Tag Archives: Black History

British parliamentary debate on Black History Month

In Bristol on June 7, the statue of Edward Colston was torn down by protesters and thrown in the harbour. Colston was a notorious human trafficker in the late 17th century who was associated with Bristol, one of the main ports connected with trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans.

(London) – This year witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of opposition to racism and Eurocentrism in all forms, in what was popularly known as the Black Lives Matter movement. Initially horrified by the police killing of George Floyd and other events in the US, throughout the country people of all nationalities demanded an end to state racism and police violence in Britain too, an end to all forms of inequality, as well as an end to the public glorification of slavery and colonialism and those who carried out crimes against humanity. Continue reading

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Frederick Douglass to be remembered in Belfast

A proposal to erect a statue dedicated to US abolitionist and activist Frederick Douglass has been passed by Belfast City Council. Douglass, a former slave, visited Belfast in 1845 as part of his lecturing tour of Ireland. Continue reading

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UK: Black History Month and contested history

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been speaking a lot about history recently. October has become by tradition “Black History Month” in England and it has become customary for the Prime Minister of the day to make some pronouncement. Continue reading

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Barbados sheds imperial monarchy

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Countries around the world are re-examining their post-colonial identity after Barbados moved to remove the English queen as the head of state. The island has said that it is planning to become a republic as it moves to withdraw from the Commonwealth and “leave its colonial past behind”.Most of the population of Barbados have ancestors who were victims of colonial slavery. It is estimated that between 1627 to 1807, some 387,000 Africans were shipped to the island against their will by English slave traders. Continue reading

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Caricom demands reparation justice after centuries of slavery

Caricom demands reparation justice after centuries of slavery

Georgetown, Aug 23 (Prensa Latina) – The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is today calling for reparation justice for its nations after centuries of slavery and racism perpetrated by several former colonial metropolis.

In the context of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and midway through the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), Caricom’s member and partner states are advocating through its Reparations Commission (CRC) a reward to the indigenous and afro-descendant communities after the legacy of underdevelopment caused by the colonial period – the native genocide, enslavement and crimes against humanity that hold back the progress of their populations. Continue reading

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‘We Charge Genocide’ – Forerunner at UN of Black Lives Matter

https://www.blackpast.org/wp-content/uploads/We_Charge_Genocide-The_Crime_of_Government_Against_the_Negro_People_by_William_L_Patterson_-1970.jpg

By W. T. Whitney, Jr.

The police killing of George Floyd on May 25 provoked demonstrations worldwide. The United Nations Human Rights Council on June 17 debated a draft resolution introduced by the “African Group” of nations that condemned “structural racism endemic to the criminal justice system in the United States.” The African nations were responding to a letter from the families of murder victims George Floyd, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and Michael Brown; 600 human rights organizations had endorsed it.

Other U.S. appeals for relief from racist violence had arrived at the United Nations. The National Negro Congress and the NAACP delivered petitions in 1946 and 1947, respectively. Three years after the United Nations ratified its Genocide Convention, the New York-based Civil Rights Congress in 1951 submitted a petition to the United Nations. The title was: “We Charge Genocide: The Crime of the Government against the Negro People.”1 Continue reading

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Reality Check: Globe and Mail’s fake news about Biden and Harris

The Globe and Mail declares in its quarter-page lead story today “Historic selection makes California senator the first woman of colour on a U.S. presidential ticket” (“Biden selects Kamala Harris as running mate,” August 12). This is fake news.

Charlene Mitchell, America’s first Black female presidential candidate | Wikimedia Commons

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African Liberation Day: The enduring struggle against colonialism and capitalism

All-Africa Peoples Conference Accra, Ghana 1958.

Pan Africanism Today Secretariat

May 25 is celebrated as African Liberation Day. It is a commemoration of the struggles for liberation from colonialism, and specifically marks a key date in the struggle for Pan-African unity: the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. Comprising 21 member states, the primary aim of the organization was to support the liberation movements in Africa’s remaining colonies and to coordinate the construction of a new African society free of exploitation. Continue reading

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Canada’s relations with Caricom: Self-serving definition of what it means to be a ‘vital partner’

Heads of Government reaffirm solidarity with Cuba at the 31st CARICOM Inter-Sessional Summit held from February 18 -19 in St Michael, Barbados.

