After 8 years of being ignored, condescended to and betrayed, a certain demographic of Black folks are still as susceptible to simple-minded cult of personality politics as they've ever been. Obama appropriated and betrayed the long history of the Black Liberation Movement on absolutely every level. He rode Black petty bourgeois respectability politics and its inherent need for acceptance by the white status quo into a position as the Black face of MILITARIZED Neo-European Imperialism.
If you can gloss over Obama facilitating the biggest military invasion of Africa via AfriCom, the murderous ILLEGAL destruction of Libya, the ILLEGAL assassination of Muammar Mohammed Gaddafi and the recolonization of Haiti via NGOs after he sent Bush II and Clinton there - and at the end of all of that post pictures like he's some retiring star football player - then you have no sophisticated understanding of the Global Black experience and its ongoing struggle with white hegemony.
And, even if one's sense of geo-politics is that limited, how can any Black person not feel the deep betrayal in Obama's relative SILENCE in regards to this police terrorism feeding frenzy on Black women and Black men? Please don't regurgitate some little anecdote that he delivered about Trayvon Martin looking like his son! Stop making excuses for him! The world witnessed one of our children being publicly executed ON FILM by police within a few seconds of their arrival! And afterwards the hegemonic state apparatus made a case for NO CRIME TAKING PLACE - just police procedure that needed to be modified. With the madness that has been going on Chicago with Police for GENERATIONS Obama has said NOTHING about that history. The Black folks who make excuses for him because he's "playing 'the game'" are exposing how they've compromised themselves by moving through the world 'playing the game.' It exposes the ultimate bankruptcy of that notion as a philosophy of liberation for Black people.
There's also this class of Black person who's placed their gender and sexuality politics in a hierarchy over the Black liberation movement as a whole. Despite pretensions to "intersectionality" they still tolerate - sometimes celebrate - the image of Obama in the white house as an advance of some sort for Black people but have a resolute SILENCE in regards to his Militarized betrayal of Afrikan people world wide. Obama can travel to Africa and give ultimatums (backed by Imperial nation-state economic and Military violence) about marriage equality and perceived "homophobia" but never utter a peep about the much more looming genocides with an exponentially HIGHER death count facilitated by white run US multi-national corporations in the Congo as they extract Coltan and other minerals with child slave labor! It seems that the imperial nation-state can create legislation and deploy its agenda via its Black face abroad in regards to sexuality politics, but has a resolute SILENCE in regards to the murder (and rape) of Black boys and girls on a global scale.
Until we AFRIKANS can get our priorities straight on a Global scale we will be the unwitting pawn of white hegemony indefinitely. Pan-Africanism is not an optional tool for Black liberation it is the ESSENTIAL tool.
The Oakland Maroons Art Collective™ has an imperative to bring Black/Afrikan history and culture to our beloved Black youth at every opportunity. And, in keeping with our goals to do this today (February 16th, 2017) OMAC co-founders Refa 1 and Duane Deterville did a presentation on the history of the Black Panther Party, the origins of the BPP Ten Point Program and its relevance to our condition as Black/Afrikan people here in contemporary America. The Black Panther Party Ten Point Program Coloring Book that was produced as a companion piece to our BPP 50th Anniversary art show at the Joyce Gordon Gallery continues to be a potent teaching tool that served our children well today.
OMAC was invited to the African Children’s Advanced Learning Center in West Oakland. The location of the school in significant given the fact that it is walking distance from the location of the house that Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton created the BPP Ten Point Program and Platform. The OMAC presentation began by underlining a few facts about West Oakland and how its long history as a Black community helped to form the sociopolitical basis for Huey Newton and Bobby Seale to form the BPP. The largest chapter of legendary Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association west of the Mississippi river was located in West Oakland. What this means is that there was already a long history of Black Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and self-determination at work in West Oakland long before 1966 when Huey and Bobby sat down in a house walking distance from that very same UNIA headquarters where they founded one of the most influential and legendary grassroots political organizations of the 20th century.
The young students at African Children’s Advanced Learning Center were taught that in the same manner Huey and Bobby were standing on the shoulders of Marcus Garvey’s UNIA they too were standing on the shoulders of the BPP. And, because they have so much history and culture to draw upon in the very place that they are currently learning lessons - they too can be great catalysts for the self-determination of Black people.
The background on local history served as a proper introduction to the content of the BPP Ten Point Program. It was at this point that our BPP coloring book was used as a teaching tool. The young students commented on each point as we asked whether the point being discussed was still relevant to our conditions as Black people today. With each successive point the students answered in the affirmative, sometimes interjecting their own observations. The students were quite bright, attentive and visionary throughout the entire presentation. In keeping with our vision to create radical Black visual culture as learning materials for our youth, OMAC gave each young student a copy of the coloring book along with a set of markers in a gift bag. Much love was shown by OMAC teaching artists Duane Deterville and Refa 1 along with African Children’s Advanced Learning Center teacher Baba Woods and his young students. It was a very good day.
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!