Rank #1: Black Agenda Radio - 12.18.17
Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary andanalysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-hostNellie Bailey. Coming up: Black voters turned out in huge numbers and won theDemocrats a seat in the U.S. Senate from Alabama, but what are the Democratsprepared to do for Black people? And, Mumia Abu Jamal gives his sign ofapproval to a new book on the many ways that police get away with murder inAmerica.
But first – the internet may never be the same again, after the FCC’sgutting of internet neutrality protections. Federal Communications Commissionchairman Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, handed corporationsunprecedented control over how the internet will operate. Tim Karr, of the mediaadvocacy group Free Press, is confident that internet neutrality can be rescued.
Victor Pickard is an associate professor at the Annenberg School ofCommunications at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of the book,“America’s Battle for Media Democracy.” Professor Pickard recently wrote anarticle on the corporate role in creating, what he called, “The MisinformationSociety.” Pickard agrees that the FCC has been “captured” by the corporations itis supposed to regulate.
Black voters are universally credited with defeating Roy Moore’s bid tobecome the next U.S. Senator from Alabama. The far-rightwing Republican isaccused of having inappropriate relations with teenage girls, decades ago. Hebelieves homosexuality is evil and has said that the United States was a reallygreat country back during slavery. Roy Moore lost the special election by onlyone and-a- half percentage points. Black women voted for his Democraticopponent at levels of 98 percent, and Black men were not far behind. The NewYork Times and other corporate media acknowledge that Black voters saved theday for the Democrats, but there has been very little media coverage that putsthe Black political struggle in the South in any real historical context. We spokewith Kevin Alexander Gray, a veteran Black activist and author, in Columbia,South Carolina.
Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has turnedout another book, titled, “Have Black Lives Ever Mattered.” Abu Jamal has beenbehind bars for 35 years in the death of a Philadelphia policeman, but hissupporters around the nation and the world have been holding book parties tocelebrate the new publication, and to demand Mumia’s release from prison.Robin Spencer attended one of those Mumia book parties, at “Raw Space,” inNew York’s Harlem. Spencer is an historian with the Campaign to Bring MumiaHome.
From his place of confinement in the Pennsylvania prison system, Mumia gavehigh praise to another activists’ book.
Rank #2: Black Agenda Radio - 03.05.18
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 and activist asks, when does support for prison and police “reform” actually amount to propping up these racist institutions; and, the mayor of New York City claims turnstile jumping has nothing to do with poverty.
Last summer, the voters in Jackson, Mississippi, elected Antar Lumumba mayor of the overwhelmlngly Black city. Antar Lumumba is the son of the late activist Chokwe Lumumba. Some folks are already describing Jackson as “the most radical city in the country” – a very premature assessment. We spoke with Kali Akuno, an activist with Cooperation Jackson, a community self-help organization that is trying to establish cooperative enterprises owned by the local workers.
People that petition and agitate for reform of the police and the mass Black incarceration system may actually be bolstering the power of those racist institutions. Dr. Dylan Rodriguez, a professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, at Riverside, says “reformers” tend to legitimize the very system they criticize – as opposed to those who would abolish prisons and reinvent the way communities are made secure. Prof. Professor Rodriguez authored an article for Black Agenda Report, titled “Mass Incarceration as Police Endorsement.” He understands that some “reformers” might be insulted at being described as allies of police and prisons.
In New York City, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance says his office will stop prosecuting people for fare beating on New York City subways. But Mayor Bill DiBlasio objects, claiming that that turnstile jumping has nothing to do with poverty. Robert Gangi is executive director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, which monitors a court system where, on any given day, 85 to 90 percent of the defendants are Black and brown – many of them charged with fare beating.
Rank #3: Black Agenda Radio - 01.15.18
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: Anti-war activists from around the country gathered in Baltimore to agitate for an end to U.S. military bases around the world; Supporters of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal will converge on Philadelphia, seeking a reversal of his 36 year-old murder conviction; and, a celebration of three hundred years of Black history in New Orleans.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and work has been institutionalized, with commemorations of his birthday occurring this week in virtually every city and town in the nation. Dr. King’s anti-war views are less celebrated by the powers-that- be. King called for a movement to oppose the “triple evils” of racism, militarism and materialism, and indicted the United States as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.” We spoke with Duboisian scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro, in Philadelphia.
