• New Afrikan Liberation

  • A collection of articles by Marte White of the Community Movement Builders organization concerning the liberation of the Black nation in the USA and related topics.

In our writing and agitational propaganda on the Black liberation struggle in the ameriKKKan empire, Black revolutionary nationalists and communists often refer to a certain 'New Afrika' or refer to ourselves as 'New Afrikan.' As a Black nationalist and communist here in Georgia struggling for the liberation of our people, I am no exception to this rule. This causes many questions to arise, however. Why do we refer to ourselves as 'New Afrikans?' What is New Afrika, and what is its significance to the liberation struggle here in Georgia? It is these questions that I will answer below, using Marxism-Leninism-Maoism — the science of revolution — and the Black revolutionary tradition as my guide, in an effort to promote consciousness of the meaning and significance of these concepts in our struggle for liberation both locally and nationwide.

To put it simply, New Afrika is the name we use to refer to the nation of people descended from slaves kidnapped from Afrika to serve the parasitic U.S. settler empire. Those unfamiliar with the concept of New Afrika may wonder: "How can there be a New Afrikan nation if New Afrika is not an independent country with its own government?", "Why is the nation called New Afrika?" or "Does this nation have territory to call its own?" These are relatively common, but very important questions — and by answering them here, I hope to shed some light on the fundamental nature of the oppression of our people.

The answer to the first question requires the scientific definition of the term 'nation' used by Maoists and revolutionary nationalists alike. In this quote from his essay, Study and Struggle: an Overstanding, the late New Afrikan communist and revolutionary nationalist Sanyika Shakur (formally known as the notorious Crip Monster Kody), clarified the definition of the term nation in the following manner: "Now, a 'nation' here is not to be confused with a State or government. A nation is a cultural/custom/linguistic social development that is consolidated and evolves on a particular land mass and shares a definite collective awareness of itself."

From Sanyika Shakur's definition of nation alone, it should already be clear that there is a difference between a state or government and a nation, and that a nation can exist independently of its own state or government. With that said, the question remains: "Does New Afrika constitute a nation?" Maxist-Leninist-Maoists use a set of criteria to scientifically define a nation, forged in the struggles of countless oppressed nations around the globe. Those criteria define nations as having:

  1. A stable community of people
  2. A common language
  3. A national territory
  4. A distinct economic life
  5. A psychological make-up manifested in a common culture

Going by the criteria for nationhood provided by Shakur and supplementing those criteria with the scientific definition used by Maoists, we can be certain that New Afrika constitutes a nation for the following reasons. New Afrikan people definitely have a distinct culture, which includes culturally relevant foods such as chitterlings, culturally relevant music such as spirituals and rap, culturally relevant literature such as The Invisible Man or Roots and so on. New Afrikan people definitely have distinct customs, such as jumping the broom at wedding ceremonies, establishing kinship relations by bestowing the titles of uncle, aunt, etc., unto people incorporated into New Afrikan families despite lacking blood relation to said families, celebrating holidays such as Junteenth or Kwanzaa, and many more. Finally, New Afrikans possess specific linguistic distinctions that set us apart from other nations within U.S. borders, which range from our common usage of dialects like ebonics, to the existence of languages unique to New Afrikans such as the Gullah language spoken by the Geechee-Gullah people of Georgia's low country. New Afrikans definitely have a distinct economic life, as a great many New Afrikans reside in racially homogenous communities in which destitution is rampant, poverty is cyclical, and work is hard to find. Our people live all over ameriKKKa, but the largest concentrations of New Afrikan people exist in the "Black Belt," so the New Afrikan Independence Movement has traditionally considered the five states, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to be our national territory. For an explanation of New Afrikan people's development of a collective self-awareness and psychological makeup, the following quote from comrade Sanyika's essay On Correct Terminology and Spellings is most appropriate. He wrote: "By dint of brutal transport and collusion We were brought together under conditions less than human and barely tolerable. By our own internal dynamics and self-motion, We essentially combined in these conditions to become a new people. No longer Ibo, Fulani, Ewe, Fante, or Yoruba, but Afrikan still. Our cultures weren't so much destroyed as they were transformed. We survived and remade ourselves on the residue of self-consciousness / self motion."

The evidence provided in the preceding paragraphs, makes it overwhelmingly clear that New Afrika is, in fact, a nation that was born in captivity, with a wide variety of unique peculiarities forged in the fires of struggle and hardship. Therefore, New Afrika, despite being a distinct nation, is not a free nation. This fact is key to uncovering the true nature of the oppression of our people.

Put simply, the New Afrikan nation is a victim of U.S. settler colonialism. Colonialism is perhaps best defined in the following quote from the book Meditations on Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth by the late New Afrikan communist and revolutionary nationalist, James Yaki Sayles: "Colonialism is a comprehensive system, operating on all social levels (economic, political, cultural), and is not a mere expression of military aggression, i.e., "violence" in physical forms. In most cases, colonial violence in armed/physical forms is preceded by unarmed and nonphysical forms of aggression, in the guise of traders, academics, missionaries — who seek not only to lay hold of the land and labor of the peoples, but also to lay hold of their minds, their customs, and their languages. These violent actions suppress, distort, injure, frustrate, infringe, profane and unduly alter the targeted peoples and their social orders, and cripple the people's ability to resist and to regain their independence!"

Comrade Sayles rightly understood the condition of the New Afrikan nation to be that of a nation oppressed by colonialism. The New Afrikan nation is one of a multiplicity of nations imprisoned within the ameriKKKan settler-colonial empire, which once enslaved the New Afrikan people, and is now doing its very best to completely obliterate them as well as every aspect of the nation they form. In the following quote from his essay, War for the Cities, James Yaki Sayles backs up his claim that the New Afrikan people are colonized through a detailed description of the forms of colonial aggression — which he describes as a form of genocide — carried out against New Afrika by the white oppressor nation. The quote reads:

The physical brutality which maims us, the psychological injuries which numb us, push us towards forms of escaping reality, and which drive us in increasing numbers to suicide — all these are symptoms of our economic oppression, our social and cultural oppression. And it's genocide.

Our every condition of life is a manifestation of the genocide being practiced against us. The 'mis-education' of our children, the bad housing and food, short life expectancy, unemployment, lack of adequate medical facilities in our communities, the instability of our families, high mortality rates for our mothers and infants — all these and more constitute genocide.

.... So when we talk about freedom and national liberation, we're talking about ending genocide.

In his writing quoted above, Sayles in essence reveals the reason why New Afrika is not free, and radically asserts the necessity of the national liberation of New Afrika through the defeat of the U.S. settler empire, which seeks to totally destroy New Afrikan people and our nation through means of genocide. This necessity is encapsulated in the slogan of the New Afrikan Independence Movement, "Free the Land!"

