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Racial and Gender Justice

Reimagine Everything

From a Speech by Grace Lee Boggs

I’m a very old woman. I was born in 1915 in what was later known as the First World War, two years before the Russian Revolution. And because I was born to Chinese immigrant parents and because I was born female—I learned very quickly that the world needed changing.

But what I also learned as I grew older was that how we change the world and how we think about changing the world has to change.

The time has come for us to reimagine everything. We have to reimagine work and go away from labor. We have to reimagine revolution and get beyond protest. We have to think not only about change in our institutions, but changes in ourselves. We are at the stage where the people in charge of the government and industry are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. It’s up to us to reimagine the alternatives and not just protest against them and expect them to do better.

The BLM Effect: Hashtags, History and Race

Janelle Monae and members of Wonderland at SF rally for victims of police violence.  © 2016 Eric K. Arnold

By Eric K. Arnold

Four days after the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest appeared on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Emcee Q-Tip announced, “Everybody stand up, one fist up in the air!” and proceeded to perform “We The People,” the most overtly-political song of their 26-year career. Tip peeled off some incendiary lines which referenced police brutality—“You be killing off good young brothers.” The song’s chorus took a direct stab at the bigotry aroused during the long Presidential campaign: “All you Black folks, you must go/ All you Mexicans, you must go.”

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Movement in Motion

Cat Brooks leads a press conference at Oakland Police Department headquarters.  © 2016 Eric K. Arnold

Interview with Cat Brooks by Eric K. Arnold

If you live in the Bay Area, it’s practically impossible to ignore Cat Brooks. She’s seemingly everywhere; on any given week, you might find her leading women’s marches against state-sponsored violence, holding press conferences at police headquarters for the Anti Police Terror Project (APTP), co-hosting KPFA-FM public affairs show “UpFront,” writing op/eds on how to correctly protest for the East Bay Express, speaking about the Black Panthers in a video installation at the Oakland Museum of California, pushing back against Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf on Facebook, or starring in a Lower Bottom Playaz stage production at theater venue The Flight Deck. And you thought your life was busy.

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Black Lives Matter: Opening a Second Front

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

The time has come—where it’s not happening already—to open up a “Second Front” in the direct action campaign to save and preserve Black lives in cities like Oakland, California.

The term “Black Lives Matter” was coined in the immediate aftermath of the July, 2013 acquittal of civilian George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. But even before the term was created, the movement that would later be identified with it had already opened up its “First Front” following the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer at a BART station in East Oakland. The name “Black Lives Matter” now refers—sometimes interchangeably—both to the chapter organizations set up by the three women who coined the phrase as well as to the larger movement of organizations and individuals who rally under its banner. In this article, I use the term to refer to that larger movement and not necessarily the chapter organization.

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