Saturday, January 21, 2006

Reparations: More than $97 Trillion!


Estimated number of hours of labor performed by African-American slaves between 1619 and 1865: 222,505,049
SOURCE: Clarence J. Munford, Race and Reparations, African World Press, Inc.
(Trenton, N.J.)

Estimated value of the labor performed by African-American slaves between 1619 and 1865, compounded at 6 percent interest through 1993: $97,100,000,000,000


The 6% interest may have been the AVERAGE interest rate for the US from enslavement days up to the year Brotha Mumford published his calculations.

Another important point: these calculations DO NOT include wages for child labor (enslaved African children started work at about 3 years old) and for enslaved African women's housework to maintain the hovels we lived in and raising the children (i.e enslaved childrearing = appreciating capital). These values would take us to well over $150 trillion!

These figures are so mindblowingly
large that they make no sense to us until we can visualize them with everday things.

Everybody can visualize a penny.... Just $10trillion in pennies would be a halfmile wide cube weighing 3 billion tons!! (go to: to see a rendering).

But the real value of these estimates for Reparations is to emphasize how central our ancestors were in creating capitalism and this now megapowerful country. It is also to show- in another way -that there's really no amount of money on earth that can compensate for the monstrous crimes committed against us (past AND present)... for hundreds of years 24 hours a day 365 days a year of every form of humiliation and spiritual degradation known to humans and animals.

In Struggle,

Sam Anderson

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Potential Goodness of Our Global Black Culture

Brotha Sam Johnson,

Very good point. Black culture is a central component to today's capitalist culture... and vice versa. This is not to deny the positive, antisexist, liberating aspects currently rising within "HipHop' culture. This is to contextualize that positive reality... and help us set the frames of reference for our Black Liberation Movement.

I posted the article primarily to re-enforce the reality that Blackfolk in the US in the 20th and 21st Centuries have become "very Diasporic." Forced Migration/immigration has help to shape a new African-centered culture that flies in the face of all the internalized negative slurs/assumptions we hurl at each other's forced (artificial/colonialized) nationalities. We are all "In Da Mix" --whether we like it or not! We must never forget that our African ancestors were randomly strewn thruout the Americas (and europe and Asia) during the rise of capitalism and Europenas nations. By chance, for example, one line of my ancestors wound up in North Carolina, another line in South Carolina, and another in Jamaica... and another in Barbados. There are millions of us that have similar intricate global family lineages... and we haven't even talked about our Native American ancestors! Or our forced-by-rape-European ancestors!

To point out the Caribbean/Latin/South American contributions to HipHop is not about narrow nationalist one-upmanship... not about rendering HipHop into a Caribbean creation. It's to reveal that from now on African and African Diasporic culture will become even more intimately intertwined with each other... blurring borders and languages (i.e. Reggaeton). This will be a good thing IF WE control its CULTURAL and ECONOMIC developments.

If capital (and therefore, white supremacy) dominates, we will homoginate into the bleached blandness of a Fiona Apple/Kenny G-in-brownface capitalist cultural reality concerned only with mega bottomlines and a zombified Black consumer oblivious of politics, racial knowledge & pride.

For over 500 years, we have been a globalized people struggling to hold onto/reconstruct/define our "Africanness." Now that we are only hours away physically from each other anywhere on the planet.. now that we are instantly connected with each other anywhere on the planet, our cultural transformations will accelarate exponentially.

Are we strong enough (politically aware/globally informed), united enough (organized/mobilized) to define and direct that transformation for the betterment of Africans everywhere?

in Struggle,


I would never describe Hip Hop as "one of the
greatest creations we descendents of African
captives have produced". Too much of this
culture defame black women, especially some of
those rappers on this list. You cannot measure
"great" solely by the amount of money or wealth
generated by this culture. The ideas of some of
the original creators of the music of this
culture have been hijacked by the unquenchable
greed for money at any cost [nothing new in
western culture].

Have a Peaceful Day

Sam Johnson
Build wealth by starting your own business at:
Fax: 1-208-379-0388

Out of Barbados2002: The birth of the Global Afrikan Congress

An S. E. Anderson DOCUMENT

November 2002

Out of Barbados: The birth of the Global Afrikan Congress
by S.E. Anderson

Over the past few weeks much has been discussed and debated about the African/African Descendents Caucus post-Durban gathering in Barbados from Oct. 1 to 6. This is, in part, an indication of the historic importance of the gathering.

Let’s be clear from the outset: despite a frustratingly negative start and a blow to PanAfrican-Cuban solidarity that needs to be immediately rectified, the African/African Descendents Caucus-sponsored conference achieved one of its primary goals.

