THIS STRUGGLE NOW
[col. writ. 12/5/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Friends, comrades, Brothas & Sistas—
We are at a new phase of this struggle; due to your work, I am no longer on Death Row; I am on ‘slow death row.’
A new place, yes – but, more importantly, a new phase of the struggle for freedom.
The challenge before us is not to say that which is easy to say; it is to build the Movement that makes freedom not only possible – but inevitable.
This, I am convinced, we can do.
We have more than enough tools to reach and touch others; more than enough to build this Movement; more than enough to break free from the shackles and chains of legalized bondage.
Let us do so!
Join us! Build a Movement that shakes the earth!
Think about this. What the system has done isn’t about me.
It’s about you!
They want to destroy, weaken or scare you off. They want to stop you, from organizing, from building, from being.
That’s because you are all examples of Resistance.
You are all examples of the simple power of people saying, “No!”
Never underestimate that power!
So, say “no!” to the Death Penalty!
Say “No!” to Slow Death Row!
Say “No!” to the Prison Industrial Complex!
Back in September, I told you all that We Are the People!
We are the People that can roll back mass incarceration!
We are the people that can roll back the growth –and abolish—solitary confinement!
We are the People that can change the world as it is; to the world that we need to come into being!
Build the Movement!
Ona Move! Long Live John Africa!
Long Live the Struggle to Bring Change!
--© ’12 maj
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
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WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!
Fresno, California produced two of Black America's greatest authors, Sherley Ann Williams and Marvin X. They attended elementary school together and were high school lovers. Both graduated with honors from Edison High School. Sherley became a poet, playwright, novelist, critic and professor, while Marvin X because a poet/social activist, a co-founder of the Black Arts Movement and now considered the father of Muslim American literature.
Sherley Anne Williams
Biography / Criticism
I am the women I speak of in my stories, my poems. The fact that I am a single mother sometimes makes it hard to bring this forth to embody it in the world, but it is precisely because I am a single mother of an only son that I try hard to do this. Women must leave a record for their men; otherwise how will they know us? — Sherley Anne Williams
Born August 25, 1944, in Bakersfield, California, to Lena-Leila Marie Siler and Jesse Winson Williams, Sherley Anne Williams is the third of four daughters. -- She, her parents, and her three sisters, Ruby, Jesmarie, and Lois, fought the constant despair of life in the housing projects in Fresno, California. Her family earned their living by picking fruit and cotton. Williams's father died of tuberculosis when she was eight years old, and her mother died when Williams was 16. An older sister, whom she credits with being a major influence in her life, reared her after the mother's death. During her early years, Williams found herself associating with people whom she said could be termed "juvenile delinquents"(Draper 1950). However, she was able to separate herself from those influences through her love of history and biography. Along with encouragement from her science teacher, she was also influenced by books such as Richard Wright's Black Boy and Eartha Kitt's Thursday's Child. Williams has been quoted as saying, "It was largely through these autobiographies I was able to take heart in my life"(CLC 318). Other writers such as Amiri Baraka, Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, and poet Philip Levine, her professor at Fresno State University, also greatly influenced Williams.
She was educated at Fresno State College (known today as California State University) and received her bachelor's in English in 1966. Williams also studied on the graduate level at Howard University and received her master's in English from Brown University in 1972. She began writing in 1966 and literally wrote for the remainder of her life. Supporting herself with her writings and by teaching, Williams in 1973 became the first African American literature professor at the University of California at San Diego. She constantly worked toward diversification of, not only the faculty and students, but also the canon. On the cover of her children's book Girls Together, Williams states that teaching satisfied her desire "to help students see relationships and make connections between some of what has gone before and what is going on now and what may come later. "
Although Williams contributed greatly through her teaching, her writing career is even more impressive. Her first short story, "Tell Martha not to Moan,"was published in 1967, and in 1972 her first book, a literary criticism called Give Birth to Brightness, followed. Mel Watkins notes that this book examines black fiction from the nineteenth century to the present with particular focus on contemporary works which Williams labels as "neo-black writing"(Draper 1951). "The Peacock Poems, Williams's second book, was published in 1975. Highly influenced by blues music, these poems focus on Wiliams's life as a single mother as well as on her young son, Malcolm. The book also includes poems that relate to her early life with her family and the work they did in the fields. A second volume of poetry entitled Some One Sweet Angel Chile followed in 1982. The poems in this book are sectioned into three parts. The first part addresses a free black woman in the 1860's who travels south to teach slaves. The second part focuses on the blues and Bessie Smith with the final section focusing on the author's youth. In addition, in 1982, Williams produced Letters from a New England Negro, a full-length, one-woman drama that is an excerpt from Some One Sweet Angel Chile.
