Every single day, African people are coming to the realization that something just ain’t right. Between the daily brutalities that our people suffer and the general crisis seen throughout the world, more and more Africans are coming to the conclusion that there is something fundamentally wrong with this system–and it has to be changed. Out of these Africans, some decide to take personal responsibility for making that change. Some make the profound commitment to the liberation of our people by joining the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). Comrade Lauryn Jackson of Lexington, Kentucky has made that commitment and The Burning Spear newspaper had the opportunity to sit down with her and ask about her experience on the front lines.
Why did you decide to become a member of the APSP?
I decided to become a member because I was able to see what the Party does-the actual work being done, not just the words. I realized that the Party is where I needed to be if I wanted to make a change in my community. I don’t think that there are other parties or organizations that are doing this work and so I think it’s important for me to step up and be a part of it. It’s actually my responsibility to step up and be a part of this work.
You recently traveled to St. Louis for the 2023 Black is Back Coalition Conference in August as well as the 2023 International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) Convention in September. How were those experiences for you?
They were both such powerful events. They really opened my eyes to the groundwork in St. Louis and the possibilities right where I’m at in Lexington. I was able to see the African Independence Workforce Program, the Mafundi Lake 4-Plex building grand opening and the new basketball court we built for the community. I also saw the Jiko community kitchen and the African women’s community center being developed. I was just amazed by the beauty of everything and all the time, effort and dedication that everyone put into making it happen. I looked at all of those programs and thought if we could do this in St. Louis then we can do this in Lexington.
What is the situation like for Africans in Lexington, Kentucky?
Lexington needs a lot of help. Africans here are just as oppressed as we are in other cities. Our East end, West end and North side communities are not being taken care of. The houses are disintegrating, people are starving. You’ll see a lot of African homeless people everywhere and the police don’t treat us well. We are harassed on a daily. Recently, an African man was shot in Nicholasville (KY) and the officer is not in jail. I think they said that the African man was “mentally ill” and because of that, they’re not going to do anything about it. So the situation in Lexington is the same as African people everywhere. We need to get organized.
What is your current work in the APSP?
Currently, I am on the Public Relations Committee of the Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa! Coalition where I manage social media accounts for the Coalition. I also do outreach on the ground right here in Lexington. I just recently chose a location where I will be selling The Burning Spear and doing other outreach on a regular basis so the people will know where to find me.
Speaking of selling The Spear and talking to the people, word on the street is that you are an excellent recruiter. Why do you feel that it’s important to recruit and bring people into this work?
I believe that the only way we can move forward is by doing this together and in order to do that, we have to recruit members and build the Party here in Lexington, so I started with my family. My whole family has come on board, they’ve either already joined or are in the process of joining. I also have friends who’ve been asking questions and I’ve been able to give them answers so I’m really excited to bring people into this Movement, either the Party or one of our mass organizations.
What would you say to somebody reading this article who is deciding whether to join the APSP?
I would encourage people to do the research. If you have questions, we’ve got answers. I would tell them that the work speaks for itself. All you have to do is ask yourself whether or not you are free. And if you realize that you are not free, you then have to ask yourself what you’re going to do about it. While there are a lot of people and organizations that are saying a lot, the African People’s Socialist Party is actually doing a lot.
Join the African People’s Socialist Party!