and eliminate the illusions that African American people can achieve freedom in the capitalist system. At the same time, this drive helps weaken the racist political system by polarizing its inherent contradictions.
Full African American political representation will throw America into political chaos. But it should be remembered that the monopoly capitalist class has plans of just changing faces with the game remaining the same. The monopoly capitalist class will let African American people control the political machinery of the cities. While they still control the industry. The monopoly capitalist class plans to establish neo-colonialism in America as it has done in many other places in Africa and Asia. Because we are in a national democratic revolution, African American progressives must support the drive of the black middle-class to get legal black political power. We must do this because the drive heightens the political and nationalist consciousness of the African American working class, organizes them in political organization and polarizes contradictions within the neo-colonializer’s monopoly capitalist system. At the same time that we organize to get black political representation within the system, we must teach the people, that this will not get them liberation.
The Drive for Legal African American Economic Power While most African American progressives criticize black capitalism as being a hoax – that it will not benefit most of our people – we must still support the black middle-class drive to become a capitalist class. We do this not because we feel African American people can gain freedom under the capitalist system, or that black capitalists are any better than white capitalists. We are in a national democratic revolution of a colonialized nation in which all classes must surge forth to obtain their national class interests as one class. Being suppressed, the black middle-class was not allowed to develop into a bourgeois class. Black capitalism is the last legalist drive by the black middle-class to obtain economic power within the system. It is important that we understand the dynamics of class, class structure, colonialism neo-colonialism and national liberation movements. Our revolution is a national liberation revolution, it is one of a colonialized nation seeking self-determination from the monopoly capitalist system. .
We must realize that there are antagonistic contradictions between all classes of Africa America and the monopoly capitalist system. The black bourgeoisie, because it lacks political and economic power, is more of a petty bourgeoisie than bourgeoisie and will have more of a tendency to support the revolution than a classical bourgeoisie. If we understand these contradictions, then we will understand why African American middle class responds the way that it does. African American progressives must criticize the black middle-class drive toward black capitalism, but, at the same time, support it because we must realize that it is a necessary historical stage before our nationality can move to open mass class struggle.
In other words, we must support the existence and expansion of African American businesses and at the same time we must point out that profits from black businesses should go back to the community. African American economic development must be a collective effort. Our colonialized nationality needs an independent economic system. We need to be self-reliant, Black cooperatives must be encouraged. African American communalism, the joint ownership of the means of production and commerce by the community, must become a way of life. This is African American economic self determination economic development that benefits the majority of our people. We must constantly teach our people that this is not totally possible without a complete social revolution. To develop a collective spirit and prepare our community for economic survival, we must develop economic cooperatives whenever we can.
Cultural Revolution and Revolutionary African American Internationalism Since 1966, African people have been undergoing a cultural revolution. The cultural revolution has produced a pride in being of African stock. “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” represented the present mood of thought in the 60’s and 70’s. The honorable Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam was the spiritual father of the black cultural revolution in America. For some thirty years, the messenger had taught and propagandized our people with the importance of being self-reliant. The “Lamb” taught us why we should separate and form an independent nation of our own. From the last Messenger of Allah came a mass spokesman who had given this generation of youth a new direction. Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali are two brothers who were personally groomed by the Messenger.
Many groups have cropped up to bring about a “re-Africanization” of our people. As a result, some of these groups have formed the position that all things come from culture. While revolutionary African American Internationalists see African American culture as a stage of development in the national consciousness of our people; they do not see it as an end in itself. We see that we are at present a cultural nation (a colonialized nation whose culture is suppressed and exploited) seeking to become an independent nation state. This means that we African people held in captivity inside the United States, have a common culture, way of life and history, heritage and destiny. We also have a common economic existence, political posture, and up until recently (the last 20 years) occupied a common territory. Revolutionary African American internationalists believe cultural nationalism is only beneficial when it leads to helping revolutionary political inter-nationalism.
