Category Archives: ORGANIZE!

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/

REPARATIONS: From Conversation to ACTION

Nationally and locally in the United States, we see political leaders who in both word and deed are seeking to exploit racial divisions through using racist language and by enacting legislation negatively targeting Black, Brown, and Indigenous populations. These cynical and destructive actions feed cycles of increasing racial inequity with respect to employment, education, housing, and other socioeconomic indicators. Against this backdrop, what are the possibilities for reparative action and are there any signs of forward progress? The FOR or Fellowship of Reconciliation has organized a panel of leading global thinkers and organizers on reparations for slavery and the racial oppression of people of African descent to discuss how to move from informed concern to action. 

Register now to join a public conversation with 6 distinguished speakers:

* Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (Chicago IL)
* Rev. Lucas Johnson, Coordinator, International FOR (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
* Jodie Geddes, President, Coming to the Table Board of Managers (Oakland CA)
* Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, Vice President, National Council for Black Studies (Amherst MA)
The panel will be co-moderated by:
* Chrissi Jackson, Co-Director, The Truth Telling Project (San Diego CA)
* Dr. David Ragland, Senior Bayard Rustin Fellow, FOR (Brooklyn NY / St. Louis MO)

Click http://bit.ly/2n12ekV to learn more about how to register to join the discussion that takes place Jan 30, 2018, at 7:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Black Liberation Matters as Movement and Moment

One senses that black people are having a moment. Around the world, the wretched of the earth are saying “Look, a Black Life” — does it matter? does anybody care? A Negro, death, young and old, but especially the young, the trans, the LGBTQ, women, children, the incarcerated, the communities more vulnerable to environmental racism, to the proliferation of guns and drugs, to for-profit institutionalized white supremacy. Yes, out of relative obscurity at any moment in time movements spring and for their time accomplish goals, or not, that contribution in net positive or negative ways to the struggle of oppressed people. We are living in a time where a movement is in the making from the might river of the black freedom struggle.

Many date the current movement moment from the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his murderer, George Zimmerman. I think we should look a few years before to the Jena 6 case. In the aftermath of Katrina, the young, digital generation began formulating a capacity to flash respond to critical instances injustice. That internetworked capacity tweeted out in a massive way the call for a Jena 6 National Walk-Out Day on 10/1/2007.

The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia on September 21, 2011, was another day when the emergence of a movement was evident. Twitter recorded 7671 tweets per second in the moments before word of Davis’s execution, making his death the second most active Twitter event in 2011. Rallies were held all over the country protesting his being put to death. “I am Troy Davis” was the battle cry.

So it was on the shoulders of these various campaigns that the killing of Trayvon Benjamin Martin  on February 26, 2012, sparked a massive response. The network began to look at ways to organize a campaign that would demand justice for 17-year-old African American youth. As case after case of homicide of young New Afrikans at the hands of white police as well as armed white civilians the movement for black lives has formally organized itself with its own agenda, principles of unity, campaigns, and rules of engagement.

http://movementforblacklives.org/category/news/

2013 JUNETEENTH JAMBOREE in the Pioneer Valley

WELCOME TO THE 2013 JUNETEENTH JAMBOREE
COMMUNITY BLOCK PARTY 
IN THE PIONEER VALLEY!

* ART | CULTURE | FUN | FAMILY |AWARDS |YOUTH EMPOWERMENT *

Juneteenth observes the June 19th, 1865, proclamation of the abolition of slavery in Texas. It celebrates freedom for people of all backgrounds, with a focus on its meaning for today’s youth.

June

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 1-7PM | Amherst Town Commons map

Amherst Human Rights Commissioner Kathleen Anderson invites you:

Additional events to take place in Springfield along with special Amherst Human Rights Commission awards ceremony, details below:

We will focus on Youth Empowerment and offer community recognitions to a number of individuals who have made significant contributions to freedom in our community

All proceeds raised will benefit The Youth Action Coalitionyouthactioncoalition.org

This event is organized by the Sankofa Coalition which is made up of many organizations and individuals working together, including:

Town of Amherst Human Rights Commission:  http://amhersthumanrights.blogspot.com/p/events.html

PAHMUSA, The Pan-African Historical Museum USA in Springfield, MA: pahmusa.mysite.com/contactus.html

Preecha Kungo and Igziabeher                                Onawumi Jean Moss. Your Soulful Storyteller

2050 Legacy:  www.2050legacy.org/                    TRGGR Media Collective:  trggradio.org/

Trevor Baptiste, Member of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School CommitteeEdward Cage, Vice President and Chair of the Fundraising Committee of the Amherst Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and Amilcar Shabazz, Vice Chair of the Amherst Regional Public School Committee.

