So much of who I am is blended into the rich colors of red, Black and white, is moved through a calypso tune and horns, steel drums and chipping on the road, is a reflection of spices and pepper sauce. As the US born daughter of two Trinis, one who loved politics and one who loves bacchanal, my identity has always been twofold, like many Black people who reside within the US. Trinidad and Tobago’s “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve” motto means “the hope of a people for a better life to be achieved through cooperation and working together . . .
Organize! Organize! Organize! The state of colonized African people in the United States is a dire one. Despite class contradictions within the Black community, the overwhelming majority of colonized Africans on the US are marginalized poor working class or a rising class of the unemployable. Our communities are under resourced. Our communities are plagued with wage inequality, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, being under educated and mass incarceration. This is the result of intentional negligence and broken bonds by both government and private entities run mostly by white settler Americans. How do we combat these dire conditions? As Fredrick Douglass once . . .
“The ultimate expression of law is not order — it’s prison… The law and everything that interlocks with it was constructed for poor desperate people.” –George Jackson If Vladimir Lenin believed that prisons are universities for revolutionaries then George Jackson is the physical embodiment of that belief. While certainly an oppressive state can breed creativity, literary activism is its own form of resistance. In Jackson’s case, he forged a liberation movement from a space of captivity. Arrested on presumably false charges based on dubious evidence for a $70 robbery at a gas station at age 18, Jackson pled guilty in . . .
Nobody wants to be a slave. An enslaved person takes every measure within their capacity to snatch small sips of freedom. These sips transform into gulps which transform into entire pitchers and carafes of that sweet succor disappearing down the throats of millions who have nothing to lose. A prisoner malingering in their cell transforms into a prisoner going on a work strike which eventually transforms into throwing a correctional officer off a tier. Many people think that enslaved Africans idly sat and waited for a John Brown, or an Abraham Lincoln, or a Union Army to liberate them. Just . . .
Eldridge Cleaver: “The fact is, there’s a split in the party. The right wing has seized the reins of leadership and put a muzzle on the Panther. The vanguard party has become a breakfast-for-children club.” Was he serious? Was he constructing another of his well known grand metaphors, a bizarre one? Like me, the others were stilled by incredulity, their pens frozen over the note pads they held. “But I represent the left wing of the party,” he proclaimed, “the International Section, headquartered in Algiers. We’re saying it’s time to clip the right wing operating out of national headquarters, dominated . . .