The two major supporters of cultural nationalism were Maulana Ron Karenga and Amiri Baraka. While both Maulana and Imamu worked together, there are major differences in their approach. Maulana who believed strongly in one man leadership, had a dangerous tendency toward being very egotistical. Egotistical leadership is counter-revolutionary, anti-people and only serves to further divide the community. The African American nationality needs selfless collective leadership devoid of ego that is dedicated to serving our people. Egotistical leadership will only lead to endless internal war over who is greater than “me.” It will lead to nationalist gang war. Egotistical, self-centered, self-styled leaders, who usually work secretly with the enemy, must be isolated and if necessary, driven out of the African American community.
If African American internationalists are going to build a new value system, it must be built on new values that are beneficial to the unification and liberation of the African American nation. A new African American value system cannot be based on messianic (one man) egotistical leadership and fascist authority. It must be based on collective leadership, communalism and democratic socialism. Brother Amiri Baraka seems to be building a collective leadership which is necessary to build a African American cadre organization.
THE SOUTHERN STRUGGLE FOR A REGIONAL INDEPENDENT NATION
As the African American middle-class drives for political representation within the system, it will begin to realize that its class interests cannot be satisfied by the political system of the United States. This, in return, will force the African American middle-class and the African American working class to become more nationalistic. The next logical historical step may be to raise the demand for an independent black republic. Our people have been mentally oppressed and do not as yet understand their power, so we must constantly move them to objectives which they understand they are capable of achieving.
The Republic of New Africa which is demanding the states of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana call this “limited objective,” The southern region is where 50% of our people live. There are approximately 18 million African American people living in the South. Many are becoming the majority of the major southern cites. Some southern states have a African American majority population-wise. If the African American population in the South is mobilized to demanding an independent nation, it will polarize the contradictions of the whole nation.
The historical contradiction of African American nationalism lies in the fact that in the past it was a northern urban based movement, while the majority of our people were southern rural based. But the socials Stratification of African American has changed with many of our people in the South being displaced from the land. The majority of our people in the South are becoming urban black proletariat. African American inter-nationalists must develop tactics of moving our people step by step to self determination. If African American internationalists organize our people in the South in the plants, then they will have a base among the people.
While the struggle for an independent republic may not be the ultimate phase of the African American national democratic revolution, it is a necessary historical stage.
The African American and Pan-Africanism
The African captive in America (overseas African) has always been active in the liberation of our motherland, Africa. Dr. W. E. B. DuBois as early as 1919 organized the first Pan-African Congress. From 1919 to 1945 the Pan-African Congresses served as a forum for African intellectuals at home and abroad. The Pan-African Congress in 1945, developed the tactics of direct action for the liberation of the mainland. The Pan-African movement advanced in gradual steps. Marcus Garvey, the father of nationalism, also had us an objective the liberation of a unified central African government; United States of Africa.
Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), the mass spokesman for Black Power, returned from Africa in 1970 saying that Pan-Africanism must become the mass philosophy of the African-American. Stokely studied for some time under Nkrumah in Guinea. At that time, Brother Carmichael’s new strategy called for the African American to concentrate his efforts on possibly bringing Nkrumah back into power in Ghana. The land base that would be liberated would become a Pan-African state on which the Pan-African revolution would be based. Brothers and sisters in the states were told that struggling for revolution in the United States would be a protracted affair and not possible at this time. Many called his position a “cop-out.” We must realized that all people must make their own indigenous revolution led by people from their own country. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help the brothers and sisters on the mainland. We should help where we can, but we must concentrate our efforts where we are. And if we understand the nature of imperialism and neo-colonialism; we will realize that if we did create a Pan-African socialist state, it would be faced with encirclement and intervention from the United States government. Africans in America and the Caribbean are actually Africa’s rear.
In order for Africa to be truly liberated, a world struggle of liberation must be fought between Africa, Europe and America. We are engage in a global struggle. It is then necessary to develop tactics for all African world wide. We are up against an international crisis in the capitalist-imperialist system. This means we must organize national Pan-African movements that can move to seize state power in their region.