Like no other empire in all of human history, the United States virtually covers the world with military bases – with servicemen and women in 172 countries, by some counts. At the University of Baltimore, this past weekend, anti-war activists held a conference against U.S. foreign military bases. Among the keynote speakers was Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s 2016 vice presidential candidate and lead organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace.
Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has spent the last 36 years behind bars in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Abu Jamal’s supporters see the possibility of overturning his conviction. Ronald Castille, a former prosecutor in Mumia’s case, went on to become a judge, and then wound up ruling against Mumia’s appeal. Castille was also a great friend of the Fraternal Order of Police. Mumia’s lawyers say Castille should have recused himself from the case. A State court judge has repeatedly ordered the District Attorney’s office to turn over all of its records in Mumia’s case. Mumia’s supporters were encouraged when a progressive lawyer named Larry Krasner was elected as the new district attorney for Philadelphia. However, Krasner appointed former prosecutor Ronald Castille to his transition team. That’s not a good sign, said Gwen Debrow, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.
The city of New Orleans is celebrating its 300 th birthday this week. A three-day conference on the Black experience in New Orleans is scheduled to begin on January 18 th , under the direction of Dr. Clyde Robertson, director of African and African American Studies at Southern University, New Orleans. The events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, are a low mark in the Black historical journey. One hundred thousand Black people were forced into exile after the storm, and Dr. Robertson remembers that much of the white power structure saw the mass removal of Blacks from the city as a good thing – a great opportunity.
Rank #4: Black Agenda Radio - 09.03.18
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: What lessons can today’s Black activists learn from the Black Panther Party? The author of a new book has some answers. And, it’s the second week of the national prisons strike. We’ll speak to some activists in the prisoners support network, and we’ll discuss the role of cellphones in bringing public attention to massive human rights violations behind prison walls.
President Trump had to call off his planned military parade on Veterans’ Day, which means anti-war groups don’t have to hold counter-demonstrations on the streets of Washington. But peace activists do plan a number of activities this autumn. Ajamu Baraka is executive director of the Black Alliance for Peace. He explains how Trump’s parade got cancelled.
Robyn Spencer is the author of a new book on the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. It’s titled, “The Revolution Has Come.” Spencer thinks today’s anti-police violence activists could learn valuable lessons from the Panthers, who began as a kind of cop-watch organization, in Oakland, California.
Inmates at a number of prisons around the country are on strike. They describe the mass incarceration system as slavery by another name. In recent years, prison officials have gone apoplectic over inmate access to cell-phones. We spoke with Nazgol Ghandnoosh, senior research analyst for The Sentencing Project, in Washington DC.
The national prisons strike has been underway since August 21st, and continues through September 9. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee is part of the inmate support network OUTSIDE the prison walls. Bruce Terpstra is an activist with the Committee. He put the prisoners strike in historical perspective.
Rank #5: Black Agenda Radio - 07.02.18
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: Police in Buffalo, New York are up to the same tricks as were exposed in Ferguson, Missouri, saturating the Black community with police checkpoints to fatten the city treasury; New York City cops use a secret list of 42 thousand alleged gang members to justify mass arrests in Black neighborhoods; and, most people on the planet think it’s a good idea for the U.S. and Russian presidents to have a summit meeting – except for the Democrats and U.S. corporate media.
Cities around the country are going deeply in debt, selling bonds to speculators to pay for judgments and settlements against cops that brutalize their citizens. The Action Center on Race and the Economy did case studies in Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Lake County Indiana, showing that these so-called “Brutality Bonds” are costing these localities almost 2 BILLION dollars. Angela Peoples is director of the Action Center’s campaign. She’s also with the Washington, DC Chapter of Black Youth Project 100.
Civil rights group have filed suit against the city of Buffalo, New York, charging that, for more than five years, Buffalo cops have been saturating Black neighborhoods with police checkpoints for the purpose of extracting millions in fines. According to the suit, 91 percent of the checkpoints operating in Buffalo are located on the Black side of town. We spoke with Keisha Williams, a staff attorney with the Western New York Law Center. She says what’s going on in Buffalo is very much like the systematic draining of the Black community through over-policing and excessive fines that a U.S. Justice Department report documented in Ferguson, Missouri.
