This is the text for a slide show, produced in 1982 by the Afro-American Liberation League of New Orleans, Louisiana and the Amilcar Cabral/Paul Robeson Collective (M-L) of Raleigh, North Carolina. Although it has a few elements that are somewhat out of date, it is still one of the best popular expressions of the Black Liberation movement from a revolutionary internationalist viewpoint. Although the presentation is not as effective without the 450 slides (indicated by an * in the text) that make up the show, in the future we hope to be able to post a few of the most important ones.
*Over a century after the abolition of slavery, the Afro-American people in the United States still suffer under a yoke of terrible oppression. *This oppression is not disappearing - it is growing.
*This young man in Walton County, Georgia is pointing to the tree on which a friend of his, Lyn Johnson, was found hanging in December 1981. There have been three lynchings of young Black men in Georgia and Alabama in the last two years. *The Ku Klux Klan is being resurrected throughout the country. Klansmen and Nazis shot to death five anti-Klan protestors in Greensboro, North Carolina* and shot down four Black women in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1979. These are only a few examples of a bloody trail of racist murders that have taken place throughout the country. *The police continue to murder Black citizens with little fear of punishment. This is one of the victims of police and National Guard violence during the Miami rebellion in 1979. *The rebellion erupted the next year following the acquittal of five policemen who had beaten to death a Black man stopped for a traffic violation.
*A vengeful campaign is being waged by the Anglo-American ruling class to wipe out all of the gains won by the Black liberation movement during the '50s and '60s. *The desegregation of public schools is being held up. *Affirmative action is being done away with. *Black studies programs are being eliminated. All of this is designed to give the green light to discrimination and segregation in all areas. *Afro-Americans continue to be denied their political rights, and nowhere in the country do they have representation in political office equal to their proportion of the population.
*The ideology of white supremacy is being refurbished. *Racist preachers like Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority and all types of other racist scum are being promoted by the capitalist news media to spread the poison of white supremacy. *These are white supremacists attacking a Black man during the anti-busing riots in Boston in 1974.
*The Afro-American people are facing devastating economic conditions. *Black workers face systematic discrimination, and are restricted to the worst jobs. *Today, more than 20% of Black people are unemployed. Over half of all Black young people cannot find jobs. *Instead, many are railroaded into prison* or into the military. *Many will never find a job. They are victims of a racist, capitalist society.
*The living conditions in the Afro-American neighborhoods, which have always been miserable, are now deteriorating under the weight of the economic crisis. *The right-wing Reagan administration's cutbacks of social services have had a devastating effect. *Schools and hospitals are closed, bus systems are shut down, food stamps are cut off. *People are starving. They go without heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.
*How can the Afro-American people throw off this oppression? What is the road to Afro-American liberation? This is the subject of this slide presentation. *To grasp the solution to this problem, we must understand the history of the problem. The suffering of the Afro-American people has its roots in the system of slavery and the subjugation of the Afro-American nation.
*The system of plantation slavery in the South was barbaric. *Millions of Africans died aboard the slaving ships during the middle passage from Africa to the Americas. *Those who survived were stripped of their rights under the planters' guns and the overseers' whips. *They were forbidden to speak their native African languages or practice their native customs. *They were forced to labor from dawn to dusk, starting as children. *They were literally worked to death. Once they entered full-time field work, male field hands had a life expectancy of only nine years. *The slave was not considered a human being by U.S. law, but merely property. *Slave marriages were not recognized. Slave masters commonly raped slave women. *Children were sold away from their parents, husbands from their wives. Slaves could not travel without a pass. *They were forbidden to learn to read or write or to hold meetings without whites being present. *Slave masters could beat, torture and whip their slaves -- and even kill them -- without punishment.
*Yet it was the labor of the slaves that built the great fortunes and fattened the industry, commerce and agriculture of the Old and New Worlds. *To justify the system of slavery, the slave owners created the despicable ideology of "white supremacy." They declared that it was the natural place of Black people to be chained and shackled and to labor for white people. *This ideology was reflected in the laws of the United States. In 1857, Chief Justice Taney and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in the Dred Scott case, *that "the Negroes were so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." White supremacy, born out of the system of slavery, permeates the United States to this day.
*The slaves did not suffer these injustices without resistance. Newly enslaved Africans rose up on the slaving ships, killing the hated slave traders. *A Mendi chief named Cinque led the great uprising on the slave ship Amistad in which the slaves won their freedom and returned to Africa.
*Hundreds of thousands of slaves fled the plantations in the South to freedom in the northern states, Canada and Mexico. *Many established colonies in the swamps near the plantations. *Slave catchers and bloodhounds entered these swamps never to return. *Thousands of slaves escaped to Florida and lived with the native Seminole people. *The Seminoles and the free Blacks fought two long and fierce wars against U.S. government troops to defend their freedom. *The Seminoles distinguished themselves by steadfastly standing by their Black comrades-in-arms, refusing to sign any treaty which did not guarantee the freedom of the Blacks. *The Seminole leader, Osceola, married a Black woman who was later kidnapped by slave catchers and returned to slavery.
*The plantations were constantly shaken by slave rebellions. Over 250 slave rebellions have been recorded. *The first major insurrection was led by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia in 1800. More than a thousand slaves, armed with clubs and swords, massed to march on the arsenal in Richmond, but were dispersed by a hurricane. The leaders were captured before they could regroup.
*Denmark Vesey led the largest and best organized of the slave insurrections, in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822. *Inspired by the victorious revolution of the slaves in Haiti, illustrated here, he organized over 10,000 slaves into highly disciplined military units. *Vesey envisioned a liberation war throughout the South and the Caribbean, but the plan was cut short when it was betrayed to the authorities, who arrested and hung Vesey and 35 other leaders.
*Nat Turner's rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831 filled the hearts of the entire slave owning class with terror. *Turner and his men went from plantation to plantation, killing the slave master families and recruiting the slaves into their band. They spared only one white family, poor farmers who owned no slaves. *The rebellion was crushed by federal troops and the slave owners' militia.
