CollaboBeatworx

Amilcar Shabazz II is the founder of CollaboBeatworx, a dynamic form of arts practice that encourages cultural democracy by engaging with people and communities to make exceptional art, especially music, film, video, and public art like murals & sculpture. 

Amilcar began this work as a member of the Youth Action Coalition, studying at Hampshire College with metal artist Kamil Peters. He also studied with Wendy Ewald when she was a visiting artist-in-residence at Amherst College and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Ewald taught the class “Collaborative Art: The Practice and Theory of Working with Communities” at Amherst College in 2005, and brought in well-known collaborative artists to create art with Amilcar and other Five College students and the Amherst community. He has also studied at Greenfield Community College and the University of Massachusetts in media and Africana Studies.

For his Music go to https://azilla.bandcamp.com.

Early samples of his creation of new, multiversal soundscapes include https://soundcloud.com/falkonstein/thousand-year-dragon and https://soundcloud.com/falkonstein/space-buddha.

Video projects include:

Juneteenth in the Valley https://vimeo.com/channels/shabazzworldvideo/161409129

https://amherstmedia.org/content/difficult-dialogues-dr-charles-w-mills-pt1 [introductory sequence and outro]

Collaborative art projects that Amilcar led or contributed to include:

  • Inside Amherst Regional High School (YAC, 2009)

  • On the lawn outside the Jones Library of Amherst, MA (2011)

  • On the Amherst Coffee Building near Amherst Cinema (YAC, 2012)

The Accra Appeal for Worldwide DeNuclearization

<< “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” the lawyer, Lisa Page, wrote to Strzok. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded. >>

The DOJ, Department of Justice, through an Inspector General’s report, throws shade today on the operations of the FBI under Comey especially, and in the form of wannabee Deep State officers in the bureau itself. Consider the irony of a Russian-tainted operator in the form of an octarian (octogenarian)–W.E.B. Du Bois the anti-nuclear peace activist being arrested, put in cuffs by police officers, and prosecuted by DOJ attorneys over six decades ago.
The DOJ filed charges against Du Bois, who briefly chaired the Peace Information Center, on February 9, 1951Together with Elizabeth Moos, Kyrle Elkin, and clerical worker, Sylvia Soloff, Du Bois the radical intellectual faced the case U.S. v. Peace Information Center, et al. wherein the Deep State alleged Du Bois and his comrades had acted as agents of the World Peace Council, and thus for the Soviet Union itself. Du Bois and his partner Shirley Graham give their account  of the episode in the book–

In battle for peace [excerpt], ca. 1952

 Ironic bridges…

There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? RFK/JFK/GBShaw

Anti-communism, anti-red, anti-Russia, against the Asians, Walls Up against the Mexicans and LatinX herman@s, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot the black African n-words, no, no, no, negation after negation.

The only response is to act with nia, with the purpose we repurpose as The Accra Appeal: 

“We demand the outlawing of atomic weapons as instruments of intimidation and mass murder of peoples. We demand strict international control to enforce this measure.

“We believe that any government which first uses atomic weapons against any other country whatsoever will be committing a crime against humanity and should be dealt with as a war criminal.

“We call on all men and women of good will throughout the world to sign this appeal.”

From where the bones of Du Bois commingle within African earth, we challenge and create the space for peace. The bare existence of nuclear weapons and potential military use is unacceptable to the future of humanity.

“Let all be one and one vast will Cry: Stop, Halt, Hold!” WEBD

IN BATTLE FOR PEACE

 

On Bill H.1789 in the 190th (Current) General Court of Massachusetts

With my partner, Demetria Shabazz, I have co-founded and worked to develop cultural and historical museums and research centers in cities as large as Houston, TX, and as rural as Hale County, Alabama. My work as an Africana Public Historian has found deep source material and practice here in Western Massachusetts since our arrival in 2007. It is part of my research, teaching and service duties at the University of Massachusetts that I engage in such work. Below I’d like to comment on the bill currently in the state legislature, H.1789. I hope it is generative of thought and actions consistent with the historic reparations of our people.

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1789

http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/10/rep_bud_williams_proposes_blac.html 

 

International Decade for People of African Descent

As a member of the National Council of Black Studies International Committee, I invite you to participate in a special session at #NCBS2018. It is Panel #105, that takes place Sat., March 17, 8:00 to 9:15am, at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta Mezzanine. Discuss with a gender diverse, intergenerational and international group of leading scholars some of the major political questions of the day that face all of us in Africana Studies on a global level.