By TONY SEED (February 23) – The meeting of the regime change Lima Group hosted by Canada on February 20 in Ottawa comes right on the heels of Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s meeting on February 18-19 with leaders of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was sent as a substitute for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The 15-member organization[1] has served as an effective block to attempts by the U.S. and its allies to use the discredited Organization of American States (OAS) as a political weapon against Venezuela. It has  denied them the number of votes needed to take action against Venezuela in the name of the OAS. This led the U.S. and Canada to set up the illegitimate Lima Group outside the OAS for the purpose of advancing their illegal regime change project. Continue reading

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Reflections on Malcolm X’s legacy

By ISAAC SANEY

This Friday, February 21st, 2020 marks the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, who later took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964. As a revolutionary internationalist and a leader of the Black liberation struggle, Malcolm X shaped and influenced a generation of Black activists, artists, revolutionaries and intellectuals. His impact has been profound and lasting. The assassination’s anniversary is, therefore, a time for serious contemplation of his legacy. Continue reading

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This Day. 400th Anniversary of US slavery

Four hundred years ago, a Portuguese ship named the São João Bautista traveled across the Atlantic Ocean carrying a load of captive Africans from Angola, in southwestern Africa, to the “New World.” Seized by two English pirate ships, the captive Africans ended up in the British colony of Virginia, founded just 12 years earlier, the first permanent English settlement in North America established by the Virginia Company of London in 1671. Only twenty survived the journey. Jamestown, Virginia soon became one of the main areas for the arrival of enslaved Africans. The sale of the 20 Africans to the owners of tobacco fields began the Atlantic slave trade on which the United States was built. Continue reading

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The Englishman who invented the concentration camp

Demonstrations have broken out on Canada to condemn U.S. racist concentration camps. It was in Canada in 1916 that the city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed Kitchener at the height of racist attacks on residents of German origin and Mennonite faith during the height of the first imperialist world war, a consequence of “top down” “war=driven propaganda.” But who was this Kitchener?

The Irish-born inventor of the concentration camp, Horatio Herbert Kitchener.

By NIALL O’DOWD, Irsihcentral

There has been heated discussion on the term “concentration camp” since allegations by Democrats that such camps are soon going to start operating with migrant children in southern U.S. border areas. Continue reading

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Hispaniola Rising: How the US coup in Venezuela is taking root in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

2018.10.17-HaitiPortauPrince-PetroCaribeCorruptionDemo-01

Editor’s Note: The Haitian opposition is calling for the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse over wrecking of the economy and corruption centred around embezzlement by Haitian oligarchs and their patrons from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe oil-discount program. This was a program that benefited the poor and provided funds for development of a self-sufficient economy.

Since last year, Haitians have been demanding an accounting of the PetroCaribe money, which was supposed to be invested in social programs for the poor after the country’s 2010 earthquake, as shown in the above photo from October 17, 2018.

The United States threatened various OAS members like Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, members of CARICOM, with diplomatic and financial action if they voted in favour of non-interference and respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty. The Haitian government capitulated to the U.S. dictate and voted against Venezuela at an OAS meeting in Jannuary, arousing the fury of Haitians still further.

By ARIEL FORNANI in Haitian Times*

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This Day. A reflection on Amílcar Cabral, Portugal and NATO

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Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973)

By TONY SEED

(January 20, 1973) – On 20 January 20 1973, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, leader of the national liberation movement in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde in West Africa, was assassinated, just months before Guinea Bissau won its long independence struggle against Portugal.

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, part of the ancient Mali Empire; parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century. Other parts of the territory in the current country were considered by the Portuguese as part of their empire. Portuguese Guinea was known as the Slave Coast, as it was a major area for the exportation of African slaves by Europeans to the western hemisphere.