We – more than 600 Sistas and Brothas from all regions of the Black World – established the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC). It is a necessary work-in-progress of a developing united front of African/African descendent organizations. About two years from now, GAC will hold another international conference to democratically ratify its constitution, sum up its work and plan for future struggles towards the liberation of African peoples everywhere. By the end of the conference, the vast majority of us recognized that this is a monumental task that requires us to be principled, open, united and in it for the long haul.

Now, about that frustratingly negative start

As many people have written and spoken of recently, there were mixed messages sent out by the key conference organizers about whether or not non-Africans should attend. To a veteran radical activist white American documentarian and his Asian activist wife - who have been, with their own monies, documenting the global rise of the Reparations Movement - were told by the conference organizers up to the Sunday before the conference that it was OK to attend. These two documentarians were only interested in filming the open plenaries and doing individual interviews of Sistas and Brothas active in Reparations struggles outside of the U.S. They were not interested in filming any of the 15 working groups because they understood the sensitive nature of the content of these sessions.

When the need for interpreters was raised during the planning months, the organizers opted for a Barbados-based professional translation service that had the technical apparatus - wireless headphones - and personnel to do simultaneous translation in at least four languages. Their staff included three or four white Barbadians.

In addition, there was a young Asian male student within the Canadian delegation and a young Lebanese activist woman who had planned to deliver a solidarity message from forces within the Palestinian Intifada. There might have been about four to six other whites and other non-Africans present during the hours of debates about whether or not non-Africans should attend.

These were the non-Africans that the British delegation initially objected to. After heated debates - unfortunately, I was still en route to Barbados - and a vote carrying 70 percent in favor of expulsion, subjectivity took over. This meant that you had “security” checking you out to see if you were “African” enough to enter the plenary meetings. If Bob Marley had showed with his pops along with Adam Clayton Powell during these moments, they would have been kicked out!

Fortunately, the working group leaders encouraged the delegates to stay the course and make real the reason they came to Barbados.

Political and economic fallout for Barbados

Another aspect one needs to take into consideration: the use of the conference center was underwritten by the Barbados government, which had openly invited the African/African Descendents caucus to hold its founding meeting in Barbados. The government has a nondiscriminatory policy that we as guests of the government should have respected. In addition, because the major corporate media focused only on this issue of expelling non-Africans, it can have a direct impact upon Barbados’ tourist-dependent economy as well as its relationship with a U.S. government hell bent on smashing all support for Reparations.

Anticipating some of this wrath, the delegates passed a unanimous resolution stating that there should be no reprimands placed upon Brotha David Commissiong and the semi-governmental Pan African Commission he heads up because of the terrible mis- and dis-information being spewed out by the international corporate press.

CIA presence

Speaking of the U.S. government’s rabid anti-Reparations policy, you can rest assured that they want to kill this growing movement before it matures into a powerful global force challenging white supremacy and imperialism’s crushing globalization. Of course, there were at least three CIA agents present in Blackface.

The Cuban delegation

The Cuban delegation – and, therefore, government – was not and is not in opposition to the formation of a global PanAfrican organization or of Reparations. They were and are opposed to the expelling of non-Africans when there was publicity saying this was an open meeting for those interested in being in solidarity with and helping to form the united front of Africans and African descendents.

We need not go into Cuba’s solid credentials of supporting with their own lives and medical and technical expertise African Liberation causes on the Continent and throughout the Diaspora. We don’t need to point out that Cuba has stood behind our Sistas Assata Shakur, Nihanda and other Black U.S. Freedomfighters for over 20 years - providing political asylum for them in spite of U.S. economic and military threats and bribes. We also need not point out that it was Fidel at the Durban UN World Conference Against Racism last year who laid out to the UN delegates the logic and moral necessity of Reparations. No other head of state took such a bold and clear positive stance for Reparations.

It is absurd for some of us to think 1) that Fidel and the Cuban government have been opportunistic in their steadfast support of African Liberation as it struggles to endure a 42-year U.S. induced economic blockade and psychological, chemical and germ warfare. Remember, tens of thousands of Cubans volunteered to go and Fight and Die alongside Angolan, Namibian and South African Freedomfighters during the 1970s because they understood their African roots and the evils of imperialism grinding Africa and Africans into horrendous poverty and illness.

2) that Cuba is a “white” or “Latino” nation like Argentina or Paraguay. Cuba’s 11 million people are overwhelmingly of African descent and a very mixed group of folk. The majority of the “white” Cubans now reside in Miami and northern New Jersey. The spiritual base of the Cuban people is Santeria, a Yoruba-based religion. Cuba’s overall culture has an explicit African base that they no longer deny, but openly embrace.

