On St. Louis’ north side, the effects of colonial exploitation and oppression has left its mark on the African community.
Blight and poverty is rampant, as hundreds of deteriorated homes litter the landscape.
Homes that had once belonged to working class Africans who migrated from the Southern states during the first and second imperialist wars to work in factories.
The streets and parks are not maintained by the city, the people are struggling to get by, drug use is evident and crime is at its highest.
On any given night you’ll hear gunshots ring out in the distance.
In the morning, the news of the newest victim of violence is brought up in casual conversation.
The heartbreak and exhaustion of everyday colonial life hovers over the community.
On the streets, dotted in between abandoned street blocks and half utilized thoroughfares, are the women and men who use these conditions as the backdrop for their work.
Dope boys supply cars are filled with white boys’ drugs of choice. Women sell themselves.
It is the unfortunate economy of the colony.
The African People’s Socialist Party organizes in the trenches
It is under these conditions that the African People’s Socialist Party has chosen to work.
And through our work, have instilled confidence and revolution into the minds of the oppressed African community.
The Black Power Blueprint, an economic project of the Party, has renovated a decaying building into a community center, the Uhuru House; purchased several residential properties that will serve as the accommodations for the workforce program participants; and cleared land that will be home to the One Africa One Nation Marketplace.
It is where a pimp buys a Burning Spear Newspaper to initiate a study with the women who “work” for him.
It is where the 50 ft flag pole stands with the flag of Africa blowing in the wind and where the African community stops whatever they are doing to raise their fist in salute.
It is also where African prostitutes feel comfortable sharing their humanity.
Colonialism creates addiction and prostitution
Colonialism, true to form, has not been kind to these sisters; most of whom are struggling with addiction.
Day after day they put their lives in danger in order to meet their basic needs and the needs of their addiction.
Even though this addiction drives their lives, the women yearn to be better mothers, daughters and protectors of their families.
For now, as they are battling addiction, they try to maintain their commitment to their community; the small collective of black prostitutes who share the workspace of West Florissant.
Up until recently, the collective ensured everyone had work. It settled disputes among each other and for the most part, minimized the competitive cut throat dangerous contradictions of their type of work.
Even drug addicted white women sit on the pedestal of oppression
The recent shift away from the community occurred when an unknown white prostitute starting working the area.
She too, is addicted to drugs, but noticeably doesn’t keep herself up as well as the black women do.
According to some of the sisters, at first she appeared innocent and fearful using her white fragility as a way to get the protection of the collective.
It was soon revealed that she was a professional who used her perceived vulnerability as tool to steal clients, heighten danger and cause rifts amongst the group of black women.
For reasons rooted in colonialism (but not excusable), the black male clientele opt for the services of the dirty white girl, leaving the black women to depend on their relationship with her in order to get work.
The black women now compete to be in her circle so they can get the men she tosses their way. This has caused fights and animosity amongst them.
This is just a microcosm of the overall behavior of the white oppressor nation. It is an analogy of how Europe came into being.
A diseased dying people without labor or resources are rescued through their attack on Africa.
Not so different from a dejected, drugged out, poor white woman who infiltrates and disrupts the fragile economy that black women created.
African Internationalism gives clarity to the experiences of colonized Africans
Until colonial-capitalism is destroyed, it will continue to replicate itself a thousand times over; manifesting itself in different areas of our lives.
This is the social system under which we live. The social system that create crisis where there is none. Destroying and impoverishing communities. Deepening contradictions within the colony.
While this particular situation may be far removed from the lives that many African women lead, similarities can be drawn to explain the way African women are treated under colonialism.
From the offices to the streets, white power, even when represented in poor whites, upset and intervene in ways that often leave African people vulnerable.
Our response, however, shouldn’t be to sidle up to white power—it should be to destroy it by cutting off access to our labor and resources.
We must shift the pedestal on which they stand, so much so, that they fall off.
That is the power of the African working class and the trend of much of the world’s people who are fighting against white power imperialism and colonial domination.
We must ensure that this fighting spirit is duplicated in our communities, combating colonialism in all of its manifestations.
This article is for the sisters on the stroll, who are seriously confronted daily with colonial contradictions, to let you know that the Uhuru Movement got your back.
And for the sisters of West Florissant, organize yourselves to prevent white power from deepening your crisis and destroying your humanity.
The Uhuru Movement await you!
We will Win!