Black and brown activists in New York City are outraged that the police department maintains a data base of more than 42 thousand names of alleged gang members, The cops have used the list to bring conspiracy charges against hundreds of young people caught up in massive sweeps of poor neighborhoods. Shannon Jones is co-founder of the community organization “Why Accountability.” Her statemnt was read into the record at recent hearings of the City Council on policing in New York. Shannon was interviewed by Black Agenda radio producer Kyle Fraser.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will travel to Helsinki, Finland, July 16, for a summit meeting. Most people in the world think the summit is a good idea, to improve relations between the two nuclear super-powers. But much of the Democratic Party in the United States is negative on the subject. Sara Flounders is with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. In general, Flounders thinks the summit is a good thing, but she isn’t optimistic about the immediate outcome.
Rank #6: Black Agenda Radio - 10.09.17
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 Philadelphia Judge has supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal worried; Canadians of Caribbean descent organize for political solidarity; and, Is the U.S. trying to depopulate its island colony of Puerto Rico?
A question of religion and Black radicalism. Dr. Vincent Lloyd is a professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. Dr. Lloyd wrote a recent article for Black Agenda Report, in which he maintained that Black American religion is rooted in radicalism, exemplified by leaders such as Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. Lloyd said that what he calls “secularism” means being caught up in “the world as it is,” and not as it should be.
Donald Trump is almost certainly the most disliked man in Puerto Rico. Trump’s insulting remarks in the wake of Hurricane Irma cut deep into Puerto Rican pride. The U.S. colony has lost 10 percent of its population in the last decade due to U.S. economic policies. Some folks believe that the real goal of U.S. policy is to depopulate the island. We spoke with Kevin Cashman, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington.
The Caribbean region has been battered by both global warming and neocolonial political relationships. Runako Gregg is a co-founder of the Canada-based Caribbean Solidarity Network. He spoke to us from Toronto.
It’s been 100 years since the Russian Revolution changed the history of the world. Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African Amerian Studies at Houston University, was part of a celebration of the past century of Struggle for Scientific Socialism. Dr. Horne discussed the seminal work of historian Philip S. Foner, author of the book, The Bolshevik Revolution and Its Impact on American Radicals, Liberals, and Labor.
Supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, are worried about the recent conduct of Judge Leon Tucker. The Pennsylvania judge had earlier demanded that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office provide all of its files on Abu Jamal’s case, so he could determine if the DA had shown a bias towards his political allies in the Fraternal Order of Police. However, last month Judge Tucker appeared to ease up on his pressures on the DA’s office. Sophia Williams, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, is worried.
And that’s it for this edition of Black Agenda Radio.
Rank #7: Black Agenda Radio - 02.26.18
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 leading scholar and activist predicts that U.S. imperialism is on a course towards chaos and collapse, and that imperialism’s main currency, the dollar, will precipitate that decline. And, we’ll hear a reading of Assata Shakur’s poem, “Affirmation,” by Black political prisoner Sundiata Acoli.
the City of Philadelphia declared 2018 the Year of W.E.B. Dubois, marking the 150 th anniversary of the birth of the great Black political activist, scholar and social scientist. In 1899, Dubois published his famous sociological study of the Black people in Philadelphia. It was not only the first such study of Black people in the United States, but many consider it to be the first example of sociology based on hard scientific data. The first of many symposium’s on Dubois’s life and work was held last weekend at the historic Church of the Advocate. The crowd heard a special tribute to Dubois from Philadelphia’s most internationally famous son, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal.
The Church of the Advocate symposium on W.E.B. Dubois was organized by Philadelphia’s Saturday Free School. One of the panel members was Ismael Jimenez, a public school teacher.
That was Ismael Jimenez, speaking at the W.E. B. Dubois symposium at the Church of the Advocate, in Philadelphia. Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford was also on that panel. Ford focused on the political and historical importance of DuBois’ book, “Black Reconstruction.”
The symposium was presented by activists at the Saturday Free School, one of whose organizers is Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar and political activist. Dr. Monteiro says U.S. imperialism is bound to fall, and its currency, the dollar, will precipitate imperial decline.
