Monday, February 22, 2016

MALCOLM X AND HIS YOUNG APPRENTICE, A. PETER BAILEY (MF GALAXY 066)


KNOWING MALCOLM X PERSONALLY, EDITING HIS FINAL NEWSLETTER, HOW MX’S INTERNATIONALISM PRECEDED MLK’S, BOOK ATTACKS ON MALCOLM DISGUISED AS PSYCHOLOGY, AND PRESERVING MX’S LEGACY

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While it’s remarkable that a man who didn’t live past age 39 has achieved immortality, Malcolm X accomplished so much in his brief, dramatic life that the reasons are clear. He was one of the most significant figures of the 20th Century, an African-American whose life, experiences, influences, and effects crossed continents and oceans.

Born in 1925 to a family of activists for Marcus Garvey’s internationalist United Negro Improvement Association, young Malcolm faced numerous obstacles including the murder of his father, likely by Klansmen. Descending to crime and prison, he recreated himself with the aid of the Nation of Islam, one of the many groups that rose following the US government’s destruction of Garvey’s UNIA.

Malcolm employed his astounding intellect, oratorical skill, and organisational brilliance to build the NOI from a few scattered temples of a few hundred people into a nation-wide organisation, and became an electrifying international figure. His success provoked jealousy among other leaders of the NOI, and fear at the highest levels of US intelligence, amply demonstrated in the books Malcolm X: The FBI File by Claybourne Carson and The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X by Karl Evanzz.

Such jealousy, fear, and intrigue from shadowy heights of US power collided on Feb. 21, 1965, when five NOI assassins murdered the man described by the FBI as a potential “Black messiah.” Malcolm’s final testament, the Autobiography which he co-authored with Alex Haley, is a modern classic.

On this episode of MF GALAXY, we’ll hear from a man who was an apprentice of Malcolm X: A. Peter Bailey. Bailey is a journalist, activist, former editor of Ebony Magazine, a founding member of Malcolm’s secular, united-front Organisation of Afro-American Unity, and editor of its newsletter The Blacklash. With Rodnell P. Collins, a nephew of Malcolm X, Bailey is the author of Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X. He’s also one of the key figures behind the classic book Malcolm X: The Man and His Times.

Bailey spoke with my by telephone from Washington DC on May 16, 2005, just before Malcolm’s 80th birthday. He discussed:
  • Following Malcolm’s path directly by becoming the founding editor of the OAAU’s newsletter, just as years before Malcolm X had founded Muhammad Speaks, the newspaper of the Nation of Islam
  • His personal experience of Malcolm X from working with him in the OAAU
  • Why the OAAU stated repeatedly that it was not a civil rights organisation but a human rights organisation
  • How Malcolm X’s revolutionary internationalism preceded—if not shaped—that of Martin Luther King
  • The many deficiencies in the anti-Malcolm X biography Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America by Bruce Perry, which later formed much of Manning Marable’s book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, and
  • Bailey’s attempts to keep the US-based Socialist Workers Party and its publishing arm Pathfinder Press from seizing control of Malcolm X’s legacy and historical image
Along the way, Bailey cites Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s widow; the Pan-Africanist scholar and activist Dr. John Henrik Clarke, the credited editor of Malcolm X: The Man and His Times; and novelist John Oliver Killens, author of And Then We Heard the Thunder.

We began by discussing the controversy around creating the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Centre out of the remnants of the Audubon Ballroom where assassins killed Malcolm X in 1965.

And now on MF Galaxy, my conversation with A Peter Bailey.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

MOLEFI KETE ASANTE ON AFROCENTRICITY, HOW ITS DETRACTORS HAVE WARPED ITS MEANING, AND HOW EVERYDAY EUROCENTRICITY WARPS REALITY (MF GALAXY 065)


AUTHOR OF AFROCENTRICITY ON HOW KNOWLEDGE OF SELF IS LIBERATORY, HOW AFROCENTRICITY IS NOT THE ANALOGUE TO EUROCENTRICITY, AND THE MASSIVE DIVERSITY OF THE CONTINENT

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Few people have done as much to promote the Africentric perspective as Molefi Kete Asante, the scholar, editor, and activist who wrote the seminal work Afrocentricity and furthered the intellectual movement for an African-centered scholarship and world-view that employs research for political liberation through the academic resuscitation of smothered history.

Asante has published over 400 articles, and has authored more than seventy books, among them Afrocentricity, African Pyramids of Knowledge, Ancient Egyptian Philosophers, and the memoir As I Run Toward Africa. The Utne Reader called him one of the “100 Leading Thinkers” in the United States, and he has appeared on Nightline, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, The Today Show, The Tony Brown Show, and 60 Minutes.

The African Union cited him as one of the top twelve scholars of African descent when it invited him to give one of the keynote addresses at the Conference of Intellectuals of Africa and the Diaspora in Dakar in 2004. He’s currently Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Philadelphia’s Temple University.

