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– What may be remembered as an historic conference on the Black Radical Tradition was held at Temple University, in Philadelphia, this past weekend, from January 8 through the 10th. Many hundreds of activists from all across the country gathered to review the experiences of the current grassroots mobilization against police violence, and to put it in perspective with past Black movements in the United States and the fight against predatory capitalism, worldwide. The conference was titled “Reclaiming Our Future: The Black Radical Tradition in Our Time.” It was put together, largely, by students, activists and organizers from Philadelphia, and keynoted by speakers including Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Anthony Monteiro.
– An extraordinary panel discussion unfolded under the title, “Challenging White Supremacy: The Black Radical View.” Umi Saleh, formerly known as Phillip Agnew, of the Florida-based Dream Defenders presented a devastating critique of those whose claim to leadership is based on the size of their Twitter followings, most notably DeRay McKesson, of Campaign Zero. Saleh called Social Media an “asylum for neoliberal values” and described McKesson’s political leanings as “counter-revolutionary and anti-movement.”
– Jamala Rogers is a veteran organizer based in Missouri, and author of the new book, “Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion.”
– Robin DG Kelly rounded out the panel on Challenging White Supremacy at the conference on the Black Radical Tradition. Kelly is a veteran activist and public intellectual, who teaches history at UCLA.