- Spike Lee on gentrification (excerpt from speech at Pratt)
The Move Organization is a Black Liberation group from Philadelphia started by John Africa in 1972. According to the group, the word MOVE is not an acronym. It means exactly what it says: MOVE, work, generate, be active. Their philosophy is everything that’s alive moves and If it didn’t, it would be stagnant, dead. Movement is their principle of Life. Self Defense is also one of their principles of life and On May 13, 1985 they definitely showed that. The confrontation began when police came to their house over 100 strong with guns aimed and demanded the MOVE members come outside. Still angry from the 1978 confrontation with police, which resulted in 9 MOVE members being sentenced to 30 to 100 years in prison, they refused. The police then began throwing tear gas and opening fire at the house. The MOVE house had been built as a bunker and they began shooting back. After hours of shooting, the Police called for a helicopter and dropped a BOMB on the house. Yup, you read right. The cops dropped a bomb in the middle of a neighborhood in Philly. It’s Crazy how far America will go to subdue Black people. After the bomb dropped, 65 homes were destroyed and 11 people including 5 small children were killed. As the survivors of the MOVE house began to surrender, police continued to open fire at them with automatic weapons. One of the MOVE children actually ran into a burning house to avoid being shot by police. She would later be found burned to death. There is a great documentary that was released that illustrates the constant police brutality they faced and the bombing.Today 29 years later, the MOVE 9, like many other black political prisoners, continue to sit in Prison and each year they are denied the right to parole. In a system that has always been so hell bent against us, one must wonder, When Will We Overcome?“Revolution starts with the individual. It starts with a person making a personal commitment to do what’s right. You can’t turn someone into a revolutionary by making them chant slogans or wave guns. To understand revolution, you must be sound. Revolution is not imposed upon another, it is kindled within them. A person can talk about revolution, but if they are still worshiping money, or putting drugs into their body, they obviously haven’t committed themselves to doing what’s right. Revolution is not a philosophy, it is an activity.” MOVEPost by @KingKwajo
Are you Black first? Or are you a woman first?
I get this question all the time because I am a Black feminist. People want to know if this means that I care less about the political realities of being Black. If I am now only concerned with being a woman. Or do I allow my blackness to get in the way of caring about issues impacting women.
It’s not physically possible for me to separate my race from my gender. I cannot choose to one day be Black Danielle who has no gender and the next day be Danielle the Woman who has no race. And yet, socially and politically Black women are expected to split their identities all the time.
Black feminism is the rejection of this.
As a Black feminist, I vow to bring all of my marginalized identities to any political or sociological discussion. I also vow to support marginalized identities which I do not possess because everything we advocate for needs to be mindful to not harm the people it claims to support. This is the application of the concept called “intersectionality” which legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw blessed us with in 1989.
Oftentimes, Black women are asked to forget their gender by Black men or forget their race by white women simply because Black womanhood is not valued in many spaces other than explicitly Black woman centered spaces. Black womanhood is a conflation of myriad forms of marginalization and as such our experiences are not often centered.
We’re often told it’s too difficult and complex to consider our experiences. We are told that we hurt the causes of white women and Black men. This is ironic because when the issues of Black women are addressed, or even more specifically, when the issues of low income and LGBT Black women are addressed, everybody wins."
Malcolm X on the Assasination of Lumumba in the Congo
Malcolm X points to the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in Africa by Moise Tshombe (with the help of the CIA) as a clear example of post-Colonial foreign interference. Lumumba was the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960. Ten weeks later, Lumumba’s government was deposed in a coup. He was subsequently imprisoned and murdered, with clear signs pointing to the support and complicity of both Belgium and the United States.