Black Agenda Report for April 16, 2014: Black Success Stories Holding Us Back, Black Parents, NYPD Victims, Civil Rights Orgs Conceal Donors

16 April 2014 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

Are Black “Success Stories” Really Holding Us Back?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Is it time to critically interrogate the black “success stories” of pro atheletes and near-billionaires? Should we be identifying with the Junior Bridgemans and Magic Johnsons or with their thousands of underpaid and cheated workers? And what would a more reproducible black “success story” really look like?

Stop Blaming Black Parents for School Achievement Gaps

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Helping your kids, or neighbors’ kids, do their homework almost certainly will not improve their school performance, according to a new study. “The idea that parental involvement will address one of the most salient and intractable issues in education, racial and ethnic achievement gaps, is not supported by the evidence.” However, a demonstrable commitment to social values can change a child’s whole outlook on life.

Freedom Rider: NYPD Punishes Black Victims

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It is truly astounding how the U.S. criminal justice system finds infinite opportunities to array straightforward statutes in ways that disproportionately disadvantage Black people. “The purpose of American criminal injustice is to keep certain groups, black people most obviously, vulnerable to any form of attack the system can devise.”

NAN, NAACP & Other Hypocritical “Civil Rights” Organizations Assert “Constitutional Right” To Conceal Their Corporate Funding Before the FCC

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

When NAN, the Urban League, LULAC, Rainbow PUSH & the NAACP claim a “constitutional right” to hide the extent of their dependence on broadcaster & telecom funding, whose rights are they protecting?  Those of wealthy corporate donors or those of their supposed constituents?

Kagame: Murderer of Millions in Congo and Rwanda

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

In what may be the world’s most bizarre spectacle, notables from around the globe this year pay homage to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, as if he is the savior of Africa. “For 20 years, Kagame has posed as the soldier who stopped the Rwandan genocide, when all evidence and logic point to him as the main perpetrator of the crime.”

Nelson Mandela and Collective Power

by Kevin Alexander Gray

Whatever verdict history decrees on three decades of nominal Black rule in South Africa, one thing is certain: Nelson Mandela is not the only person responsible. The unfinished struggle was a collective effort. “Moderates and radicals, ANC members and non-members, martyrs, marchers, clergy, secular, individuals and organizations made up the collective.” Indeed, lots of the change-makers weren’t even South African.

Death, US Capitalism, and Huey Newton’s Theory of Suicide

by Danny Haiphong

Class and race oppression brings death by many means. “The person or movement partaking in revolutionary suicide has chosen to confront death by fighting for liberation.”

End the Left-Right White Solidarity Against Haiti

by Ezili Dantò

The U.S, France and Canada aren’t the only countries engaged in stripping Haiti of its national sovereignty. “Even ‘progressive’ Venezuela is investing in Haiti tourism at Ile a Vache, instead of pushing to end the US occupation and the use of Haitian resources and lands to make foreigners wealthy.”

AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly

by Nick Turse

The U.S. military “pivot” to Africa quickens, albeit under a “veil of secrecy.” AFRICOM “now averages far more than a mission a day on the continent, conducting operations with almost every African military force, in almost every African country, while building or building up camps, compounds, and “contingency security locations.”

Neo-Confucian Wisdom in the Age of – Austerity & Informants

by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

Confucius say he who wear wire

May go undetected in East River…

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/14/14

Haitians Need National Sovereignty Most of All

Framing Haiti as a charity case is insulting and wrong, said Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee. “The kind of support we need is to denounce the repression that has been imposed on the people of Haiti” since the U.S.-backed coup of 2004. Haiti doesn’t need handouts, said Labossiere; it needs solidarity in the struggle to resist the foreign “conspiracy to rob the country of its resources.”

Black Folk in Dark Times

Black academics and activists gathered at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, for a “Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom.” Organized by Dr. Jemima Pierre, an anthropologist, and historian Dr. Peter Hudson, the event was titled “Black Folk in Dark Times.” Author and community organizer Kevin Alexander Gray, from Columbia, South Carolina, looks forward to Barack Obama’s exit from the White House, in two years. Under the First Black President, “we bought into this idea of endless war, and we bought into the idea of star chambers where people are denied due process,” said Gray, author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.

Dr. Christina Sharpe, a professor of English at Tufts University, spoke of “ways of seeing and imagining responses to terror in the varied and various ways that our Black lives are lived under occupation.” She is author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects.

Dr. Maboula Soumahoro, an English professor born in France to Ivory Coast parents, told the gathering that “Afropea, Black Europe, is in the making.” “In my view,” she said, “Arabs and Muslims, sub-Saharan Africans, Afro-descended people born in France, people from the Caribbean…Asians of all kinds, Roma communities and all people of color are all Black” in France. Soumahoro is editor of the acclaimed essay collection, Constructing Black France: A Transatlantic Dialogue.

Mumia: A Half-Century of Civil Wrongs

“For the Black bourgeoisie,” the 50 years since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “has been a rush of opportunity and entre into doors once closed to them,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. However, “for the Black poor and working class,” mass incarceration has made “civil rights as ancient and distant as Reconstruction.”

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