How Memorial Day Was Stripped of Its African-American Roots

What we now know as Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.

These days, Memorial Day is arranged as a day “without politics”—a general patriotic celebration of all soldiers and veterans, regardless of the nature of the wars in which they participated. This is the opposite of how the day emerged, with explicitly partisan motivations, to celebrate those who fought for justice and liberation.

The concept that the population must “remember the sacrifice” of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. It came about in the Jim Crow period as the Northern and Southern ruling classes sought to reunite the country around apolitical mourning, which required erasing the “divisive” issues of slavery and Black citizenship. These issues had been at the heart of the struggles of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

To truly honor Memorial Day means putting the politics back in. It means reviving the visions of emancipation and liberation that animated the first Decoration Days. It means celebrating those who have fought for justice, while exposing the cruel manipulation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members who have been sent to fight and die in wars for conquest and empire.

Read more here. See image with caption here.


The Difference Between Us (Documentary on race and racial difference)

Omowale Kwabena Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) would be 88 years-old today. He was born on this day in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was assassinated in 1965. Brother Malcolm’s wife, Sister Betty Shabazz, died tragically in a fire in 1997–set by their grandson, Malcolm Shabazz. Malcolm Shabazz was murdered this past week, as was Malcolm’s father and several uncles (I think I have that right). He is survived by six daughters. Wishing peace and justice for the Shabazz family. Happy Birthday Malcolm X. May your sacrifices and your revolutionary example never be forgotten. Axé!


Angela Davis critiques violence on The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975: http://youtu.be/lXQxyYllXnM via @youtube | dap @MmabathoMontsho

How America Underdevelops Africa: Death, Plunder, Resistance

The ravaging of Africa has been enriching Europe and North America for more than 500 years. First, European empires imposed slavery and colonialism on the continent. After 1945, the United States took over as the dominant neo-colonial power.

Through the Pentagon and the CIA, the U.S. government has fueled 14 wars in Africa. The methods employed include direct and proxy invasions as well as arms transfers and military training. The U.S. has used the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to systematically demolish African economies and health and education sectors. This military and economic war enables the looting of Africa’s resources by Western multinational corporations. Washington’s genocidal imperial strategy has killed more than 26 million Africans but failed to suppress popular resistance.

Read more here.

Legacy of J.J. Rawlings in Ghanaian Politics

Jerry John Rawlings, Ghana’s leader since the December 31, 1981 coup until the 2000 elections, was a Flight Lieutenant in the Air Force and a militant populist when he led the first coup of June 4, 1979, that overthrew the regime of Gen. Fred Akuffo, who had, in turn, deposed his predecessor, Gen. I.K. Acheampong, in a palace coup. According to Shillington (1992), Rawlings was convinced that after one year of the Akuffo regime, nothing had been changed and the coup amounted to a “waste of time,” and “it was then up to him to change not only the status quo, but also put the country back on track.”1

Rawlings, unlike many other leaders in Ghana’s history, subsequently led the country through the difficult years of economic recovery and succeeded in giving back to Ghanaians their national pride. Chazan (1983) observes “without Rawlings’ strength of character and unwavering determination, Ghana would not have survived the Economic Recovery Programs (ERPs) of the 1980s put in place by the ruling Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).”2 Rawlings saw his leadership role to be that of a “watchdog” for ordinary people and he addressed problems of incompetence, injustice and corruption.

Rawlings also instituted a transition from authoritarianism to multi-party democracy by attempting to decentralize the functions of government from Accra to other parts of the country.3 When the PNDC established the People’s Defence Committees (PDCs), a system of cooperatives, it became a unique move never before seen in Ghana’s political economy.

Read entire essay here

By The Numbers: Slave-Owning U.S. Presidents | Loop21

very few people ever mention that a significant number of early U.S. presidents purchased and kept African slaves. The first and third presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, have a holiday created in their honor, and are hardly tainted by the brutal legacy of enslavement, in which they both participated.

In fact, 63 percent of U.S. presidents owned slaves before it was abolished in 1865.

12- The number of presidents who owned slaves: Lopresti found evidence that a total of 12 U.S. presidents bought slaves or acquired them through inheritance. They include Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses Grant.

8- The number of presidents who owned slaves while they served as president: This number is a little more interesting. Lopresti writes that some presidents owned slaves to keep up their plantations while in office. They include Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk, and Grant.

Read more here.


Mutulu Shakur documentary. Mutulu is a political prisoner, brother of Assata Shakur and step-dad of Tupac Shakur 


Clarence 13X seperating from the NOI #NationsofGodsandEarths #FivePercentNation