*As insurrections shook the South, a powerful movement to abolish slavery grew in the northern states, which included both Black freedmen and whites who believed in democracy and equality. Frances Harper was among the leaders of the movement. *The abolitionist movement established the "Underground Railroad," which aided hundreds of thousands of slaves to escape. *Harriet Tubman was the most valiant conductor of the Underground Railroad. After escaping from slavery, she returned to the South many times to guide nearly 300 slaves to freedom.
*Revolutionary abolitionists drove off slave catchers by armed force and called for armed uprisings to overthrow slavery. *In 1829, David Walker, an eloquent opponent of slavery and the son of a slave, published his famous Appeal to the slaves to rise up in revolt. The pamphlet was widely distributed in the North and smuggled into the South, in spite of the fact that the slave owners banned its distribution.
*Henry Highland Garnett led the battle to implant the revolutionary position. His message to the slaves was uncompromising:
"Brethren, arise, arise! Strike for your lives and liberties. Now is the day and the hour. Let every slave throughout the land do this, and the days of slavery are numbered. You cannot be more oppressed than you already have been... Rather die freemen than live to be slaves. Remember that you are four million! Let your motto be resistance, resistance, resistance!"
*Marxists, such as Joseph Wedemeyer, were among the most farsighted and determined of the revolutionary abolitionists. Abolitionist newspapers were established by Marxists in several Northern cities and in Texas and Alabama.
*The reformists in the abolitionist movement opposed the use of armed force, claiming that slavery must be abolished only by peaceful means. Reformist leaders, such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, denounced the slave rebellions. Garrison proposed that only "moral" persuasion should be used, while Douglass promoted reliance on the federal courts and Congress.
*During the two centuries of slavery, the Afro-American people acquired several features of a nation. They had become distinct from their African ancestors and from the slaves in the Caribbean and South America. *At the same time, they were distinct from the Anglo-American nation. *The Black slaves formed the vast majority of the population in the plantation regions of the South and numbered over four million. *The music, songs, dance and literature of the Afro-American people can be traced to its origins in the 18th and 19th centuries. Black English, the "common language" of the Black people so scorned by white supremacists, developed from the various dialects spoken by the Black people.
*The growing national consciousness of the Afro-American people was expressed in the national Negro conventions which met annually, starting in 1830. These conventions were organized by the free Black people in the North and they became the focal point for the great debate between the reformists and revolutionaries. *Douglass led the reformists, arguing against Garnett's resolutions calling for slave insurrections. *By the 1850s the Negro conventions had passed over to supporting the armed overthrow of the slave system. Some leaders began to think beyond emancipation. *In 1859, Henry Highland Garnett wrote that the aim of the Afro-American people should be to establish in the South a "grand centre of Negro nationality, from which shall flow the streams of commercial, intellectual and political power which shall make coloured people respected everywhere."
The Civil War
*The slave owners, for all their power and brutality, were doomed to defeat. *The slave system was economically doomed and plagued by internal revolt. *Social relations in the North were based on capitalism, which could not live side by side with the archaic system of slavery forever. *The small farmers saw the spread of the plantation system as a threat to their existence. *The class-conscious workers recognized that the working class movement would not progress as long as slavery existed. *Even the Northern industrialists opposed slavery, because it held back the development of capitalism, both by chaining the slaves to the plantations and by restricting the growth of the capitalist market in the South.
*The slave system, by its nature, was forced to continually expand. These maps show the westward expansion of slavery between 1776 and 1849. Slave states were established on the territories robbed from the Mexicans and Native Americans. A pitched battle raged, both on the prairie and in the Congress, over whether these territories were to become slave states or free states. *This battle reached the point of civil war in Kansas in 1856. *The small farmers, known as the free-soilers, opposed the introduction of slavery in Kansas. *The plantation owners from Missouri imported gun thugs to terrorize the free-soil farmers and institute slavery. *The slavers set up a bogus territorial government which recognized slavery. *The free-soil farmers, led by the revolutionary abolitionist John Brown, organized their own militias. Through armed force, they drove the slavers from Kansas territory.
*John Brown decided to wage war on slavery in the very heart of its rule, the plantation South. Despite the fact that Douglass and other reformists refused to support his plan, *in 1859 John Brown led a small band of Black and white abolitionists to raid the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Their plan was to distribute the arsenal's 200,000 rifles among the slaves and bring about a war of liberation. *However, they were trapped at the arsenal by federal troops before they could carry out their plan. *Brown and his fighters were hung, becoming martyrs for the abolitionist cause.
*The various class forces in the North that opposed slavery banded together in 1855 to form the Republican Party. It was the industrial capitalists that led the Republican Party. In 1860, the anti-slavery forces elected the Republican candidate for president, Abraham Lincoln. *The slavocracy in the South, determined to maintain and expand slavery at any cost, seceded from the United States and formed the Confederacy. This was the Confederate leadership, made up of the most wealthy planters.
*The Civil War was a revolutionary war to overthrow the system of slavery. This was the bloody confrontation that the revolutionary abolitionists had predicted. *The revolutionary abolitionists were among the first to heed the call to arms. Joseph Wedemeyer, the great Marxist abolitionist, recruited a regiment of soldiers into the Union army and became a colonel. *Despite the fact that, at first, the Union army excluded Blacks, free Black men formed detachments and, gathering whatever arms they could obtain, marched out to battle.
*At first Lincoln, bowing to the more conservative industrialists and bankers that stood at the head of the Republican Party, had no intention of emancipating the slaves. He said: "My paramount objective is to save the union, and not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the union without freeing any slaves I would do it; if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."
*The "Radical Republicans," however, mounted tremendous pressure to free the slaves. Finally, seeing that the war could not be won without releasing the slaves, *Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially freed the slaves on January 1, 1863. In the liberated areas of the South, the freed slaves held great celebrations. *Throughout the South, slaves deserted the plantations and made their way to the liberated areas to join the Union troops. *The newly freed slaves fought heroically in the Civil War against their former slave masters. *They became a major factor which led to the Union victory.
*The Union troops pressed South, destroying the plantations and liberating the slaves. *General Sherman and General Hunter, inspired by democratic beliefs and hatred for the planters, allowed the freed slaves to divide up the liberated plantations, promising each of them forty acres and a mule. *The former slaves of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, seized his plantation and formed agricultural cooperatives. *The Sea Islands in South Carolina became entirely the property of the freed slaves. When the planters came to reclaim their plantations after the war, they were driven away by several thousand armed Black freedmen.
