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Black Agenda Radio – 02.22.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific author and professor of political science at the University of Houston, has another book out. It’s titled, “Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary.” Paul Robeson was an NFL-class athlete, spoke 12 languages, a movie star who was one of the biggest draws in the American musical theater, and was probably the best-known American in the world at the height of his popularity, in the early 1940s. Yet, no more than 20 years later, the crusading artist and social activists’ name had been all but erased from public discourse in the United States. How could that happen? We asked Dr. Horne.

– An analysis of employment statistics shows the Black jobless rate in Virginia, the state with the lowest Black unemployment rate in the nation, is the same as the white jobless rate in West Virginia, the state with the highest white unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent. What does this tell us about the so-called economic recovery? We spoke with Dr. Valerie Wilson, of the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.

– Turkey is threatening to invade neighboring Syria, creating a direct confrontation with Russian military forces. Political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.com, appeared recently on Russia Today’s “Cross Talk” program. Draitser says Turkish President Erdogan is playing with fire.

– Hillary Clinton is one step closer to becoming Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, with her victory in Nevada. That’s a scary thought, as far as Dr. Stephen Zunes, is concerned. Zunes is Professor of Politics and International Studies, at San Francisco University. He says Hillary Clinton stoked the flames of war while Secretary of State.

– Ticket sales are soaring for Beyonce’s world tour. The Superstar seems to have profited from the controversy over her Black Panther-flavored performance at the Superbowl. Black Agenda Report editor Ajama Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, says there’s nothing oppositional, much less revolutionary, about Beyonce’s “Formation” album. He also maintains that neither Bernie Sanders nor Ta-Nehisi Coates represents a challenge to the U.S. imperial order.

– Public television last week showed the acclaimed Stanley Nelson film, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which previously had been playing in selected theaters. Former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver was honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, in Detroit. Cleaver recounted how she became involved with the Black Panther Party.

– The nation’s best-known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, is also a renowned author. Abu Jamal gives a boost to a former political prisoner’s latest book.

– Khalil Bennet is also imprisoned in Pennsylvania. Bennet is what inmates call “a child-lifer” – a person given a life sentence for a crime committed while he was a juvenile. The Supreme Court recently ruled that such sentences are cruel and unusual, setting the stage for the release of thousands of prisoners. Khalil Bennet says, when these former child-lifers are let loose, they can become the cadre of a new movement.