TO BE A SPONSOR/SUPPORTER, CONTACT: amilcarshabazz@gmail.com

Portions of the various event will be videotaped for airing on Amherst Media and on the web.

Here is the PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE thus far:

1 to 3PM – Sounds of Freedom

Preecha Kungo and Igziabeher — roots reggae music

Black Kasbah — outer space sounds

TRGGR Media Collective — “aesthetics of justice” hip hop music

3 to 4:45PM – BHM Unplugged Program Segment

Emceed by Amherst Reg. High School Students: Camila Carpio &c

Storyteller: Onawumi Jean Moss

2050 Legacy | Musical-Poetry Set, 20 minutes

Speaker: Tosh Foerster, Governor’s Statewide Youth Council

New Africa House Ensemble | Jazz Set, 20 minutes

Speakers and Other youth performances on historical and current struggles

4:45 to 6:15PM – Human Rights Commission’s Heroism Awards ceremony

4:50 – 5:00 PM Greg Bascomb opens 9th Annual Amherst Human Rights Youth Heroism Award Picnic, invites ticket-holders to eat, introduces MCs, Dr. Peters, Higher Help, & ACT SMART

5:00 – 5:05 PM Song by Higher Help

5:05 – 5:35 PM ACT SMART

5:35 – 5:45 PM MCs: HRC Commissioner Liam Brodigan and Sajo Jefferson bring on Guest Speaker – Madeline Peters [UMASS disability office is making the award to Zhuli]

5:45 – 5:50 PM Song by Higher Help

5:50 – 6:10 PM Youth Awards [approx. 2 minutes @]: Jenna and April Schilling at Fort River, Eva Ross- Perkins, Daudy Guerrero and Wesley Killough-Hill at Crocker Farm, and Xaq Kruezer- Land, Benjamin Thiessen, James Kirwan, Regina East, Dominik Doemer and Zhui Adams at the high school.

6:10 – 6:20 PM Thanks for Joining Us – Song by Higher Help

6:20 to 7PM – Sankofa Coalition’s closing piece

Rebirth Neo-Soul Set, 30 minutes Concluding Remarks and upcoming events

7PM:  Invite help with task force to clean up the Commons to be out before 8 pm.

Links for Further Study:

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lkj01

https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/juneteenth.html

Selected Presentations on Juneteenth by Amilcar Shabazz:

Justice for Charles Wilhite Juneteenth Celebration by Blackstonian (Springfield, MA). 6/23/2012

Juneteenth highlights pride in Fourth Ward.” By Mike Tolson for the Houston Chronicle | June 18, 2006. Quoting from my speech at  at Mount Horeb MSB (Houston, TX). 6/17/2006

“Educational Equality & the Heart of Texas’ Freedom Struggle: From Juneteenth to LBJ.” Sam Houston State University History Department Annual Lecture (Huntsville, TX). 3/30/2004

“On the Meaning of Juneteenth.” The Safehouse Historic Museum of Black Belt Cultural and Civil Rights History Juneteenth Freedom Festival (Greensboro, AL). 6/28/2003

“Juneteenth: Origins and Significance.” The Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Historical Commission’s History Symposium at the State Capitol; (Austin, TX). 12/11/1998

“The Pillars of Freedom: Constructing Community after Juneteenth.” University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX). 1/26/1997

The actual Juneteenth proclamation went along these lines: 

Headquarters, District of Texas
Galveston, Texas, June 19, 1865

General Orders, No. 3.

The people are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor. — The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere. By order of Major General Granger

(Signed,) F. W. Emery, Maj. & A.A.G.

As reported in The Galveston Daily News, June 21, 1865

Thus, the Emancipation Proclamation’s effective date of January 1, 1863, nor the end of the Civil War on April 9, 1865, mark the official end of African American enslavement in the U.S. It was June 19, 1865, when the end of slavery was enforced in Texas. Of course, the Thirteenth Amendment, effective December 1865, abolished slavery throughout the entire United States, including the Border states and the Indian territories. Juneteenth is celebrated with the conviction that slavery was abolished only when it was abolished for all.