Prison Radio brings the voices of the incarcerated to the outside world, including Mumia Abu Jamal’s essays and commentaries. Prison Nation organized a reading by prisoners of poem, “Affirmation,” by exiled Black Panther and former political prisoner Assata Shakur, who lives in Cuba. One of those that took part in reading the poem was Sundiata Acoli, who was with Assata Shakur when they had a fatal encounter with New Jersey police, in 1973. Acoli remains in prison, and will not be available for parole until the year 2032, when he will be 94 years old.
Rank #8: Black Agenda Radio - 10.16.17
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 city council in Philadelphia rejects the idea of Black Community Control of the Police, so activists take the concept directly to the people; and, the Black and indigenous peoples of Colombia, South America,demand that the government respect their rights to collective ownership of the land.
The Black Is Back Coalition is preparing for its annual March on the White House and national conference, on November 4 th and 5 th . The theme of the conference is “The Ballot AND the Bullet: Elections, War and Peace in the Era of Donald Trump.” We spoke with Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela.
Diop Olugbala is a Black is Back activist in Philadelphia, where he was one of the organizers of a local conference on Black community control of the police.
In Colombia, South America, the government has signed a peace deal with FARC guerillas to end a 60 year war. Part of that agreement called on the government to recognize Black and indigenous Colombians’ collective right to land, and to develop their own economies. However, Charo Mina Rojas, of the Afro-Colombian organization Black Community Process, says the government has resisted actual implementation of the agreement.
Charles Diggs is a long-time inmate at the Graterford State prison, in Pennsylvania. He’s written an essay for Prison Radio, titled, Fear of Love.
And that’s it for this edition of Black Agenda Radio.
Rank #9: Black Agenda Radio - 01.07.19
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 two corporate parties, the Democrats and Republicans, monopolize electoral politics in the United States. But the Black Is Back Coalition says there is still reason to pursue independent Black politics. And, after 37 years behind bars, Mumia Abu Jamal has won the right to another appeal, and a possible new trial – or freedom.
But first -- President Trump’s “trade war” with China sometimes seems destined to escalate into a military confrontation. We spoke with Dr Gerald Horne, the prolific author and professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. Some in the Trump administration have expressed pleasure at reports that China’s economy is slowing down, even though many economists believe that it was only a strong Chinese economy that kept the whole world from being plunged into a depression, following the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. Dr. Horne says the U.S. is shooting itself in the foot with its China policy.
The Democrats are flexing their congressional muscle, having taken over leadership of the U.S. House, this month. But the Democratic Party seems divided into three factions. One faction believes that all they have to do to become a majority party is to run against Donald Trump. Another faction looks forward to collaborating with Trump as much as possible. And the third, more progressive faction believes the only way to win is by putting forward the kind of big programs, like Medicare for All, that large majorities of the public supports. Omali Yeshitela is no Democrat. He’s chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition, which will hold another in its series of electoral politics schools, in St. Louis, in April.
Supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal are ecstatic over a Philadelphia judge’s decision that could allow the nation’s best known political prisoner another chance to appeal his conviction in the death of a police officer, 37 years ago. We asked Prof. Johanna Fernandez, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, if there’s finally a real pathway to freedom for Abu Jamal.
Rank #10: Black Agenda Radio - 08.05.19
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 Black Alliance for Peace demands that elected officials tell us where they stand on militarism and endless war; a Black scholar defends Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s description of immigrant detention centers as “concentration camps”; and, we’ll examine the changing relationship between African Americans and the Mother Continent.
August 9th marks the 5th anniversary of the day Mike Brown was shot to death by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, setting off national revulsion against killer cops and the criminal injustice system. Activists in cities around the country are commemorating the events that spawned the Black Lives Matter movement. In Newark, New Jersey, the public library will host a day of activities on August 14th, in hopes of spurring renewed social activism. Zayid Muhammad is with N-CAP, Newark Communities for Accountable Policing.
Black office-holders are about to be put on notice, that their support for U.S. imperial crimes around the world goes against the grain of the pro-peace tradition in Black America. Ajamu Baraka, of the Black Alliance for Peace, says both corporate parties try to keep U.S. foreign policy out of the political debate. The Alliance is demanding that elected officials go on record on issues of war and peace.