New Afrikans often refer to ourselves as Black people or African-Americans, however, the social and historical context in which these terms have developed, as well as the implicit and explicit meanings of these terms that stem from the conditions under which they developed, has led many participants in the New Afrikan national liberation struggle to abandon them entirely. In this quote from his essay, Study and Struggle: an Overstanding, Shakur explained how those terms have developed into tools of the White ameriKKKan oppressor nation in the following manner: "Those who are calling themselves 'African-Americans' are really doing so for two reasons. First, of course, there is an implicit overstanding that runs thoroughly through the New Afrikan nation that We are not really amerikkkans. That we are in fact a people/nation unto ourselves. This used to be widely overstood with little notion of anything to the contrary. Neo-colonialism has worked obsessively to change this awareness. The rapid de-colonization ("de-segregation") of the nation, beginning in the late 1950s, ushered in a new (neo) more thorough and, dare I say, revolutionary, form of control and exploitation: neo-colonialism. 'Blacks' took over from 'negroes' to lead the masses into an integrated lockstep with capitalism, while they (the misleaders) were awarded nominal posts in local and regional government. Because the bourgeois media postulated these class enemies as being 'successful' in a new and improved amerikkka, it fostered an image (crafted by Madison Avenue) that anybody could make it. 'Now that segregation is over, you can grow up to be anything you want.' Except free of course."

Shakur is correct in his argument that the term African-Americans includes in itself a distinction between people of African descent within U.S. borders, and people descended from European-ameriKKKan settlers and is therefore an explicit recognition that the former is distinct from the latter, tied to an integrationist rejection of that distinction. He is also correct in his argument that while New Afrikan nationalists initially succeeded in supplanting the word Negro — a name forced on New Afrikan people by the White nation — with the term Black, that term too eventually became a tool of the white-supremacist ameriKKKan empire, as it is a word that primarily denotes skin color, which left it open to co-optation by misleaders of the New Afrikan community who primarily served, and were essentially appointed by, the White supremacist U.S. empire. A good local example of a misleader of this variety is the Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who, despite being a Black woman in charge of a majority Black city, allows the murder of our people by the city pigs to go unchecked. She does not see people like Jimmy Atchison or Rayshard Brooks as her Black brothers, in fact, she constantly stands in the way of justice for them, siding with White supremacist ameriKKKa against people that look like her. The saying "every brother ain't a brother" reveals the issue with the term 'Black' perfectly, as it essentially means, everyone with Black skin does not necessarily have the interests of our people at heart.

Those of us who choose to refer to ourselves as New Afrikan do not expect the term to immediately replace the terms 'African-American' and 'Black' in the popular lexicon. Personally, I use 'New Afrikan' interchangeably with the term 'Black,' for the sake of convenience, despite acknowledging the superiority of the former. However, New Afrikan revolutionaries, myself included, do often take care to use this term in official documents or writing related to the movement. Doing this helps to popularize the term and distinguishes our support for revolutionary nationalism and the national liberation of our people from ethno-nationalism or bourgeois racialism. Using the term also helps us draw a clear line of demarcation between our people and misleaders that look just like us, and it also helps us ensure that the national question is always kept at the center of our analysis of all matters regarding people of African descent within U.S. borders.

Any kind of revolutionary analysis of the conditions of our people in Georgia must also center the New Afrikan national question. Georgia has historically been home to some of the most reactionary manifestations of colonial oppression of New Afrikans, which included but were not limited to segregation and Jim Crow laws. Georgia is also one of the states that once had an economy that relied on the forced labor of New Afrikan slaves. Today, the colonial oppression of New Afrikans in Georgia persists, albeit in a new form. White-chauvinist racism, the ideological component of colonialism, is dominant throughout the U.S., and it is especially strong here in Georgia, where the flag of the Confederate slave regime is proudly flown, and the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan (Stone Mountain) is the sight of an annual laser light show. New Afrikans make up the largest population group in Atlanta, and the city is often referred to by the New Afrikan comprador bourgeoisie as a "Black Mecca" where New Afrikans can attain wealth and power. This could not be further from the truth. The streets are lined with New Afrikan houseless people, police harass and murder our brethren, laws are put in place to disenfranchise us, gentrification destroys our communities, and large swathes of the New Afrikan population are locked behind bars, where we are treated worse than animals. Atlanta is less of a "Black Mecca" and more of a New Afrikan prison — ironically built by New Afrikans ourselves — just like the rest of Georgia.

The oppression faced by New Afrikans in Georgia and elsewhere is severe, but as the Chinese communist and anti-colonial revolutionary Mao Zedong said, "where there is oppression, there is resistance." This is a statement that has been proven correct in the history of the New Afrikan liberation struggle. For example, last year in Atlanta, New Afrikans resisted oppression through uprisings in response to the murder of our people by police and White racists, mass protests filled the streets, and New Afrikan people even took up arms in self-defense in some cases, such as the defense of the Rayshard Brooks Peace Center by armed members of our communities. Now, New Afrikan people are getting organized into various formations, such as Community Movement Builders and countless others, to engage in the struggle for self-determination. It seems as if more and more people are coming to understand that we are a distinct people who deserve to be able to determine our own destinies. It is becoming more and more clear that ameriKKKa does not accept us — it is at war with us. We must collectively realize, as Malcolm did, that "we didn't land on Plymouth rock, Plymouth rock landed on us." We are not African-ameriKKKans, we are New Afrikans. We will fight till the bitter end for the liberation of our entire nation, and we will not integrate into a burning house!

In one of their tracks, titled They Schools, M-1 and Stic Man, a.k.a the rap duo, Dead Prez, rapped about the horrors of the U.S. school system. In this song, Stic Man described James S Rickards' High School, the school he attended and graduated from in his youth, as an institution with a White supremacist curriculum that focused only on glorifying historical racists. This school was also full of helpless students in a variety of desperate situations ranging from teenage mothers struggling to stay afloat in school while going through the many difficulties of pregnancy, to kids selling dope in the hallways to make enough money to get by, who were all 'perpetually overseen, interrogated, accused and harassed by the armed police that patrolled the school like prison guards. James S Rickards' High was one of 'they' schools, just like every school within the U.S. education system, and a particularly horrendous one at that. Now 'they' aren't some secret society, mysterious cabal, shadow government, or any other ill-defined product of popular social relations mystifying conspiracy theories. No, 'they' are an easily identifiable class along with the sub-classes aligned with it, which is why Dead Prez simply tells us just who 'they' are, right there in the song lyrics:

The same people who control the school system control
The prison system, and the whole social system
Ever since slavery, naw I'm saying?

'They' are the ruling class of America; 'they' schools are one of the social institutions that are components of the capitalist society 'they' control. 'They' prisons are one of those institutions as well, and 'They' plantations used to be. Marx taught us that the capitalist mode of production moulds society in its image, and turns it into a capitalist society with capitalist institutions that exist solely to benefit capitalists. That's why it's a 'They' social system, and not ours. This is not only true in America, but in every capitalist country on this Earth. Now I know Black folks are sick and tired of hearing about what 'They' have and what 'They' control, so we need to be thinking about how we can build up what's collectively 'ours'. We need to create 'our' schools, we need 'our' hospitals, and 'our' housing too, because all of those institutions need to be serving the interests of our people, and the bourgeois ones we have today are most certainly not doing that, as they are serving the interests of the capitalists who aren't interested in anything but profit. Ultimately, we need to replace 'they' social system with 'our' social system, which the revolutionary science of Maoism teaches us can only be done through people's war, but as we work toward overthrowing 'they' social system, we must establish 'our' alternative institutions to compete with and expose 'they' institutions while ensuring our own survival.

