A Brief History of Black Nationalism and RBG's Current Academic Contributions

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A Brief History of Black Nationalism and RBG's Current Academic Contributions

A Brief History of Black Nationalism and RBG's Current Academic Contributions

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  • 1. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010 A BRIEF HISTORY OF BLACK NATIONALISM AND RBG’s CURRENT ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTIONS Compiled and designed by RBGStreetScholar (Marc Imhotep Cray, M.D.) The Official Black History Mixtapes 2010 Press BookletBlack nationalism (BN) advocates a racial definition (or redefinition) of black national identity, asopposed to multiculturalism. There are different black nationalist philosophies but the principlesof all black nationalist ideologies are1) black unity, and2) black self-determination/political, social and economic independence from White society.Martin Delany is considered to be the grandfather of black nationalism. 1
  • 2. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010 RBG=BLACK NATIONALISMInspired by the apparent success of the Haitian Revolution, the origins of black nationalism inpolitical thought lie in the 19th century with people like Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad,Henry McNeal Turner, Martin Delany, David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, EdwardWilmot Blyden,Paul Cuffe, etc.The repatriation of black American slaves to Liberia or Sierra Leone was a common blacknationalist theme in the 19th century. Marcus Garveys Universal Negro ImprovementAssociation of the 1910s and 1920s was the most powerful black nationalist movement todate, claiming 11 million members. Although the future of Africa is seen as being central toblack nationalist ambitions, some adherents to black nationalism are intent on the eventualcreation of a separate black American nation in the U.S. or Western hemisphere. According to Wilson Jeremiah Moses in his famous work Classical Black Nationalism, black nationalism as a philosophy can be examined from three different periods giving rise to various ideological perspectives for what we can today consider what black nationalism really is. The first being pre-Classical black nationalism beginning from the time the Africans were brought ashore in the Americas to the Revolutionary period. After the Revolutionary War, a sizable number of Africans in the colonies, particularly in New England and Pennsylvania, were literate and had becomedisgusted with their social conditions that had spawned from Enlightenment ideas. We find insuch historical personalities as Prince Hall, Richard Allen, and Absalom Jones a need tofound certain organizations as the Free African Society, African Masonic lodges andChurch Institutions. These institutions would serve as early foundations to developing 2
  • 3. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010independent and separate organizations. By the time of Post-Reconstruction Era a new form ofblack nationalism was emerging among various African-American clergy circles. Separatecircles had already been established and were accepted by African-Americans because of theovert oppression that had been in existence since the inception of the United States. Thisphenomenon led to the birth of modern black nationalism which stressed the need to separateand build separate communities that promote strong racial pride and also to collectivizeresources. This ideology had become the philosophy of groups like the Moorish Science Templeand the Nation of Islam. Although, the Sixties brought on a heightened period of religious,cultural and political nationalism, black nationalism would later influence afrocentricity .BackgroundMarcus Garvey Marcus Garvey encouraged black people around the world to be proud of their race and to see beauty in their own kind. A central idea to Garveyism was that black people in every part of the world were one people and they would never advance if they did not put aside their cultural and ethnic differences and unite. Black people, Garvey felt, should love and take care of other black people.The principles of Garveyism are race first, self-reliance and nationhood. Race first is the ideathat black people should support other black people first and foremost, self-reliance is the ideathat black people should be politically and economically self-reliant (it was important to Garveythat black people develop businesses owned and operated by black people and that theypatronize these businesses) and nationhood is the idea that black people should create aUnited States of Africa which would safeguard the interests of black people worldwide.To disseminate the UNIAs program, Garvey founded the Negro World newspaper and toencourage black economic independence, he founded the Black Star Line in 1919 as well asthe Negro Factories Corporation. The UNIA also initiated the Universal African Legion, aparamilitary group, the Black Cross Nurses, the African Black Cross Society and the BlackCross Trading and Navigation Corporation. Garvey attracted millions of supporters and claimedeleven million members for the UNIA. Marcus Garvey, however, did not advocate that all blackpeople should leave the United States to emigrate to Africa (a strong United States of Africawould protect the interests of all black people everywhere in the world so a physical migration ofall black people in the West was unnecessary and, in some cases, undesirable).Although Marcus Garvey was an ardent supporter of racial separatism (he encouraged blackpeople to separate themselves from whites residentially, develop their own all black businessesand schools, and preached against inter-racial marriage as race suicide), he made it clear thathe held no hostility towards whites and believed in the equality of all human beings. Garvey setthe precedent for subsequent black nationalist and pan-Africanist thought including that ofKwame Nkrumah (and several other African leaders) the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X and mostnotably, Carlos Cooks (who is considered the ideological son of Marcus Garvey) and his AfricanNationalist Pioneer Movement. 3