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known as AOC, came under savage attack when she described detention centers for immigrants as “concentration camps.” But Zoe Samudzi, co-author of the book, “As Black As Resistance,” says AOC is correct in broadening the popular discussion about the various ways that targeted groups are contained and controlled. Samudzi’s latest essay is titled, “Policing the Borders of Suffering.” She says no ethnic group has a monopoly on terms like “genocide” and “concentration camp.”
Nemata Blyden is a professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University, and author of the book, “African Americans and Africa: A New History.” Blyden has a unique perspective on the subject. She was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, the descendant of a renowned Pan Africanist and an African American mother. Professor Blyden talks about her book.
Rank #11: Black Agenda Radio - 12.31.18
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: Mumia Abu Jamal wins a victory in court, and celebrates a legal win for sick inmates in Pennsylvania’s prisons; and a police reform group wants to safeguard mentally ill people from police violence.
a New Year is dawning, and it’s been two years since investigations began into the so-called Russiagate scandal. But Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley says, the main charge against President Trump, Wikileaks and the Russian government remains unproven.
If there is an anti-war faction in the Democratic Party, it’s been very quiet in the wake of President Trump’s decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria. We spoke with longtime peace activist Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center. Flounders is also active in the Hands Off Syria Campaign. The Democrats are screaming to high heaven with outrage at Trumps plans for a Syria pullout..
A Philadelphia judge has ruled that the nation’s best known political prisoner has the right to present another appeal of his 1982 conviction in the death of a police officer. Mumia Abu Jamal proved his contention that a prosecutor in his case, who went on to become a judge, unconstitutionally influenced Abu Jamal’s previous appeal, which was turned down. Meanwhile, Abu Jamal continues to turn out award-winning journalism for Prison Radio. This week, he reports on another victory for Pennsylvania prison inmates.
Millions of white people live in New York City, but you wouldn’t know that if you visited the courts and jails of the city’s five boroughs. The Police Reform Organizing Project, or PROP, reports that close to 9 out of 10 people facing arraignment in local courts on any given day, are Black or Latino. PROP executive director Robert Gangi says his group’s new project is to change the way mentally ill people are treated in New York.
Rank #12: Black Agenda Radio - 10.23.17
People around the world are marking the 100 th anniversary of the Great October Russian Revolution. Next year will mark the 15oth anniversary of the birth of the great scholar and activist W.E.B. Dubois. In Philadelphia, Duboisian scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro is celebrating both anniversaries.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office wants to kill Robert Lark, a 63 year old Black man who has been imprisoned almost 40 years in the death of a shopkeeper for. Lark is better known as “Sugar Bear,” a politically active prisoner whose death sentence was overturned ten years ago because Blacks were systematically kept off the jury. Sugar Bear is a prison contemporary of Mumia Abu Jamal, a fellow Black Philadelphian and the nation’s best known political prisoner. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history and African American studies at Baruch College and an activist with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. Fernandez was asked, is Sugar Bear Lark a political prisoner?
In many cities across the United States, activists took to the streets this past weekend for National Stop Police Brutality Day. Larry Hamm, chairman of Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress, explains.
Black women are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons. At the Pennsylvania prison for women, in Muncy, inmate Terry Harper presented this essay for Prison Radio.
Rank #13: Black Agenda Radio - 04.15.19
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: Howie Hawkins, a possible Green Party presidential candidate, talks about one of his original ideas, the Green New Deal; the Black Is Back Coalition explores the possibilities of electoral politics under late stage, imperial capitalism; and, South Carolina activists pay respect to those killed in a prison disturbance.
It’s taken a while to count all the votes, but it appears that community control of the police has made a giant leap forward, in Chicago. Activists ran a full slate of candidates in support of CPAC, the proposed Civilian Police Accountability Commission. Frank Chapman is with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. He says community control of the police is now backed by a substantial bloc of new members of the Chicago city council.
The Green New Deal -- a plan to transform the way the nation uses energy while at the same time ensuring adequate incomes for all and addressing the historical wrongs against minorites – has won the support of supermajorities of Democrats, under the sponsorship of New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly called “AOC.” But the Green New Deal originated in the Green Party, more than a decade ago. And a key player in formulating the original Green New Deal was Howie Hawkins, its former candidate for governor of New York. Hawkins is now exploring a bid for the presidency, under the Green Party banner. We asked Hawkins, what’s GOOD about the Democrat’s version of the Green New Deal?