The part of the introduction about Stic Man's old high school was but one example of the bourgeois institutions of the capitalists that clearly possess the primary function of subjugating the masses. To illustrate the fact that subjugation of rival classes is a function of capitalist institutions in general, as well as the purpose behind that subjugation, I will turn to the essay, "War For the Cities", by the Black communist and revolutionary nationalist theorist James Yaki Sayles, which can be found in his book Meditations on Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth. This first quote from the text, which describes the function (or lack thereof) that U.S. social institutions have when it comes to the poor Black community, reads, "... there is a 'vacuum' which has been created by the absence of 'goods and services' in our communities. This 'vacuum' serves to weaken our areas, and to weaken us as peoples / nations, to lessen our powers of resistance. Those who rule amerikkka have deliberately gone about the business of making us dependent upon its 'boards of education,' its 'kourts of Just-Us,' its welfare agencies, city housing authorities, etc."

Sayles recognized the fact that the bourgeoisie, by depriving poor Black communities of basic necessities while simultaneously maintaining institutions such as the bourgeois court system, housing authorities, etc. has managed to reduce the capability of our communities to resist white supremacist capitalist oppression. The U.S. bourgeoisie, like the Nazi Germans, desperately fear the communistic tendencies of the so-called "lower" races. In many ways, those oppressors are right to fear the revolutionary potential of our people, who George Jackson believed could, "build the commune that will guide people into a significant challenge to property rights," as a socialist revolution carried out by our people, who have been, enslaved, ghettoized, and marginalized all for the benefit of the propertied classes, would certainly threaten the "property rights" that ensure the opulence of the exploiters at the expense of the oppressed. In order to keep Black people from rising up, the ruling classes must keep us held down.

Sayles further illuminated the true intentions behind bourgeois social institutions in the following quote, "...those who rule amerikkka are neither willing nor capable of satisfying our needs. It is not in their interest to have us employed, fed, clothed, properly housed, educated, and healthy."

As much as White conservatives like to imagine the existence of black "welfare queens," who lead easy lives thanks to government subsidies, the actual situation for poor Black people dependent on welfare and other bourgeois social institutions couldn't be far from that. In fact, the cycle of intense poverty in Black communities continues just fine no matter how many people in it are on welfare, and James Yaki Sayles' provides a spot on explanation of the reason why. The ruling class of the United States has no intention of meeting the needs of poor Black people, but it has every intention of making us dependent on institutions that benefit them by tearing our communities apart at their very foundations. Thus, the welfare agencies will never help black folks get back on our feet, but give us just enough money to make us dependent on the capitalist institutions, while we are stabbed in the back by the justice system which jails as many of us as possible, and the housing authority which rapidly relocates members of our communities. Sayles clearly understood that the reliance of our people on these bourgeois institutions was destroying the Black community.

Based on his understanding of this aspect of the oppression of our people, Sayles came to the following conclusion, "...the first phase of our war for the cities must involve recreating a sense of community. If black / non-white / poor people are to survive and have a future in amerikkka, we must become responsible to and for each other. We must have mutual respect, and we must come to depend on ourselves / each other, and break our dependence upon the enemy."

James Yaki Sayles firmly believed in the possibility and necessity of the achievement of some level of independence of oppressed people from the social institutions of the bourgeoisie. He also recognized that in order to make that happen, the oppressed must rely on one another for the things that they need, and take responsibility for each other's survival. All of this, Sayles thought, could be an important part of the much broader struggle to defeat the enemy class.

What comrade Sayles called for in his article is embodied perfectly in building independent institutions of the oppressed, which are revolutionary formations described in the following manner by PTT of the Maoist Internationalist Movement (Ministry of Prisons) in the article titled Importance of Independent Institutions. PTT wrote, "Independent institutions of the oppressed are designed to simultaneously meet the peoples' present needs, while organizing against imperialism. When coupled with political education in building public opinion for socialism, these institutions help to advance our movement toward communism. People can see in practice what it would look like (and that it's possible) to meet the social needs that the government is failing on. And people learn how to work collectively.

Maybe this is obvious, but independent institutions don't have ties to the power structure that we are fighting to dismantle. Our goal is the full liberation of ALL people, not just some people, and not just our people. To do that, we need to have true independence, so we can say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done, without one arm tied behind our backs."

Through independent social institutions of the oppressed produced in revolutionary struggle, Black people can have some of our needs met despite the various forms of hardship induced by capitalism, without relying on the bourgeois social institutions of America. Such independent social institutions also help raise the consciousness of our people, by showing them what people's power looks like even before the emergence of our own state. These institutions can have both functions, while never becoming separated from the revolutionary movement to destroy capitalism and imperialism. One example of independent institutions of the oppressed is the community garden that was developed by Community Movement Builders in Atlanta, which has provided a food source for poor Black people that is independent of bourgeois agricultural conglomerates, in which they may eat from without giving money or food stamps in exchange. Since the ruling class of the U.S. has no intention of feeding Black people with no money, Community Movement Builders has made a way for Black people to feed ourselves.

Now, it is very important to take note of the clarification of the role of the independent institutions of the masses in the revolutionary movement made by PTT in the following quote, "Our institutions in themselves will not cause the transition to socialism, because the bourgeoisie will not allow us to carry out a quiet coup on their power."

Black revolutionaries can not delude ourselves into thinking that building independent institutions of the masses is a replacement for actual revolution through people's war. Under no circumstances will the bourgeoisie give up political power without a fight, so if it's a fight they want, it's a fight we'll give them. However, building 'our' institutions and breaking our dependency on 'they' institutions is an important early step in our long march toward liberation.

For the New Afrikan independence movement — a movement that calls for the liberation of Black people or New Afrikans through the construction of an independent socialist state — the region of ameriKKKa known as the "Black Belt" is traditionally considered the national territory of the captive Black nation. In other words, when New Afrikan revolutionaries say "Free the Land!" the Black Belt is the location of the land we aim to free. This fact begs the question, "What is so important about the Black Belt?" This question is crucial to identifying the way forward for people organizing for Black / New Afrikan liberation both in the ameriKKKan South and across the US empire. The ameriKKKan South once had an economy that relied entirely on the forced labor of New Afrikan slaves in the Black Belt. The Southern states have been home to the most reactionary manifestations of settler colonialism which included, but were not limited to, chattel slavery, racist pogroms, segregation, and Jim Crow laws. That said, it must be understood that the national oppression of Black people within the Southern United $tates is not a thing of the past. The goal of this essay is to elucidate the nature of the modern oppression of Black people in New Afrika's own national territory, as knowledge of that oppression is a necessary prerequisite of a revolutionary struggle for the liberation of the Black nation.

According to a text associated with the University of Georgia's Initiative on Poverty and the Economy, the term "Black Belt" was coined by Booker T. Washington in reference to the color of the rich soil of the South on which countless slave plantations had been built. Nowadays, the term "Black Belt" refers less to the color of the region's soil and more to the color of the people who live there, as the Black Belt region is known for having a higher than average New Afrikan population than other regions within the United States. According to UGA's document, the official list of states that make up the Black Belt region is as follows: "Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia."

