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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: Low wage workers get ready to converge on Richmond, Virgina, for a national convention to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; a Black political prisoner wins a long court fight against the State of Pennsylvania; and, Black people in the South American nation of Colombia try to forge a sustainable peace agreement with guerillas and the government.
This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.
– In two three weeks, Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention and thousands of protesters who would like to shut the whole thing down. We spoke with Erica Mimes, of the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, part of the People of Color DNC Resistance Against Police Terrorism and State Repression. They’ve teamed up with “Shut Down DNC” for a march at the height of the convention, on Tuesday, July 26th. But Philadelphia officials have not yet granted them a parade permit. Mimes doesn’t expect fairness of the city.
– MONEY makes the world of the Democrats and the Republicans go round, according to Dr. Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, at Boston. Dr. Ferguson is author of the book, “The Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money Driven Politics.” He says says this election season has been quite unusual, on both sides of the two-party system. Bernie Sanders mounted a challenge to the Democratic establishment with mostly small campaign contributions, and Donald Trump used his personal fortune to raise issues that Republicans hardly ever talk about. Does that mean Donald Trump marches to a different drummer?
– Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, is among the speakers who will address a mass meeting on “The Politics of Incarceration in Palestine and the United States,” on July 15th, at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Educational Center, in New York City. Nyle Forte, a young minister and Phad candidate from Newark, New Jersey, is also a speaker, along with others who recently traveled to Palestine. We asked Nyle Forte what Israeli treatment of Palestinians has to do with mass Black incarceration in the United States.
– On the 4th of July in the year 1852, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “There is not a nation on earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.” We spoke with Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist, and asked her if Frederick Douglass’s assessment sounds familiar, in the present day.
– Holidays like the 4th of July don’t mean much to the 2.2 million people locked up in this country’s prisons. Political prison Yan Lahman has for months been denied direct communication with the outside world. His commentary, for Prison Radio, is titled “Prisoners’ Voices Blocked and Censorship of U.S. Prisons.” It’s read by Lynn Stewar, the people’s lawyer who has also been a political prisoner, herself.
Welcome, this is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford with my co-host, Nellie Bailey., here is a weekly hour of African American political thought and action
– Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney says Black people have no stake in the Republican or Democratic parties. McKinney was the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2008. She has since earned her PhD in Leadership and Change. We asked McKinney if she has ever seen anything like the current disarray in both major parties this election season?
– Political activists from around the nation are planning to be in Philadelphia, in late July, for the Democratic National convention. Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a native Philadelphian, a member of the Black Radical Organizing Committee, and one of the organizers of last January’s national conference on the Black Radical Tradition. Dr. Monteiro says this is the most “consequential” election season in, perhaps, a century.
– Rev. Edward Pinkney is serving a sentence of 30 months to ten years in prison for allegedly tampering with a voter petition in his hometown of Benton Harbor, Michigan. The mostly Black city has long been under the thumb of the Whirlpool Corporation. Rev. Pinkney spoke to Prison Radio on how he became a political prisoner.
– Studies show that Black girls are suspended or expelled from school at six times the rate of white girls. Education Week magazine spoke with researchers on the causes of these wildly disproportionate punishments. Adrienne Dixson, a professor of Critical Race Theory at the University Illinois.
– The United States seems to be closer to its long time goal of overthrowing the left wing government in Venezuela. The Venezuelans say Washington is gearing up for a military intervention. Utrice Leid, host of Leid Stories, on the Progressive Radio Network, recently interviewed Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston.
Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.
Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and co-host Nellie Bailey.
– the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold a national conference on the presidential elections and Black self-determination, on April 9th, in New York’s Harlem. Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela says the electoral arena is only one aspect of politics, and has historically been the LEAST useful for Black people.
– Veteran activist and historian Paul Street last week published an article titled, “Bernie, Black and Blue: Reflections on Race in the Democratic Primaries.” This month, large numbers of Black, brown and white demonstrators – some of them Bernie Sanders supporters – went to a Donald Trump rally in Chicago and shut it down. Sanders was not pleased. Although the Vermont senator claims to want to start a political revolution, he doesn’t like the idea of disruption.
– One of those who testified, last week, at congressional hearings on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water supply was Prof. Marc Edwards, of Virginia Tech University. Edwards slammed the federal Environmental Protection Agency for “creating the climate” in which the Flint poisoning occurred. He has these other choice words for the leadership of the EPA.
– Political prisoner Mondo Welanga, from Omaha, Nebraska, died in his cell at the Nebraska State penitentiary, this month, at the age of 68. Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, mourns the passing of a fighter and a poet.
– Last year, Mondo Welanga recorded one of his poems for Prison Radio. It’s titled, “When It Gets to This Point.”
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.