Author: 1hoodunited

Black August Convention: Returning to the Source

A Message to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Movement for Black Lives, Black Is Back Coalition, Black United Front and Organization For Black Struggle, Etc.

By 1Hood United & George Jackson University

index2This is a call for Black August to become more than an annual Commemoration to our fallen Freedom Fighters and Resistance but for it to also become a National Convention for each city/state/region to organize and mobilize around an Agenda of Nation Building and Self Determination. Presently we have many movements, such as the MXGM, M4BL and BIBC pursuing great agendas in our peoples interests however these separate agendas need to be coordinated. An annual Black August Convention could unite these agendas into a more cohesive National Agenda that could be collectively pursued. As jumping points to the project of an annual Black August Convention the New Afrikan celebrations of Kwanzaa and Juneteenth would serve as quarterly meetings and rallies for the mobilization of people, organizations, networking and recruitment. Organizations would also use these events to meet and evaluate the progress we have made toward the annual agenda set at each Black August Convention (BAC).

This call for a BAC has roots within our People’s history of resistance in amerikkka. In August, 1920 over 25,000 Africans from all over the world converged in New York’s Madison Square Garden to convene a month long Convention on the Declaration of the Rights of the Negro People’s of the World called for by Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). At the time it marked the largest gathering of Africans in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to asserting a demand for Self Determination for African people, the Convention unanimously adopted the Red, Black and Green as the National Flag for African peoples of the world. At a time when Africans in the United States were being lynched under the red, white and blue our people voted decisively to come out from under amerikkka’s governance and sought their own Sovereignty and Banner.

This was just one chapter of resistance by African peoples during the historic month of August within African history in the Western Hemisphere and over 97 years later African people in amerikkka are still pursuing Self Determination. Our people have always sought self-governance, whether within the present political system or within a territory of our own someone on this earth. From the first captured Africans that jumped ship or fled the plantations for the hills to live in Maroon communities to the advocates of Black Statehood. Our history is full of men and women who advocated Nationhood for the descendants of enslaved Africans. Men and Women like David Walker, Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner, Henry Highland Garnet, Martin Delaney, Harriet Tubman, Queen Mother Moore, Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X and countless others. It is time we return to this tradition and an annual Black August Convention would be the medium to do so.

The New Afrikan celebrations of Kwanzaa and Juneteenth have a role to play in organizing a BAC. Kwanzaa, despite its present commercialization is a New Afrikan celebration that embodies some of the best principles of African culture. The Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) of Kwanzaa are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self Determination), Ujima (Collective Work), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Celebrated on the last 7 days of December, Kwanzaa would be a natural follow up to a Black August Convention to evaluate our progress toward the goals set at the Black August Convention.

Juneteenth is another New Afrikan holiday celebrated nationally within our communities. It commemorates the date on June 19th, 1865 that enslaved Africans in Texas received word of the Emancipation Proclamation freeing them from slavery. At its root, Juneteenth is about Our People’s desire and struggle for Freedom, it is not about the Emancipation Proclamation. Falling between the dates of June 17th and 19th, it is a logical rallying and mobilization point for a Black August Convention using its festivals and to prepare the BAC Agenda.

In utilizing Kwanzaa and Juneteenth we must emphasize that we are not endorsing the commercialization that accompanies these New Afrikan holidays. Rather we are embracing them as stepping stones to rebuilding a National Movement and Agenda. Kwanzaa and Juneteenth are not the agenda, they are the platforms to promote and renew the Black August Convention agenda to provide continuity to our struggle so organizations and activists do not disperse back to their own individual projects after Black August.