  • 4. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010 Marcus Garveys beliefs are articulated in The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey as well as Message To The People: The Course of African PhilosophyMalcolm X Between 1953 and 1965, while most black leaders worked in the civil rights movement integrate black people into mainstream American life, Malcolm X preached independence. He maintained that Western culture, and the Judeo- Christian religious traditions on which it is based, was inherently racist. Constantly ridiculing mainstream civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X declared that nonviolence was the "philosophy of the fool". In response to Reverend Kings famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Malcolm X quipped, "WhileKing was having a dream, the rest of us Negroes are having a nightmare."Malcolm X believed that black people must develop their own society and ethical values,including the self-help, community-based enterprises that the black Muslims supported. He alsothought that African Americans should reject integration or cooperation with EuropeanAmericans until they could achieve cooperation among themselves. Malcolm called for a "blackrevolution." He declared there "would be bloodshed" if the racism problem in America remainedignored, and he renounced any sort of "compromise" with whites. After taking part in a Hajj(pilgrimage to Mecca), he recanted extremist opinions in favor of mainstream Islam and ["truebrotherhood"], and was soon after assassinated during a speech held at The AudubonBallroom, NYC.Upon his return from Mecca, Malcolm X abandoned his commitment to racial separatism;however, he was still in favour of black nationalism and advocated that black people in the U.S.be self-reliant. The beliefs of post-Mecca Malcolm X are articulated in the charter of hisOrganization of Afro-American Unity (a black nationalist group patterned after the Organizationof African Unity). 4
  • 5. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010Frantz Fanon While in France Frantz Fanon wrote his first book, Black Skin, White Mask, an analysis of the impact of colonial subjugation on the black psyche. This book was a very personal account of Fanon’s experience being black: as a man, an intellectual, and a party to a French education. Although Fanon wrote the book while still in France, most of his other work was written while in North Africa (in particular Algeria). It was during this time that he produced his greatest works, A Dying Colonialism and perhaps the most important work on decolonization yet written, The Wretched of the Earth.. In it, Fanon lucidly analyzes the role of class,race, national culture and violence in the struggle for national liberation. In this seminal workFanon expounded his views on the liberating role of violence for the colonized, as well as thegeneral necessity of violence in the anti-colonial struggle. Both books firmly established Fanonin the eyes of much of the Third World as the leading anti-colonial thinker of the 20th century. In1959 he compiled his essays on Algeria in a book called LAn Cinq: De la RévolutionAlgérienne.Black Power Black Power was a political movement expressing a new racial consciousness among black people in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Black Power represented both a conclusion to the decades civil rights movement and an alternative means of combating the racism that persisted despite the efforts of black activists during the early 1960s. The meaning of Black Power was debated vigorously while the movement was in progress. To some it represented African-Americans insistence on racial dignity and self-reliance, which was usually interpreted as economic and political independence, as well as freedom from European American authority. These themes had beenadvanced most forcefully in the early 1960s by Malcolm X. He argued that black people shouldfocus on improving their own communities, rather than striving for complete integration, and thatblack people had a duty to retaliate against violent assaults. The publication of TheAutobiography of Malcolm X (1965) created further support for the idea of African-Americanself-determination and had a strong influence on the emerging leaders of the Black Powermovement. Other interpreters of Black Power emphasized the cultural heritage of black people,especially the African roots of their identity. This view encouraged study and celebration of blackhistory and culture. In the late 1960s black college students requested curricula in African-American studies that explored their distinctive culture and history. Still another view of blackPower called for a revolutionary political struggle to reject racism and economic exploitation inthe United States and abroad, as well as colonialism. This interpretation encouraged thealliance of non-whites, including Hispanics and Asians, to improve the quality of their lives. 5
  • 6. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010Uhuru Movement The Uhuru Movement is the largest contemporary black movement advocating black nationalism and was founded in the 1980s in St. Petersburg, Florida. Composed mainly of the African Peoples Socialist Party, the Uhuru Movement also includes other organizations based in both Africa and the United States.These organizations are in the process of establishing a broader organization called the AfricanSocialist International. "Uhuru" is the Swahili word for freedom.The Republic of New Afrika (RNA) A was a social movement organization that proposed three objectives. First, the creation of an independent Black-majority country situated in the southeastern region of the United States. The vision for this country was first promulgated on March 31, 1968, at a Black Government Conference held in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Proponents of this vision layclaim to five Southern states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina)and the Black-majority counties adjacent to this area in Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida. Asimilar claim is made for all the Black-majority counties and cities throughout the United States.Second, they demanded several billion dollars in reparations