At the same, we must develop an international African consciousness among our people so that when the monopoly capitalist class moves to encircle and crush a national African revolution, we can come to its aid by creating a crisis somewhere else, forcing the monopoly capitalist class to overextend itself. We must encourage Africans in America and the Caribbean with skills to go to progressive African states and build those states into strong Pan-African bases with the objective to help towards a United States of Africa.
Repression and African American Struggle
As the African American national democratic struggle intensifies, it will become more threatening to the white monopoly capitalist power structure. The urban insurrections of the 1960’s showed the revolutionary potential of the African American national liberation movement. The federal government, through its intelligence apparatus, has analyzed the African American liberation movement to be a potential national democratic. In order to prevent the African American struggle from reaching its objectives, certain forces within the power structure moved to crush our struggle before it reached the stage where it could not be stopped. As a result, a conspiracy had been brewing and widening over the last 40 years. Groups such as the John Birch Society, Minutemen, Ku Klux Klan, American independent Party. White Peoples Party, Rangers, White Christian Movement, have consolidated as the “radical right.” There groups are intertwined and connected with big business, Pentagon government Intelligence (CIA, DIA), IRS Secret Service, Army Intelligence, FBI, House Internal Security Committee. National Defense, and southern racist and northern conservatives who constitute the “legalistic right.”
These forces are moving as fast as they can to create a political atmosphere of hysteria; in order to make conditions such that the President would appear justified in declaring a national emergency. The “right” is preparing to make America an open fascistic state. Under the provisions of the McCarren Act, the President of the U. S. can declare a national emergency on grounds of insurrection or attack from a foreign enemy. At present, through the files and dossiers of the government intelligence agencies, all African American groups and leftist political groups are under 24 hour surveillance. Approximately one million people can be picked up and put in concentration camps within 24 hours.
Much of the intelligence information gets to government intelligence sources by way of local police who have a system of surveillance on all known African American and leftist groups, who constantly send in agent provocateurs to destroy these groups. This is the climate. In reality, that black people must face. As white police become more politically racist, repression will become more intense for Africa America. As a result, all African American people will soon be lumped together to be referred to as Black Panthers or Black Panther sympathizers. African American people must understand the historical condition that we are in. We must either unite or perish under a fascist racist America. There are several forms of struggle and organization that we must move to if we are to achieve self-determination.
Within our community, we must build a disciplined African American organization that is capable of destroying the monopoly capitalist class means of oppression. This African American organization must be highly sophisticated. It must form an infra-structure within the African American community. This must constantly move in uniting sectors of African America.
On July 23, 1968 in Cleveland, Ohio, a shootout occurred between members of the Black Nationalists of New Libya, a local affiliate of the of the RNA and the police. The shootout was the result of months of police harassment of the organization. The shootout was blamed on Fred Ahmed Evans. A urban rebellion occurred in the Glenville area resulting in the bringing in of the National Guard.255 The 3rd National Black Power Conference was convened in Philadelphia, P.A., and meetings were held of the 1st National Black United Front in Newark, N.J.
The 1st National Black United Front deteriorated as conflict between the Black Panther Party and Ron Karenga’s U.S. organization occurred. Elridge Cleaver ordered the east coast (N.Y.) BPP to pullout of the NBUF. Repression occurred against the Black Guards in Philadelphia and the NBUF became defunct. It was the first major effort in the 1960’s to unite the different African-American organizations.
In Newark, New Jersey under the leadership of Amiri Baraka, a city-wide Black Political Convention was held which choose Kenneth B. Gibson to run for the position of Mayor Gibson on his first attempt in 1968 lost by a narrow margin.
Conflict erupted over community control of the schools in New York City between the United Federation of Teachers (headed by Socialist Party members) who went on strike against school boards controlled by African-American and Puerto Rican Communities; a broad array of whites and others supported the community-controlled schools against the teacher’s strike. The New York school board disbanded the community-controlled schools overriding the community’s will. Elridge Cleaver, Minister of Information of the Black Panther Party went into exile.