A New Black International? Contemporary Black Radicalism across the Americas

The current global crisis that includes not only economic malaise but also a rise in political authoritarianism and increased policing by states had widened social and racial inequalities and hence racial and sexual violence. A deepening world crisis of neoliberal capitalism and the rise of a new right in national, regional and global contexts, imply reconfigurations of racial projects that involved the emergence of overtly violent racist ideologies and practices as dramatically exemplified by ultra-conservative, racist regimes such as Trump in the U.S. and Temer in Brazil wherein it is clear that Black Lives are devalued and disposable. In Colombia, at the same time that the national government declared itself a champion of anti-racist policies, paramilitaries constantly murder Black activists, thus further jeopardizing an already failing peace process. In this world-historical context there has been an emergence of Black movements across the Americas that are convened with the slogan that Black Lives Matter. These movements tend to articulate an intersectional critique of racial capitalism in terms of the entanglements of class, gender, sexual, and racial oppressions that corresponds to anti-racist politics aiming for systemic change and liberation. This panel will present and analyze this new wave and webs of Black radicalism in the Americas, situating it in larger historical landscapes of radical Pan-Africanism, Black Marxism, and Afro-feminism. The presentations will address this problematic from particular movements and locations, analyzing the patterning of transnational/translocal networks of Black radical activism in order to map their practices, projects and perspectives.

Chair:
Amilcar Shabazz, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Afro-American Studies.

Presenters:

  1. Jesus Chucho Garcia. Venezuelan Consul to New Orleans (Afro-Venezuelan)
  2. Juliana Goes. University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Afro-Brazilian)
  3. Agustín Laó-Montes. University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Afro-Puerto Rican)

Discussants:
John Bracey, Jr. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Afro-American Studies.
Charisse Burden-Stelly, Carleton College.

Presentations:

The Bolivarian Process and Afro-Venezuelan Revolutionary Politics
Jesus Chucho Garcia.

Since the first electoral triumph of Hugo Chavez Frías in 1998 Venezuela began a process baptized as a Bolivarian Revolution that championed changes in the political, economic and cultural landscape of Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. This presentation will expose a panoramic view of the importance of Afro-Venezuelan activism both demanding and designing the Bolivarian revolution´s positions and policies against racism and for racial justice in Venezuela, and also in providing leadership for the organization of Black Left networks across the Americas, linking and organizing Black radicals in the U.S. and throhghout Latin America and the Caribbean. It will also analyze the leading role of Afro-Venezuelans in developing a politics of solidarity with the African continent.

“Geração Tombamento”: reflections about the political strategies of the Black Brazilian youth
Juliana Goes.

In the past years, colorful hair, clothes and lipsticks have become common among the Brazilian Black youth. They have used the aesthetics as a form of political resistance and created spaces of empowerment and articulation of the young black people. However, this way of making politics has suffered several critiques, especially related to the hyper-individualization of the black struggle. In addition, this political strategy has been appropriated by the capitalist system. Considering this, the paper consists of an analysis of the “Geração Tombamento” through the lens of the black radicalism and reflections about its potentialities and challenges. Furthermore, this analysis will relate to two major paradigms faced by Brazilian black movements: how to overcome the whitening ideology and the struggle between emancipation vs. inclusion. Then, the final goal of the paper is to promote the debate and improvement of contemporary political strategies in the black movements.

Black Lives Matter from Ferguson to Buenaventura: An Africana Renaissance
Agustín Laó-Montes

This presentation will discuss the emergence of a new wave of Black antisystemic movements in the Americas by looking into two key loci of activism: the Black Lives Matter Movement in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Civic Strike in the city of Buenaventura, Colombia. The analysis will focus on two dimensions: on the one hand, the rise of a neoliberal racial necropolitics in both cities; and, on the other hand, the rise of a new common sense wherein claim for racial justice are make in terms of an intersectional politics of liberation that clealy link racial, gender, sexual, and class opressions from local to global scales, thus constuting a new wave of Pan-African radicalism wherein there is a renaissance of a now queered Black feminism and marxism.