*After two centuries of slavery, the Black people were now free. *In the period of Reconstruction that followed the Civil War, the Black people took the reins of history into their own hands and fought to consolidate their freedom. *After 1865, Negro conventions were organized in every Southern state. These conventions proclaimed the political program of the Black people following the Civil War. *They demanded the right to vote and hold office, and full equality. They demanded that the former slave owners be denied political rights. They called for an end to the plantation system, but failed to clearly demand confiscation of the land.
*In their struggle against the planters, the Afro-American people found allies in the poor white farmers of the South. *Many of the poor white farmers had refused to join the Confederate army. *This map shows the widespread opposition to secession among Southern whites, especially in the Piedmont area where the poor white farmers were concentrated. Winston County, Alabama, and the entire western half of Virginia refused to secede from the United States. *After the war, the poor white farmers joined the freed slaves in demanding that the plantation owners be driven from political power, and that their land be confiscated. They rushed to join the Union Leagues, the political organizations set up by the "Radical Republicans" in the South. *Local chapters of the Union Leagues mobilized the people to participate in the historic changes taking place.
*The former slave owners were determined to keep their plantations and regain political power. Their political party was the Democratic Party, as it always had been. *In 1865, the planters and former Confederate generals organized a military arm of the Democratic Party, known as the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan terrorized the freed Black people and their white allies, whipping, beating, burning, looting and killing. *To defend themselves against Klan terror, the Union Leagues organized their own militias. During these years, Negro militias drilled in the streets of many Southern cities and towns. *Poor Blacks and whites put down the terror of Klan nightriders by physical force.
*The North was also divided on Reconstruction. The masses of small farmers and workers, and a few industrialists, wanted the former slave owners suppressed and their land confiscated. *But the dominant section of the Northern businessmen, represented by Abraham Lincoln and his Vice President, Andrew Johnson, were opposed to such revolutionary measures. *Once the Northern capitalists had established their political rule throughout the country by military victory in the Civil War, they were willing to come to terms with the former slave owners. The very idea of confiscating property and turning it over to the freed slaves was repugnant to them.
*After the assassination of Lincoln, Andrew Johnson worked with the former Confederates to set up Southern state governments which were controlled by the planters. *The Radical Republicans in Congress, led by Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner, waged a legislative offensive against this travesty of justice. They nearly succeeded in removing Andrew Johnson from office through impeachment and they destroyed his political power. *Pressed forward by the widespread popular demand that the former Confederates be suppressed, the Radical Republicans enacted the "Reconstruction Acts". These laws disenfranchised the former Confederates and empowered the Union army to oversee the election of democratic Reconstruction governments.
*In many parts of the South, Reconstruction was a period of revolutionary democracy for the poor and working people. *Never before, nor since, have the Black people and the poor white people enjoyed such democracy as they did during the brief years of Reconstruction. *Constitutional conventions were called and, in place of the wealthy planters and bankers, poor farmers and former slaves filled the halls. *Afro-Americans played a major role in the Reconstruction governments. The majority of the South Carolina legislature was Black.
*The Radical Reconstruction governments enacted legislation which provided for universal suffrage, civil rights and equal rights for women, including the right to vote and the right to divorce. They got rid of the Black Codes and the slave laws and the barbaric practices of whipping posts, stocks and debt imprisonment. *They denied 200,000 former Confederate collaborators the right to vote and they outlawed the Ku Klux Klan. *They built the first public schools and public libraries in the South and launched a mass literacy campaign. *They provided relief for the aged, the blind, the insane and the orphaned, built new roadways and provided for the construction of railroads. *They put the burden of taxes on the rich, where it belonged.
*However, the most critical goal of the Black people was not realized. The land remained in the hands of the planters. *The slaves had cleared the land and they had tilled it for generations. It was drenched in their sweat and blood and was rightfully theirs. *At the end of the Civil War, the freed slaves demanded the promised "forty acres and a mule" and believed that the Republican Party would deliver the land to them.
*The conservative wing of the Republican Party, however, enforced the planters' property rights with armed force. Most plantations which had been occupied by the Union Army during the war were returned to the planters. *As long as the planters owned the land, they still held economic power. It was only a matter of time before they would undermine the Reconstruction governments.
*The planters used the banner of white supremacy in their campaign to rally the poor white farmers to their side. *Unfortunately, many of the poor white farmers were blinded by white chauvinism and lost sight of their own class interests. *They abandoned their Black class brothers and sisters and took the side of the planters. The revolutionary democratic alliance was broken.
*The Black population and the poor whites who remained opposed to the planters were subjected to a bloody campaign of Klan terror. *Elections were marked by Klan massacres designed to keep Blacks from voting. *Black legislators were assassinated in broad daylight.
Over 5,000 Blacks were murdered by the planters and their gun thugs during Reconstruction. *The popular militias of the Reconstruction governments fought back valiantly. In Louisiana and Mississippi, a state of virtual civil war existed. *In 1874, the planters unsuccessfully tried to take the state house in New Orleans by force. *In several states, rival governments were set up, one representing the planters, the other the Black people and their white allies. *This painting shows Black and white militiamen defending their government at the Capitol building in Little Rock, Arkansas.
*The violent restoration of planter rule in the South was accomplished with the collusion of the Northern capitalists. The monopoly capitalists were consolidating their economic and political domination and they turned the Republican Party into the bastion of reaction that it is today. *The Republican Party betrayed the Afro-American people and made agreements with the Southern planters which sealed the fate of the Radical Reconstruction governments. *The demobilized Confederate soldiers were allowed to keep their arms, and many of them joined the Ku Klux Klan. *At the same time, the federal government disarmed the demobilized Black Union soldiers and ordered the Black militias disbanded. *This map shows the years in which the Reconstruction governments in the various Southern states fell. By 1874, all of the Southern states except four had fallen to the planters.
*Then in 1877, as the final blow, President Hayes gave federal recognition to the bogus planter governments in Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida, removing the last of the Reconstruction governments from power. *He withdrew the Union troops from the South and Klan terror reigned supreme.