In Brooklyn, New York a monumental breakthrough occurred with the election of Shirley Chisholm as the first African-American woman to be elected to the U. S. House of Representatives on November 5, 1968.
On January 17, 1969 on the University of California, Los Angeles campus, Captain Bunchy Carter and Deputy Minister John Higgins of the Los Angeles Black Panther Party were murdered by U.S. members.
On January 21, 1969 after several wildcat strikes among African-American auto workers in Detroit various (RUM) Revolutionary Union movement patterned after DRUM came together to form the league of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW). At its height the league had a membership of 500 and ten times that amount as active supporters.
On March 29, 1969 in Detroit after being taught the importance of demanding reparations by Queen Mother Audley Moore, James Forman led the motion of demanding reparations from churches issuing “the Black Manifest” Meeting in Detroit, Michigan April 25 to April 27, 1969 at the National Black Economic Development Conference. Forman won the support of League Members:
The conference was funded by a grant from the Inter-Religious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) and seemed to be originally conceived of as a means of encouraging black self-help on the order of “black capitalism.” However, the conference was infiltrated and taken over by persons more interested in establishing a program for black socialism. It was determined that BEDC should be a permanent organization with a 24-person steering committee. All seven members of the executive board of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers were included on the steering committee. Several League members cooperated with James Forman in the preparation of the Black Manifesto calling for reparations to be largely raised through white churches and synagogues. Forman presented the manifesto to BEDC where it was adopted on April 26256.
The Black Manifesto demanded reparations in the form of a Southern land bank, publishing houses, television networks, universities, and skills training centers.
African-American youth from the inner cities were recruited into white colleges and universities in Massachusetts. Stokely Carmichael moved to Conk ray, Guinea and Eldridge Cleaver went into exile to avoid going back to prison. He traveled to Cuba and then received political asylum in Algeria.
In 1969 the F.B.I’s COINTELPRO program of destroying African American militant groups went into full swing. The Black Panther Party was particularly targeted. Over 348 Black Panthers were arrested and several assassinated in 1969. At San Francisco State College, led by the Black Student Union and supported by the Black Panther Party and the Third World Liberation Front students demonstrated, boycotted, sat-in and struck to demand the creation of the first Black Studies program in the country. Dr. Nathan Hare who had been a mentor to the militant students at Howard University was fired at Howard and was overwhelmingly chosen as the Black Studies Department Chairman, at San Francisco State. On March 29, 1969, in Detroit Michigan, at the RNA convention at New Bethel Church, a shootout occurred between Detroit police and RNA Black Legionaries. The church was immediately surrounded and shot up with police shooting at women and children. Two hundred terrified participants were rounded up and taken to jail.. Judge George Crockett held night court and released most of the conference participants the next day.
In Detroit following the DRUM example, similar groups ELRUM, GRUM, etc. formed at other auto plants in and around Detroit. Along with community RUM’s cadres organized these groups and united them to form the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW). At its high point, the LRBW had 500 activists members and could put a demonstration of a 1,000 people together at will.
On May 13, 1969, Charles Evers (the brother of Medgar Evers, the Mississippi NAACP leader shot and killed in 1963), was elected mayor of Fayette, Mississippi.
In September 10 1969, Robert F. Williams, then the president of the RNA returned to the U. S. after eight years of exile in Cuba, China and Africa. The United Citizens Party of South Carolina formed on November 22, 1969.
On December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were viciously murdered by the Chicago police while they slept. The assassinations were planned by the FBI.
In February, 1970, George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette were charged with the murder of a white prison guard and faced a mandatory death sentence. The three were known as “the Soledad Brothers”. Angela Davis, an African-American UCLA professor of philosophy led demonstrations in defense of the Soledad Brothers. George Jackson’s younger brother, Jonathan Jackson made an attempt to free the Soledad brothers in August 1970 by seizing hostages at the San Rafael County Courthouse. The attempt was aborted. Jonathan, held hostage a judge and an inmate who was in court who went along with Jackson were killed in the kidnapping attempt. A warrant for the arrest of Angela Davis was issued because the guns found on Jonathan’s body were registered in her name. Ms. Davis went underground.
