Today, the world learned of the stabbing death of Greek antifascist hiphop artist Pavlos Fissas, who performed under the name MC Killah P, at the hands of thugs affiliated with the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. His death is just the most recent since the party’s rise in recent years, but may have tipped a country teetering on the brink of civil war into incredibly volatile territory.
On August 1st, Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse welcomed reknowned historian and theorist Vijay Prashad to MICA's Graduate Studio Center. In this talk, Prashad presented his latest book, The Poorer Nations, which picks up where his incredible history of the Bandung/Non-Aligned Movement effort to forge a third world political project, 2007's The Darker Nations, left off.
On Friday, August 2nd, 2013, Arun Gupta came to Baltimore for two events: "The Importance of Independent Media" and "The United States of Fear." Gupta argues a path forward towards directly challenging the types of fear the state, corporations, and police use to repress the population, including: identifying our fears, having honest dialogue, and build real relationships and communities of trust and solidarity.
As Americans commemorate the historic March on Washington by marching once again, we not only wax nostalgic on Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream and congratulate ourselves on electing the first African American president, we also acknowledge what Langston Hughes called “a dream deferred” with economic justice stuck in ‘60s disparities and a Supreme Court and Republican party hostile to minorities’ voting rights. As right wing political leaders take every opportunity to obstruct and delegitimize President Obama, they stir the bubbling pot of bigotry in a country still very racially divided.
As Americans commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of The March on Washington, our nation will reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, a utopian vision which placed emphasis on one's character, not color.
Many will make the journey to relive this historic moment, envisioning what America was like fifty years ago when Dr. King gave America’s version of The Sermon on the Mount.
“I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” – Chelsea Manning weeks after she leaked the “Collateral Murder” video and just days before military police arrived to arrest her on May 29, 2010.
We have a tendency to view the history of the Civil Rights movement through a messianic lens, as if Christ came in the form of a King and paid the price for us. But the reality is that there is a price we must each pay today because the work is not yet done. If we are to truly overcome and secure social justice and racial equity, if we are to triumph over the triple evils of racism, materialism, and militarism, if we are to seize power over the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats, then we must set aside the dominant yet dangerous superficial and superstitious reading and understanding of the struggle for African American liberation.
It is poverty that kills. But Mayor Bloomberg, defending his stop-and-frisk policy that was shot down by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin as racist and unconstitutional, would have us believe it is blacks and Latinos who are the murderers. While claiming to be protecting black and brown people, Bloomberg drags them out as the bogeyman in the stop-and-frisk controversy to scare whites. His words sully minorities, but the numbers don’t lie.
On August 10, I had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to attend the 2013 production of A Real "Nigga" Show—a choreopoem performed by an all black and male cast at the Baltimore Theatre Project. The production provided a rare insight into the lives of a group of hyper-maligned, hyper-demonized, and mischaracterized black boys and men, particularly those living in neighborhoods like Upton, Druid Heights, and Greenmount East.