*It was during and after the period of Reconstruction that the Afro-American nation was formed. *Emancipation brought with it the growth of capitalism in the South and the fuller appearance of all capitalist social classes among the Afro-American people.
*An Afro-American proletariat had already appeared before the Civil War and, by the end of the war, there were 100,000 skilled Black craftsmen in the South. *With emancipation many former slaves began working for wages. *Afro-Americans were the dockworkers in the ports on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. *They were the foundation of Birmingham's mining and steel industries. *From the beginning, the Afro-American proletariat has been a militant section of the multi-national U.S. proletariat, and the driving force of the emancipation movement of the Black people. *Early strikes were organized by dockworkers along the Mississippi River and by cane workers in Louisiana. *The striking cane workers proclaimed that "the colored people are a nation and must stand together." They set up their own governing council and wrote a constitution.
*During Reconstruction, a class of Black small businessmen began to appear. From the beginning, the Black bourgeoisie has been cramped by the Anglo-American capitalist class, and its development has been retarded. *Nevertheless, Black businessmen developed in the service industries in the Black community -- restaurants, beauty parlors, undertakers, insurance and real estate.
*The victory of Reconstruction would have allowed the Afro-American nation in the South to flourish. The South would have become the center of Afro-American commerce, culture and political power that Henry Garnett had spoken of. *The defeat of Reconstruction meant the enslavement of the Afro-American nation under the political and economic domination of U.S. imperialism.
An Oppressed Nation
*After Reconstruction was drowned in blood, the so-called New South was born. *It was ruled by the cotton planters and businessmen who represented Wall Street. The New South was built upon the most severe exploitation, persecution and ostracism of the Afro-American people.
*Slavery was brought back in a new form -- sharecropping. *Under this system, the plantation owner furnished a sharecropping family with a plot of land, stock animals, tools, seed and fertilizer. In exchange, the sharecroppers had to split their crop with the planter. *Having been denied the right to the land, the Black sharecroppers were at the mercy of the landowner. *Through systematic robbery by the landowner, they were kept in permanent debt and desperate poverty. *Hundreds of thousands of landless white families were also driven to accept the conditions of sharecropping. *Chain-gang slavery remained as a remnant of the slave system.
*Democracy was put to death. The Afro-American people were denied the right to vote by law and by terror. *Poll taxes, literacy tests and the infamous "grandfather clauses" were instituted to disenfranchise Black people. Until very recently, there were counties in the Black Belt South where, despite a Black majority population, there was not one registered Black voter.
*With planter rule restored, the democratic constitutions and laws of the Reconstruction governments were thrown out and replaced by Jim Crow laws which openly denied equal rights to the Afro-American people. *One such law in Georgia made it illegal for a Black person to be employed as a skilled craftsman. Until then, most skilled craftsmen had been Black. *The federal government backed up the Southern reactionary regimes. In 1883, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and, in 1896, in the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision, the Supreme Court established "separate but equal" as the law of the land. *These decisions removed all equal protection for the Afro-American people and discrimination reigned supreme.
*"Separate but equal" was a lie. Segregation, by definition, means national oppression. Black schools, for instance, received only a fraction of the public funds provided for white schools.
*This system of national oppression was enforced by terror. *Lynch mobs murdered at will. *Between 1889 and 1932 there were 3,741 recorded lynchings. *Nobody has ever been tried for these lynchings. *The Klan was maintained as an extra-legal terrorist gang to direct this hideous slaughter. It was organized mainly through the police and sheriffs departments. *This brutality was not simply racist barbarism -- it was systematically organized to keep the Black Nation in chains.
*The economic misery and political oppression inflicted on the Black people in the South drove many to migrate to the North and West. Afro-Americans were lured to the urban ghettos by rumors of good jobs. *The shadow of the plantation, however, reached beyond the South and extended throughout the land. *Upon arriving in the Northern industrial centers, Black workers found more discrimination. They were restricted to the heaviest, dirtiest and most dangerous jobs for the lowest pay. *When layoffs came around, they were the first to go. "Last hired and first fired" describes the life of the Afro-American proletarian.
*Blacks in the North were also greeted by mob attacks instigated by the ruling powers. *The Ku Klux Klan was spread throughout the country, and by the 1920s it had a membership of 4,000,000.
Development of the Black Liberation Movement
Reconstruction to World War I
*The political movement of the Afro-American people was slow to recover after the defeat of Reconstruction. *In the 1880s, Booker T. Washington established the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama as a Black trade school. *Washington encouraged Afro-Americans to learn trades, but he advised them to accept a subordinate position in society. *Speaking before a group of white planters and businessmen in Atlanta in 1895, Washington declared: "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly." This line of capitulation was very much to the liking of the Anglo-American ruling class. *Here, Washington is flanked by Andrew Carnegie and other top capitalists. The Rockefeller family poured money into Washington's schools and he was given the job of appointing a handful of Blacks to federal government positions. Washington was promoted as "the spokesman for the Negro people." *In reality, he represented only that thin layer of successful Black businessmen who had sold out the Black people in search of personal wealth. *Since Washington's time, this tiny Black bourgeoisie has acted as a pawn of the Anglo-American ruling class, doing everything in its power to suffocate the struggle of the Black people.
*The Rockefeller family set up two institutions to carry on Booker T. Washington's work -- the National Negro College Fund and the National Urban League.
*In 1905, W.E.B. DuBois and a number of Black intellectuals took steps to oppose Booker T. Washington's treachery. *Forming the Niagara Movement, they argued that Black people should immediately press for social equality and an end to discrimination. *However, in 1909, the Niagara Movement was swallowed up in the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP was run by white liberals. *DuBois was made editor of its magazine, The Crisis. *From the beginning, the NAACP's main activity was to challenge discrimination in the U.S. courts. It opposed any militant activity by the Afro-American people, counseling reliance on the bourgeois legal system.
