Category Archives: Actions | Events

Killing Trayvons ~ “American Violence at the Intersection of Race & Class”

kag3with Kevin Alexander Gray

Co-editor [with Jeffrey St. Clair and JoAnn Wypijewski] of Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence, and author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics for an evening of analysis, dialogue and performance.

Killing Trayvons

Gray is a civil rights organizer in South Carolina. He is a contributing editor to Counterpunch, on the boards of RESIST & Savannah River Site Watch. He served as a national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union for 4 years & is a past eight-term president of the South Carolina affiliate of the ACLU.  Advisory board member of DRC Net (Drug Policy Reform Coalition), & was Jesse Jackson’s ’88 SC campaign manager. 

“There’s no keener mind, no sharper eye, focused on the condition of black politics. Gray’s take is radical, so his focus is always ample and humane.”

Adam Gottlieb

 joining Kevin will be Adam Gottlieb

Adam is a poet-emcee/teaching-artist/singer-songwriter/revolutionary from Chicago. As a teen, he was featured in the 2009 documentary film “Louder Than A Bomb.” Since then, he has gone on to perform and teach widely throughout Chicago and the U.S. In 2012 he co-founded the Royal Souls open mic in the East Roger’s Park neighborhood of Chicago. He is a founder of the Chicago branch of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, and performs with his band OneLove.

Also featuring . . . Chicago poets active in the ‘Let Us Breathe’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, along with members of high school teams in the 2015 Louder than a Bomb spoken word competition.

The presentation by Gray and the performances by the artists will be followed by a conversation with the author, poets and audience!

Join Us for an evening of analysis, dialogue and performance!

Saturday, April 11th.  6 – 8 PM
Powell’s Books Chicago
1218 South Halsted

Sponsored by: The Chicago Consortium for Working Class Studies & the RevolutionaryPoets Brigade, Chicago

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | KAG Book Promotion, Actions | Events, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, ART | CULTURE | WRITING, Black Culture | United States, FREE SPEECH, Friends & Comrades, Hip Hop, Poetry, Police Abuse|Brutality|Killings, Political Ideology, Protest, racism, Uncategorized, white supremacy

COMMUNITY MEETING ON COLUMBIA STRONG MAYOR REFERENDUM

Correct flyer

Community Members

As you know, there is a Special Referendum on Dec. 3 to decide whether the City of Columbia will retain a council-manager form of government or change to a mayor-council form.  I am hosting a community meeting next Thursday, Nov 21 at 6:30pm at Bishop’s Memorial AME Church on Washington St to discuss the ballot measure.

The proponents of the change will spend A LOT of money over the next 2 weeks trying to convince you that we need to change but I would like to make sure you are armed with the practical realities of what may or may not change under a different form of government.  Please share this invitation with your communities and invite anyone interested to come out and find out what this change really means for us as a community.

There are already meetings scheduled for Districts 3 & 4, but if you know of anyone in those districts who would like to attend, please feel free to invite them.

Tameika Isaac Devine

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Kevin Alexander Gray Explains How a Strong Mayor System Would Hurt Minority Communities

Presser 2013

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Filed under Actions, Actions | Events, Events, Events & Actions, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Meetings, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics

Question Bridge: Black Males

“… if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
~ Junot Diaz
Question Bridge Blueprint Roundtable

Question Bridge Blueprint Roundtable

Join the discussion and find out more about Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America. The roundtable will provide a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite and puzzle black males in the U.S. This program is a partnership between

Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia

Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia

Friends of African American Art and Culture (FAAAC) of the Columbia Museum of Art, Sumter Gallery of Art and Richland Library. Panelists include: Darion McCloud, Kevin Alexander Gray, Alvin A. McEwen, Willis Thomas, Steve Benjamin and  Charles Whitherspoon.

Scott Trafton

Scott Trafton

Question Bridge: Black Males opens a window onto the complex and often unspoken dialogue among black men, creating an intimate and essentially genuine experience for viewers and subjects. This project brings the full spectrum of what it means to be “black” and “male” in America to the forefront. “Blackness” ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept.