As previously stated, the Black Belt is especially important to anti-colonial revolutionaries in the United States because it contains the land that has been designated the national territory of the New Afrikan oppressed nation that we are fighting to liberate. Comrade James Yaki Sayles, a New Afrikan revolutionary socialist and nationalist, lists the Black Belt states that constitute New Afrika's national territory and explains the process by which Black revolutionaries came to consider these states New Afrikan territory in his essay "Free the RNA-11: Prisoners of War". He wrote: "On March 31, 1968, 500 Black Nationalists from throughout the U.S. met in Detroit and issued a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOR THE BLACK NATION. The subjugated Black Nation—the New Afrikan Nation—in north amerikkka dates back to the anti-black colonial laws of the 1660s. The first LAND under new Afrikan governments was in the Mississippi Valley and the South Carolina-Georgia Sea Islands during and just after the amerikkkan civil war. The 1968 Detroit Convention (1) named the nation the Republic of New Afrika; (2) designated the Five States of the Deep South (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina), as the subjugated 'National Territory,' and (3) created basic law and a formal, provisional government, with officials elected in Convention under a mandate to 'Free The Land!'"

To sum all that up, the subject of our analysis in this essay is around the 11 Black Belt states of the South, with a special focus on the five states of the Deep South that make up the New Afrikan national territory as established in the 1968 Declaration of Independence for the Black Nation.

As New Afrikans have always been subjugated, abused, and deprived by White supremacist ameriKKKa, it is no wonder that the Black Belt region— which contains the highest concentrations of the captive nation's population— is also especially poor in comparison to the U.$. as a whole. According to the data gathered by the aforementioned UGA Initiative on Poverty and the Economy, while the national poverty rate was 12.38% in the year 2000, the Black Belt's poverty rate was 14.06%. This data indicates that the Black Belt is one of the regions of the united $tates in which poverty is particularly intense and that the Black Belt contains a higher than average amount of people who cannot meet their basic needs than many other regions of the U.$. In total, there were 11,523,063 impoverished people living in the Black Belt when this data was recorded.

There are major differences in the material conditions affecting New Afrikans in the Black Belt and those that affect the region's euro-ameriKKKan (White) population. When the census data cited by the aforementioned UGA initiative was taken, New Afrikans in the Black Belt had the highest poverty rate among the region's population, which was 26.35%— over a fourth of the whole population of New Afrikans living in the region. For the sake of comparison, the Black Belt's euro-ameriKKKan population at the time had a poverty rate of only 10.11%. Such a large difference in the size of the destitute sections of these two populations is not surprising. National oppression keeps the New Afrikan nation trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. By imperialism's design, Black people often find it harder to get hired for jobs, harder to get a quality education, harder to avoid arbitrary imprisonment by police thugs, and harder to keep our homes out of the hands of gentrifiers. These difficulties and many others faced by New Afrikans are the manifestations of the oppression of the Black nation that result in statistics like the ones cited above. In a society built on taking from the oppressed nations, it is only natural that oppressed nationals have less.

Originally, the New Afrikan nation was much more concentrated along the Black Belt than it is today, as it was the location of many of the plantations on which New Afrikan slaves worked and the home to a great many New Afrikan sharecroppers after slavery was abolished. Today, however, a large portion of the New Afrikan population lives outside of the South. According to a document released by the U.$. Census Bureau in the year 2000, some midwestern states like Illinois have sizeable New Afrikan populations in comparison to many of their Southern counterparts. In the year the census was taken, Detroit, Michigan, a city that is pretty far north of the Mason-Dixon line, housed a larger New Afrikan population than any one city along the Black Belt! The tragic answer to the question of why the Black population has become spread out so far from the New Afrikan national territory in the Deep South can be found in the following excerpts from the text Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat by the communist revolutionary author and people's historian, J. Sakai, who prefaced his answer to that question with the following much-needed background information: "The Afrikan proletariat had stood up, particularly in the South, and had spear-headed new industrial unionism campaigns (with or without the alliances with white workers). On the plantations the masses were starting to organize. Spontaneous resistance to the settler-colonial occupation was breaking out. The most politically conscious of all these were becoming communists, with Afrikan communism rapidly growing and taking on its vanguard role. Thousands of Afrikans stepped forward in those years to commit themselves to armed revolution, self-government through independence for the Afrikan Nation, and socialism. This was a program that had won respect amongst Afrikan people, particularly in the South."

J. Sakai starts us off by describing the revolutionary situation that was brewing in the ameriKKKan South in the early 20th century. New Afrikan sharecroppers had initiated a bitter struggle against both their parasitic landlords and the national oppression of the captive Black nation. Many of these brave rebels turned into conscious New Afrikan communist revolutionaries who sought to liberate the Black nation through armed struggle against the ameriKKKan settler state. This worried the ruling class and their lackeys, who had always been afraid of communism and afraid of Black people, but never imagined that they would have to deal with Black communists! Needless to say, while they were shaking in their boots, they decided to take action, and employed a little strategy called "population regroupment." Later in his book, regarding that strategy and the manner in which it was used on New Afrikans, J. Sakai wrote the following: "In Mao Zedong's famous analogy, the guerrillas in People's War are 'fish' while the masses are the 'sea' that both sustains and conceals them. Population regroupment (in the C.I.A.'s terminology) strategy seeks to dry up that 'sea' by literally uprooting the masses and disrupting the whole social fabric of the oppressed nation. In Vietnam, the strategy resulted in the widespread chemical poisoning of crops and forest land, the depopulation of key areas, and the involuntary movement of one-third of the total South Vietnamese population off their lands to 'protected hamlets' and 'refugee centers' (i.e. the C.I.A.'s reservations for Vietnamese). These blows only show how great an effort, what magnitude of resources, is expended on imperialist counter-insurgency.

In response to growing political unrest, the U.S. Empire moved inexorably to drive Afrikans off the land, out of industry, and force them into exile. (...)The New Deal's 1934 Agricultural Adjustment Act rescued the ruined planter capitalists, giving them cash subsidies so that they could hold on to the land and continue serving as U.S. imperialism's overseers in the Afrikan South.* But those U.S. imperialist subsidies literally gave the planters cash for each sharecropper and tenant farmer they forced off the plantation. The primary effect, then, was to forcibly de-stabilize and eventually depopulate the rural Afrikan communities."

According to J. Sakai, the reason why the Black population is no longer as concentrated in and around New Afrika's national territory as it was in the past is that the U.$. government felt threatened by Black sharecroppers' resistance to subjugation by the ameriKKKan empire and decided to pay white landlords to force the Black people they were exploiting off their land en masse. In Sakai's words: "the Afrikan masses were involuntarily dispersed, scattered into the refugee camps of the Northern ghettoes, removed from established positions in industries and trades that were an irreplaceable part of the modern Nation."

The ameriKKKan government's usage of the strategy of population regroupment is the reason why we've got hoods up north, hoods in the west, hoods in the east, and hoods in the South. In essence, population regroupment has created a Black diaspora within a Black diaspora. That just goes to show you, forcibly moving people around is the oldest trick in the imperialist book.

Unfortunately for the imperialists, however, the masses of people can move by themselves too. According to an article written by Tanasia Kenney for the local New Afrikan newspaper Atlanta Black Star, there is evidence to suggest that Black people are actually migrating back to the land that our ancestors toiled on and struggled for. In many cities up North, the percentages of the total population made up by New Afrikans seem to be declining. For example, Detroit, which we previously established was at one point the city with the largest population of New Afrikans in ameriKKKa, saw its New Afrikan population dip from 82% in 2010 to 79% just six years later! Ms. Kinney's article also describes a "dramatic" drop in the Black population of Chicago, Illinois, that was large enough to threaten Chicago's position as the third-largest city in ameriKKKa. The state isn't forcing New Afrikans to relocate this time around, but such mass emigrations of Black people aren't exactly voluntary either. Capitalist crisis in the form of economic recession and the gentrification of New Afrikan hoods by settler yuppies has forced many Black people to pack up their things and look for new homes and jobs down South. Ms. Kinney ends her article with a description of the rapid population growth that is occurring in Atlanta, suggesting that it is right here in the so-called "Black Mecca" of the Black Belt that much of the mass exodus of Black people from elsewhere in the U.$. winds up. From the Belt we came, and to the Belt we shall return. There really is no place like home.