The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, held the third of its electoral politics schools in St. Petersburg, Florida, earlier this month. Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela greeted the participants.
Nellie Bailey is with Harlem Fight-Back Against War at Home and Abroad. She told the Black Is Back Coalition electoral school that U.S. imperialism’s arsenal of war includes the weaponization of the U.S. dollar.
Ajamu Baraka is a former Green Party vice-presidential candidate and now lead organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace. Baraka was in Venezuela when it was plunged into darkness, last month, by a suspected U.S. cyber weapons attack. He says the Black and brown populations of that country support the socialist government
This weekend, anti-mass Black incarceration activists in South Carolina commemorated the deaths of at least seven inmates during disturbances at the Lee County state prison, a year ago. Efia Nwangaza is Director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina, and a key link between prison inmates and their supporters on the outside.
Rank #14: Black Agenda Radio - 10.30.17
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: Black and Brown students at Philadelphia’s Temple University hold an all-day conference on Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton and the Struggle for World Peace and Self-Determination; and, a New York City DJ reports on the ten days she spent among the people of Palestine, under Israeli military occupation.
Dr. Johnny Wlliams, a professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut, has been put on a leave of absence, in the wake of organized white protests against a statement he posted on social media, this summer. Dr. Williams was angry over police killings of Black people. He had recently read a post by someone that called himself “Son of Baldwin,” who titled his piece, “Let Them Ef-fing Die.”
In Philadelphia, this past weekend, students from Temple University’s Black and Brown Coalition held an all-day conference on Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton and the Struggle for World Peace and Self-Determination. Some of the organizers, like Davya Nair, are also members of the Philadelphia Saturday Free School. Nair spoke on the subject of Education for Liberation.
Elias Gonzalez also spoke at the panel on Education for Liberation. He learned something early on when he joined the Philadelphia Free School, two years ago.
Christie Love is a New York City area DJ and political activist, who recently returned from a ten-day trip to Israeli-Occupied Palestine. DJ Christie Lover reported back to “Existence for Resistance,” one of the organizations that made her trip in solidarity with Palestinians possible. Christie Lover told Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser what she learned about the day-to- day lives of Palestinians.
And that’s it for this edition of Black Agenda Radio.
Rank #15: Black Agenda Radio - 05.13.19
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 stand-off at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, continues; African Liberation Day will be marked by protests against the ongoing sanctions against Zimbabwe; and, we’ll get an African feminist perspective on women’s roles in secessionist movements on the continent.
Lots of people know that Chicago recently elected its first Black woman mayor, but the elections also created a sharp change in the city council. Before the people went to the polls in February, only one alderman out of 50 on the council supported community control of the police. However, community activists take credit for changing that equation at the ballot box. After the election, 17 Chicago council members say they’ll vote to establish CPAC, the Civilian Police Accountability Council. Aislinn Pulley is the founder and Co-leader of Black Lives Matter, Chicago. We asked Pulley what effect the victories in the city council will have on movement strategy.
Activists with Code Pink, the Answer Coalition and Popular Resistance continue to occupy the Venezuelan Embassy, in Washington, keeping it out of the hands of supporters of Juan Gauido, the Venezuelan opposition leader who appointed himself president. The United States has recognized Guaido, and has been confiscating Venezuelan property, in addition to imposing punishing sanctions on the country. The American activists inside the embassy were invited to keep watch on the place by the elected government of Venezuela. Last Friday, we asked Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin how she and the others in the embassy are holding up.
African Liberation Day is May 25, and Zimbabwe is o top of the agenda. We spoke with human rights lawyer Roger Wareham, of the Brooklyn New York-based December 12th Movemet.
Not all people in Africa are satisfied with the borders that were drawn around their countries by European colonizers. Jacqueline Bethel-Mougoue is a feminist scholar and professor of history at Baylor University who’s been studying the roles that women play in secessionist movements in Africa.