Williams published her first novel, Dessa Rose, in 1986. This novel describes the fictional relationship between a pregnant young slave woman and a white woman who has been abandoned by her slaveowner husband in Alabama. Dessa Rose is based on two true incidents, one involving a pregnant black woman who helps lead a slave uprising in Kentucky in 1829, and the other involving a white woman living on a farm in North Carolina in 1830 who gave refuge to runaway slaves. Williams, having read of these two accounts, expressed in the novel's introduction, her sadness that the two women never met. Dessa Rose reflects Williams's interest in history, biography, and women and race issues. In 1992, Williams's children's book Working Cotton was published. This autobiographical work records a day in the life of a young girl working with her farmhand parents in the cotton fields of California. Williams's experiences as a child picking fruit and cotton are described vividly in this award-winning book. In 1999, her second children's book, Girls Together, was published. It is the happy story of the strong friendships that develops between five girls growing up in the projects in poverty.
Williams has been nominated for and has received several awards and honors for her work as both a writer and professor.The Peacock Poems,
her collection of autobiographical poems, drew a National book Award nomination in 1976 and was nominated for a Pulitzer. In the collection, Williams uses blues poetry to express herself. She won an Emmy for the television performance of Some One Sweet Angel Chile
, and this book of poetry was also nominated for a National Book Award. In 1984, she had the honor of serving as a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Ghana. Her drama, Letters from a New England Negro
, was the feature play at the 1991 Black Theater Festival and the Chicago International Festival in 1992. Williams also won a Caldecott Award and the Coretta Scott King
Book Award for Working Cotton
. In 1998 at the UCSD conference celebrating "Black Women Writers and the High Art of Afro-American Letters," Williams was the guest of honor. The mayor of San Diego, Susan Goding, officially proclaimed May 15, 1998 "Sherley Anne Williams Day. " In the same year, Williams was also awarded the AALCS's Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature and Poetry.
On July 6, 1999, at the age of 54, Sherley Anne Williams, one of the great talents of the literary world, succumbed to cancer. Her son Malcolm, a sister, three nieces, and three grandchildren survive her. At the time of her death, she was working on a sequel to Dessa Rose. Williams identified with the struggles of lower income black women, and through her work, she continues to allow the rest of us to identify with them as well.
Works by the Author
- Dessa Rose (1986)
- Working Cotton (1992)
- Girls Together (1999)
Giving Birth to Brightness: A Thematic Study in Neo-Black Literature (1972)
Works about the Author
- Beaulieu, Elizabeth Ann. Black Women Writers and the American Neo-Slave Narrative. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999.
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 89. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. 318-358.
- Davis, Mary Kemp. "Everybody Knows Her Name: The Recovery of the Past in Sherley Anne Williams's Dessa Rose. " Callaloo 12.3 (Summer 1989): 544-558.
- Draper, James P. "Sherley Anne Williams. " Black Literature Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Most Significant Works of Black Authors Over the Past 200 Years. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. 1950-1961.
- Magill, Frank N. Masterpieces of African-American Literature. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
- Magill, Frank N. , ed. Masterplots II: African American Literature Series I. Pasadena: Salem Press, 1994. 357-361.
- Metzger, Linda et al. Black Writers: A Selection of Sketches from Contemporary Authors. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. 602-604.
- Nagel, Carol De Kane. "Sherley Anne Williams. "African American Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994. 787-789.
- Wiloch, Thomas.Contemporary Authors. Vol. 25. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. 492-497
This photo of Marvin X, 1969, when he lectured in Black Studies at Fresno State University but was removed from campus on the orders of Gov. Ronald Reagan, 1969, who demanded the State College Board of Trustees, "Get him off campus by any means necessary." He lectured at UC Berkeley, 1972,San Francisco State University, 1974, UC San Diego, 1975, University of Nevada, Reno, 1979.
