During the first week in July within the United Snakes, this side of the arbitrary colonial border, you will hear about a lot of events/demonstrations called, “FUCK the Fourth.” These events/demonstrations have historically been organized within Black Radical Tradition in true principled solidarity with the Indigenous people of the western hemisphere, their collective sovereignty, and their continued and consistent struggle against the active colonization of their land, since first contact with European pillagers.
“FUCK the Fourth” events/demonstrations are centered around abandoning the practices of our oppressors, observing the traditions of our Ancestors, and celebrating ourselves as Africans forced into diaspora. Yes, that includes defacing symbols of our oppressors (i.e. burning the Amerikkkan flag). Yes, that means teach-ins and culture shares. Yes, that means pouring libations for all of those who came before us, who have had their lives taken at the hand of the colonial, imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist, patriarchy. And yes, that ALWAYS means dancing and vehemently expressing Black joy.
My Indigenous kinfolk, living north of the arbitrary colonial border, have flipped the national focus from celebrating Klanada Day, toward events/demonstrations called, “No Pride in Genocide.” As they have done that, my hope for all my Africans living in these United Snakes, is that you are able to make your way to a “FUCK the Fourth” event/demonstration next year, or at the very least actively participate in anti-imperialism and building community. Black Liberation & Indigenous Sovereignty are inextricably linked. We are stolen people on these stolen lands, and we honor our Ancestors when we remember that this colonial project is not just fallacious and invalid, but that it is also not our home. Like Malcom X said, “Just because a cat has kittens in the oven, that doesn’t make them biscuits”. By this logic, from this point forth, I will be referring to all Black folks in the diaspora as “Africans.”
Y’all remember last year when impoverished Africans in the southwestern region of Turtle Island froze to death, because power and electricity were consolidated in affluent white neighborhoods? Do you remember what they called it? A “cold snap.” Well that’s a bit of what’s been going on in the northwestern region of occupied Turtle Island specifically on stolen Duwamish land, or so-called “Seattle.” Folks have been calling the hottest recorded temperatures in this region a “heat wave.” But this “heat wave” would more aptly be described as a “heat season,” much like the “fire seasons” we are globally far too familiar with—a fire season that has already started in Lytton territory, north of the arbitrary colonial border, where temperatures reached an inconceivable 121°F/50°C. Hundreds of African and Indigenous lives have been lost this past week alone.
It is because of the continued exploitation and extraction of Indigenous and African land respectively, that we are facing the current effects of this climate catastrophe. Alphabetically, colonial empire extracts these elements from our Mother: aluminium, coal, cocoa, coffee, copper, cotton, diamonds, fish, gold, graphite, iron ore, natural gas, nickel, petroleum, phosphates, platinum, pozzolana, rubber, tea, timber, titanium, tobacco, uranium, water, zinc ore, etc. and those are only the elements that I personally know of. How can all of that be stolen from our Mother, the second largest continent on the globe, and the world not be negatively impacted. How can that happen, without we as Africans, being diametrically opposed to it.
Not only that, but there has been a consistent and concerted effort from the colonial empire to destabilize any resistance to this theft. The entire “modern world” is built off of our collective theft. First they do a B&E of this land, slaughtering hundreds of millions of Indigenous people in the process. Then they steal our people to erect atop that land a shrine to empire, built with the stolen materials of our homeland, slaughtering dozens of millions of us in the process, and then they had the audacity to tell us that capitalism works, and the unmitigated gall to called it “freedom,” to call it, “democracy.” That’s the history of colonization in a nutshell. That’s what we’ve been up against for the past 500 years.
So no it is not enough to simply not actively celebrate the 4th, but still go to that cookout.I believe that African Liberation hinges upon our active participation in dismantling what was built on our backs and this here stolen land. I believe that it means continuing the ancestral tradition of fighting in solidarity with our Indigenous kinfolk for their unequivocal sovereignty and our complete and total liberation. I believe that consciously choosing to reject what it means to be “American,” in the midst of Indigenous and African genocide, is inherently a revolutionary act. And I do believe from the bottom of my heart that we will win, and that Babylon will fall.
I think that’s what “LandBack” means to African folks.