Whether the trend of the mass migration of New Afrikans back to our national territory continues or not, the Black Belt region in which that territory exists will remain a crucial battleground of the struggle for the liberation of the Black nation. According to the U.S. Census document mentioned a while back, 54% of the New Afrikan population lives in the ameriKKKan South. According to that same document, the New Afrikan population of the Black Belt states (minus Arkansas technically), make up 47% of the entirety of ameriKKKa's New Afrikan population. In other words, the Black masses may not be as heavily concentrated around the New Afrikan national territory as they were in the '30s prior to the regroupment of the nation's population, but the imperialists never managed to fully destroy the mass base of the Black revolution that exists in the South. To this day, most New Afrikans still live on the very land that our forefathers slaved over, yearning for the ever-approaching day in which we may avenge our ancestors, and take back the land that was developed with their labor, so that we as a people may finally be able to determine our own destinies.

Free the Land!

In this era of gay Pride and Black Lives Matter, of rainbow flags and clenched fists, the question of the relationship between the struggle for queer liberation and Black liberation has taken on a great significance. Black people are not unique in having to wrestle with this. Black people in the United $tates constitute an oppressed nation subjugated by the U.$., and our struggle is thus, in essence, a national liberation struggle joined by countless other national liberation struggles across the globe which also have to deal with this question. Queer people — who can be roughly defined as people who are not heterosexual, or people who are not cisgendered and do not fit within the gender category assigned to us at birth — exist everywhere, but those of us who are enduring national oppression and exploitation have had to wrestle with our relationship to the broader movements for national liberation and the struggle for socialism. Likewise, in national liberation and socialist struggles around the globe, those fighting for liberation have had to grapple with conflicting ideas on the proper conception of the situation of queer people within those broader struggles. Black people, or to refer to us by our nationality — New Afrikans — are much the same in this right.

Throughout history, queer New Afrikans have had to deal with discrimination and violence from the state, settlers, and our own people, and we have even had to deal with chauvinism from those of us who consider themselves "conscious" of our general predicament of bondage within the U.$. settler-colonial empire. Likewise, those very people who consider themselves conscious have often not known what to make of queer New Afrikans. They have often been unable to conceptualize the role of queer New Afrikans within the liberation struggle or determine whether or not the particular struggle for the rights of queer New Afrikans is even important or progressive. Thus, queerphobia has run rampant throughout our movements and in our communities, causing divides between the masses of New Afrikan people and getting in the way of the general liberation of our nation. The remedy to this is the proper application of the theory of revolutionary Black nationalism, guided by the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, a science that is informing national liberation struggles around the world in the analysis of the relationship of queer New Afrikans to the broader struggle for New Afrikan liberation. It is only through concrete analysis guided by this methodology that we can come to the correct line that will forward the New Afrikan struggle for land, independence, and socialism.

In an analysis of the relationship of the struggle of queer New Afrikans to the broader New Afrikan liberation struggle, it is best to start from a general analysis of the struggle of the world's queer people and move toward the particular situation of queer New Afrikans. The first step in doing this relies on situating the position of queer people within a systemic analysis. The former Crip turned New Afrikan revolutionary nationalist and communist Sanyika Shakur's definition of patriarchy is helpful in doing this. In his essay, "The Pathology of Patriarchy", he wrote the following:

Here's the thing, really, if people are being oppressed because of who they naturally are (and We know this to be true), which may not fit into a patriarchal gender box, then this is due to a 'sex' (or gender) issue. So We feel this still covers sex-ism. In other words, that patriarchy (male dominated systems of oppression) create categories for people to fit into in order to exploit and oppress.

Here Sanyika Shakur makes it clear that patriarchy is based on male domination, and that it relies on socially constructed categories that people are forced into — genders — for the purpose of exploitation. Having determined what patriarchy is and how gender relates to it, it is then important to establish why and how patriarchy does what it does. The following quote from the text "Ideology and the Gender Question" from the Proletarian Feminist Research Collective explains this succinctly:

If, as we argue above, the oppression of women generates superprofits for the bourgeoisie, it follows that the same bourgeoisie retain a vested interest in the maintenance of that oppression, particularly insofar as it is rooted in a particular set of relations integral to social reproduction; a challenge to the institutions which organize the forces of this oppression would therefore pose a threat to those same superprofits as well as the conditions of production themselves. The ideological function of patriarchy serves as the bourgeois answer to that possibility, reinforcing the economic base of women's oppression (the family) and perpetuating the subjugated position of women more broadly through social chauvinism and political/legal repression.

In other words, the ideological function of patriarchy serves to maintain the possibility of bourgeois super-exploitation of women, (and I would add, non-men), and thus the continued accumulation of super-profits for the capitalists. Patriarchal ideology keeps this economic situation from being upset. Heterosexist chauvinism and the state's repression of women and queers through the law keep this economic situation intact. In addition to this, the institution of the patriarchal family is reinforced through this ideology. It is at the site of the patriarchal family structure that the material roots of the oppression of queers can be found, and its benefit to the bourgeoisie can be described. The following quote from the text Toward a Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question by the Los Angeles Research Group explains this:

Our investigation leads us to believe that the material basis for the oppression of gays can be found in the role of the bourgeois nuclear family under class society in the maintenance and perpetuation of the division of labor. The bourgeois nuclear family is the economic institutionalization of personal relationships under capitalism. It is a socially isolated unit consisting of a husband, a wife, and their children. The husband works outside the home. The wife, whether or not she also works outside the home, works within it at invisible labor which maintains and reproduces the labor force. The purpose of the bourgeois family is to: 1. socialize children into understanding and accepting class relationships as they exist in this country today; 2. reproduce the class structure in microcosm; and 3. privatize the maintenance and reproduction of the working class. Class society establishes/maintains, and perpetuates divisions of labor including sexual divisions. Sexual division of labor is of incalculable use to the bourgeoisie, dividing workers into two great camps, those in social labor and those in private labor; those in private labor can and have been called forward as a reserve army of labor according to the needs of the bourgeoisie.

In essence, the bourgeoisie needs the patriarchy and the patriarchal family in order to teach children how to fit into a society of domination by the capitalist, but also to maintain a specific division of labor between the different genders within the masses — which justifies super-exploitation, and thus increases the profits of the enemy class. In addition to this, the structure of the patriarchal family can also create a reserve army of labor of people who are functioning within gender roles that are traditionally tied to the domicile —typically women — which functions as a source of workers suitable for future super-exploitation at a given time. In order for this whole system to work, gender categories and sexuality must remain strict, or appear to be immutable, for if people move outside their assigned gender roles or outside heteronormativity, the traditional structure of the patriarchal family and the division of labor between the categories of men and women could be upset. Therefore, chauvinism against queer people, people who upset this ideological status quo of the immutability of gender or the normativity of heterosexuality, arises as a defense mechanism of sorts for the patriarchy — and thus for the bourgeoisie. A common objection to this understanding when it comes to comprehending the origins of chauvinism against queer New Afrikans is that the bourgeois nuclear family model described above is less prominent among our nation. This is true.