(b. 1944), poet, playwright, essayist, director, and lecturer.
Marvin Ellis Jackmon was born on 29 May 1944 in Fowler, California. He attended high school in Fresno and received a BA and MA inEnglish from San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University). The mid-1960s were formative years for Jackmon. He became involved in theater, founded his own press, published several plays and volumes of poetry, and became increasingly alienated because of racism and the Vietnam War. Under the influence of Elijah Muhammad, he became a Black Muslim and has published since then under the names El Muhajir and Marvin X. He has also used the name Nazzam al Fitnah Muhajir.
Marvin X and Ed Bullins founded the Black Arts/West Theatre in San Francisco in 1966, and several of his plays were staged during that period in San Francisco, Oakland, New York, and by local companies across the United States. His one-act play Flowers for the Trashman was staged in San Francisco in 1965 and was included in the anthology Black Fire (1968); a musical version, Take Care of Business, was produced in 1971. The play presents the confrontation between two cellmates in a jail—one a young African American college student, the other a middle-aged white man. Another one-act play, The Black Bird, a Black Muslim allegory in which a young man offers lessons in life awareness to two small girls, appeared in 1969 and was included in New Plays from the Black Theatre that year. Several other plays, including The Trial, Resurrection of the Dead, and In the Name of Love, have been successfully staged, and Marvin X has remained an important advocate of African American theater.
In 1967, Marvin X was convicted, during the Vietnam War, for refusing induction and fled to Canada; eventually he was arrested in Honduras, was returned to the United States, and was sentenced to five months in prison. In his statement on being sentenced—later reprinted in Black Scholar (1971) and also in Clyde Taylor's anthology, Vietnam and Black America (1973)—he argues
Any judge, any jury, is guilty of insanity that would have the nerve to judge and convict and imprison a black man because he did not appear in a courtroom on a charge of refusing to commit crimes against humanity, crimes against his own brothers and sisters, the peace-loving people of Vietnam.
Marvin X founded El Kitab Sudan publishing house in 1967; several of his books of poetry and proverbs have been published there. Much of Marvin X's poetry is militant in its anger at American racism and injustice. For example, in “Did You Vote Nigger?” he uses rough dialect and directs his irony at African Americans who believe in the government but are actually its pawns. Many of the proverbs in The Son of Man (1969) express alienation from white America. However, many of Marvin X's proverbs and poems express more concern with what African Americans can do positively for themselves, without being paralyzed by hatred. He insists that the answer is to concentrate on establishing a racial identity and to “understand that art is celebration of Allah.” The poems in Fly to Allah, Black Man Listen (1969), and other volumes from his El Kitab Sudan press are characterized by their intensity and their message of racial unity under a spiritual banner. His archives were acquired by the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. He just completed a
three month national book tour, promoting his Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2012. www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com.
Young people come to me asking if I have ever heard of this book or document. I laugh silently because it was a classic document of the 1960s. It was a bible of sorts, but for sure we knew this document had within it all the charges needed to indict America for her sins against North American Africans and other indigenous peoples, especially Native Americans.
We are trying to consider what might be the consequences for the sins of America as we enter 2013. We know that we are not guilty of her sins against humanity, so we ask what shall be our price for anything we may have enjoyed as a participant in her sins?
For sure, we cannot and shall not feel guilty about the theft of land, the mass murder of millions throughout the Americas, for we were merely slaves and wage slaves in this process. The Indigenous peoples know we were among them before the Europeans arrived; we lived among them and shared our myths and rituals in peace with them.
For sure we did not rape them, rob them or enslave them. We did not spread diseases among them that destroyed millions of them, alas, the European diseases were worse than the guns they shot us down with, see E. Franklin Frazier's book Race and Color Contacts in the Modern World.
But we must now get to the endgame, for all things come to an end and we must be astute enough to realize empires come and go and so shall the American Empire. Its run of 400 years was enough for our needs, for sure, we suffered more than enough of chattel slavery and wage slavery, thus we cry for mercy and justice at this hour.
We are in harmony with our ancestors who cry for reparations in the form of land and financial reparations. Four or five states of the United Snakes of America would be sufficient! Free the Land!
