afro american unity

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Malcolm X and Maya Angelou in Ghana, 1964.

Malcolm X on his last visit to Accra had announced a desire to create a foundation he called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. His proposal included taking the plight of the African-Americans to the United Nations and asking the world council to intercede on the part of beleaguered blacks. The idea was so stimulating to the community of African-American residents that I persuaded myself I should return to the States to help establish the organization. 

We all read Malcolm’s last letter to me.

Dear Maya,

I was shocked and surprised when your letter arrived but I was also pleased because I only had to wait two months for this one whereas previously I had to wait almost a year. You see I haven’t lost my wit. (smile)

Your analysis of our people’s tendency to talk over the head of the masses in a language that is too far above and beyond them is certainly true. You can communicate because you have plenty of (soul) and you always keep your feet firmly rooted on the ground.

I am enclosing some articles that will give you somewhat of an idea of my daily experiences here and you will then be better able to understand why it sometimes takes me a long time to write. I was most pleased to learn that you might be hitting in this direction this year. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful woman. You know that I will always do my utmost to be helpful to you in any way possible so don’t hesitate.

Signed
Your brother Malcolm 

(Excerpt from Maya Angelou’s memoir A Song Flung Up To Heaven)

Today In History

Malcolm X, Muslim and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), was born in Omaha, NE, on this date in 1925.
“When I am dead, I want you to just watch and see if I’m not right in what I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with “hate.” He will make use of me dead, as he has made use of me alive, as a convenient symbol of “hatred” – and that will help him to escape facing the truth that all I have been doing is holding up a mirror to reflect, to show, the history of unspeakable crimes that his race has committed against my race.

You watch. I will be labeled as, at best, an “irresponsible” black man. I have always felt about this accusation that the black “leader” whom white men consider to be “responsible” is invariably the black “leader” who never gets any results. You only get action as a black man if you are regarded by the white man as “irresponsible.” In fact, this much I had learned when I was just a little boy. And since I have been some kind of a “leader” of black people here in the racist society of America, I have been more reassured each time the white man resisted me, or attacked me harder – because each time made me more certain that I was on the right track in the American black man’s best interests. The racist white man’s opposition automatically made me know that I did offer the black man something worthwhile.“ - MalcolmX

(photo: Malcolm X)

- CARTER Magazine

…if we are ever to liberate ourselves from the bonds of white supremacy. We must launch a cultural revolution to unbrainwash an entire people.“ A cultural revolution. Why, brothers, that’s a crazy revolution. When you tell this black man in America who he is, where he came from, what he had when he was there, he’ll look around and ask himself, "Well, what happened to it, who took it away from us and how did they do it?” Why, brothers, you’ll have some action just like that. When you let the black man in America know where he once was and what he once had, why, he only needs to look at himself now to realize something criminal was done to him to bring him down to the low condition that he’s in today.  

- Malcolm X  (1964) Malcolm X’s Speech at the Founding Rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity 


In determining itself as an entity, Dasein always does so in the light of a possibility which it is itself and which, in its very being, it somehow understands…this is the formal meaning of Dasein’s existential constitution…We are always answering the question of identity by being (or living) some possibility of human life: who I am is more fundamental than what I am accountable for

When Sartre says: “We are condemned to be free.” We are “condemned” or delivered over to confronting the question of identity- ourselves!

- William BlattnerHeidegger’s ‘Being and Time’: A Reader’s Guide

I am a man and what I have to recapture is the whole past of the world, I am not responsible only for the slavery involved in Santo Domingo, every time man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with his act. In no way does my basic vocation have to be drawn from the past of peoples of color. In no way do I have to dedicate myself to reviving some black civilization unjustly ignored. I will not make myself the man of any past. My black skin is not a repository for specific values. Haven’t I got better things to do on this earth than avenge the blacks of the 17th century?