Brothas and Sistas, we, as the Global Afrikan Congress, will get absolutely no respect from many of those African/African Descendents we are going to try to join us in the monumental task of building the Congress if we do not immediately rectify our mishandlings with Cuba. It will haunt the Global Afrikan Congress and render us globally isolated as a bunch of narrow-minded super-Black nationalists seeking to unite only with the mythical “pure” African.

The birth of the Global Afrikan Congress

Through the various working groups deliberating over three days, the Global Afrikan Congress began to take shape. Keep in mind, the work was being done by hundreds of African people coming out of a very wide range of ideological and levels of activist experiences. The working groups were very open, lively and democratic in their deliberations, which rolled over to the final hours of plenary debates and discussions on structure and name.

Reparations for the crimes of slavery, slave trade, colonialism and the lingering vestiges of these through white supremacy has become our centerpiece, which all our work informs and is informed by. There was no debate on this.

The task now is to

1) immediately plan out the regional meetings so that they all occur within the next three to six months working towards a Global Afrikan Congress constitutional convention sometime in 2004 or 2005.

2) find ways to heal the wound between those Sistas and Brothas who chose to leave the conference after the vote supported the exclusion of non-Africans and bring them into the work ahead.

3) disseminate the working groups’ tasks and all the plenary resolutions to as many African/African Descent organizations as possible.

You and I, Sistas and Brothas, along with countless millions of our brethren and sistren imbued with a lot of hard work and principledness are the only ones who can make the Global Afrikan Congress the real thing: powerfully Black and victorious for us, our ancestors and our future.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Getting Clarity On Cuba's Determined AntiRacist Struggle

Happy New Year of Struggle, Sistas & Brothas!

The Title that "The Infamous Vinnie Gangbox" gave to the below article on Cuba is misleading: "CUBA`S JIM CROW SOCIALISM... 47 YRS AFTER REVOLUTION, BLACKS STILL AT THE BOTTOM OF SOCIETY...." That Cuba is about "Jim Crow Socialism" may be Brotha Gangbox's perspective, but the article takes a different slant on Black Cuba's History/current state and fate. The articles has a more positive slant towards Cuba's battle against racism.

One of the things that revolution does in any society- if it is an ongoing process -is open new areas of struggle against institutionalized and personalized oppressions. In other words, the battle to eliminate racism in a society takes on a protracted struggle because racism has been imbedded within every fabric and thread of society for over 500 years... and, hence, cannot be eradicated within a generation.

Particularly in Cuba: now that there is no longer a material base buttressing white supremacy and internalization of racial inferiority, "Black" and "White" Cubans now have a battle of ideas to deal with (within the everpresent global white supremacist capitalist system constantly bombarding Cuba's 11 million folk with its antiBlack propaganda and policies). The vast majority of Black Cubans living in Cuba see that they have a stake in maintaining the Cuban Revolutionary process of building Socialism. They have battled the Cuban leadership for the legitimate right to practice Santeria as an open religio-cultural aspect of Cuban society. They have battled for Black Cubans to advance in ALL fields of education and government. They have battled for Black Cuban presence on TV programs beyond sports and entertainment.

Cuba's central leadership is "browner" now than back in the 60's & 70's because of the positive antiracist policies of the Cuban revolution. Does all this mean that Black Cubans should now chill and be content with what is? Hell no!

Cuba's struggle to eliminate racism and racist ideas is not at one of its most critical stages... and will intensify either positively or negatively. That's up to "AfroCubans." Judging by some of the Cuban Sistas & Brothas I know living and struggling in Cuba, the next decade will be an even more positive advancement for "Black Cuba" specifically and Cuban Socialism in general- whether or not Fidel is alive.

Remember how the US government thought that with the death of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnam Revolution would also die. Well, we know it more than not die: it intensified. Why? Because the struggle for selfdetermination and socialism was transformed into a peoples' struggle thru a peoples war. Vietnam was never about one great man holding down imnperialism.

And neither is Cuba. The Cuban Communist Party, the Cuban governmental structure from the neighborhoods up have had 45 years of daily struggle to educate, mobilize and bring into the leadership ordinary hard working Cubans... and, for the most part, they have succeeded against fantastic odds: a Blockade, continuous biological warfare upon their agricultural infrastructure, assassination attempts, global media lies and systemic whiteouts, US attempts at political and intellectual isolation, the lure of capitalist trinkets for Cuba's stars and regular folk....