There is no reparations without land and sovereignty, e.g., self determination, independence and total freedom!
THE MALCOLM X COMMEMORATION COMMITTEE
PO BOX 380-122
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11238
“We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator…Once we all realize that we have a common enemy,
then we unite, on the basis of what we have in common…"
Malcolm X—Message to the Grass Roots
November 30, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
MALCOLMITES HOST 17TH ANNUAL DINNER
TO HONOR POLITICAL PRISONERS, THEIR FAMILIES!
On Saturday, January 19th, the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee and the 1199 SEIU activists will host its 17th annual dinner tribute to our political prisoners and their families!
This highly anticipated and moving event will take place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center, 1199 Union Headquarters, 310 West 43rd Street, (near 8th Avenue), in Manhattan.
The event will be from 3-7pm with dinner served promptly at 4pm. Donations for this now time-honored event are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Proceeds from this gathering go to the commissary of the political prisoners who are represented at the dinner by their families.
The theme for this year’s dinner is “Transforming Solidarity: Working Together To End Political Imprisonment and Mass Incarceration.”
“We chose this theme because it’s time to critically look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” Dequi Kioni-Sadiki, co-chair of the Committee and co-chair of WBAI’s ‘Where We Live.’
“At some point it becomes important to recognize that it is not enough to say ‘I am doing something.’ At some point, we have to figure out just what must be done to get results,” she finished emphatically.
Special guests presenters for this year are Johanna Fernandez, producer of the critically acclaimed film ‘Justice On Trial,’ about Mumia Abu-Jamal, Malik Rhasaan of Occupy The ‘Hood and people’s hip hop artist Jasiri X!
This year’s dinner comes on the heels of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence being tossed and on the heels of political prisoners like Jalil Muntaqim being denied parole again. Muntaqim has been in prison since 1973.
The Malcolm X Commemoration Committee was launched in 1993 with former political prisoner Herman Ferguson serving as chairman. Ferguson, now 91, was also a founding member of the Organization of AfroAmerican Unity with Malcolm X and was with him up until that fateful day February 21, 1965, when Malcolm was tragically assassinated.
In addition to combatting misinformation surrounding the legacy of Malcolm X and multiplying the presence of the community for the very moving annual pilgrimage to Malcolm’s gravesite on his birthday, the Committee also initiated this dinner 17 years ago to bring the community together to build greater support for Black and New Afrikan political prisoners and to instill greater appreciation for their humanity and for what their families have to endure in the face of their wrongful incarceration.
The Malcolm X Commemoration Committee has always said that Black and New Afrikan political prisoners, who were young men who were directly inspired by Malcolm to join the Black Liberation Movement, make up “the hidden legacy” of Malcolm X. Many were viciously targeted by the government’s COINTELPRO operations of the late 60s early 70s. Those operations assassinated activists, framed activists, fostered violence between activists and the police and even fostered violence between activists themselves. To this date, there are dozens of political prisoners and prisoners of war who are still in prison from frameups dating back to the 60s in most cases!
For more reservations and more information, please call 718-512-5008. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Malcolm X Commemoration Committee…
Dr. Nathan Hare and Marvin X are two of the Bay Area's foremost Revolutionary Black Nationalists. Dr. Hare is the father of Black Studies in America. Marvin X is one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and considered the father of Muslim American literature. Dr. Hare and Marvin produced the Black Men's Conference in Oakland, 1980, under the direction of the Honorable John Douimbia, fifteen years before the Million Man March. John D had long called for a secular organization of Black Men. A former associate of Malcolm X, he told Malcolm X that we needed a secular organization. Malcolm followed his suggestion with the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Dr. Nathan Hare and Marvin continue their mental health work with Hare's Black Think Tank and Marvin X's Academy of da Corner and the Pan African Mental Health Peer Group based on Dr. M's manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare.
How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy
By Dr. Nathan Hare
Call him Dr. M, as I do, though I’ve known him by other names in other places and, like Diogenes, who went around holding up a lantern to the faces of the people he would meet in the streets of ancient Athens looking for an honest man, I have come to the realization that we as a people have been waiting and looking for somebody like Dr. M to come along for more than half a century, ever since America was stunned by The Mark of Oppression (the Jim Crow era book by two white liberal psychiatrists whose findings had brought them to the heartfelt conclusion that the race of people called “Negroes” was “crushed.”