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Raven Wilkinson fought racism

On December 17, at the age of 83, ballet icon Raven Wilkinson, the first black woman to sign a contract with a major company, passed away | PEDRO DE LA HOZ

raven wilkinson in costume at the ballet russe de monte carlo.historicheroines.org

Raven Wilkinson in costume at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo | historicheroines.org

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This day. The Haitian revolution begins

The Start of the Revolution

On the night of 14 August 1791, a man named Boukman organised a meeting with enslaved Africans in Bois Caiman, in the northern mountains of the island of Santo Domingo (depicted). This meeting preceded the uprising that began on 22 August 1791 and which would pave the way towards Haiti’s independence. The French quickly captured Boukman, who was leading the uprising, beheaded him and brought the rebellion under control. They exhibited Boukman’s head on Cap’s square to show the slaves that their invincible leader was dead. By 1804 the enslaved Africans led by Toussant L’Overture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines had established the first independent Black state in the Americas – sounding the death knell of French imperial ambitions in the Americas, becoming a beacon for enslaved Africans, and leading to the eventual demise of plantation slavery.

Organized rebellion to slavery in Haiti predates the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. For example, from 1751 until his capture and execution by immolation in 1758, Francois Makandal, a vodoun priest, led a sustained guerilla campaign. The strength of his organization rested on the unity of various maroon (escaped slaves) communities: a unity forged by Makandal on the ideological and philosophical basis of African religions, traditions, values and motifs. Poignantly, the catalyst for the Haitian Revolution 33-years later was the actions of another vodoun priest Dutty Boukman. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the struggle against slavery.

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Emancipation Now! Africans and the Abolition of Slavery – Isaac Saney, Shunpiking Magazine

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This day. George Jackson

September 23, 1941 – August 21, 1971

George Lester Jackson was an African-American activist, author and member of the Black Panther Party. When Jackson was 18 years old, he was sentenced from one year to life for stealing US$70 from a gas station. He spent the next 11 years in prison, eight and a half of them in solitary confinement. Continue reading

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This day. African Liberation Day

african-peopleMay 25 is marked worldwide as African Liberation Day. Since the 1960’s African Liberation Day has served to advance the cause of the African peoples against colonialism and neo-colonialism which keeps them enslaved. Its precursor was African Freedom Day, established in 1958 and celebrated on April 15, later becoming African Liberation Day in 1963. According to http://www.thetalkingdrum.com: Continue reading

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Brief reflection on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination 

By ISAAC SANEY*

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Today, April 4th, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. King’s influence and impact is profound and lasting, shaping a generation of Black activists, artists, and intellectuals. His assassination’s anniversary is, therefore, a time for serious contemplation of his legacy.

In the years following the 1963 March On Washington, he augmented his eloquent and poignant “I Have a Dream” vision with a deepening opposition to Washington’s foreign policy and to the economic system that produced aggression abroad and inequality and poverty at home. Continue reading

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Event. Africa’s Children Return! Fidel, Cuba and Africa

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Tuesday, February 28 — 7:00 pm

BMO Community Room, Halifax Central Library
5440 Spring Garden Road
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Event. Living in the Promised Land – The African Nova Scotian Struggle for Justice and Self-Determination

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Tuesday, February 28 — 3:30 pm
Theatre C – Sir Charles Tupper Medical Bldg.
5850 College St.
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Eleven quotes from Martin Luther King

MartinLutherKingBeyondVietnamWhat peace-lovers must do

Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World Continue reading

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This day. Black Loyalists “voted with their feet,” leave Nova Scotia

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By Isaac Saney

(January 15) – Today is the 225th anniversary of the beginning of one of the most significant and dramatic chapters in the historic efforts of Africans in the Americas to reconnect with – indeed, return to – Africa. It was – and is also – a profound example of the active and conscious historical agency of the oppressed and exploited in their struggle to assert their democratic rights and achieve self-determination. Continue reading

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Tribute to Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 4, 2016)

Muhammad Ali-1
On June 4, 2016, Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century passed away in a Phoenix, Arizona hospital. He had been admitted earlier in the week with respiratory problems and after almost three decades of struggle against Parkinson’s disease. He stopped breathing just after midnight on June 4.

Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky in 1942, he came to prominence at the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 when he won the gold medal in the 175 lb. (light heavyweight) category.

His brilliant skill and boxing style was immediately recognized internationally and his successes inside the ring were matched throughout his life with his uncompromising stands against racism and his defence of the right to conscience and against unjust wars of aggression. This won him great acclaim from the world’s peoples outside the ring long after he retired from boxing. Continue reading

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Book Review – Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and Diaspora, 1919-1939

Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism(From our archives: originally published on May 25, 2014) – This ground-breaking book, based on research undertaken in the archives of the Comintern in Moscow as well as archives in France, Britain, the US and West Africa, documents the activities of the Communist International in relation to Africa and the African diaspora. It focuses on a period when the world was in flux, with inter-imperialist rivalry at its height, when African and Caribbean countries, amongst others, were under colonial domination. Black people in Africa, the Caribbean and other western countries were officially considered inferior, had few rights and racism was at the level of open state policy from so-called “Jim Crow” laws and lynching in the US, to pass laws and segregation in South Africa and the colour bar in Britain. Continue reading

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Anniversary of assassination of Malcolm X – Reflections on Malcolm X’s legacy

Malcolm X (1925 - 1965) at an outdoor rally, probably in New York City | Bob Parent/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) at an outdoor rally, probably in New York City | Bob Parent/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

By ISAAC SANEY

February 21, 2016 marks the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, who later took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964. As a revolutionary internationalist and a leader of the Black liberation struggle, Malcolm X shaped and influenced a generation of Black activists, artists, revolutionaries and intellectuals. His impact has been profound and lasting. The anniversary of his assassination is, therefore, a time for serious contemplation on his legacy. Continue reading

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The Case Against To Kill a Mockingbird

mockingbird down and outOn February 19, news agencies announced the death of the American author Harper Lee. The Toronto Star warmly eulogized a writer “whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, To Kill a Mockingbird, became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film.” Published in 1960, it received the Pulitzer Prize and George Bush awarded Lee the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony held at the White House. In 2015, fifty five years later, Robert Murdoch’s HarperCollins published Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, only her second novel but actually written prior to Mockingbird. Watchman sold more than 1 million copies and was described as “the fastest selling” book in HarperCollins’ history. It was called a “fraud” and an “epic money grab” in the New York Times.

In 1996, “intense community pressure” by the African Canadian community in Nova Scotia successfully managed to remove this and two other novels from the Department of Education’s list of recommended, authorized books. They meant that they could no longer be purchased from the provincial government.

In 2002, a committee consisting of parents and educators, seconded by members of the Black Educators’ Association (BEA), recommended that the book “be removed from school use altogether.” Further, the community courageously boycotted a theatrical production in Halifax on the basis that it did not reflect the black experience and falsified historical reality. Continue reading

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Word. Beyond Vietnam – A time to break silence

 Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on 4 April 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City. It was given exactly one year before his assassination. It is the least well known of Dr. King’s speeches among the masses, and it needs to be read by all. Although his great civil rights sermons have been celebrated, the Riverside speech has many echoes for our contemporary situation.

By Rev. Martin Luther King, 4 April 1967

1967.Martin Luther King-riverside

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. Continue reading

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The Martin Luther King you don’t see on TV

From our archives. By JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON*

MartinLutherKingBeyondVietnam It’s become a TV ritual: Every year in mid-January, around the time of Martin Luther King’s birthday, we get perfunctory network news reports about “the slain civil rights leader.”

The remarkable thing about this annual review of King’s life is that several years – his last years – are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole. Continue reading

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Reflections on Dr. Martin Luther King, JR

By ISAAC SANEY*

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

The annual U.S. holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King is a time for serious contemplation of his actual legacy. The pervasive and dominant narrative freezes in place King’s politics and philosophy, transfixing his thinking to August 28 1963: the March on Washington and his “I Have A Dream Speech.” Of course, selective quotes of “I Have A Dream Speech” are deployed to render a de-radicalized version of King. The subsequent development – up to his April 4, 1968 assassination – of his views on capitalism and imperialism are ignored. Continue reading

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