I as a man of color do not have the right to hope that in the white man there will be a crystallization of guilt towards the past of my race. I as a man of color do not have the right of stamping down the pride of my former master. I have neither the right nor the duty to demand reparations for my subjugated ancestors. There is no black mission. There is no white burden. I do not want to be victim to the rules of a black world. Am I going to ask this white man to answer for the slave traders of the 17th century? Am I going to try by every means available to cause guilt to burgeon in their souls? I am not a slave to slavery that dehumanized my ancestors. It would be of enormous interest to discover a black literature or architecture from the 3rd century B.C, we would be overjoyed to learn of the existence of a correspondence between some black philosopher and Plato, but we can absolutely not see how this fact would change the lives of 8 year old kids working the cane fields of Martinique or Guadeloupe. I find myself in the world and I recognize I have one right alone: of demanding human behavior from the other.


- Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Malcolm and Martin, closer than we ever thought

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was leaving a news conference one afternoon when a tall man with a coppery complexion stepped out of the crowd and blocked his path. Malcolm X, the African-American Muslim leader who once called King “Rev. Dr. Chicken-wing,” extended his hand and smiled.

“Well, Malcolm, good to see you,” King said after taking Malcolm X’s hand.

“Good to see you,” Malcolm X replied as both men broke into huge grins while a gaggle of photographers snapped pictures of their only meeting.

That encounter on March 26, 1964, lasted only a minute. But a photo of that meeting has tantalized scholars and supporters of both men for more than 45 years.

As the 85th birthday of Malcolm X is marked on Wednesday, history has freeze-framed him as the angry black separatist who saw whites as blue-eyed devils. Yet near the end of his life, Malcolm X was becoming more like King – and King was becoming more like him. “In the last years of their lives, they were starting to move toward one another,” says David Howard-Pitney, who recounted the Capitol Hill meeting in his book “Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. "While Malcolm is moderating from his earlier position, King is becoming more militant,” Pitney says.

Malcolm X was reaching out to King even before he broke away from the Nation of Islam and embraced Sunni Islam after a pilgrimage to Mecca, says Andrew Young, a member of King’s inner circle at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights group King headed.“Even before his trip to Mecca, Malcolm used to come by the SCLC’s office,” Young says. “Unfortunately, Dr. King was never there when he came." 

He reached out to King and other civil rights leaders. In 1965, Malcolm X traveled to Selma, Alabama, where King was leading a campaign, to offer support. "Brother Malcolm was definitely making an outreach to some civil rights leaders,” says A. Peter Bailey, an original member of the group Malcolm X founded, The Organization of Afro-American Unity, and a friend of Malcolm X. “He believed that the one who would be most responsive would be Dr. King.”

The Muslim leader had developed an appreciation for King, Bailey says.“He had come to believe that King believed in what he was doing,” Bailey says. “He believed in nonviolence; it just wasn’t a show. He developed respect for him. I heard him say you have to give respect to men who put their lives on the line.”

King’s movement toward Malcolm began as he shifted the civil rights movement to the North, friends and scholars say. During the last three years of his life, King became more radical. He talked about eliminating poverty and providing a guaranteed annual income for all U.S. citizens. He came out against the Vietnam War, and said American society would have to be restructured.He also veered into Malcolm X’s rhetorical territory when he started preaching black self-pride, says Pitney.

“King is photographed a number of times in 1967 and ‘68 wearing a 'Black is Beautiful’ button,’ ” Pitney says.

A year before King died, the journalist David Halberstam even told him he “sounded like a nonviolent Malcolm X,” Pitney says.

In the epic PBS civil rights series, Coretta Scott King, the civil rights leader’s widow, said King never took Malcolm X’s biting criticisms of his nonviolence stance personally. “I know Martin had the greatest respect for Malcolm …,” she said. “I think that if Malcolm had lived, at some point the two would have come closer together and would have been a very strong force.”