Muhammad Ahmad’s Study of COINTELPRO The Federal government through its intelligence agency, particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) used various methods to destroy activists. Among the various tactics included:
Reprint mailings: The FBI mailed anonymous articles and newspaper clippings to targeted group members.
Friendly media: The FBI gave information or articles to friendly media sources who could be relied on to write pro-Bureau stories and not to reveal Bureau's interests.
Bureau-authored pamphlets and fliers: The FBI occasionally drafted, printed and distributed its own propaganda to ridicule their targets.
Encouraging violence between rival groups: The FBI attempted to capitalize on hostility between target groups even when such programs resulted in murder.
Anonymous mailings: The FBI used anonymous mailings to promote factionalism ranging from the relatively bland mailing of reprints or fliers criticizing a group's leader for living ostentatiously or being ineffective speaker, to reporting a chapter's infractions to the group's headquarters intended to cause censure or disciplinary action.
Interviews: When the FBI interviewed target group members or supporters, the technique was sometimes used for the covert purpose of disruption.
Using informants to raise controversial issues: The FBI made extensive flagrant use of informants to take advantage of ideological splits, widen rifts and spread rumors inside of organizations.
Fictitious organizations: The FBI created three types of fictitious organizations. One type was an organization of which all the members were FBI informants. The other type was a fictitious organization with some unsuspecting (noninformant) members. The third type was a totally fictitious organization with no actual members which was used as a pseudonym for mailing letters or pamphlets.
Labeling targets as informants: The FBI used the "snitch jacket" technique often when neutralizing a target by labeling him a "snitch" (informant) so that he would not longer be trusted in the organization.
Using hostile third parties against target groups: The FBI's factionalism techniques were intended to separate individuals or groups which might otherwise be allies. The FBI often used or manipulated organizations already opposed to the target groups to attack them.
Disseminating derogatory information to family. friends and associates: The FBI disseminated personal life information, some of which was gathered expressly for use in its programs to the target's family through an anonymous letter, telephone call or indirectly by giving information to the media.
Contact with employers: The FBI often tried to get targets fired. This technique was often used against educators. In other instances, the purpose was to either eliminate a source of funds for the target or to have the employer of the target to apply pressure on the target to stop his activities.
Use and abuse of government processes: The FBI used selective law enforcement (federal, state or local authorities) to arrest, audit, raid, inspect or deport targets. The FBI interfered with judicial proceedings, including lawyers who represented "subversives," interfered with candidates and/or political appointees; used politicians and investigating committees, sometimes without their knowledge, to take action against targets.
Interference with the judicial process: The FBI often tampered and manipulated the judicial process to serve its interests. Often the FBI approached a judge, jury or a probation board who a target was to appear before.
Candidates and political appointees: candidates, it felt, should not be elected. The FBI targeted candidates, it felt, should not be elected.
Investigating committees: The FBI often used state and federal legislative investigating committees to attack a target.
Red baiting of "communist infiltration" anonymously of groups: The FBI often informed groups (civil rights organizations, PTA, Boy Scouts and others) that one or more of its members was a "communist." In cases when the group itself was a COINTELPRO target the information was sent to the media with the intent of linking the group to the communist PAY.
Organizing. plotting and executing murder: The FBI conspired with local and state law enforcement agencies and/or informants to assassinate targets. Though little validation can be made in the many suspected murders alleged to have been executed by the FBI, documented evidence cropped up in the investigations of the assassinations of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969 in Chicago as a conspiracy organized by the FBI.257
Breaking and entering and burglary: In many COINTELPRO documents there is recorded evidence, that the FBI on many cases without a search warrant broke into a target's residence illegally, searched the premises and often stole documents and other paraphernalia.