According to the article Facts About the US Black Population published by the Pew Research Center, the number of New Afrikans living in households headed by a married couple is thirty-eight percent, which is the largest percentage group of New Afrikan households, but not the majority. Thirty-two percent of New Afrikans live within households headed by a single woman, six percent by a single man, and twenty-four percent in what the article calls non-family households. However, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism teaches us to understand social relations in a totality, not just in part. When it comes to understanding the patriarchy as it relates to New Afrika, it is imperative to understand that our nation does not exist in a vacuum. New Afrika exists as a nation trapped within the broader U.$. empire, and therefore, the hegemonic patriarchal ideology dominant in ameriKKKa affects New Afrikans as well. There certainly is a dialectical relationship between the bourgeois family form and patriarchal ideology, but it is important that we understand that that ideology still affects people who did not come up within the bourgeois family form. In his essay, On Contradiction, the Chinese communist revolutionary and leader of his nation's national liberation struggle, Mao Zedong, explained that some people think:

In the contradiction between the economic base and the superstructure, the economic base is the principal aspect; and there is no change in their respective positions. This is the mechanical materialist conception, not the dialectical materialist conception.

Likewise, some people may have the mechanical understanding that if the majority of New Afrikans aren't within a family structure with a married mother and father, along with their kids, then either patriarchy doesn't exist among New Afrikans, or patriarchy has no relationship to the nuclear family structure in New Afrikans. Both of these conclusions are incorrect. In that same essay, Mao goes on to write that:

[...]while we recognize that in the general development of history the material determines the mental and social being determines social consciousness, we also–and indeed must–recognize the reaction of mental on material things[...]

In New Afrikan society, patriarchal ideology has been ingrained in us because we are part of the broader ameriKKKan society in which the ideology of patriarchy is hegemonic and the bourgeois patriarchal nuclear family is hegemonic. Therefore, even for us — and in a particularly intense fashion — patriarchal and queerphobic ideas and practices are not only present, but rampant, and this is to the detriment of the well being of the broad masses of people.

All around the world the concrete manifestation of the social relations that result in the oppression of queer people are severe. The economic situation of queer people in the United $tates is evidence of this. A report titled LGBT Poverty in the United States published by the UCLA Williams Institute included the following findings: "LGBT people collectively have a poverty rate of 21.6%, which is much higher than the rate for cisgender straight people of 15.7%." While the particular details of the economic standing of queer New Afrikans will be delved into later, the above statistics provide a general overview of the amount of destitution present among the general queer population in the U.$. empire. Queer people in the United $tates often find themselves unable to find sufficient employment to support themselves outside of the most exploitative arrangements. For example Aveda Adara, a trans woman interviewed in an NBC news article about employment discrimination against trans people, said that she was laughed out of countless interviews because of her gender identity. She was only able to make ends meet by finding two part-time jobs that did not provide her with any much needed benefits. These conditions can also lead to queer people being forced into the sex-trade, as described by the Boriqua, trans, co-founder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries organization Sylvia Rivera in the following quote from her speech Bitch on Wheels:

We don't want to be out there sucking dick and getting fucked up the ass. But that's the only alternative that we have to survive because the laws do not give us the right to go and get a job the way we feel comfortable. I do not want to go to work looking like a man when I know I am not a man.

In addition to facing economic destitution, queer people also have to face chauvinistic violence. In a press release published by the aforementioned Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, the following statistic is provided: "LGBT people are nearly four times more likely than non-LGBT people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault." Patriarchal repression against queer people often takes the form of physical violence, which puts queer people at risk of death or injury simply for being who we are. This occurs alongside the intensified economic exploitation that queer people may face, and the combination of these two things, in addition to more petty forms of chauvinism on the interpersonal level paint the picture of an oppressed group within society that is forced to live in fear within the prevailing social conditions. All in all, it is an irrefutable fact that queer people in general are in an especially precarious position within capitalist patriarchal society, and are particularly subject to various forms of exploitation and subjugation. It is the task of revolutionaries to unify and mobilize the most immiserated and downtrodden masses of people in order to overthrow this wretched society and produce a new one in which no one will have to live in such misery any longer. The economic conditions of queer people in ameriKKKa shows us that this is a population that revolutionaries should mobilize in the struggle against U.$. capitalism and imperialism, for oppression and economic misery can become revolutionary potential. Even comrade Huey P. Newton, a cisgendered straight man, in a speech concerning the gay liberation movement suggested that "a homosexual could be the most revolutionary."

Those who have nothing to lose but their chains and a world to win are the true makers of history.

The particular conditions of queer New Afrikans are even worse than the average within the empire. Queer New Afrikans are forced to face the brunt of national oppression, class exploitation, and gender oppression, and the consequences of this is shown in statistics surrounding the subject. In the realm of general impoverishment, the aforementioned article on LGBT poverty in the United States had the following to say about poverty in the queer New Afrikan population: "30.8% of Black LGBT people live in poverty, whereas 25.3% of Black cisgender straight people live in poverty." This particular statistic only goes so far as to compare the poverty rates among New Afrikans ourselves, but even in comparison to queer Euro-ameriKKKans, queer New Afrikans actually have a higher poverty rate. In the full report by that same institution, the poverty rate among queer Euro-ameriKKKans is found to be just 15.4%, almost half that of queer New Afrikans. The queer New Afrikan population also has a particularly high rate of homelessness. For example, an Ebony article regarding the conditions faced by trans New Afrikans states that there is a whopping forty-one percent rate of homelessness among that sector of the population. The economically depressed status of the New Afrikan nation as a result of settler-colonial oppression plus the economically depressed status of queer people in the U$ in general leads to a great many queer New Afrikans facing an impoverished existence.

This is still only part of the picture, however. Queer New Afrikans are also threatened by a high amount of physical violence and harassment. Take the New Afrikan trans population, for example. The aforementioned Ebony article about trans New Afrikans compared the statistical likelihood of violence against New Afrikan trans women with that of their Euro-ameriKKKan counterparts in the following quote: "transgender women of color are nearly twice as vulnerable to violence as their white counterparts." In addition to this, the article goes on to provide data on school and workplace harassment faced by trans New Afrikans: "50% of Black transgender individuals face harassment at school and 15% are physically assaulted at their jobs." The article also provides data on direct state violence endured by trans New Afrikans. It says: "According to studies, 38% of Black trans people indicate that they have been harassed by the police. Even worse, 20% state that they have been physically or sexually assaulted by police." To top it all off, an article by Sophie Drukman-Feldstein about a radical queer organization fighting for the rights of queer prisoners provides the following statistic on incarceration rates in the trans New Afrikan population: "The 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 16 percent of transgender people, and 47 percent of black transgender people, had been incarcerated." Behind bars, the violence against trans and other queer New Afrikan people only intensifies. In his aforementioned Pathology of Patriarchy essay, Sanyika Shakur (who spent a great deal of time behind bars himself), describes patriarchy in prisons as being "on steroids." He further describes the conditions faced by incarcerated queers as so:

They are treated as 'abnormals' — as less than human. They are usually 'neutralized with violence and ostracized'. Groups forbid their members from aiding any such person. And even tho' the prisoners are placed with nationals from oppressed and colonized nations, oppression and prejudice of gays and transgender prisoners goes on uninterrupted as patriarchal 'morals' are imitated and replicated across the board.