(via CNN)

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This is Mr. Dawnvel Weekes and Mrs. Evelyn Weekes💑. He’s 81 and she’s 78 and they where together for 51 but married for 43🎈. Had 3 kids, 2 girls, his own and the other he raised like his own son👪. They had 7 grandchildren👴👵. She suffered of kidney failure during the last 78 years of her life, she told the doctors she wasnt staying in a hospital to but she wajted to spend her last few weeks with her family and so she did😇. And on July 28th at 3:29am she past away.

I just want her to be acknowledged. And may she Rest in piece.

On This Day: June 28

Stonewall Riots Anniversary

  • 1885: Francesco Saverio Merlino is in Paris in an effort to coordinate Italian and French anarchist groups.
  • 1894: Labor Day becomes an official United States holiday in wake of deaths of workers at hands of US military during the Pullman Strike. It is celebrated on the first Monday of September.
  • 1905: 1905 Revolution: Battleship Potemkin enters port of Odessa under control of its mutinous crew.
  • 1906: Shūsui Kōtoku speaks at a large public meeting in Tokyo.
  • 1911: Anarchist singer Gaston Coute dies in Paris.
  • 1914: Third session of the anarchist conference in São Paulo.
  • 1916: 50,000 workers participate in one-day protest strike over the trial of socialist anti-war leader Karl Leibnecht.
  • 1917: 9,000, including WEB DuBois, parade silently down Fifth Avenue in New York City against lynching & racist laws.
  • 1919: International Labour Organisation formed as part of the League of Nations.
  • 1929: Edward Carpenter dies in Guildford, Surrey. He was a socialist poet, philosopher, anthologist, and early activist for rights for homosexuals.
  • 1934: Anarchist Kenneth Patchen marries Miriam Oikemus.
  • 1936: Alexander Berkman dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nice, France.
  • 1942: Marxist Chris Hani born in Transkei, South Africa. He was leader of South African Communist Party and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.
  • 1947: Black Panther Party activist Mark Clark born in Peoria, Illinois.
  • 1950: Bodo League massacre begins. 200,000 communists & other political prisoners are killed by the South Korean military during the Korean War.
  • 1956: A crowd of 100,000 workers gather in Poznan, Poland. The government responds with 400 tanks. Seventy-four are killed.
  • 1964: Organization of Afro-American Unity is founded by Malcolm X, lasts until his death.
  • 1969: Stonewall Riots begin at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan.
  • 2005: The Zapatistas release the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
  • 2006: Léo Ferré performs at the Teatro Calabresi in San Benedetto del Tronto.
  • 2010: G-20 Toronto summit protests ends.
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What happened on February 21 in the past:

Malcolm X, Muslim, Black Nationalist, and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), was assassinated on this date in 1965.

Lemuel Haynes, Revolutionary War Veteran and the first black minister to serve for a white congregation, became the first black person to receive an honorary degree (Master of Arts) from a white college (Middlebury College) on this date in 1804.

Nina Simone, entertainer known as the “High Priestess of Soul,” was born in Tryon, NC, on this date in 1933. Simone recorded the highly acclaimed “I Love You Porgy” in 1959.

Barbara Jordan, lawyer, educator, Congresswoman, and the first black person to give the keynote address at a national political convention, was born in Houston, TX, on this date in 1936.


Civil rights activist, Julian Bond, was elected Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors on this date in 1998.

It’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month as well as being Women’s HIstory Month, so today I thought I wold profile Yuri Kochiyama

Today’s woman of the day is Yuri Kochiyama. Kochiyama was a Japanese American human rights activist.

Mary Yuriko Nakahara was born on May 19, 1921 in San Pedro, California to Japanese immigrants. Her family was relatively affluent and she grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood. In her youth she attended church and taught Sunday school. Kochiyama attended San Pedro High School. She attended Compton Junior College, where she studied English, journalism, and art. Yuri Kochiyama was a school teacher at the Presbyterian church close to where she resided.