Lastly, to reiterate for emphasis: the struggle for socialism IS the struggle for the eradication of racism. It's a multigenerational process because worldwide white supremecy still dominates the hearst and minds of billions of people directly or indirectly (just like the struggle to eliminate sexism/male chauvinism is a multigenerational process because of worldwide male chauvinism/sexism).

Cuba's advances on the antiracist front will always be remembered thru their tremendous political, economic and personal sacrifices to help beat back South Africa's (and by extension, the US and Europe's) Apartheid in the 1970's and 80's by directly confronting these racist forces on the battlefields of Angola and Namibia. Cuba's antiracism and internationalism will also be remembered by their principaled stance in support and portection of Assata Shakur and other Black/Latino US political exiles relentlessly being pursued by the US to be assassinated. We also will never forget the work they have done in educating thousands of African exiled children (and Africa's youth today) as well as their medical teams found by the hundreds thruout the African Diaspora bringing medical support and helping to train our Sistas & Brothas in medicine.

Let's not forget the standing offer to train Black/Latino med students from the US to come back and work in our medically depressed Black/Latino communities. Let's always remember the 1500+ Cuban doctors with tons of medical supplies waiting to be flown into the Post Katrina US GulfCoast to help in the vast rescue and recovery process. Many of those doctors were clearly of African descent.

All these things and more have had a powerful impact on the hearts and minds of Cubans and their struggle against white supremacist ideas and practices. I am cionfident we will see more advances on the racial front in Cuba over the next few years because it is the nature of people to live in racial harmony and Because the struggle for socialism in Cuba recognizes that true workers equality and workers power cannot be realized without the constant battle against racism and the evolution of Black leadership.

In Struggle,

Sam Anderson


Can Afro Cuba survive after Fidel? by KAREN JUANITA CARRILLO Special to the Amnews Originally posted 12/22/2005

The latest rumor from Cuba is that the nation's leader, Fidel Castro, may have Parkinson's disease. It's only one of many tales about Castro's health, his wealth, and his governing abilities.

It's a CIA assessment that Castro personally refuted by delivering one of his customary five hour long speeches to a group of Havana University students. Castro has long been the subject of near-death rumors, despite the general health he enjoys at 79 years old. The reports usually originate in Florida's exiled Cuban-American community, where many have never forgiven the Cuban leader for taking power on the island during the 1959 revolution. Cuba's president traditionally dismisses the various rumors of stroke, brain hemorrhage, hypertension and other illnesses as the vengeful wishes of enemies who would love to see him dead.

Still, the inevitable reality of Fidel Castro's true passing is bound to lead to drastic changes on the island nation. And the most striking changes will affect the lives of Afro Cubans.

"Black Cubans continue to lag behind white Cubans," notes the journalist and activist, Willie Mack Thompson. "Pres. Castro has spoken to this … but this is especially frightening in an anticipated leadership transition. "My concern is that if Black Cubans enter into this transition with less resources and income – less status – they will not be able to compete and will thus be relegated to their pre-Revolutionary status. It will be a class struggle based on status." Castro's 1959 Revolution took Cuba out from under the control of monied interests strongly allied to the U.S. government.

Between the large agro-businesses and Mafia-controlled casinos, hotels and prostitution rings throughout the island, Black and white Cubans had bitterly complained of being treated as if they lived on a large offshore U.S. plantation. Castro's revolution nationalized island businesses, which led to the end of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States and a now 43-year-old U.S. economic embargo against the island. Cuba's survival has been buttressed by the education, employment and social inclusion of its large Black population.

But the fact that Blacks are not central to the political structure in Cuba may prohibit Afro-Cubans from playing a central role in controlling the island post-Castro. "The Black population there realizes that they have made gains since the Revolution," notes local Harlem activist Elombe Brath. "They understand that it's to their advantage to maintain the Revolution." Race-based discrimination was so fine-tuned in Cuba prior to Castro that even the nation's former president, General Fulgencio Batista, was denied admission to exclusive clubs because he was considered a mulatto, pointed out Brath, who hosts the show "Afrikaleidoscope" on WBAI-FM.

"There has always been a relative silence among Cubans about race and racial inequality," said Dr. George Priestley, who directs the Latin American Area Studies department at CUNY's Queens College. "And given the fact that so much has been done to erase the racial problems the island had, and that so much was done to address the issues of structural inequality, racial identification was for a while not encouraged. And a Black identification was particularly not encouraged."

The popularity of reggaeton, hip-hop and floetry among Afro Cuban youth may spark a higher degree of ethnic awareness, Priestley added. And that ethnic awareness – or Black pride – should spur stronger political responsibility. But in the meantime, the political awareness of Afro Cubans remains exclusively tied to the Revolution. "And Fidel is the one sustaining the Revolution: the reason Cuba is so strong is because of Fidel," said a prominent U.S.-based Afro Latino journalist who preferred not to be named.

