Monday, July 15, 2013

Black power!

This image of a Black Panther Party member from Chicago in 1969 terrified the US power elite. It wasn’t just an insolent flipping the bird to the racist status quo; it was fearless defiance during the era of Black power (when the battalions of the Civil Rights Movement had receded)--& the FBI moved in to crush it with incarcerations & summary executions.

This was the era of Black power & “Black is beautiful.” Those who go back a few decades know Blacks have gone through several names for their nationality--from racist epithets like the n-word, darkies, & colored people to Negroes, people of color, Blacks, & now African-Americans. A curious phenomenon is the naming of the oppressed; we can never settle on what to call them & refuse to call them by their proper names--& we see that cognitive disorder played out around the globe with Blacks, women, Indigenous people (where conquerors actually rename tribes), castes, the disabled.

The move from Black--such an assertion of dignity & pride--to the academic correctitude of African-American (most of whom have been in the Americas for over 500 years--longer than the pasty peoples who’ve been here a generation or two & don’t call themselves Franco-Americans or Italo-Americans) is a political swindle to run from the powerful assertions of Black power.

Black power! There will be no social transformation in the Americas without its leadership--male & female. Black is not just beautiful; it’s the hope of the future.

(Photo by Hiroji Kubota)

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