From owner-labor-l@YORKU.CA Fri Jul 27 20:00:04 2007
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 19:50:49 EDT
Sender: Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Roland Sheppard <Rolandgarret@AOL.COM>

Gathering the Tribe

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, 19 June 2007

Ona Move! LLJA!

For what do we gather—we youths and elders—if not to try to find some clue to how to remake this world that is obviously going wrong?

Why gather, unless there is at least some hope that some words, some key, some insight may be gained that will glow like the proverbial light bulb over the head of the guy in the comics?

But—as an elder who was a revolutionary before he was 15, please lend your ear to my thoughts.

I wish to share with you some ideas that I've always shared with young folks. I try to remind them that Huey P. Newton, who founded the Black Panther Party, did so at the tender age of 24. Twenty-four years old!

His friend and co-founder, Bobby Seale, was only a few years older.

I say this to remind you, especially young people, of what young folks are capable of, when they put their minds and hearts to it.

Huey didn't ask Martin Luther King, Jr. for permission. He didn't ask Malcolm X for his OK.

Like most young people of his time, he talked to other young folks, and before you know it, a dozen young brothas and sistas were with him, trying to build the Party from scratch.

What's my point?

Am I suggesting that this was/is easy? Or that, if Huey could do it, you could too?

No. It would be dishonest of me, and dangerous for you, to do that.

It's important to remember that old adage by Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

It's important for you to learn mistakes of the past, so that you can side-step them in the future.

Among the Ashanti people in West Africa, the following proverb is used: “ A wise man who ceases to learn ceases to be wise.”

Study. Study. Seriously study our people's history of resistance, so that you can remake this world {that is} on the brink of chaos.

Huey P. Newton studied the works of Malcolm X; he studied anti-Imperialist movements in Cuba, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He studied the writings of Mao, of Che, of Kwame Nkrumah and beyond.

Then he put his studies into practice.

The great Frantz Fanon, a revolutionary psychiatrist who helped {in} the Algerian Revolution said, “Every generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, and fulfill it or betray it.”

That is your task. It can't be handed to you like a ticket.

It must emerge from the inner recesses of the soul, from the red embers of collective and personal history.

You must own it, and make it yours, by seizing the stage of history—by taking it.

For, as elders return to their ancestors, the earth becomes the inheritance of the living.

The challenge is great; the threats are daunting; but the promise of freedom, of true liberation couldn’t be sweeter.

Thank you! Ona Move!

From Life's Row, this Mumia Abu-Jamal