"After Fidel, the Cubans in Miami will simply pounce on the island," this journalist contends. "They have connections in Cuba; they have their people in place in Cuba already. When they take over they're going to be opening up the political arena to the U.S. again. "The problem is going to be with Black Cubans who are not used to taking orders and won't stand for it. The white Cubans in Miami are still racists. They're making preparations for their return, but their plans don't include concerns about Black people." The majority of Miami-based Cubans are right wing and anti-Castro, called "gusanos" (worms) or "vendepatria" (traitors) by Castro supporters. There are left-wing Castro-supporting Cubans also living abroad, but they are not as frequently heard from in the media, because they are generally labeled communists.

Cuba has also been branded communist since the Castro-led revolution, but supporters see Castro's efforts as continuing the island's push for independence. Cuba has ostensibly been "independent" since Dec. 10, 1898, following decades of fighting between the nation's independence army, the Cuba Libre, and Spain.

By 1898, the war was between Spain and the United States, but Cubans had declared their independence as early as Oct. 10, 1868. At that time, they'd also called for the island to end its enslavement of Black people, but emancipation from slavery was not made law until Oct. 7, 1886. Afro Cubans took the lead in the fight to end Spain's dominance on the island, and for three decades they formed the majority of soldiers in Cuba Libre's ranks.

After its independence from Spain, Cubans felt they had to continue their fight to gain independence from the United States. Castro has always termed his Revolution a further battle in the struggle for Cuba's independence. "Fidel is a mortal being and as a mortal being he will die one day," notes the Afro Cuban journalist, author, and broadcaster Pedro Perez-Sarduy. "But Cubans know that Cuba has been transformed into a revolutionary nation over these past decades.

And Cuba will remain a revolutionary nation for many years to come – with or without Fidel! "I think these kinds of worries, so often repeated in recent years – mostly by people of goodwill, who don't live in Cuba – is in many ways similar to the wishes of those who don't want the best for Cuba after Fidel dies," Perez-Sarduy adds. "Obviously, it would be shameful for most of Cuba if the Revolution does not survive the death of its principal creator.

But he is not the only defender of the revolutionary ideals that began in 1868 and re-emerged on July 26, 1953 during the attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Cuba will survive with or without Fidel!"

In 2006, GhettoLit Dominates BlackLit-- Why?

In Reference to Nick Chiles's NY Times Op-Ed January 4, 2006 piece...

Print media in the US is just as ruthless and racist in pursuing the almighty
dollar. So it should come as no surprise that in the absence of a strong Black Social
Justice Movement HoochieMomma Lit will become the dominant form of "literature"
flooding our streets and Black book sections of Barnes & Nobles/Borders/B. Dalton/Essence
Mag. Just Look at how Black America tolerates/uplifts BET, Black-oriented radio
programs, chittlin circuit "Yo Momma" plays and "HustlenFlow/get
Rich or Die Tryin'" type flix....

This whole US society is degenerating into a lump of antireaders/anti-intellectuals...
and Black America's quest to be "integrated" into this mess drags us down
with the dumbed down hedonistic white majority.

The revitalization of great BlackLit can only come about thru the revitalization
of our Freedom Struggle... our righteous fight for complete social revolution and
justice. Otherwise, all our youngfolk (and oldfolk) will have to inspire before
them is "Down Lowism" and "Swingers' Parties" and Gangsta Lit/Rap/Flix.
Capitalism will and does profit off of our youth's miseducation and glorification
of the superindiviualistic lifestyles of HoochieMommas and GhettoGangstas (both
of whom are submicroscopic playas upon the larger playing field of the highest form
of organized crime: capitalism).

Nick Chiles (below) could form a small group of parents and youth to sit down with
the B&N bookstore manager and work out a series of book signings/talks/dicsussion
groups/school collaborations dealing with the more serious BlackLit material. Or
Nick Chiles and a small group of folk could work with a local school and pull together
a reading club for preteens and teens that focus on positive BlackLit. Nick Chiles
could also help transform the local school's literature program and help in the
training of teachers in teaching good BlackLit (many of our young teachers have
grown up on just Terry McMillan, but Not Toni Morrison or Toni Cade Bambara. They
have grown up on reading the now classics from the 80's, but have rarely read BlackLit
before the 1970's... and then very very selectively).

There are many many things that we- as concerned parents and adults -can do to help
stem the ghettotrashlit tide. Every little collective effort-bit counts.