Kevin Alexander Gray

Kevin Alexander Gray

By creating an identity container (e.g. “Black” and “Male”), then creating a way of releasing the diversity of identities and thought within that container, we can break the container. Question Bridge strives to make it more difficult to say, “Black Males are___.” If we succeed in deconstructing stereotypes about arguably the most opaque and feared demographic in America, then the Question Bridge model can work to overcome limiting assumptions about any demographic, therefore moving the needle on implicit bias.

Darion McCloud

Darion McCloud

Remember to come to the Richland Library – Lucy Bostic Auditorium for Question Bridge Blueprint RoundtableThursday, October 10th @ 6PM.

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Filed under Actions | Events, American Culture, ART | CULTURE | WRITING, Black Culture | United States, South Carolina, Special Events

After Trayvon: Revisiting MLK’s “Triple Evils” | Pamela Brown

In the 20th century, Martin Luther King Jr. defined the problem of America under the weight of the “triple evils” of racism, economic exploitation and war. In the 21st, the case of Trayvon Martin has created an existential crisis for black Americans and allies engaged in the struggle for racial justice. It underscores, again, that for many millions of people the “ism” felt as the greatest threat is not capitalism or militarism. Yet these effusions of persistent racism are enmeshed in a context: of growing inequality under neoliberal economic regimes and of wide-scale state-sponsored violence globally.  It is time for all people to revisit MLK’s “triple evils” in forming a strategy for resistance and a vision of the future — re-imagining what freedom might look like and how it might be achieved.

Pamela Brown

Pamela Brown

Kopkind’s 2013 Harvest Late Brunch fundraiser will be held Sunday, October 13, at 2 pm.  Our speaker is Pamela Brown.

Pam was deeply involved in Occupy Wall Street and has continued in its offshoot organizing and educational projects, at the convergence of race, class and debt. She is a columnist for Tidal Magazine and an organizer with the People’s Investigation of Wall Street. She was a founding member of Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, and has been involved in campaigns and writing projects including the student debt pledge of refusal and the Debt Resistors Operations Manual. With a background in philosophy and media arts, Pam is currently a doctoral student in sociology at The New School.

Kopkind is a living memorial to the great radical journalist Andrew Kopkind. Each summer since 1999 it has been bringing together journalists, activists and filmmakers for week-long seminar/retreat sessions with the aim of thinking deeply, acting consciously, living expressively and extending the field for freedom, pleasure and imagination.

Out-of-towners, we have some rooms and cabins, so contact us if you’d like to stay the night.

Please Come! We Look Forward To Seeing You!

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Filed under Actions | Events, American Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Feminist Leaders, Police Abuse|Brutality|Killings, Political Ideology, Protest, Work of Comrades

Are You Ready? Remembering Alexander Cockburn | June 6, 1941 – July 21, 2012

Alex CockburnRadical journalist and author Alexander Cockburn, who passed away July 21, 2012, was celebrated at a memorial in New York last September attended by (among others) Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and the extended Cockburn family. Laura Flanders has put together a very nice tribute video from the memorial.  It includes many of the Kopkind extended family like Kevin Alexander Gray, JoAnn Wypijewski, Najla Said and some great pictures.

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | KAG on Video, Actions | Events, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Friends & Comrades, Human Rights, Palestine | Israel, Peace, The Press, Uncategorized, Work of Comrades

PROTEST AT SC STATEHOUSE TO CALL FOR CEASEFIRE IN GAZA

Emergency Gaza Protest!

SATURDAY Nov. 17th @4pm

There will be an emergency Gaza protest on Saturday November 17th at 4pm at the South Carolina Statehouse.

Demonstrators call on President Obama, Israel, Hamas to end escalating violence & a ceasefire in Gaza!  