In only four years after their epitaph was written, Negroes (now called “blacks,” “Blacks,” “Afro-Americans,” “African-Americans,” or as Dr. M sometimes calls them “American Africans”) had exploded in Montgomery with passive resistance. In four more years the “sit-in movement” broke out among the youth, followed like a one-two punch by the so-called “freedom riders” (roving bands of individuals who boarded and defied the segregation of interstate vehicles and included a future student of mine on spring break from Howard University by the name of Stokely Carmichael). Then came “Black Power,” in the context of which I first heard of a man who had metamorphosed from the slave-name Marvin Jackmon into a prominent “North American African poet” who went by the name of Marvin X (the X connoting “the unknown”).
While, despite the fact that I have known him through the intervening years, I cannot unravel every single quality of the brother, I can testify that Dr. M is a brand new Marvin, a Dr. Marvin, a social doctor, if you will, with a gift and a mission for a new black movement. I know this to be true because, aside from my Ph.D. and years of experience in the practice of clinical psychology, I specialized in the study of social movements for a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Chicago. But more than that, I have watched a dedicated Dr. M, up close and clinically, going about his fearless work in the mean streets of San Francisco.
Over a period of many months, on many a dark and dreary sometimes rainy Wednesday night, I served as a consultant in clinical psychology to Dr. M’s “Black Reconstruction Group” (the pilot to his twelve-step model now unveiled in this important book on “How to Recover from Addiction to White Supremacy.” In the Recovery Theatre’s pilot groups, I sat with diverse and ad hoc coteries of men and women gathered impromptu in the austere basement of a Catholic church, St. Boniface, located in the heart of The Tenderloin, the highest crime district in San Francisco, just down a few blocks from the famous Glide Memorial Methodist Church. Many a night I marveled at the ease with which Dr. M and his talented co-facilitator, Suzette Celeste brought out trickles of lost and unleashed hope and inspiration in the minds of destitute and degraded street people as well as in the confused and empty psyches of invited members of the black bourgeoisie who, still trying to be unbroken, had come where not many “bourgies” would dare to tread.
On many an appointed night I stood by silently looking on while Dr. M and his collaborators sauntered out into the shadowy mysteries of dilapidated streets to solicit and harness hapless homeless men and a woman or two and bring them in to meet as equals with the anxious representatives of the black bourgeoisie who had dared to cross momentarily back over their tentative territorial and social boundaries. This of course is not recommended for the feeble or the fainthearted; because, until the revolution comes, or the proletariat triumphs, there will be difficulties and perils in chance encounters of the social classes. So I must hasten to explain that a security conscious Dr. M was operating within a safety net of collaborators competent in the martial arts; like Geoffrey Grier, who has been an international martial arts competitor and is a son of a black psychiatrist, Dr. William Grier, coauthor with Dr. Price Cobb of the late 1960s blockbuster, Black Rage.
At the moment when the oppressed have had enough, their rage will explode -- Fanon had warned us in The Wretched of the Earth -- and it is at that moment, at the very point of mental and spiritual coagulation and defeat, when they will come together and rise. Frantz Fanon went on to tell of a category of reconstruction groups called “’djemaas’ (village assemblies) of northern Africa or in the meetings of western Africa, tradition demands that the quarrels which occur in a village should be settled in public. It is communal self-criticism, of course, and with a note of humor, because everybody is relaxed, and because in the last resort we all want the same things. But the more the intellectual imbibes the atmosphere of the people, the more completely he abandons the habits of calculation, of unwonted silence, of mental reservations, and shakes the spirit of concealment. And it is true that already at that level we can say that it spreads its own light and its own reason.”
However, psychiatric authority for a self-help peer group focus on individual feelings (or addiction) in relation to white supremacy became available anew in the late 1960s, when Jeffrey Grier’s father, Dr. William H. Grier, and his collaborator, Dr. Price M. Cobbs, published Black Rage. Dr. Grier has also consulted with Dr. M and his Recovery Theatre around the time of the pilot trial run of the first “Black Reconstruction Groups.” According to Grier and Cobbs, in the “Introduction to the Paperback Edition” of Black Rage, “The most important aspect of therapy with blacks, we are convinced, is that racist mistreatment must be echoed and underlined as a fact, an unfortunate fact, but a most important fact – a part of reality. Dissatisfaction with such mistreatment is to be expected, and one’s resentment should be of appropriate dimensions” among black warriors who would exact retribution. “Psychiatry for such warriors,” Grier and Cobbs went on to explain, should aim to “keep them fit for the duty at hand and healthy enough to enjoy the victories” that are likely to emerge.