By transforming these New Afrikan holidays into strategic events that unifies us as a people and movement toward the Agenda of Self Governance we are following the astute recommendations of our true warrior class, the Black Liberation Army, who advised the movement in the 70’s that: “in establishing the Black Commune (Movement) and along with it the Black cultural strategy, we must be careful we move forward and not backward…We should keep in mind that culture I’d established in the process of revolution also. The heroes/heroines that arise during this period (of struggle), become national heroes/heroines for all time. The dates of memorable occurrences become holidays; the acts & practices, which are taken up by the people during the course of the struggle, are later instituted as ritual or national custom. In short our cultural revolution need only follow the course outlined by the imperatives of our struggle.” BLA Study Guide, 1976.

In pursuit of these “Imperatives of our Struggle” it is Proposed that an annual Black August Convention have the following Working Committees on:index

1.) Cultural Restoration: Practicing and Building revolutionary culture and Critical African

Centered Theory*, not reactionary cultural studies/practices.

2.) Self Government: Autonomy, Sovereignty, Independence.

3.) Self Reliance: Cooperative Economics, Health Care, etc.

4.) Self Defense: Securing our communities, Community Control of Police.

5.) Reparations.

6.) Political: Holding Accountable Black elected officials.

7.) Mass Incarceration.

The above committees are just recommendations that could be expanded or elaborated further by organizations and activists interested in this call from activists behind the walls. The committees however would unite the various agendas already in existence so that as a movement we are complementing each other, not competing with each other.

In closing we must remember that Our Struggle is a PROTRACTED STRUGGLE that moves from one generation to the next. Black August represents a continuation of this struggle, the hosting of the torch from one season of struggle to the next, and from one generation of Freedom Fighters to the next generation of Freedom Fighters. In going forward let’s answer the call of Comrade George Jackson in building the Black August Convention & Agenda: Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are dying who could be saved, that generations more will die or live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.” – Blood In My Eye.

In Unity & Struggle

Saleem Bandele

For 1Hood United & George Jackson University

*For an example of Critical African Centered Theory see the essay “De-colonizing our Lives: Divining a

Post-Colonial Therapy” by Makungu Akinyela

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Calling on you to Support #FreeTheReal

The #FreeTheReal campaign is aimed at bringing home our countless Brothas and Sistas locked down in the Belly of the Beast and tripped in the cycle of mass incarceration who are serving unjust and unfair sentences. Today, more Black Men & Women are imprisoned, on probation or on parole then were enslaved during the extra of slavery – making prisons the new plantations and mass incarceration the new slavery. Black and Broken bodies from amerikkka’s cities feed this beast and the people running this country have no intention of releasing our loved ones. If anything, the racist policies of the president of white amerikkka, Donald Trump and his klansman Attorney General Sessions, will continue to send the police into our neighborhoods as modern day “slave raiders” hauling off note Black and Brown youth to the new prison plantations. It is time we do something about this.

WHO WE ARE

Toward this end, the #FreeTheReal campaign has been launched to give a voice to the people and communities that have no voice. The #FreeTheReal campaign was developed by imprisoned activists and is geared toward freeing the Real Men and Women imprisoned. These imprisoned activists are members of 1Hood United, a youth empowerment movement committed to improving and controlling our neighborhoods. 1Hood United was inspired by Hip Hop artist Jasiri X’s 1Hood movement as well as Hip Hop artivist Blak Rapp Madusa. 1Hood United #FreeTheReal campaign is to bring attention to other real men and women locked down who have once possessed the same self destructive mentality that our youth now possess but who have abandoned that mentality and behavior and who are now interested in serving as guidance to our youth. Those who have once lived that culture are best suited to bring youth out of it.

Not only that, but we’ve suffered and are still suffering the consequences of living that gangsta lifestyle we once embraced, lived by and in many cases have seen our friends, homies, cousins and comrades killed. Therefore, we have already learned the error of our past ways and are now ready to help a new generation of Black youth avoid the errors we’ve been through.

When we look at the current state of our youth and neighborhoods there is a desperate need for guidance, the right guidance. For too long it has been unconsciously implanted in our youth that real men and women are the big time drug dealers, gangsta’s, shooters, etc. and these are the images they aspire to. From the cradle to an all too early grave (or life in prison), we’ve taken on the king of the jungle mentality and this imagery has led us to murdering each other, destroying our communities, harming our families and the mass incarceration of our youth. Instead of being true Kings and Queens we’ve been played out and tricked out by the system of white supremacy.