Rank #16: Black Agenda Radio - 08.20.18
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 Black historian reports on how U.S. banks stole the resources and sovereignty of whole nations in the Caribbean and Latin America; a new book explores the political culture spawned by the radical movements of the Sixties and Seventies; and, supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal believe upcoming hearings provide a real chance for freedom for the nation’s best known political prisoner.
The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations recently held a national conference in St. Louis. The theme of the gathering was, “There is No Peace: Africa and Africans are at War.” Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela told the audience
President Donald Trump angered much of the world when he called nations in the Caribbean and Africa “feces-holes.” In an article for Black Agenda Report, historian Peter James Hudson pointed out that U.S. banks played a key role in making countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa into places of poverty and oppression. Hudson is author of the book, “Bankers of Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean.”
The radical movements of the 1960s and 70s produced a unique and compelling political culture, according to a new book titled, “Fugitive Life: The Queer Politics of the Prison State,” by Stephen Dillon. The book is featured in the Black Agenda Report Book Forum, edited by Roberto Sirvent. Stephen Dillon’s work is rooted in the writings and actions of the hundreds of activists that tried to stay one step ahead of U.S. law enforcement, four decades ago. Dillon says these activists produced a political culture of “fugitivity.”
This is the month of Black August, which always means increased efforts to free political prisoners in the U.S. The next days and weeks will see a flurry of activity to end the long incarceration of the nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. Orie Lumumba is a member of the MOVE Family, and of Family and Concerned Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal.
That was prison abolition activist Orie Lumumba. From his place of incarceration in Pennsylvania, Mumia Abu Jamal files this Prison Radio report on the passing one of the Greats of Black American culture.
Rank #17: Black Agenda Radio - 04.22.19
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’s been a great month for Mumia Abu Jamal. For the first time in decades, there’s a chance for a real legal path to freedom for the nation’s best known political prisoner. We’ll hear from Mumia and leaders of the movement to release him from a Pennsylvania prison.
The Meuller Report has been a disappointment to Democrats and most of the U.S. corporate media. For more than two years, they have been spinning a tale of “collusion” between Wikileaks, the Russian government and the Trump campaign. But Special Counsel Robert Meuller’s verdict was that there was no collusion. Coleen Rowley is a former FBI agent and whistleblower who exposed the Bureau’s failures leading up the 9/11 attacks. Rowley has closely followed the Russiagate saga. Both Meuller and most of the news media continue to accept as Biblical Truth that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to Wikileaks. But, Rowley agrees that there’s still no proof that that’s the way it happened.
The prospects for freedom for Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, changed radically this month, 37 years after he was found guilty in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Larry Krasner, the district attorney of Philadelphia, announced that he would not try to reverse a local court decision allowing Abu Jamal to appeal his conviction. Noelle Hanrahan is a producer and founder of Prison Radio, where Abu Jamal has for decades been a journalist – which was his profession before his arrest in 1982. Hanrahan explains how the legal breakthrough happened.
Johanna Fernandez is a professor of history at Baruch College, in New York, but she spends much of her time as an organizer with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. We asked Fernandez if she’s talked with Mumia since the good news arrived.
Abu Jamal was in great spirits even before he got word that the district attorney would not stand in the way of his appeal. Mumia’s supporters held a gala fundraiser in Berkeley, California, featuring Angela Davis, Alice Walker and Judith Ritter. From imprisonment in Pennsylvania, Abu Jamal spoke to the crowd at the Evening for Justice and Freedom.
Pam Africa is with the MOVE organization, in Philadelphia, and a key member of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. She spoke at the gala, in Berkeley, and paid respect to Mumia’s prison-mates.
Rank #18: Black Agenda Radio - 02.25.19
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 lays out the real relationship between the police and Black America. It’s titled “Your Enemy in Blue”; a new and deeper look at Eleanor Bumpers, the Black grandmother killed by New York City police 34 years ago; and, a grandfather with a radio show speaks up for the common people in Zambia, southern Africa.
Much of the world is appalled at the U.S. attempt to provoke a coup in Venezuela, and to put opposition politician Juan Guaido in the presidency. In New York City, the December 12th Movement demanded that the United Nations condemn Washington’s violations of international law. Roger Wareham is a human rights attorney and a member of D-12.