*Another Black leader who emerged during this period was A. Philip Randolph of the Socialist Party. Randolph played an important role in organizing Black workers in these early years. *His newspaper, The Messenger, was popular in the Black community because it denounced the crimes against the Black people and the workers. But Randolph, as a member of the Socialist Party, was nothing more than a reformist. *The Socialist Party confined its followers to the struggle for a few reforms and violently condemned any effort to overthrow the U.S. imperialist system. Blinded by white chauvinism, the Socialist Party never fought for the special demands of Black people. Randolph ended up a renegade to both the Black people's struggle and the workers' struggle. He aligned himself with the most reactionary leaders of the AFL-CIO. Here, he and George Meany, the late head of the AFL-CIO, are honored by Nelson Rockefeller.
*Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois and A. Philip Randolph were all national reformists. The salvation of the Black people, they claimed, was possible under the rule of the Anglo-American capitalist class. They all opposed the revolutionary struggle for the liberation of the Afro-American Nation.
*The Black churches also became an important force holding the struggles of the Afro-American people back. Despite some individuals, Black preachers told the people to endure their burden here on earth, that they would be rewarded in heaven. *They told them to forgive the lynchers and turn the other cheek. They have played an active role in side-tracking the struggle for freedom onto the path of non-violence and reformism.
*The outbreak of World War I in 1914 had a profound effect on the Afro-American people. Many Blacks were drafted and others found jobs in the war industries. *Black soldiers returned from the war educated by the events of the war, and particularly by the Russian Revolution of October, 1917. *The Bolsheviks established a revolutionary working class government. They called upon the workers and oppressed peoples of the world to join them and rise up in revolution. They denounced the tyrannical oppression of the Afro-American people in the United States.
*A rising militancy swept the Black community during and after World War I. *Racist murders and lynchings would no longer go unanswered. In November 1917, a white racist mob killed two Black soldiers in Houston, Texas. The Black soldiers fought back and 17 of the racists were killed. *In a one-day trial, an all-white military tribunal sentenced 13 Black soldiers to death and 41 more to life in prison. *In 1919, the Black youth of Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities fought back valiantly against white racist mobs and police who attacked their communities. Over 100 people died that year in this right-wing terror.
*Responding to this rising militancy of the Afro-American people, Marcus Garvey built a movement preaching race pride and emigration to Africa. Garvey's emphasis on Black pride helped to build confidence in a people who had known only abuse and scorn at the hands of U.S. imperialism. *His emphasis on land appealed to the dislocated Black peasants who had been denied their own land. *His call to build a Black-ruled nation in Africa inspired the national sentiment of the oppressed Afro-American nation. *On this basis, Garvey built the Universal Negro Improvement Association into a mass organization with branches all over the country and over 1 million members. *Garvey and his "Back to Africa" scheme, however, were no salvation for the Black people. He agitated against struggling for political rights in the U.S. and played right into the hands of the white reactionaries who had been calling for the deportation of the Black people back to Africa for years. *Because his separatist views coincided with those of the white racists, Garvey openly endorsed and met with the Ku Klux Klan.
*During the same years, more militant Black workers and intellectuals, inspired by the Russian Revolution, formed the African Blood Brotherhood. *Basing itself largely among the Black soldiers returned from the war, the Brotherhood organized chapters in cities throughout the United States and the Caribbean. It stood for self-defense, organizing militias to defend the Black community, and for self-determination. *A leader of the Brotherhood, Cyril Briggs, later said: "The land of the Black Belt rightfully belongs to the millions of Negroes who till it. These Negroes should own the land in this territory, they should rule its territory, and make its laws, and sit in judgment in its courts. They should have the right to determine what form of government they desire, and should they decide upon a government separate from the United States they must be free to act upon their decision."
*Members of the African Blood Brotherhood and many other Black revolutionaries joined the Communist Party USA, which was organized in 1919. *In 1929, after throwing a number of reactionary and white chauvinist leaders out of its ranks, the Communist Party adopted a revolutionary position on the Afro-American struggle. *The Party recognized the development of an Afro-American nation in the Black Belt South and realized that the key to the liberation of the Black people was the political freedom of the Afro-American nation. *It championed the right of the Afro-American nation to self-determination, including the right of political secession. *The Communist demand for self-determination for the Black nation was fiercely attacked by the Anglo-American ruling class. The Ku Klux Klan was sent out specifically to intimidate Blacks from joining the Communist movement.
*During the 1930s, the Communist Party played the leading role in fighting for the demands of the Afro-American people. *Thousands of Black workers joined the Party and they mobilized the Black people for struggle. *The Black working class began to shoulder its task as the leader of the Black liberation movement.
*These were the years of the Great Depression, which devastated the Afro-American. Falling cotton prices intensified the misery of the sharecropper. *Unemployment among Black workers reached 50%. *On March 6, 1930, the Communist Party led great demonstrations of the unemployed in every major industrial center in the country. *Over 1,250,000 unemployed Black and white workers marched that day. *In 1932, Angelo Herndon, a young Black Communist leader of the unemployed movement in Atlanta, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for "inciting insurrection." Only mass protest led to his release 5 years later.
*Communist-led trade union organizations fought against the white chauvinist policy of the American Federation of Labor, which excluded Black workers or organized segregated locals. *The Communists demanded a united labor movement based on equal rights for all workers. *Communists led the battle to organize Black and white workers in the stockyards of Chicago, the auto factories of Detroit and the steel mills of Pittsburgh and Birmingham. *They also organized the Sharecroppers Union in the Black Belt South, which fought valiantly against the tyranny of the planters. *In 1931, the Communist Party led the battle to free the Scottsboro youths, nine young Afro-Americans in Alabama who had been framed on rape charges and sentenced to die. *Only the efforts of the Communist Party and the masses of working people saved them from the electric chair.
In the 1940s, however, the Communist Party USA betrayed the Black people and the working class. *The leadership of the party abandoned the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism and adopted revisionist theses of compromise with the ruling class. *It abandoned the Black liberation struggle and joined ranks with the NAACP and the reformists.
Revolutionary Upsurge in the Black Liberation Movement
*The period following World War II was ripe for a new upsurge in the Black liberation struggle. *Throughout the world, nations that had been colonized by the European imperialist powers were waging wars for national liberation. The Afro-American people also took up the banner of freedom. *The Black workers had won major victories before and during the war, with the integration of the war industries and the building of the CIO unions. *They were now much more numerous and more powerful, and not about to be held back by the dictates of Jim Crow. *Already during the war a violent rebellion broke out in Harlem which pitted Black youths against the police. *The massive protests against the lynchings of Emmett Till and Mark Parker gave notice that racist brutality would no longer be tolerated. *The national reformists of the NAACP and the Urban League attempted to suffocate the movement by preaching patience and "moderation." *By the mid-1950s the movement could no longer be held back.