We’ve been riding on and warring on each other and it cannot continue at this rate. There are people in power who hate us and who are white supremacists. The Klansman Attorney General has declared war on our Hoods. This means more police, more arrests, more harassments, more prisons, more unjust laws and more police killing Black people. Make no mistake, this is a War and we need our people home so they can defend our neighborhoods from this onslaught coming and who can help solve the problems are people are facing. We must be ready!

1Hood United #FreeTheReal campaign is calling for the release of the real men and women locked down in the Belly of the Beast. This means we’re campaigning for the freedom of the following:

  1. ) #FreeTheReal men and women that have matured out of the gangsta mentality into a positive and productive mentality.
  2. ) #FreeTheReal men and women that understands what it means to be a responsible man or women and being responsible to your family and community.
  3. ) #FreeTheReal men and women that understand being a father does not mean being a sperm donor and being a mother does not mean giving birth. Being a mother and a father means being a positive and present guiding force in the lives of your children.
  4. ) #FreeTheReal means to free those who can become positive role models to the youth in our neighborhoods.
  5. ) #FreeTheReal means to free men and women who understand that riding for your neighborhood does not mean destroying your neighborhood and terrorizing our own people.

To Free The RealĀ  to free those that stand on a foundation that is deeply rooted in honor, integrity, dignity and respect for Black and Brown Life. To Free The Real is to free those who operate and function off of the highest moral standards, principles and who embody what it means to have real character. It is to free those who know that in order to have any form of success we must first have Common-Unity in Our Communities.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT #FreeTheReal

Free the Real is not just about posting a picture and shout out on insta, its not about just a hastag so we are also calling on people to support and join movements that support prisoners and who are working to end mass incarceration. We have included a list of credible organizations at the end of this mission statement that we are asking people to join or support through donations.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Your support is needed now more than ever to free and support your loved ones and people locked down. We need all the People and Families in the hood who have a loved one or friends in prison along with all Street Generals and Street Captains to get on deck and ride for #FreeTheReal by putting its info out front on their social media posts.

We are calling on everyone to:

1.) Send a shout out on Insta, twitter, Facebook, etc to someone you know imprisoned with a picture of them, short statement about them and the hashtag #FreeTheReal.

2.) On every birthday, holiday, family get together’s, cookout’s etc send a shout out to your imprisoned loved ones or someone you know using #FreeTheReal to keep them out front.

3.) Put together Free The Real events in your neighborhoods such as picnics, fish friars, fundraisers, block parties, etc that brings attention to our people locked up from our neighborhoods and communities.

FREE THE REAL!!!

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One Hood United Mission Statement

The title of this Movement shall be One Hood United. One Hood United will serve as a platform for uniting community activists with conscious prisoners who have abandoned the gangsta and street mentality, along with behavior which has destroyed our families, neighborhoods and sense of community values. Its objective will be the building of an autonomous movement that will confront the cultural, social, and political problems that our neighborhoods are facing today, tomorrow and into the future. One Hood United will serve as a bridge for resolving and developing solutions to the circle of self-destructive behaviors Black youth are caught up in, recognizing that a moral value system for our youth is the first priority of the movement. One Hood United will strive to be a vehicle to unite neighborhoods, to end senseless violence, and to raise the cultural and political awareness of Black youth so that we can collectively become, in the words of Sista Assata Shakur, “Shields that defend us and spears that penetrate our enemies.” One Hood United will develop new and innovative concepts rooted in the tradition of the Black Liberation Movement and built on family and communal values and the principles of unity, freedom, self determination and struggle which shall serve as the foundation for the movement we are building. One Hood United will use the Nguzo Saba Principles and New Afrikan Creed as its foundation.