Asante spoke with me by telephone from his office at Temple University in Philadelphia on August 12, 2010 (You’ll note that during our discussion I refer to the African continent as having only 54 countries, rather 55 with the creation of South Sudan in 2011). We discussed:

•How Afrocentric analysis opens possibilities for pursuing knowledge and success in various walks of life
•How many of his detractors have distorted the meaning and goals of his philosophy of Afrocentricity, and
•Asante’s list of everyday English terms such as tribe, native, and dialect that reveal Eurocentric biases against Africa and obscure the massive diversity of African nationalities, languages, and histories




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To hear the patrons-only extended edition of my conversation with Molefi Kete Asante, become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week.

By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available. Here’s a preview.

•Ongoing resistance to recognising the Ancient Egyptians as Africans, whether from Europeans, or from Zahi Hawass, the Arab who is the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities
•His reactions to National Geographic’s ongoing misrepresentation of Ancient Egypt’s racial identity, and
•The analytical limitation of using the word “Black” instead of the word “African”

Sunday, February 07, 2016

VALENTINE CHOCOLATE? STOP! CAROL OFF ON MODERN SLAVERY IN THE GLOBAL CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY (MF GALAXY 064)


A MAJOR ECONOMIC DRIVER IN EUROPEAN GLOBAL CONQUEST, A CANADIAN-FRENCH JOURNALIST ASSASSINATED FOR INVESTIGATING BIG CHOCOLATE, COCOA MONEY LAUNDERING IN NEW YORK, AND IMF/WORLD BANK ECONOMIC MANIPULATION


In wealthy countries, chocolate is part of daily life. We give it as the generic token of affection at Christmas. On Valentine’s Day we send it as a sign of romantic love. When we need a mood booster or something to staunch our hunger, we grab a chocolate bar.

In recent years, it’s become a staple of corporate journalism to report on the supposed health benefits of consuming chocolate, or chocolate’s alleged power as an aphrodisiac, or how it produces near-orgasmic effects on brain chemistry.

But what almost no one in the wealthy countries realises is that chocolate is not simply big flavour or even big business, but a big, gaping wound in the body of human rights. The world’s number one supplier of cocoa beans is Ivory Coast, a country whose cocoa farmers routinely employ child labourers who are paid nothing. That means they’re enslaved. These same children are often lured to be transported hundreds of kilometres from their homes. That’s human trafficking. The massive profits from cocoa exports are used by governments and militias to finance their arsenals against each other. That’s civil war.

As much a planetary killer as is Big Tobacco, its daily operation pales before the massive human rights abuse that is Big Chocolate, or what should be called Blood Chocolate.

As we’ll find out in this episode of MF GALAXY, there’s plenty of blame to go around. Some of it belongs with the farmers in Cote d’Ivoire who are enslaving children, or the militaries feasting on chocolate profits. But much if not most belongs with massive Western corporations reaping profits in the billions while operating out of cartels which manipulate global markets and commodity prices, which permanently shackle the economies of Original World nations.

To explain this story, we’ll hear from Carol Off, the acclaimed journalist and host of CBC’s As It Happens who’s author of Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet.
 

A finalist for the Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing and for the National Book Award, Bitter Chocolate is a horrifying description of the tortured history of cocoa, from its use by megalomaniacal kings in Meso-America, to its role as an economic driver in European global conquest.
 

We’ll discover the fascinating story of a Canadian-French journalist assassinated for investigating Big Chocolate at its production source, cocoa money laundering in New York state, and the role of the IMF and the World Bank in crushing national sovereignty by economic manipulation.

We’ll also hear about the groups fighting against Big Chocolate, and why Carol Off declares that simply buying fair trade won’t amount to a hill of beans.

Carol Off spoke with me by telephone while on the road in Ontario on April 19, 2008. We began by discussing the bizarrely utopian origins of Big Chocolate before we engage its horrifying results.


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To hear the patrons-only extended edition of my conversation with Carol Off, click on this Patreon link to become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week.


By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available. This extended edition includes Carol Off discussing:



  • Whether North American and European consumers will pay a few extra pennies per chocolate bar to prevent the mass enslavement of West African children
  • The outpouring of activism to defeat slavery and increase justice and how Fair Trade has helped establish wells, day cares, schools, and clinics
  • France’s criminal regime of tariffs against finished chocolate and refined cocoa that keep France super-rich and in control and Ivory Coast ultra-poor and enslaved, and
  • Carol Off’s recommendations of which fair trade chocolate bars taste best
 
GET INVOLVED

If you’re concerned about what you’re hearing, use the links below to discover how you can get involved. Make sure you call your school board trustee to say you’ll vote only for candidates who stop raising funds for their school children by enslaving school-age children in Ivory Coast. 

And for your next celebration, whether Halloween, birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, look for the Fair Trade logo on the label. If you don’t see it, don’t buy it. Buy something else that’ll also be delicious and won’t enslave kids.
 




The following links are courtesy of antislavery.org: