Why Black Lives Matter Is Game Change
Date Written: 2015-09-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21241
The Cleveland Black Lives Matter Convening was a "game changer" because it made clear the Movement is long term. Whether its next step will add a call for a break with the two-party system, time and struggle will tell.
The reality is that Black awareness and pride is only the first step to full consciousness of racism and inequality, and of the need to join the struggle for change. The end game must be to replace the institutional racism of the capitalist state with one based on human needs before profits - socialism. It is the direction that Malcolm X in his final year of life (1964-5) was coming to, and that Martin Luther King, Jr was moving toward before his assassination (1968).
I'm not saying that's what the leaders and activists of the Movement for Black Lives advocate. Some likely do, but their agreement that the battle against racism and protection of Black bodies must first start with self-organization and unity of African Americans - coming before unity with other ethnic groups - is crucial to building the Movement.
After the assassinations of Malcolm, King, Black Panther Party leaders and many others, an historic National Black Political Convention convened in Gary, Indiana in 1972. Although the forces gathered there divided over the issue of the Democratic Party, its example would help inspire a National Black Assembly and formation of the National Black Independent Political Party in 1980.