*The Black Muslims became a powerful force in the mid-1950s. Similar to Garvey, they promoted racial pride and national development. *The Black Muslim program proclaimed: "We want our people in America whose parents and grandparents were descendants from slaves to be allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own -- either in this continent or elsewhere."
*Revolutionary nationalists within the Black Muslims, such as Malcolm X, mobilized the masses for struggle against police terror and national oppression. *However, the Black Muslim ideology was fundamentally flawed by fanatical chauvinism, characterizing all white people as "devils," by male supremacy and by an infatuation with capitalism. *Eventually, the Black Muslim leadership became indebted to the capitalist banks and completely capitulated to the Anglo-American ruling class.
*During the 1950s, more militant reformist organizations, including the Congress of Racial Equality, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, broke with the passivity of the NAACP and organized direct action to protest discrimination and segregation. *In 1954, under pressure from the rising movement, the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation, legally upsetting the "separate but equal" farce. *The modern civil rights movement was organized to bury it.
*The civil rights movement in the South spread from one form to another and targeted one aspect of segregation after another. *The Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 inspired millions. *On February 1, 1960, four Black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, sat in at Woolworth's lunch counter and launched the sit-in movement. *Mass voter registration drives were carried out in the Black Belt South. *Freedom riders forced the desegregation of interstate public transportation.
*Martin Luther King Jr. proved to be the most capable mass organizer of the reformists. For this reason, the ruling class chose him to be their new "spokesman for the Negro people." *King quickly became friendly with the ruling circles in Washington, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Denouncing revolution and espousing non-violence, King told Black people to "love thine enemy." *Through King, and other reformist leaders, the ruling class believed that it might contain the rising Afro-American movement. *But the logic of the struggle pushed the Black people's movement beyond accepting a few minor reforms, or accepting the shackles of non-violence. *
The revolutionary movement had been maturing throughout the Civil Rights period. *In 1959, Robert Williams, the leader of the local NAACP chapter in Monroe, North Carolina, armed his people to defend themselves against attacks by white racists. He and others organized the Revolutionary Action Movement, an early revolutionary nationalist organization. *RAM declared: "We must fight for independence and nationhood like all other freedom-loving people have done. By demanding an independent Black nation from the land that is rightfully ours: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina, the land we tilled, shed blood for 300 years for nothing (slave labor) and a hundred years for dry bones (sharecropping)."
*In 1964, Malcolm X broke with the Black Muslims and emerged as a national spokesman for the revolutionary sentiments of the Afro-American people. *He ridiculed the reformist leaders like Martin Luther King, and their views of bourgeois integration and non-violence. He advocated the liberation of the Afro-American people by any means necessary. *Malcolm said: "Revolution is never based on begging somebody for an integrated cup of coffee. Revolutions are never fought by turning the other cheek. Revolutions are never waged by singing 'We Shall Overcome.' Revolutions are based on bloodshed, revolutions overturn systems."
*The violence of the Ku Klux Klan and the police forces demanded self-defense. Between 1963 and 1966 in Alabama and Mississippi alone, white supremacists murdered twelve people in violent attacks on the civil rights movement. *Sammye Young, a SNCC organizer from Tuskegee, Alabama, was among the victims. *Throughout the South, Black fighters armed themselves for self-defense. *The Deacons for Defense and Justice was organized to provide armed defense for the freedom struggle.
*The bankruptcy of Martin Luther King's non-violent policy became starkly evident in the battle of Birmingham in 1963. *Facing clubs, dogs and fire hoses, many heroic fighters broke with the non-violent leadership of the SCLC and fought back. *The horror of Birmingham aroused the entire country and the struggle for Afro-American freedom leaped from the South to the urban ghettos in the North and West. *A new militancy swept the Afro-American people.
*In 1964, rebellions broke out in Harlem and in 23 other cities. These ghetto uprisings were armed battles between the Afro-American people and the police. *They voiced the people's indignation against police brutality and intolerable oppression. Martin Luther King branded these heroic rebellions as riots carried out by criminals.
*When the Watts rebellion broke out in 1965, Martin Luther King took the side of the police against the people. "It was necessary," King said, "that as powerful a police force as possible be brought in to check them." It is telling that King opposed the use of force by Afro-American people to gain liberation, while he supported the use of force by the police to put down the people's struggle.
*But King's pacifist and reformist approach could no longer hold back the Afro-American people. *There were 24 ghetto rebellions in 1965, and by 1967, 127.
In many cities, the National Guard was called in and martial law was declared. *The military conducted house-to-house searches for arms. *The police and the military, using tanks and automatic weapons, murdered hundreds of Afro-Americans in a brutal display of ruling class terror.
*1968 marked the height of this insurrectionary period. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King in April, massive rebellions broke out simultaneously in over 100 cities. *The rebellion in Cleveland in July 1968 was marked by the highest level of armed struggle yet. *Ahmed Evans had prepared and organized the Black community for insurrection. *He had built a disciplined political and military organization dedicated to Afro-American liberation.
*A new national revolutionary movement was capturing the following of the Afro-American masses. *"Black Power" became the slogan of the movement, reaching as far as Vietnam and Germany among the Black soldiers. *The Black Panther Party was organized in 1966. *It captured the revolutionary spirit of the Afro-American people, calling for self-defense and self-determination. *The Black Panther's ten-point political program declared: "We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the Black Nation in which only Black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of the Black people as to their national destiny."
*In 1968 the Republic of New Africa was formed in Detroit by 500 Blacks from across the country. *It called for an independent Afro-American nation in the Deep South. *The RNA states: "The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Africa's objectives are to organize political support for Black independence and lead a drive for a Black independence plebiscite. The provisional government identified the area of Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi as target areas for a free Black Independent Nation in North America."
