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Black Agenda Radio – 10.14.19

Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: The struggle for adequate, quality food as an important part of Black self-determination; the fight against mass Black incarceration opens a new front in New York City; and, Venezuela is in an epic battle for socialism and national independence against the almighty Dollar.

The New York Times earned praise, and some criticism, for its recent “1619 Project” – a series of essays on the first Black slaves imported to Virginia, 400 years ago. We spoke with Josh Myers, a Howard University professor of African American Studies who delivered a lecture on the arrival of the first Africans in Jamestown. The question we posed to Myers was: If the arrival of Blacks as slaves in British America is viewed as the beginning of the Black saga, then the European colonial assault on Africa and most of the world is not part of the story. Black American slavery and oppression is depicted out of context.

U.S. sactions against Venezuela are ravaging that country’s economy, and have already caused the deaths of at least 40,000 people, due to shortages of medicine. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country’s deteriorating economic conditions. Nicholas Evan Ayala is co-editor of Anti-Conquista, a journal that defends the Venezuelan revolution. We began our conversation with Ayala by asking him to translate the publication’s title, “Anti-Conquista.”

Food stores have abandoned Black communities across the United States, forcing residents to eat badly or travel to other neighborhoods to shop. Ashante Reese is a professor of anthropology at Spelman College, in Atlanta. She’s written a book, titled, “Black Food Geopgraphers: Race, Self-Reliance, and Fund Access in Washington, DC.” We asked Professor Reese, How bad is the situation in what some people call “food desert” neighborhoods?

Activists in New York City are trying to prevent the construction of four new prisons in the different boroughs of the city, designed to replace the jail cells that will be lost when the infamous Rikers Island Jail is closed down. The “No New Jails” movement says now is the time to phase out mass incarceration, not replenish it. Ben NDugga-Kabuye is with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

Donti Mitchell is a prisoner of the State of New York. In this report for Prison Radio, Mitchell asks the question: “What kind of society are we?”

 

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