Black is Back Coalition declares “Black Power Matters!” at Black People’s March on the White House

WASHINGTON, DC—On November 7, 2020, music blared and white liberals honked horns and danced in the streets celebrating the announcement of mass incarcerator Joe Biden’s win of the U.S. presidency. Drunken, celebratory chants could be heard for miles. Not everyone, however, was in D.C. to unite with this expression of false hope.

That same day, the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) organized and strongly presented the Black People’s March on the White House. The theme was Black Power Matters: Down with Colonialism! Black Community Control of the Police!

The march commenced at the Malcolm X Park at 1600 Euclid St. with a powerful rally in which speakers pushed back on the idea that warmonger Joe Biden will bring any kind of redemptive results for Africans.

The march, as the theme indicated, was a call to action! A call to overturn colonialism and the white ruling class. A call for Africans to control the police and security in our own communities. The march was designed to motivate Africans to continue to seek liberation through self-determination versus the colonial-capitalist system.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela gave clarity around the attacks on African people and the uprisings they sparked in the U.S. He reminded us there needs to be a coherent message along with the rebellions and resistance to colonialism.

He told the crowd, “Saying ‘black lives matter’ is not enough… Our demands must tell us where to go!” He stressed that regardless which ruling class party is in office, we must compose our own black agenda and continue to say “Black Power Matters!”

The Chairman also exclaimed, “Black Community Control of the Police! That’s a democratic demand. By any means necessary!”

The rally was formed in a way to activate Africans to realize that reactionary politics will never honor our voice or represent the true needs of the people. We must take control of every aspect of our lives.

Betty Davis, Chair of the BIBC Black Community Control of Education Working Group, told the crowd, “…take on the fight on a local level, run for the school board. Run for the city local council and eat them up!” She also pointed out, “It is exciting to get on a march, but it’s more important to take back these institutions.”

Every speaker brought fervor and disruption to both ruling parties by pointing out the calamities within the United States and making clear that neither party nor candidate had effectively brought any solutions to colonized communities here or abroad.

Participants that assembled themselves to march armed themselves with chants that revealed neither Trump nor Biden represent our people. Throughout the rally and march, speakers and marchers made known Joseph Biden’s infamous 1994 crime bill and his role in vastly increasing the number of Africans locked up in the concentration camps called prisons.

With each step towards the White House and the continuous anti-colonialism chants, spectators heard and saw something unique and different. We continuously called for reparations, the freeing of political prisoners and the end to the colonial domination of our people.

We made it to “Black Lives Matter” plaza, across from the White House, to hold the second rally for the day.

On the next day, the Coalition held our conference, a hybrid between in-person and virtual, to expand our participants’ understanding of the weekend’s theme.

This was facilitated by two panels. The first included the Coalition’s Chair, Omali Yeshitela; Chair of the Black Community Control of the Police Working Group (BCCP), Diop Olugbala; New York State Assemblyman, Charles Barron; and President of Louisiana United International (LUI), Minister Belinda Parker-Brown.

The second panel included Secretary General of the African Socialist International (ASI), Luwezi Kinshasa; Under Secretary of the Mexican Liberation Movement, Unión del Barrio’s Benjamín Prado; and Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC), Penny Hess. APSC is the organization of white people working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party to raise reparations.

Both panels defined the social system imposed on us as a colonial system and identified it as the root of all problems faced by African and other colonized and oppressed communities. They made it clear a change in the United States president would not alter any of these conditions.

The second panel was especially powerful because it featured two individuals from colonized nations, African and indigenous Mexican, along with an individual from the colonizer nation who takes a stance of solidarity with colonized people against the colonizer white nation.

SG Luwezi Kinshasa and Under Secretary Benjamín Prado explained that the existence of the United States comes at the expense of African and Indigenous people. They described how unity and organization amongst and between each respective community is critical to the revolution.

APSC Chairwoman Penny Hess explained the role of white people as one of material solidarity with the international African Revolution to forward the overthrow of the colonial social system. She explained it was not enough for white people to stop being “racist,” but rather they should commit national suicide—abandoning the interests of the white European/North American nation and uniting with colonized people in overturning the colonial relationship.

Jesse Todd, St. Louis Alderman and Akilé Anai, St. Petersburg, Florida City Council Candidate, who have both presented at the Coalition’s Electoral Campaign Schools, were also participants of the conference. They spoke to using the electoral process as a means to forward the interests of the black community and of their experiences in doing so.

Following that presentation, the Chairs of the Black is Back Working Groups provided brief reports. This included Ralph Poynter, chair of the Free All Political Prisoners Working Group; Diop Olugbala, chair of the Black Community Control of the Police Working Group; and Lisa Davis, chair of the Health Care Working Group.

Each Working Group Chair also put forward the Coalition’s 19-Point Platform, titled the National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination, as the guiding political agenda for all of their working group’s work.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela gave a final presentation to wrap up the weekend, reminding us that this social system is one born of slavery and colonialism and all of our efforts in the struggle for black liberation should be turned towards overturning the colonial system. That’s the only way we will be free.

Down with Colonialism!

Black Power Matters!

Black Community Control of the Police!

Join the Black is Back Coalition!


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