Fitness for duty is a pleasant but likely side effect of Dr. M’s “Black Reconstruction Groups” working to free the minds of persons addicted to white supremacy. This no doubt is no doubt why they do not limit themselves in their group sessions to expressions of resentment of racist mistreatment and dissatisfaction but also calmly allow its hidden effects, which often remain unconscious in the way in which the relentless karate chops of white supremacy have killed our dreams on a daily basis and shattered our ability to love, to feel loved, to love ourselves and therefore one another. I listened with much satisfaction as Dr. M and his assemblies delved into the depths of fractured feelings and emotions of the brokenhearted in order to help them come to terms with betrayal, jealousy and rage, in their moving endeavors to learn to love again.
And so it is that you will find many a reference to love in How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. This includes, for instance, “Women Who Love” and the motivations of the men who love them.
Dr. M’s own fitness for duty is complex, unique and variegated. According to James W. Sweeney, "Marvin walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal." Marvin can boast of “a Ph.D. in Negrology,” as he puts it,” the study of nigguhs” issued by the University of Hardknocks’s College of Hell), based on twelve years of research , independent study , and practicum in San Francisco's Tenderloin and other unlettered social laboratories throughout the United States.
There may still be hope, if it pleases you, for Dr. M to join the white man’s system of miseducation and mental health care, when we consider that psychologists, including one of my mentors, the late Dr. Carlton Goodlett, at first were “grandfathered” in when the licensure of psychologists was started in the state of California. Later came the oral exam (conversational, not dental), followed in time by an essay exam, before the boom in “standardized “ multiple choice tests for which workshops were offered to prepare you for a fee, causing excellent practitioners, especially black ones, to be blocked from licensure until they found out and forked over whopping workshop fees .
There is also a burgeoning market opening up in “clinical sociology” and “sociological practice” still cutting out its slice of the marketplace and finding its way in matters of licensure and credentialing in the field of sociology. But here it may be important to say that the self-help peer group does not require a sociological or a mental health professional, any more than the primordial AA groups from which the mental health profession has profited and learned. Dr. M is a social “doctor” (which etymologically means “teacher”) grappling with a social problem, white supremacy and its punishing residue in the minds of oppressed black individuals and white oppressors who have chosen to reject and come to places where their fathers lied. Oppressors pure and simple, who accept white supremacy, must be dealt with in a later context, as you will not very well be able to keep them in a Black Reconstruction or White Supremacy Destruction Group (or White Supremacy Deconstruction, if you will).
Much in the manner of Hegel in his essay on “Master and Slave,” Marvin senses that the oppressor distorts his own mind as well as the mind of the oppressed. Hence Type I and Type II White Supremacy Addiction. White sociologists and the late black psychologist, Bobby Wright, converged in their findings of pathological personality traits (“the authoritarian personality” and “the racial psychopathic personality,” as Bobby put it).
But if Hegel was correct in his notion that the oppressor cannot free the slave, that the slave must force the oppressor’s hand, then it is Type II White Supremacy Addiction which if not more resistant to cure, must occupy our primary focus. Type II White Supremacy may be seen as a kind of “niggeritis” or “Negrofication” growing out of an over-identification with the master, who is white. As in any disorder severity of symptoms may vary from mild to moderate or severe.
As Frantz Fanon put it when he spoke for the brother with jungle fever in Black Skin, White Mask: “I wish to be regarded as white. If I can be loved by the white woman who is loved by the white man, then I am white like the white man; I am a full human being.” In the twisted mental convolution of a brother in black skin behind a white mask, Fanon observed a “Negro dependency complex” independently chronicled in my own Black Anglo Saxons (black individuals with white minds in black bodies). They struggle to look, think, talk and walk white by day, then go to sleep at night and dream that they will wake up white. They refuse to realize that no matter what they may ever do they will never get out of the black race alive.