Just looking at the rates of state violence, workplace violence, prison violence, and other forms of chauvinistic violence against the trans New Afrikan population reveals the truth that the queer New Afrikan population is especially at risk for being harassed, attacked, or even killed in this capitalist patriachial empire. Queer New Afrikans live with the boot of reactionary society upon our necks, and some of us find it impossible to go on. The Trevor Project provides some numbers from their 2020 study on mental health in queer youth in an article titled All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth that describe the epidemic of suicidality among queer New Afrikans. The article states: "44% of Black LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth." The epidemic of suicidality among queer New Afrikans must be analyzed in a materialist manner. Mao Zedong demonstrated this type of analysis of suicidality in his article Miss Chao's Suicide, in which he wrote: "A person's suicide is entirely determined by circumstances. Was Miss Chao's original idea to seek death? On the contrary, it was to seek life. If Miss Chao ended up seeking death instead, it is because circumstances drove her to this." Queer New Afrikans do not have an astronomically high rate of suicidality merely because they are queer. It is not true that queer New Afrikans are just naturally more prone to suicide. Queer New Afrikans have a high rate of suicide because of the horrific material conditions that we must endure. It is those material conditions that drive us to suicidality. The material conditions queer New Afrikans face are killing us, and forcing us to pull the trigger.

Queer New Afrikans face chauvinism that comes from many directions. Within our own nation, we face chauvinism from other New Afrikans, in part because within the complex situation of colonial bondage that we face, patriarchy in the New Afrikan nation manifests itself as a defense of the manhood of some New Afrikans against perceived threats to it — threats including New Afrikan queers. In his aforementioned essay on patriarchy, Sanyika Shakur says the following regarding this phenomenon:

In this era of neocolonialism the main homophobes are the masses themselves. Where it used to be the state, the church and other rabid ideologues of patriarchy, now it's athletes, rappers and the idiot down the tier who somehow feels as if his so-called 'manhood' is threatened by how or who another person lives and loves. The unconscious shock troops of patriarchy become the gatekeepers for their oppressors. That's why patriarchy can feel so comfortable with putting the colonies on auto-pilot. The inmates have assumed control of the asylum and all is well on the Western front. Never mind that the very culture of oppression that they are holding up by becoming little oppressors themselves is the actual threat to them.

Sanyika Shakur rightly explains that those within our nation that continue to uphold and act on these queerphobic ideas are basically perpetuating patriarchy on the behalf of the oppressors of us all. This ultimately benefits capitalism and settler-colonialism and actually hurts the New Afrikan masses. The fear that queer people are somehow a threat to New Afrikan manhood is a false one, and it must be cast aside to maximize the unity of the toiling and immiserated masses of our nation against our real enemy. It cannot be stressed enough that real violence among New Afrikans comes with this tendency. New Afrikan trans people like Kendall Stephens or Iyanna Dior have gotten jumped by cishet New Afrikan men acting on queerphobic ideology, and some New Afrikan trans people like Dominique Fells have even been killed in such violence. On top of this, queer New Afrikans face chauvinism from Euro-ameriKKKan queers. In their essay, Sites of Resistance or Sites of Racism (which can be found in the book That's Revolting!), the author Priyank Jindal describes the chauvinism present in a "play-party" set up by Euro-ameriKKKan queers in the following manner:

Instead of discussing how queer desire in this country is literally and figuratively policed, making links to communities of color and our daily lived experiences of police brutality, the customers and owners of the play party reproduced the racist and classist actions hurled against working-class communities of color. And as a way to top it all off and make their political stance crystal clear, the venue put out gay pride flags, leather pride flags, and of course, Amerikan flags.

Priyank Jindal's interactions with the Euro-ameriKKKan queer community reflect a common tendency of this particular sector to retain connections to the settler-colonial capitalist society that dominates oppressed nationals such as New Afrikans. By doing this, they pave over the divisions in class and nation that exist among queers, and reproduce the very bourgeois ideology that plays a large part in keeping the masses in bondage. Queer New Afrikans have to deal with reactionary sentiments like this from Euro-ameriKKKan queers all the time, and this also comes coupled with physical violence. Take the case of Ed Buck, for example, a Euro-ameriKKKan settler bourgeois who murdered multiple New Afrikan gay men in his home by injecting them with crystal meth. Ed Buck was in the buisiness of exploiting New Afrikan gay men by producing racist pornographic films of them replete with the very fetishization of New Afrikan men that is all too familiar to New Afrikan queers who have interacted with their settler counterparts. These disgusting murders illustrate that the relationship between oppressed and oppressor nations, and the relationship between exploiter and exploited classes puts working class queer New Afrikans at the very bottom when it comes to our relationship to White settler and wealthy queers.

The position of queer New Afrikans is dire, and the only way for us to be liberated from these conditions is through revolution. It was established above that patriarchal and thus, queerphobic structures in society are inextricably linked to capitalism and imperialism, and the logical conclusion of this is that the only way that queer New Afrikans can be free from the oppression we face is by joining the struggle to overthrow capitalism and imperialism. For us this means joining the revolutionary struggle of the New Afrikan nation for land, independence, and socialism. In their aforementioned essay Ideology and the Gender Question, the Proletarian Feminist Research Group puts forward the only path to the liberation of queer people in the following manner:

The family form — the true source of women's exploitation and oppression, and of the oppression of transgender people — can only be smashed under the dictatorship of the proletariat over the course of a cultural revolution to root out its base.

In order to destroy the root of oppression for queer New Afrikans, a revolution for socialism is needed. As socialist society moves toward communism — a society free from all forms of oppression — multiple cultural revolutions will be needed to smash the base of patriarchy and root out queerphobic ideology once and for all. A new culture will have to be established, and new social relations, ones in which people can live and work together freely no matter their gender expression or sexual orientation, and one in which poverty and exploitation are ultimately abolished for good. However, in order to achieve that, it is necessary for queer New Afrikans to unite with the masses of our nation and make revolution to bring such a society about. The reason for this is described in an article from a particularly advanced liberation struggle on the other side of the world. In the article The Revolution Has no Gender published in the Liberation publication of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, it is established that: "the influence of the bourgeois culture and society that looks down and discriminates on lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) is strong," but the article goes on to say that:

combating the debased culture of this bourgeois society we were born into and initiating change would [come into] fruition from the collective struggle of the gays, lesbians and straights in the national democratic revolution. Party documents are available to enlighten gays and lesbians that they are not divorced from the oppression and exploitation suffered by other genders. Thus, it is important that they take an active role in the people's revolution.

