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: A demand for freedom for members of the MOVE organization, who have been imprisoned for the past 39 years; and, Has the Reparations movement hit a legal dead end? No, says an activist who is pushing
to put reparations on the ballot, in Chicago. James Forman Jr, the son of the legendary civil rights leader, has caused quite a stir with his new book, titled “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.” Forman is a professor of at Yale Law School. His book details how, during the 1970s and 80s, Black politicians pushed for draconian drug laws and policing strategies that resulted in the massive rates of incarceration in Black America. We spoke with Paul Street, a historian and author who has done extensive research on mass incarceration. Street is quite impressed with James Forman’s work. Earlier this month, Black Agenda Report published an article by Dr. Jahi Issa and Reggie Mabry, which maintained that the Reparations movement is dead in the U.S, and will stay dead until activists change their legal strategy. Courts have rejected previous suits for reparations for the descendants of Black people enslaved in the United States. Issa and Mabry maintain that it does no good to bring suits against slavery, because slavery was LEGAL in the United States for most of the nation’s early history. The best way for Black people to get a favorable ruling in court, they say, is to challenge the U.S. government’s failure to stop the ILLEGAL importation of Africans after the international slave trade was outlawed in 1808. Kamm Howard is a veteran activist in the reparations movement. He’s on the legislative Commission of NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, and sits on the steering committee of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Howard is organizing a campaign to put a reparations measure on the ballot in Chicago. He’s aware of Dr. Issa and Reggie Mabry’s criticism of previous reparations legal strategies. Haitian political analyst Pascal Robert is a contributor to Black Agenda Report. Robert recently appeared on the pod-cast, Dead Pundits Society. He said that, for the first time in history, Black people in the United States are “operating in a political space to the right of white progressives.” Back in 1978, nine members of the MOVE organization were sentenced to life in prison in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Seven years later, in 1985, the cops bombed the MOVE residence, killing 11 people, including 5 children. The surviving members of the MOVE 9 remain in prison. On August 5 th , in Brooklyn, New York, an all-day event will be held at the House of the Lord Church, under the heading: “39 Years is Too Long: Free the Move 9.” MOVE minister of communications Ramona Africa spoke with Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser. She says the August 5 th event will feature more than just speeches. Charles Diggs is locked up the Pennsylvania prison system. He wrote an essay for Prison Radio, about how best to return to society all of its “missing citizens” – like himself. Charles Diggs asks the question: Why are so many among the missing? And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. 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.