Escalating violence in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militants took a decided turn for the worse on Wednesday as Israel broke a tenuous truce and assassinated Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in a string of airstrikes in Gaza.  Hamas and Palestinian militant groups have retaliated by firing rockets deep into Israel, including at Tel Aviv.  Over twenty Palestinians including children have been killed in the ensuing Israeli airstrikes and; three Israeli civilians were killed when rockets launched by Palestinian militants struck an apartment in Israel, the first Israeli civilian fatalities from rocket attacks this year.  Israeli troops are massing on the border with Gaza and a ground invasion. 

“It is well-known that Israel’s targeted killings of Palestinian militants in Gaza provoke rocket attacks in retaliation,” says President David Matos, who has traveled to Israel/Palestine twice on peace missions.  “Israel deliberately escalated the violence by carrying out  this targeted assassination .”  At the same time, Matos notes that “an all out war in Gaza will be literal murder on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught in the cross-fire; it will take de-escalation on both sides to avoid that disaster.”

While the parties on the ground must de-escalate to avert further bloodshed, the US has considerable influence over Israel via the over $3 billion in military aid the US furnishes Israel every year.

“We call on President Obama to pressure Israel to stop its escalations and step back from the brink of war,” says Matos.  “If President Obama goes along with more violence, blood will be on his hands.”

Institute for Middle East Understanding Timeline of Escalating Violence~

http://imeu.net/news/article0023227.shtml

Web: www.carolinapeace.org

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Filed under Actions, Actions | Events, Free Palestine, Middle East, Palestine | Israel, Protest, The Obama Administration, white supremacy

CHURCH & COMMUNITY TRIBUTE BENEFIT for Efia Nwangaza, The Malcolm X Center for Self Determination & WMXP Community Radio

Efia Nwangaza

Greenville’s black leadership is calling on local churches and civic organizations to rally in tribute and aid of human rights organizer Efia Nwangaza, the Malcolm X Center and WMXP/95.5fm Community Radio which were founded by Nwangaza. The Church and Community Benefit will be held on Sunday, September 16th, 5:00pm, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 400 South Hudson Street in Greenville, South Carolina. The Tribute will feature gospel music, praise dance, acknowledgment of her community service and a “Giving March of Presentations.”

For over 20 years, The Malcolm X Center for Self Determination (http://wmxp955.webs.com/aboutus.htm ), also known as the Afrikan Amerikan Institute, has served as a volunteer grassroots, community based, volunteer staffed, owned and operated action center. Founded in 1991, it serves as a non-profit, public space for developing, testing, training and implementation of approaches to popular education, strategic planning, and communications skill enhancement for human rights, self-determination, self-advocacy and wide ranging performing and organizing skill development. The bookstore, reading room and multimedia action center serves as a community based think tank  to insure broad based community analysis.

The Malcolm X Center & Bookstore

WMXP-LP 95.5 FM – The Voice of the People (http://wmxp955.webs.com/) is a community based, volunteer programmed, listener and local business supported non-commercial educational radio station. It’s mission is to give voice to the voiceless with local music, local talk, local news, local people doing local programming.

The Greenville Leadership Breakfast Group, which is sponsoring the fundraiser, is a broad based coalition of religious and civic organizations. It includes elected, appointed, and volunteer leaders— professional and grassroots of all ages— who meet monthly to address issues that effect the African American community. It’s work has ranged from challenging the disproportionate expulsion of Black students to challenging recent redistricting.

Donations may be made directly and securely online at www.wmxp955.com or by mail at P.O. Box 16102, Greenville, SC 29607. All proceeds are used for community services and programming. WMXP is FCC licensed to and a project of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self Determination, housed at the Malcolm X Center, 321 W. Antrim Dr, Greenville, SC 29607.

CONTACT: : Brenda Murray, Coordinator bmurray@divaex.com, Leola Robinson Simpson ~ robinsimp@charter.net, Rev. Oliver T. Hill,DD~ Othill2009@gmail.com, Efia Nwangaza 864-239-0470~ enwmxp@gmail.com Continue reading

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Filed under Actions | Events, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Events, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Human Rights, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, Political Ideology, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics, Work of Comrades