Her life changed on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor. After the bombings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which consisted of three tall white men,barged through looking for her father. Within a matter of minutes, the three white men took her father away as he was considered a “suspect” who could threaten national security. Her father was sick to begin with and he was just released from the hospital when the FBI arrested him. Her father died the day after his release.

The U.S. government ordered Yuri, her mother and brother to leave their home in San Pedro. They were forced to move to the War Relocation Authority concentration camp at Jerome, Arkansas, where they lived for the next three years. While interned, she met her husband, Bill Kochiyama. The couple moved to New York in 1948 and lived in public housing for the next twelve years.

In 1960, Kochiyama and her husband Bill moved to Harlem in New York City and became acquainted with Malcolm X and was a member of his Organization of Afro-American Unity. She was present at his assassination on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, and held him in her arms as he lay dying. She was able to form with a bond with Malcolm X because she saw that African Americans were being oppressed as well. She was sitting in the front of the Ballroom when assassins came in and killed him.

In 1977, Kochiyama joined the group of Puerto Ricans that took over the Statue of Liberty to draw attention to the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. Kochiyama and other activists demanded the release of five Puerto Rican nationalists who were jailed in the United States for more than 20 years. According to Kochiyama, despite a strong movement enabling them to occupy the statue for nine hours, they intended to “give up peacefully when the police came.” The five Puerto Ricans were eventually released.

Kochiyama also became a mentor during the Asian American movement that grew during and after the Vietnam War protests. Yuri and her husband could secure reparations and government apologies for injustices toward Asian Americans such as the Japanese American internment. President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988 which, among other things, awarded $20,000 to each Japanese American internment survivor.

In 2005, Kochiyama was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize through the “1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005” project

“Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware. It is the perfect vehicle for students. Consciousness-raising is pertinent for power, and be sure that power will not be abusively used, but used for building trust and goodwill domestically and internationally. Tomorrow’s world is yours to build”.

Yuri Kochiyama
1921-2014

Yuri Kochiyama called out to Malcolm X, “Can I shake your hand?”
“What for?” he asked.
Her reply: “To congratulate you for giving direction to your people”.
And that was the beginning of their friendship in 1963.

Yuri Kochiyama (b. 1921), a Muslim Asian-American, a Pan-Africanist who was a close friend of Malcolm X, and Assata Shakur. She was actively apart of the Black struggle as she joined Malcolm’s “Pan-African Organization of Afro-American Unity” and advocated for reparations for both African-Americans and Japanese Americans who were victims of American interment camps. She was also active against the profiling of Muslims, Middle Eastern and South Asians. #POCSolidarity

Now that white people want big lips, it’s considered cool and attractive. Excuse my language, but that’s some fuck shit.

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February 21st 1965: Malcolm X assassinated

On this day in 1965, African-American civil rights leader Malcolm X was assassinated aged 39. Born as Malcolm Little in Nebraska in 1925, his family were forced to relocate when the Ku Klux Klan threatened his father, who was active in the black nationalist movement. Malcolm’s father was ultimately murdered by white supremacists - but the white police insisted it was suicide - and the family disintegrated. The young Malcolm dropped out of school and became involved in crime, eventually going to prison for burglary in 1946. While imprisoned, he was exposed to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, who argued that the white man is the devil and cannot live peaceably with blacks, who should establish a separate black nation. Malcolm was powerfully affected by this ideology, and changed his last name to reject the ‘slave’ name he had been given. After his release from prison, Malcolm X became a preacher in New York, calling for black self-defence against white aggression. His eloquent advocacy of black nationalism and the neccessity of securing civil rights “by any means necessary”, including violence, made him a respected, but also feared, figure. Malcolm X was feared by white and black Americans, as some civil rights activists worried that his more radical message threatened the strategy of non-violence espoused by Martin Luther King Jr.. While his fame contributed to the Nation of Islam’s growing popularity, Malcolm began to split from the organisation, disillusioned by Elijah Muhammad’s hypocrisy and alleged corruption. He formally left the organisation in 1964, and visited Mecca, an experience which tempered his rhetoric and led him to abandon the argument that whites are devils. At this point, Malcolm changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, returning to America influenced by socialism and pan-Africanism and more hopeful for a peaceful resolution to America’s race problems. As he was preparing to speak at a rally for his recently-founded Organisation of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City, Malcolm X was shot 15 times by three members of the Nation of Islam. In death, his legacy loomed large over the civil rights movement, and African-American activists increasingly urged black power for black people. Malcolm X remains one of the most famous and respected figures of the civil rights movement, and his seminal autobiography is considered one of the most important books of the twentieth century.