 

IDPAD    

Afrodescendants International Fora and Conferences

The issue of racial discrimination has been discussed at different international fora and conferences, in particular the following:

1978, First World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, Geneva

1983, Second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, Geneva

2000, Experts Seminar, Santiago, Chile, October 25 to 27, 2000

2000, Regional Conference of the Americas (Proposal of Santiago). Preparatory meeting for the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Santiago, Chile, December 5 to 7, 2000.

2001, NGO Forum of the Americas for Diversity and Pluralism

2001, Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

2002, Latin America-Caribbean Regional Seminar of Experts on implementation of the Durban Programme of Action

2002, Declaration of La Ceiba

2003, Regional Workshop for the Adoption and Implementation of Affirmative-Action Policies for People of African Descent in Latin America and the Caribbean

2004, Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (E/CN.4/2004/L.2)

2004, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

2005, Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

2005, Pre Santiago +5

2008, Report of the Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean Preparatory to the Durban Review Conference (Brasilia, 17–19 June 2008)

2009, Declaration of the Second Inter-American Forum of Afro-descendants

2009, Final document of the Durban Review Conference.

2011, First World Summit of Afro-descendants held August 18-21,  in La Ceiba, on the occasion of the International Year for People of African Descent, which brought together more than 1,400 people from 44 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, producing the La Ceiba Declaration and Plan of Action.

2014, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Distr.: General, 13 March, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with concluding observations on the combined initial & 2nd to 5th periodic reports of Honduras *

4th Annual Conference on the Unfinished Legacy of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

*Abstract submission from U.S. deadline extended to 3/15/2018*
Reconfiguring Solidarities
around Caste and Race
University of Massachusetts, Amherst May 4-6, 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS
International Conference on Caste and Race: Reconfiguring Solidarities
The Unfinished Legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
*Conference website at http://engagement.umass.edu/crrs/node/36
The current historical moment is marked by a deep contradiction – the incredible success of wealth generating and power concentrating processes that depend on the unimaginable immiserating and marginalization of large swathes of humanity. Consequently, assertions of wealth, power, and oppressions, are met with incessant demands for equity, justice, and end to all forms of oppression the world over. If the arc of our moral universe is to “bend towards justice,” then it demands a constant relearning and reimagining of our connections, divergences, and convergence. Here, comparative possibilities of ‘caste’ in India and ‘race’ in the USA have generated much by way of historical imaginations, political solidarities, comparative strategies, and critical scholarship that have furthered our notions of justice, persistent inequities, and possibilities of liberation.

The comparative framework of race and caste also points to the complexity of navigating between the two. Recognizing the history of efforts in establishing this comparative framework in both theory and praxis – starting with the publication of Gulamgiri in 1870 by Jotiba Phule, the emergence of the “Caste School of race relations” in the 1930s/40s, the formation of the Dalit Panthers in the 1970s, and the many struggles around the Durban World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001 – this conference seeks to initiate a new conversation that both simultaneously acknowledges the incommensurabilities and yet the new possibilities of active solidarities.

Here two broad organizing categories – experience and capitalism – aid us towards new conversations. We will need to start with the category of comparative experiences and build towards the divergences and convergences that mark the structural / macro-scale of the social, political, economic and the cultural. Experience as a category offers itself as a crucial cauldron from which to think and build rich conversations through differences. While experiential domains bring out the individual’s (or personal) complex worlds of suffering, quest for dignity, and defiance, they also point to the broader contexts of the social (or public) and the structural (or systemic). Thus, the individual’s experience of suffering indignities frequently ruptures the veneer of ‘civil(ized)’ society in the form of public spectacles of hate, injustice, brutality. Attending to the mutual constitution of both experiential and structural could produce historically and geographically grounded forms of appreciation and solidarity.

For this conference, we have chosen the following themes to focus on:

THEME 1: Suicides and depression among Dalits and African American youth

This is a particularly intense and intimate form of experience of caste/race that appears to be on the rise in higher education contexts in the US and South Asia. We are interested in cross-disciplinary research that helps us make connections between mental health issues and broader structures of oppression and marginalization.

THEME 2: Lynchings, public humiliations, ‘atrocities,’ police brutality against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and African Americans

This is another experience that has now gained public attention due to becoming spectacularized via social media in both the USA and South Asia. Such acts have become quotidian and have produced collective gasps of the social conscience in both contexts.