The American state has evolved through basic stages of development. These stages of development transform the character of the state by the economic hegemonic group which controls the economy and whose interests the state serves. The three stages of development of the American state are, slaveocracy (slave owning class, hegemonic group) 1776-1860; capitalist (industrial capitalist, hegemonic group) 1865-1914; monopoly capitalist-imperialist (monopoly capitalist, '50 families' hegemonic group) 1914-present. While the study is not extensive enough to include a thorough history, one can say that the relation of the American state has not changed qualitatively, but rather quantitatively and perhaps more extensively in the recent period of the 1960's and 1970's.
The dual origins of what later developed into the military-industrial-police-intelligence complex are to be found in the police intelligence systems established in southern states to alert the state and crush slave revolts and Army intelligence's role in exterminating Native Americans.
The transformation between the first and second phase consisted of the American state's continued colonial and imperialist expansion within the geographical boundaries of North America; subjugation of the Mexican American peoples (Chicanos) and further extermination of Native American nations.
In the second state of development, the capitalist class defeats the slave-owning class in its war to determine who was to control the economy of the state. The military-police-intelligence apparatus, which in the American concept of the state was supposed to serve the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, takes on a more independent role as the American state becomes imperialistic outside the boundaries of North America. 'Yankee gunboat policy,' became the foreign policy of the American state serving the interests of U.S. capitalists.
Domestically the war of genocide becomes complete against the Native-American nations with them being put into concentration camps (reservations). Black people are re-colonialized as vigilante night riders wage a war of genocide against the Black nations systematically assassinating leaders and indiscriminately lynching Black people. This is sanctioned by the American state by its benign neglect and through its legal justification of its judicial system of segregation (apartheid).
It is not the scope of this study to analyze Army intelligence, but from investigative study, it has become clear that the Army has had the American populace under surveillance for some time. Military intelligence has watched labor disputes since 1877. The first general strike in American history which involved at least 100,000 workers fighting wage cutbacks started among railroad workers. The use of the Army in crushing the developing workers movement, combined with its war of genocide against Native Americans, Mexicans and Blacks was the beginning for the development of the military-industrial complex.
Prelude to establishment of the domestic intelligence structure: 1908-1936 Attorney General Charles Bonaparte under President Theodore D. Roosevelt appealed to Congress for funds for a permanent detective force for the Justice Department in 1907 and 1908. Bonaparte received stiff opposition for the development of a government police force. Congress gave its authorization for funding of a fed police force in 1910. Under the next Attorney General Wickersham, the Bureau of Investigation was born. Between 1905 and 1915 the IWW-Industrial Workers of the World began to grow and so did labor militancy. Many IWW organizers were foreign born immigrants. In 1916, Attorney General A. Bruce Bielaski expanded the Bureau personnel to primarily investigate violations of the neutrality laws.258 The Bureau began to concentrate investigations on potential enemy aliens. When the United States went into World War I, Congress strengthened the legal basis for federal investigations by passing the Espionage Act of 1917. The federal intelligence community, particularly military intelligence and the Bureau of Investigation recruited volunteer citizens to form the American Protective League, to aid them in detecting spies and saboteurs. But the activities of the League were much more than that. The League was tied to the interests of big businesses and served as right wing shock troops. The League and other right wing groups were used against the IWW. But the most blatant abuse of civil liberties was the use of the U.S. Army against the IWW.259 "During July and August of 1917, businessmen and public officials of the West called in troops to eliminate the radical threat. At the very moment when the Wobblies seemed to be winning the lumber strike of 1917, the timber interests employed the federal troops in local strikes was unusual, unconstitutional, and linked to the war emergency. Not since the violent labor disturbances of 1877 and 1894 had federal troops guaranteed labor peace”.260 The intelligence community turned its attention to blacks in 1918. Joel E. Springarn reported for duty to the Military Intelligence Bureau on May 27, 1918. He was assigned to work on (1) Bolsheviki, IWW and Negro subversion. He wanted the bureau to adopt "constructive measures" in dealing with blacks. Part of Springam's assignment was to organize a counterespionage system among blacks. On June 19-21, 1918, Springarn planned a conference of 30-40 black editors in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the conference was to have the editors play down lynching stories. They were to promote war patriotism in exchange for a statement by Woodrow Wilson against lynching. Springarn sought anti-lynching legislation in Congress to offset black disaffection.261 With the end of World War I, the Bureau of Investigation zeroed in on radicals. In Spring of 1919, there were a series of terrorist bombings. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer established a General Intelligence Division in the Justice Department which was headed by J. Edgar Hoover and appointed William J. Flynn, as Director of the Bureau of Investigation. In November, 1919, the Bureau and the Immigration Service raided the Federation of the Union of Russian Workers in eleven cities deporting 249 immigrant workers. The young J. Edgar Hoover, fresh out of law school played a major role in the raids. In January, 1920, the Bureau and the Immigration Service staged simultaneous nighttime raids in 33 cities against the Communist Party and the Communist Labor Party. Over 3,000 people were rounded up and some 760 deported. These raids known as the Palmer raids were coordinated by J. Edgar Hoover.262 Also, in the 1920's, the G.I.D. under J. Edgar Hoover, worked day and night crushing the Garvey Movement which had mobilized five million blacks in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and in Africa. FBI files on its war against the Garvey Movement have just been recently de-classified, therefore, the study cannot investigate the intelligence community crimes against the U.N.I.A. From sources that are presently available, we know that Army Intelligence had the Garvey Movement under daily surveillance.263 The FBI infiltrated the U.N.I.A., the African Blood Brotherhood and other black radical organizations of the 1920's. Black government agents stole documents and created general havoc inside several of these organizations and Marcus Garvey who was constantly harassed by the government was illegally imprisoned on a frame-up mail fraud charge and later exiled from the country.
In August, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a series of memorandums establishing the basic domestic intelligence structure of the Federal Government. All domestic intelligence was centralized under the FBI with J. Edgar Hoover as its head. In 1939, Roosevelt's decisions were made known to Congress and were officially passed by Congress.
In 1940, the Smith Act was passed making it law for detention of anyone working for a foreign government advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government. Between 1936 and 1945 the permanent domestic intelligence structure is established which represent the third stage of development of the American state; it's consolidation into a military industrial-police-intelligence complex to serve the interests of the monopoly capitalist class.
J. Edgar Hoover was made the American Hitler of being in charge of domestic security for the next thirty-six years. Thus emerges the extensive, semi-autonomous 'invisible' government. It's purpose is to crush domestic movements and national liberation movements abroad; in essence counter-insurgency became its goal. The U.S. Government's intelligence community grew into a monster encompassing billions of dollars of tax payers money. The following is a breakdown of:
DIRECTION: Mr. William Colby, Director of Central Intelligence (also head of CIA) is theoretically in charge of the entire U.S. intelligence community.265 BUDGET:
POLICY: Supervised by an inter-agency committee known as the Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee - representatives from State, Defense, Office of Management and Budget, and the CIA.266
OFFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATES:
Certified -by the United States Intelligence Board, the membership of which is appointed by the President.267
Approved by the "40 Committee" representatives from State Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House and the CIA.268
The U.S. Intelligence Community:
The Congress, State Department (Bureau of Intelligence & Research), Justice Department FBI, Treasury Department, Atomic Energy Commission, The President, Assistant for National Security Affairs, Defense Department, Assistant Secretary for Intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Agency, Central Security Services, Army Intelligenice, Naval Intelligence, A
ir Force, Intelligence National Office, Office of Defense Investigation, Office of Management and Budget, National Security Council, Forty Committee, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Map Agency, Intelligence Committee, U.S. Intelligence Board, Inter-agency s
ubcommittees, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Verification Panel, Director of Central Intelligence, Intelligence Resource
Central Intelligence Agency: