Focusing on the masses rather than elites

At some point we will realize that the number of Black millionaires and billionaires has very little bearing on the condition of the African/Black masses worldwide. Our redemption will not be found via success within the existing system, but in our ability to create a just one to replace it.

A vision of the world

In order for a people to liberate themselves, they must be capable of envisioning a world free of their oppressors. Their collective imaginary must consist of a vision of a future where they are a sovereign people. Too few of those regarded as our leaders possess this capacity.

The (anti)social media

The ever impassioned spectacle of division and atomization illustrates the dangers posed by social media for African people, as various ideological operatives express a worldview where the highest politics is self-interest and acceptance in the oppressor’s system is a singular striving.

Agents

I watched and participated in a Zoom discussion of Judas and the Black Messiah tonight. One of the points that I raised is that William O’Neal exemplifies the betrayer archetype. Men/women such as he have been an ever-present menace for African people. They are a recurring response of Europeans to the struggle for African freedom.

We cannot delude ourselves into thinking that agents and traitors will disappear or cease to be consequential at any point in our movement. Quite often, much like O’Neal himself, such persons will rise to prominence within the organizations and movements that they have been set against. We should even consider that such individuals will fabricate movements so as to sow seeds of confusion, discord, and facilitate misdirection.

At best, we can carry out our work in a such a manner that limits the destructive capacity of traitors. One partial solution to this is to engage in struggle in a manner that is highly decentralized, characterized by independent yet ideologically aligned collectives, groups working towards a common aim, yet who maintain localized organizational structures characterized by collective forms of governance.

This is perhaps easier said than done. Dynamic work often coheres around a visionary mind. Their genius is an asset to our struggle, yet in our adversary’s aim to maintain our oppression, they are often targeted and imprisoned or killed in the hopes that their deaths will destroy the movement. There will always be people like Chairman Fred Hampton who animate the imaginations of the people and who articulate a vision of a future free from the fetters of oppression. Such individuals will also be targeted by the state. The key, the principle challenge is to ensure the survival and expansion of the movement beyond the deaths of inspiring leaders, beyond the acts of sabotage by traitors, and beyond the machinations of our enemies. To demonstrate through work and determination that “You can kill the revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.”

Treachery

Treachery has long been a nemesis of African movements for self-determination. Traitors have often aligned themselves with the revolutionary struggles only as a means to pursue counterrevolutionary ends. These traitors have, invariably, placed their own self-aggrandizement over the interests of the masses. Their actions have also reinforced European dominance.

Such patterns persist in the present day. In fact, the politics of tepid multiculturalism and the ethos of atomistic individualism provides a convenient ideological cover for such acts today. Individuals who become exponents of such positions are often celebrated. Their visibility is often strategically useful in the propagation of a debilitating confusion and alienation, which negates a consciousness of who we are–Africans–and a commitment to what we should be doing– reclaiming our culture and  restoring our sovereignty.

No praxis more revolutionary

I consider no praxis more revolutionary than the model provided by the African maroons throughout the Americas who left for us an audacious legacy of struggle for us to study and learn from today.

Enìyàn

Good morning everyone. Rapacious capitalism’s endgame is still mass extinction. Racism has invigorated America’s latent authoritarian tendencies eroding the vaunted strength of democracy.

I am reminded of the Yorùbá wisdom that tells us to “struggle to increase good in the world and not to let any good be lost.” Such an audacity to struggle is a key part of what it means to be Enìyàn (human) in the Yorùbá worldview. It is by confronting such challenges that our humanity gains its full expression. As Segun Gbadegesin writes, “This is the normative dimension of the concept of Enìyàn. The crown of personal life is to be useful to one’s community. The meaning of one’s life is therefore measured by one’s commitment to social ideals and communal existence.”

Welcome to a new day and a new opportunity to be one’s best self.