THEME 3: Racial / Casteized Capitalism

Experiences of caste and race occur within accelerated form of rapacious and universalist capitalism. These are shaped fundamentally by particular forms of ‘racism’ in the US and ‘casteism’ in India, which require gendered relations and patriarchic forms of control. To help us move toward bringing together such experiences (intimate and public), we need to unpack the category of capitalism so that we are able to see how universalist objectives of accumulation and social reproduction are realized only through particular practices and processes operating through caste, race and gender.

We invite papers on any of the above three themes. The aim of the conference is to build a space for participants to have a generative conversation. It will therefore be oriented towards more sustained discussions rather than mere presentation of papers. We encourage advanced graduate students and junior faculty, especially from South Asia to participate.

Deadline for Submission

Abstracts of no more than 200 words must be submitted by March 15, 2018. To submit an abstract please email us at CasteRaceConf2018@gmail.com.

Conference will begin on the evening of Friday May 4 and conclude on the afternoon of Sunday May 6. Further details on the program and keynote speakers are forthcoming but we are building upon the draft schedule below:

2018 Theme: Caste & Race–Reimagining Solidarities Conference Schedule 

SKELETAL DRAFT
Friday May 4, 2018  

4:00 – 6:00 P.M.         Check-in / Registration

6:00 – 6:15 P.M.         Opening Remarks (Conference Organizing Committee)

6:15 – 8:15 P.M.         Opening Plenary

  1. Gopal Guru, JNU, Delhi (confirmed)
  2. Meena Dhanda, University of Wolverhampton, UK (confirmed)
  3. Race Studies scholar (to be confirmed)
  4. Chair / Moderator:

8:30 onwards              Reception

Saturday, May 5, 2018

8:00 – 9:00 A.M.        Check-in / Registration

9:00 – 9:15 A.M.        Opening Remarks (Conference Organizing Committee) [Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy confirmed]

9:15 – 10:40 A.M.      Plenary 2 (Experiencing Caste/Race: Psychosocial Domain of Oppression)

  1. Shailaja Paik, University of Cincinnati (confirmed)
  2. Scholar to confirm
  3. Scholar to confirm
  4. Chair / Moderator:

10:40 – 11:00 A.M.    Tea / Coffee

11:00 – 12:30  P.M.    Concurrent Sessions 1

12:30 – 1:30 P.M.       Lunch – New Authors Panel

  1. Sujatha Gidla, NYC (confirmed)
  2. Chinnaiah Jangam, Canada (confirmed)
  3. Chris Tinson (Hampshire college)
  4. Toussaint Lossier (Du Bois Dept/UMass)

1:30 – 3:00 P.M.         Plenary 3 (Everyday Violence of Caste/Race: Lynching, Incarceration…)

  1. Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, Anthropology, Rutgers U (not confirmed**)
  2. Chandraiah Gopani, G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad U (confirmed)
  3. To be confirmed
  4. Chair/Moderator:

3:00 – 3:15 P.M.         Tea / Coffee

3:15 – 4:45 P.M.         Concurrent Sessions 2

5:00 – 6:15 P.M.         Plenary 4 (Youth and Anti-Caste & Anti-Racism Organizing)

  1. Jignesh Mewani, Dalit activist, Gujarat (confirmed)

6:30 – 7:30                  Conference Dinner hosted by the Boston Study Group

7:30- 8:30                    Cultural Program hosted by Boston Study Group

Sunday May 5, 2018

9:00 – 10:30 A.M.      Plenary 4 (Racialized / Casteized Capitalism)

  1. Anand Teltumbde, Goa University (confirmed)
  2. Racialized capitalism – speaker (to be confirmed)
  3. Chair / Moderator:

10:30 – 10:45 A.M.    Tea / Coffee

10:45 – 12:15 P.M.     Concurrent Sessions 3

12:30 – 2:30 P.M.       Working Lunch on Activism and Caste Politics in the Diaspora (workshop led by Meena Dhanda, UK)

2:30 – 2:45 P.M.         Closing Remarks (Conference Organizing Committee)

For more information contact Amilcar Shabazz, Du Bois Chair & Professor of Afro-American Studies.

Panther image courtesy http://www.mediavigil.com/document/history-of-dalit-panther/