from the US government for thedamages inflicted on Black people by chattel enslavement, Jim Crow segregation, andpersistent modern-day forms of racism. Third, they demanded a referendum of all AfricanAmericans in order to decide what should be done with their citizenry. Regarding the latter, itwas claimed that Black people were not given the choice to decide in regard to what theywanted to do after emancipation.History of the RNA The Black Government Conference was convened by the Malcolm X Society and the Group on Advanced Leadership (GOAL), two influential Detroit-based organizations with broad followings. This weekend meeting produced a Declaration of Independence (signed by 100 conferees out of approximately 500), a constitution, and the framework for a provisional government. Robert F. Williams, a controversial human rights advocate then living in exile in China, was chosen as the first President of the provisional government; attorney MiltonHenry was named First Vice President (a student of Malcolm Xs teachings); and BettyShabazz, widow of Malcolm X, served as Second Vice President.The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA) advocated/advocates aform of cooperative economics through the building of New Communities—named after theUjamaa concept promoted by Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere; militant self-defense throughthe building of local Peoples Militias and an aboveground standing army called the BlackLegion; and respect for international law through the building of organizations that champion theright of self-determination for people of African descent.During its existence, the organization was involved in numerous controversial issues. Forexample, it attempted to assist Oceanhill-Brownsville in seceding from the United States duringthe conflict that took place there. Additionally, it was involved with shootouts at New Bethel 6
  • 7. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010 RBG’s CURRENT ACADEMICBaptist Church in 1969 (during the one-year anniversary of thefounding) and another in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1971 (where it CONTRIBUTION RBG NETWORK FUNCTIONS WITHINhad begun to start its occupation of the South on a single farm). THE CONTEXT OF OUR OVERALLWithin both events, law-enforcement officials were killed as well COMMUNIVERSITY AND ORGANIZINGas injured and harsh legal action was imposed against AND UNIFYING CHARGE.organizational members. RBG WORLDWIDE 1 NATION IS HISTORY , CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT,The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) believed the SOCIALIZATION AND COMMUNICATIONS ANDRepublic of New Afrika to be a seditious group and conducted INFORMATION TECHNOLOGYraids on its meetings, which led to violent confrontations, and the http://rbgnation.ning.com/arrest and repeated imprisonment of RNA leaders noted above. UNLOCK THE KEY IS ADVANCEDThe group was a target of the COINTELPRO operation by the POLITICAL EDUCATION ANDfederal authorities but was also subject to diverse Red Squad ORGANIZATIONS MEMBERSHIPactivities of Michigan State Police and Detroit Police PORTAL http://bangout.ning.com/Department—among other cities. SOUL PRESCRIPTIONS ISThere is a new era for "The Republic". It is the party of THE JAZZOLOGY AND HEALING POWERBLACK PATRIOTS- a moderately conservative group of New OF MUSIC STUDIES, AS WELL ASAfricans that believe in demonstrating compassion and THE WRITINGS/TEACHINGS OFprosperity for all people (most especially, NEW AFRICANS ELDER SCHOLAR AND REPORTER J R STANTON(former African-Americans). To form a more perfect union, the http://soulprescriptions.ning.com/Republic of New Africa is the foundation to create changepolitically, economically, socially and culturally among the ORGANIZATION OF NEWdescendants of slaves in America. AFRIKAN UNITY IS A MODERNIZED IMPLEMENTATIONThe critical difference in "The Republic" is the collective effort to OF MINISTER MALCOLMS OAAUstrategically purchase land in centralized regions of the United AS WELL AS THE TEACHINGS OFStates of America. PAC/NEW AFRIKAN PANTHAZ AND MARCUS GARVEY. AS WELL AS OUR COMPREHENSIVE NEW The time is ripe to heed the long-standing, and most often AFRIKAN IN AMERICAoverlooked, calls for Afrikan Unity, Cultural Development, HISTORICAL TOPICS LIBRARYEducation and Social Transformation. Such is what RBG most http://onau2x.ning.com/fundamentally represents. Contrary to the prevailing,misinformed assumptions, RBG (Black Nationalism / CEMOTAP-COMMITTEE TOPanAfrikanism ) as an ideology, interaction and academic ELIMINATE MEDIA OFFENSIVE TOprocess is not a rabid assertion of Black supremacy. Unlike AFRIKAN PEOPLE IS THEwhite Nationalism and American patriotism, RBG (Black PSYCHOLOGY SOCIOLOGY ANDNationalism / PanAfrikanism ) and its proponents do not seek to POLITICS OF MEDIA.humiliate, exploit, or oppress any person or people. Rather, RBG http://cemotap.ning.com// (Black Nationalism / PanAfrikanism ) is a positive affirmation ofthe cultural, political, social, economic and moral identity and RBG STREET SCHOLARSconcerns of African people. In its most rudimentary forms, it THINK TANK FREEreacts to the brutally violent and repressive conditions under INTERACTIVE PUBLICATIONSwhich African people have and continue to live. White / TUTORIALS (160) FORsupremacy / racism creates an environment where whites are BROWSING, STUDYING ANDnecessarily viewed with suspicion, but we are not anti-white. We DOWNLOADare Afrikan/ Black on purpose and Black folks must first and http://www.scribd.com/document _collections/2333990foremost be beholden to each other. The most basic expressionof RBG (Black Nationalism/ PanAfrikanism ) thought is thatBlack / Afrikan people in America and throughout the diaspora 7
  • 8. RBG STREET SCHOLARS THINK TANK Last Updated July, 2010are bound by the common history and experience of historical chattel and present day mentalslavery, suffering and death under the boot heel of white supremacy / racism. Most importantly,RBG is about self-reliance, self- respect and self-defense toward the total liberation andunification of all Afrikan people that desire to defend, define and develop in our own image andinterest. FURTHER STUDY OF OUR PROGRAM AND PLAN 8