*In 1968, Black autoworkers in Detroit organized a revolutionary union movement in the auto plants. They fought against the conditions of racism and wage slavery, and the collusion of the union leadership with the capitalists. *In 1969, DRUM, the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement, and others joined to form the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, which later gave birth to the Black Workers Congress.
*In the early 1970s, the African Liberation Support Committee organized massive rallies and mobilized the Afro-American people to support the anti-colonial liberation wars in Africa.
*The most advanced fighters in the Afro-American national movement were once again drawn to the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the communist movement was revived and denounced the revisionism of the old Communist Party USA. *The communists reintroduced the scientific and revolutionary Marxist-Leninist theses about the development of the Afro-American nation in the Black Belt South and the road to its emancipation. *However, the revived communist movement, in general, failed to adhere to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Many organizations strayed into the revisionist and reformist swamp.
*The ruling class did everything in its power to destroy the revolutionary Black liberation movement. It used bribery, political repression and assassination. *Many of the leaders of the struggle were appointed to anti-poverty agencies. Wavering revolutionary intellectuals were given Black studies programs. *The Ford Foundation gave money to Roy Innis of CORE and to others to profess a more conciliatory version of "Black Power."
*Those revolutionaries that the capitalists could not buy off, they jailed or assassinated. *Malcolm X was gunned down in 1965. *The FBI launched its infamous COINTELPRO program to terrorize the Afro-American national movement. *The FBI and the Chicago police colluded to murder Fred Hampton, the revolutionary leader of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. *Black Panther headquarters were raided throughout the country, and members were arrested, abused and, in many cases, killed. *In 1972, the FBI raided the RNA headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi, and, after a gun battle, imprisoned its leadership. *The government also hired many agent provocateurs, such as Eldridge Cleaver, who tried to destroy the movement from within and foment disunity. *Under the pressure of bribes and repression, many of the national revolutionary organizations collapsed or degenerated into reformism.
The Strategy for Liberation Today
*During the 1960s and 1970s, many reforms were won by the Afro-American people. *The reformist misleaders claim credit for winning these reforms, but their begging and pleading did not win anything. *It was the ghetto rebellions and the revolutionary struggle of the people that wrested these concessions out of the ruling class. *Despite these reforms, however, the basic conditions of oppression which Afro-American people live under have not changed. *The Anglo-American ruling class can make reforms one day and take them back the next because they remain in power.
Black people will never be granted full equality by the Anglo-American ruling class. *A handful of rich Black families may dream of integrating themselves into the Anglo-American power structure, but even they are shunted aside. The highly promoted "Black capitalism" was a dead-end street. *The Anglo-American capitalists will never permit the development of a powerful Black capitalist class. If the assets of all the Black-owned businesses in the country were combined into one company, this company would still not rank among Fortune's list of the 500 largest corporations.
*The political tyranny and desperate poverty faced by the Afro-American people are the most extreme in the territory of the Afro-American nation itself in the Black Belt South, where semi-slave conditions still exist.
*The failure of the agrarian revolution during Reconstruction denied the Afro-American people the land and forced most of them into sharecropping. *Although technological development has been slow, today most sharecroppers have been driven off the land with the coming of the tractor and the harvester. *But the system of sharecropping still exists. The white planter owns the land; the tenant families till it, using both the mule and the tractor. *Even though most agricultural workers are now paid wages, there still exist remnants of sharecropping.
*Because the landowners also own many of the retail stores, debt bondage and various forms of labor service in exchange for goods remain. *Many times a planter will provide a family with a house rent-free in exchange for the family's labor in the field at harvest time. *The large timber industry in the South is still organized along the lines of sharecropping. *The pulpwood cutters are kept in eternal debt.
*In the factories in the Black Belt South, the old tenant system still casts its shadow. *Severe repression has denied the workers the right to union organization. *Wages are uniformly low and benefits non-existent. *The system of slave labor known as the chain gang is still widely practiced. *This sheriff, like many others, leased out convict labor to plantation owners for his own profit. *All of these forms of exploitation add up to super-profits for the rich landowners and capitalists and terrible poverty for the Afro-American people.
*Living conditions in the Black Belt are miserable. *Housing is the worst in the country. Many homes have no running water. *Schools are still largely segregated. *Many people can only find seasonal work, and unemployment and desperate poverty have become a condition of life.
*Brutal subjugation has prevented even the semblance of Black self-government in the Black Belt South. In many counties, not a single Afro-American holds political office, despite the fact that the majority of the population is Black. *The sheriffs' offices and police departments remain the center of the local Klan organizations. The voter registration drives of the 1960s were fiercely combated by the reactionaries. *In 1964, one Mississippi plantation owner declared: "If any of my niggers try to register (to vote), I'll shoot them down like rabbits." *Fraud and terror is still used to deny the Afro-Americans their democratic rights. *Eddie Carthan, the Black mayor of Tchula, Mississippi, has recently been railroaded out of office and put up on criminal charges because he used his office to fight the local ruling class. *Maggie Bozeman and Julia Wilder were recently sentenced to four and five years in prison, respectively, for the "crime" of registering Black voters in Pickens County, Alabama.
*Over the last century, the Afro-American nation in the Black Belt South has undergone many changes. *Because of terror and the capitalist transformation of agriculture, great numbers of Afro-Americans have been forced from the agricultural region of the Black Belt to industrial centers outside of the Afro-American nation. *This map shows the areas of Black population around the country in 1970. *Nevertheless, the territory of the Black Belt South remains the home of the largest concentration of Afro-American people in the U.S. *It is the historic homeland of all Afro-American people, and the Black population of the rest of the country has its roots and deep family ties in the region. *A look at the 1970 census map shows that the old plantation region in the South, the historic territory of the Black nation, is still inhabited primarily by Afro-American people. This map shows those counties with a majority or near-majority Black population. *Since the mid-1970s, because of the severe economic crisis, there has been a reversal of the out-migration, and more Afro-Americans are returning to the Black Belt homeland, and the Southern cities surrounding it. Today, more than five million Afro-Americans live in the Black Belt territory, the largest number ever.