On the other hand, you are going to be seeing “nouveau blacks” and lesser Afrocentrics -- who faithfully and unquestionably follow twelve-month years and endeavor even to blackenize the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ -- jumping up to question Dr. M’s re-africanization of the “Twelve Steps” model for “using the Eurocentric twelve steps,” but they forget that the very effort to be practical and collective is the original African way. In any event, we must build on whites as whites have built on us, taking the best of the West and leaving the rest alone. But Dr. M has expressly and creatively added a thirteenth step; for his goal is not just recovery but discovery, his goal is not just to change the individual but to change the individual to get ready to change the world.
Meanwhile there is one thing on which we can all agree: in any serious attempt to solve the bitter mental ravages of white supremacy, we must face the unadulterated fact that we are limited when we look to the institutionalized “profession” and their professional “providers.” This of course is not to say that the institutionalized professionals cannot be helpful. Dr. M is quick to point out that a self-help peer group cannot cure all the diverse neuroses and psychoses that afflict us. Indeed he goes so far as to suggest that some of us “may need to be committed.”
The late Queen Mother Moore (who loved to boast that she had “gone as far as the fourth grade, and stayed in school too long to learn anything”) delighted in going around deconstructing our “slave mentalities” and saying somebody needs to “do some surgery on these Negro minds” – in which Queen Mother had diagnosed a chronic condition she called “oppression psychoneurosis.” Queen Mother Moore was basically joking, that is, laughing to keep from crying, but it is no joke that mental health professionals, operating under the medical model, think nothing of seeing a person suffering from a psychosocial problem and not only treating the victim instead of the problem but – much in the manner of any addict or drug pusher– use or apply chemicals and sometimes chemical abuse to deal with the inability of the “patient” to feel good in a bad place and thrive, to try to “have heart” in a heartless world. Many people are unaware to this very day that the practice once was rampant for psychiatrists to treat a person with chronic mental maladies by subjecting them to lobotomies cutting off a portion of their brains. Shock treatment was another method – you’re shocked by life, let’s shock your brain, Senator Eagleton (who later ran for the vice-presidency in the 1970s on the ticket with George McGovern).
It should never have been any surprise that the mental health profession would be of only partial help in reconstructing the psychic consequences of centuries of prolonged brainwashing and subjugation (this is not to mention “Sicko” and what we know of the crippling new effects of “managed care” on the medical profession). Many mental health experts, the overwhelming majority of them white, have long suggested that the “medical model” may be inappropriate in the treatment of the psychological, not to mention, sociological components of mental illness.
But you don’t have to be a mental health professional or a sociologist to know that we can no longer restrict our search for healing to professional shrinks, raring back in executive chairs and carpeted suites stocked with “psychometric instruments” standardized on the white middle class, far removed from the realities of the concrete social milieu of afflicted and homeless black “subjects” living lives of hardship and subjugation, with no assurance of available treatment.
Even when they are “insured they are limited to the care and treatment some insurance clerk is willing to “authorize.” In matters of mental health, this typically will include a few sessions of “fifty minute hours” of “talk therapy” before leaving with a prescription or chemical palliative to dull agony and the pain but not the punishment of life on the skids in a sick society.
The hour is up and time is running out, black people, but white supremacy is not. We are living now in the final and highest stage of racism and white supremacy. We’ve let our struggle slip back while sitting in classrooms and conferences crooning about “afrocentricity” and ancient African glories that have gone forever.
We have come now to a crossroads. We have lost control of our children’s minds, our future. We have lost their respect, and appear to be on a collision course to a war of words between the black generations, in which hip-hop youth disparage and mock our language, our music and our humanity with a creativity and a rime and a rhythm we can’t fathom, let alone equal in our pitifully fruitless endeavors to eliminate the “n-word” and box with the black-on-black random violence of dissocialized youth who have concluded that adults and their leaders cannot or will not fight the power. Who knows but it may be that Dr. M’s movement of recovery from addiction to and from white supremacy is offering us a final and effective chance to begin to “sit down together,” to get together and get our heads together.
You can hold a Pan African Mental Health Peer Group in your home. Dr. M's manual tells you how to facilitate the peer group session, based on the AA Model.