“We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

95 years ago today, Japanese-American civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama was born.

During her lifetime Kochiyama advocated for many revolutionary movements including Black Liberation. She was even a close friend and supporter of Malcolm X.

Kochiyama got her start in social justice work after she and her family were sent to an internment camp during World War II. It was there that she began noticing the similarities in injustices between the treatment of Black people under Jim Crow and the interment of Japanese-Americans.

When Kochiyama and her family moved to Harlem in the 1960s, she became very involved in political activism, inviting other civil rights activists like the Freedom Riders, to gatherings at her home. She later met Malcolm X and joined his Organization of Afro-American Unity. When Malcom X was assassinated in 1965, Kochiyama held him in her arms as he died.

In 1977, Kochiyama joined the group of Puerto Ricans who took over the Statue of Liberty in an attempt to draw attention to the Puerto Rican independence struggle.

Kochiyama dedicated her life to several causes including the anti-war movement, nuclear disarmament, political prisoners’ rights and reparations to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II. She was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Via teleSUR English

Yuri Kochiyama is a Japanese American human rights activist, but often remembered for her work in The Black Panther Party. In 1960, Kochiyama and her spouse moved to Harlem in New York City and joined the Harlem Parents Committee. She became acquainted with Malcolm X and was a member of his Organization of Afro-American Unity. She was also present at Malcolm X’s assassination on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, and held him in her arms as he lay dying.

Malcolm X was a conscious brother. Before when he was an unconscious brother, he wasn’t a member of any organization. He didn’t care about no organization. But Malcolm X was ready to throw a brick at the police just like any conscious brother. He was unconscious. When Malcolm became conscious he became a member of the Nation of Islam. And when Malcolm left the Nation of Islam, Malcolm - knowing the importance of organizations - created 2 organizations: the Muslim Mosque Incorporated and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm X knew the necessity of organization.
—  Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture)

Queen Mother Moore, born July 27, 1898

Queen Mother Moore was a Black nationalist and Pan Africanist leader in the U.S. for over 60 years. In the 1920s she was a member of Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), then in the 1930s joined the campaign to free the Scottsboro Nine and through that joined the Communist Party, which she was a member of until the party dropped its support for Black self-determination.

She organized the first Black rent strikes in New York City and helped form the Harriet Tubman Association, which worked to organize Black women workers including domestic workers. She was president of the Universal Association of Ethiopian Women and the Committee for Reparations for Descendants of U.S. Slaves. In 1955 she helped begin a campaign demanding that the U.S. government pay reparations to Black people for slavery and ongoing oppression. She joined Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity. She was a founder of the African American Cultural Foundation, Inc., which led the fight against usage of the slave term “Negro”. In 1957, Moore presented a petition to the United Nations and a second in 1959, arguing for self-determination, against genocide, for land and reparations.

In the 1960s she was a founding member of the Republic of New Africa which advocated Black self-determination in the Black Belt South. Taking the first of many trips to Africa in 1972 to attend Kwame Nkrumah’s funeral, she was given the honorary name "Queen Mother” by members of the Ashanti people in Ghana.

Queen Mother Moore died in 1996 at the age of 98.

Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)