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Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 21:09:22 EST
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Subject: Re: [BRC-ALL] Our Youth
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Our Youth

By Theresa El-Amin, in a dialog on the BRC-ALL list, 7 January 1999

In a message dated 1/7/99 5:16:33 PM SA Pacific Standard Time, ecdev@freewwweb.com writes:

> We must also fight for economic justice. Our youth need to know that
> jobs and business opportunities are out there for them but at this time,
> downsizing, redlining, the increased gap between rich and poor and the
> negative impact of the globalized economy are seriously hurting their
> chances to have some of the opportunities that we who are a little older
> had when we got out of school. They must be able to compete effectively
> in that context.

Greetings All,

Very glad to see this thread on youth. Hope that there are young people on who will join in.

What has become apparent to me over the last 2 years of deliberately mentoring and working with young organizers is the lack of political education. Most don't understand the relationship (links) between capitalism, white supremacy, prisons, lack of full time jobs, welfare reform, etc.

The one BIG opportunity we have in this period as Black radicals is to do something about the mis-education and non-existent education holding youth and all of us back.

In Chicago at the BRC Juneteenth, 1998, the academy was well represented. I sat down at a table with scholars from Harvard, Howard, Yale and Columbia. All Black radicals.

I asked them how much political economy do they teach their students. I told my shameless story of how I was recruited from a classroom by Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) in 1966. Those were the days when we had a movement. It was led by young people. Students. Young professors. Young ministers.

I'm seeing some possibilities lately. We are doing actions against sweat shops and child labor in Durham targeting Wal-Mart. We have recruited high school and college students looking to do social justice work. Students Against Sweat Shops. Duke Students for Justice. It's really encouraging.

There is a role for Black professors to play in building this movement. We need some Fannie Lou Hamers. We need some Malcolm Xs. We also need some Kwame Tures who will speak to their students about the injustices of capitalism, imperialism and white supremacy. We need professors of African studies to connect their students with activities to help them understand the role capitalism plays in their lives.

We all need political education. We need to study what's going on with the rapid changes in the global economy. We need to build solidarity with the peoples of Africa, Central America, South America, Asia and throughout the world who are struggling against the failed policies of the IMF and World Bank.

We need to support the movements in Mozambique and Brazil calling for debt cancellation.

We need to use this medium to develop a black radical and feminist analysis of the global economic crisis. The impact on women and children in the US and throughout the world.

We need members of the academy to help us with political education. We need to hear their analysis in terms we can use to talk to people. Please........

Theresa El-Amin
Durham BRC-ALL: Black Radical Congress - International Discussion & Debate
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