*The Afro-American nation is characterized by a common territory, common economic life and a common language and culture. *Still, its economic, political and cultural development has been held back by the Anglo-American ruling class, which holds it in chains. *The economic development of the Black Belt South, the political rights of the Afro-American people, and the flowering of the Afro-American language and literature will only be realized with the liberation of the Afro-American nation from the rule of the Anglo-American ruling class.
*The fight for self-determination for the Afro-American nation in the South must be combined with the struggle for equal rights for Black people in all regions of the country. *In the Afro-American ghettos of the North and West, demands must be raised for autonomous control of organs of local government, of education and of the police. *However, the key to the struggle for equal rights throughout the country will be the liberation of the Afro-American nation in the South. This struggle cannot be reduced to "community control" under imperialist rule, or to some abstract concept of "cultural autonomy." *Freedom and equality will only be possible when Afro-Americans have the right to establish an independent government in their homeland in the Black Belt South.
This will never be won peacefully. *Freedom requires revolutionary warfare to overthrow the rule of the Anglo-American ruling class in the Black Belt South. *It requires that the plantations be confiscated from the large landowners for the benefit of the agricultural laborers and small landowners. *It requires confiscation of the main means of production for the benefit of the working class and its allies. *It requires the state unity of the Black Belt region under one common government representing the people of that region. *It requires the removal of all U.S. troops and police forces from the soil of the Afro-American nation. *Once these conditions have been accomplished, a plebiscite can be held in which the people will vote to freely determine the future relationship between the Afro-American nation and the Anglo-American nation.
*The small Black capitalist class will never lead this struggle for freedom. It has completely accepted subservience to the Anglo-American capitalist class. *Here, Nixon greets members of the Black Business League. *Blacks who have money have embraced the oppressor, hoping for a few more crumbs. *The representatives of the Black bourgeoisie preach passivity to the Black people. *While they make feeble protests for equal rights, the Black bourgeoisie and its representatives, like Jesse Jackson, are as frightened of the revolutionary uprising of the Afro-American people as the Anglo-American bourgeoisie is.
*The Black petty bourgeoisie -- the small businessmen, farmers, intellectuals and professionals -- vacillates between the reformist stand of the Black bourgeoisie and the revolutionary stand of the Black proletariat. *This is a convention of Black landowners. *During the 1960s, it was the revolutionary section of the petty bourgeoisie that led the challenge to the reformist misleaders and championed the revolutionary demands of the masses. But the limitations of this petty bourgeois nationalist leadership became clear during this period. The programs of many of the nationalist leaders were not consistently revolutionary. *Malcolm X's program, which served as a model for many later groups, put forward only demands for community control and self-defense, and failed to clearly delineate the necessity of overthrowing imperialist rule and winning self-determination for the Afro-American nation. *The petty bourgeoisie is willing to compromise with the ruling class to find its place in the sun. It was the petty bourgeois leadership of the Black national movement in the 1960s that led to its defeat when many of its leaders sold out or collapsed under the pressure exerted by the ruling class. *Today, the National Black Independent Political Party and the National Black United Front represent the leadership of the Black petty bourgeoisie.
*The struggle for self-determination must be lead by the Afro-American proletariat. *The proletariat is not only the largest and most powerful class in the Afro-American nation; it is the most revolutionary class and the staunchest fighter for self-determination. *It is the class least infected by illusions that the ruling class will provide it with a place in the sun. The Black workers have known nothing but abuse and suffering. *The class-conscious workers see the U.S. ruling class as the main enemy of Afro-American freedom and will make no concessions to this mortal enemy.
*The liberation of the Afro-American people will be the work of the Black proletariat and the revolutionary sections of the petty bourgeoisie. *The proletariat must build a fighting front based on a revolutionary program which includes all forces committed to the struggle for national liberation. *The impoverished farmers, sharecroppers and semi-proletarian agricultural laborers in the Black Belt will be staunch allies in the struggle. *Revolutionary Black intellectuals and other petty bourgeois fighters will play an important role.
*At the same time, the proletariat must realize its own independent class aims. *Many of the petty bourgeois nationalists have a revolutionary desire to create a Black republic in the Black Belt South. *But they envision a republic built on the basis of capitalist exploitation, with themselves at the top. A Black capitalist republic would not only maintain the exploitation of the working class, it would also never be able to completely break with imperialist domination. *The only solution for the Afro-American people is socialism. The Black proletariat must establish socialism, based on common ownership of the means of production and state power in the hands of the working class and its allies, under the leadership of the working class. *Only socialism would be able to break completely with the domination of imperialism.
*By calling for the right of self-determination for the Afro-American nation, we are not calling for racial segregation. The white minority that lives in the Afro-American nation, with the exception of the overthrown landowners and capitalists, would enjoy complete democratic rights, and equal rights in every sphere. *They, too, would benefit from the overthrow of the planters and the capitalists, for they also suffer under their rule. *The subjugation of the Afro-American nation is directly responsible for the low wages, miserable living conditions and lack of political rights for the white population in the South as well. *The establishment of revolutionary democracy would bring about a great advance for all working people in the Afro-American nation, Black and white, just as Reconstruction did.
*The coming revolution will not be Black against white. There will be white working people fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with the Black people, *just as there will be Black renegades who side with the ruling class.
*The ruling class has long used the policy of divide and conquer -- giving the Anglo-American workers privileges and spreading the doctrine of white supremacy. *But historically many white working people have not fallen for the bait and have stood by their Black brothers and sisters in the struggle against their common oppressor. It is this class unity that will be the key to victory in the upcoming battles.
*This unity has been expressed recently when poor whites in the Black Belt region have joined with Blacks in attempts to elect Black candidates and break the political stranglehold of the landed ruling class. *It can also be seen in the annual Emancipation Day parade in Thomaston, Georgia, when white working people march side by side with Blacks to commemorate the abolition of slavery.
*The Afro-American liberation movement does not stand alone. It is part of a world-wide struggle against imperialism. *The guns of the freedom fighters in El Salvador, Guatemala, South Africa, Namibia, Palestine, Ireland and Afghanistan are all directed against the common enemy -- international imperialism.
*Within the borders of the U.S., the Chicano people, the Puerto Rican people and the Native American peoples are fighting for liberation. *The Afro-American liberation movement is bound up with all of these freedom struggles in a common war against imperialism and national oppression. *
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