The Black Alliance for Peace also condemns the Trump administration’s regime change policy in Venezuela as a white supremacist assault disguised as a humanitarian intervention.The police are no friend to the Black community in the United States, says author Kristian Williams, who’s written a new book. It’s titled “Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America.”
Thirty-four years ago, Eleanor Bumpers was killed by police in her public housing apartment in The Bronx, New York. The cops that shot-gunned the grandmother to death claimed she threatened them with a kitchen knife. Bumpers became a symbol of police disregard for Black lives. LaShawn Harris was a child in that Bronx neighborhood when Bumpers was cut down, in 1984. Harris is now an Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. She recently published a comprehensive study of the life and times of Eleanor Bumpers, in the political journal “Souls.” The article is titled, “Beyond the Shooting: Eleanor Gray Bumpurs, Identity Erasure, and Family Activism Against Police Violence.”
Deep in the countryside of Zambia, in southern Africa, a man in his sixties called “GoGo Breeze” holds forth on one of the country’s most popular radio shows. Harri Englund is a Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He’s written a book titled “Gogo Breeze: Zambia’s Radio Elder and the Voices of Free Speech.” We asked Professor Englund why an African elder with a radio show rates scholarly attention.
Rank #19: Black Agenda Radio - 07.23.18
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: Nearly a million Black people waster away in U.S. prisons, which still house political prisoners from nearly half a century ago. Some young activists have begun a prisoner letter-writing campaign, to let them know that people on the outside are with them. And, is the current anti-Russian hysteria worse than during the cold war. We’ll ask the author of a book on the anti-Russian madness.
The Green Party has watched with interest as a number of Democrats have taken positions well to the left of Democratic Party leadership. In New York, Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, says, if you want real social transformation, vote for the Greens. Hawkins and other Green Party members recently announced support for social ownership of the economy, a state public bank, and other radical measures. We asked Howie Hawkins what he means by “social ownership of the economy.”
Democrats and war-hawks reach for ever-higher heights of anti-Russian hysteria, ascribing nearly super-powers to Moscow and its president, Vladimir Putin. All this is déjà vu for many older Americans, who remember the Cold War days when Russians were thought to be under every bed. In a new book, Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciana explore the similarities, and differences between, the current anti-Russian madness and the hysteria of two generations ago. The book is titled, “The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.” Kuzmarov explains.
This past weekend, social justice activists in New York City set in motion a letter writing campaign for political prisoners. Marlene Nava Ramos is an organizer with Critical Resistance, and a doctoral candidate in sociology.
Rank #20: Black Agenda Radio - 02.18.19
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 fellow immigrant comes to the defense of Ilhan Omar, the Black congresswoman who stood up to both the Zionist lobby and former death squad organizer, Elliot Abrams; and, we’ll discuss the Restorative Justice doctrine of the prison abolition movement.
the United States has declared economic war on the socialist government of Venezuela, and seems on the verge of military action. The Trump administration blatantly seized billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets, and has declared its intention to replace Venezuela’s government with a president of Washington’s own choosing. We spoke with Ajamu Baraka, of the Black Alliance for Peace.
The U.S. government, both corporate political parties and the corporate media routinely lie about Venezuela, claiming the Socialist government is a dictatorship. Ron Kovalik is a lawyer and author, who has served as an official observer of Venezuela’s elections process.
Ilhan Omar, the new Black congresswoman from Minnesota, was last week chastised by the top Democrat in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, for saying that congressional support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins, baby” – meaning, it’s all about the huge amounts of money that Zionists wield in the U.S. political process. Congresswoman Omar, who was born in Somalia, also confronted President Trump’s Hit Man on Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, who 40 years ago managed death squads in Latin American for the Regan Administration, and was convicted of lying to Congress. We spoke with Sha-hid Boo-TAR, a lawyer and former head of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Boo-TAR was born in Pakistan. Last primary season, he ran against Nancy Pelosi, for Congress. Boo-TAR says Congresswoman Omar is a brave and righteous woman.
President Trump surprised lots of people with his support of a recently passed prison reform bill. Trump loudly and proudly campaigned as a law and order candidate. Vincent Lloyd is a professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. Lloyd is author, along with Joshua Dubler, of a recent article on “restorative justice” – a philosophy to replace and abolish mass incarceration. We asked Lloyd how prison abolition is faring in the Age of Trump.