The strength of patriarchal ideology and structures within New Afrikan society today is no match for the combined might of the masses of our people in our struggle for complete liberation from the White supremacist U.$. empire and ultimately from all forms of oppression. Ultimately, the class rule of the bourgeoisie, White supremacy, settler-colonialism, and patriarchy are not actually separate from the problem of queerphobia, and the masses of New Afrikans from the exploited and immiserated classes and strata of our society are — queer and cishet alike — oppressed and in need of liberation. It is imperative to understand that there is no peaceful way for queer New Afrikans, or any New Afrikans to be free. There will have to be a revolutionary struggle in order for us to attain our liberation because as Sanyika Shakur says in his Pathology of Patriarchy essay:

[...]until gays and transgender prisoners, and people at large, take their lives and existence into their own hands, organize and defend their reality, they'll continue to be victimized and exploited and that goes for any form of oppression. The oppressed have the responsibility to get free. Freedom is not given or granted – it's taken! The federal government is not going to legislate your safety into existence.

The liberation of queer New Afrikans is integral to the broader struggle for the national liberation of New Afrikans, and likewise, the national liberation of the New Afrikan masses is integral to the struggle for the liberation of queer New Afrikans. Following this, it is necessary for queer New Afrikans to put forward demands in the general liberation struggle, that when realized would bring a society free from capitalism and patriarchal chauvinism closer to fruition. The Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, or STAR, a revolutionary organization founded by oppressed nation queers put forth a list of demands that can be found in an essay on the organization that is part of the Gender Variance Who's Who collection. The demands serve as a fantastic example of the kind of goals queer New Afrikans must fight for as part of the liberation struggle. They were:

  1. We want the right to self-determination over the use of our bodies; the right to be gay, anytime, anyplace; the right to free physiological change and modification of sex on demand; the right to free dress and adornment.
  2. The end to all job discrimination against transvestites of both sexes and gay street people because of attire.
  3. The immediate end of all police harassment and arrest of transvestites and gay street people, and the release of transvestites and gay street people from all prisons and all other political prisoners.
  4. The end to all exploitive practices of doctors and psychiatrists who work in the field of transvestism.
  5. Transvestites who live as members of the opposite gender should be able to obtain identification of the opposite gender.
  6. Transvestites and gay street people and all oppressed people should have free education, health care, clothing, food, transportation, and housing.
  7. Transvestites and gay street people should be granted full and equal rights on all levels of society, and full voice in the struggle for liberation of all oppressed people.
  8. An end to exploitation and discrimination against transvestites within the homosexual world.
  9. We want a revolutionary peoples' government, where transvestites, street people, women, homosexuals, puerto ricans, indians, and all oppressed people are free, and not fucked over by this government who treat us like the scum of the earth and kills us off like flies, one by one, and throws us into jail to rot. This government who spends millions of dollars to go to the moon, and lets the poor Americans starve to death.

Demands such as these can function as goals for queer New Afrikans when fighting for our collective rights within the New Afrikan liberation struggle. It is no coincidence that the final demand on STAR's list is the formation of a revolutionary government, which is the very structure through which the goals that came before can be achieved. STAR knew that revolution was the only way queer people could attain our rights. With that established, it must be understood that the struggle against queerphobia is not something that can be put off until the establishment of socialism. It is something that must begin here and now. Revolutionaries must struggle against queerphobia and patriarchal ideology in our own ranks first. What that takes was described in the following manner in the aforementioned essay by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines:

The growing number of gays and lesbians in the Party necessitated thorough studies, ideological remolding and a policy guide for the proper attitude towards members who have expressed their sexual preference. Said efforts are aimed at mitigating if not all together effacing gender discrimination.

In the Communist Party of the Philippines, the vanguard of the ongoing Filipino revolution, discrimination against queers was combatted through political education, proleterian remolding, and revolutionary policy against queerphobic chauvinism. The same process should go on in any New Afrikan organization that claims to be revolutionary. It should also be noted that the above quote literally starts with the fact that a large amount of queer Filipinos have been admitted into the revolutionary Party. This is also a part of combatting queerphobia in a revolutionary organization. As Sanyika Shakur puts it in his essay On Correct Terminology and Spellings En Route to Conscious Development and Socialist Revolution:

To Us, any org claiming to be revolutionary or representative of the people, that doesn't actively recruit, promote and cultivate gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people/cadres, is not really pushing a revolutionary line for change and freedom — let alone socialism. They are perpetuating the backwardness of the bourgeoisie

In order to really be against any form of oppression of queer people, a revolutionary organization definitely needs to have active queer cadre working within it. It seems like a given, but there are countless organizations that talk the talk of being for the people, without being willing to walk the walk. That is something that New Afrikan revolutionary organizations need to move past. If New Afrikan revolutionary organizations have the active participation of queer New Afrikans, and conduct thorough proletarian ideological remolding among their ranks, as well as implement concrete policy to combat queerphobia within the organization, then the unity of queer New Afrikans and revolutionary organizations will be guaranteed, and the backwardness of the bourgeoisie on this issue will be expunged. This is something that will be a constant struggle within New Afrikan revolutionary organizations, but it must be done.

Next, there is the question of combatting the effects of queerphobic chauvinism among the masses themselves. The very first step of this process is building unity between queer New Afrikan revolutionaries and the broad oppressed masses of New Afrikan people. The previously cited article from the Philippines describes this process as so:

Ka Awra discovered after the revelation that there [is] much more he can do and contribute to the revolution-he can write, he can dance, he can strut his cultural prowess to spice up his organizing and instruction work. He had opened up to his comrades and the masses. He realized that the masses will accept and love you whatever your gender is for as long as you could help them with their problems; they see you at the people's court resolving issues; they are enlightened and they learn from your instruction, be [that] of the Party courses or simply to read and write. For as long as you are with them in charting plans and programs that will serve their interests, they will wholeheartedly accept you.

If queer New Afrikans unite with the masses of working and poor New Afrikan people — build with them, serve them, and struggle with them for the complete liberation of our people — the New Afrikan masses will come to love and accept us. Not only is this the only path toward liberation for the masses of New Afrikan people, but it is also one of the best ways to combat queerphobic ideology among the people, as it shows clearly that queer New Afrikans can be friends of the people, and are not a group to be hated or scorned. In addition to this, it is possible to organize for the safety and defense of the queer New Afrikan masses. Revolutionaries should do their best to serve this sector of the people and politicize them so that they might become valuable participants in the revolutionary mass struggle. In the aforementioned essay regarding the STAR organization, a quote from Sylvia Rivera describes that organization's method of serving the poor queer masses in the following manner:

We had a S.T.A.R. House — a place for all of us to sleep. It was only four rooms, and the landlord had turned the electricity off. So we lived there by candle light, a floating bunch of 15 to 25 queens, cramped in those rooms with all our wardrobe. But it worked. We'd cook up these big spaghetti dinners and sometimes we'd have sausage for breakfast

By establishing the STAR House, STAR was able to address the homelessness problem among poor queers by giving them a place to stay. This actually protected these members of the masses from the horrors of life on the streets, including drug abuse. In an interview with the New Afrikan cofounder of STAR, Marsha P. Johnson, which can be found in the book Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle, Marsha explains that STAR tried its best to "reach people before they get on drugs, 'cause once they get on drugs it's very very hard to get them off and out of the street." In the same interview, she went on to talk about STAR's plans to offer legal defense for incarcerated queers, raise bail money, engage in demonstrations, host community events, and much more. STAR's work shows the efficacy of defending poor queer people through serving them, but revolutionaries should also take note of methods of defending queer people from physical violence. In an interview titled Queering the Underground, which can be found in That's Revolting!, the queer communist and former urban guerilla Ed Mead described this kind of work in the context of prison. While in the Washington State Penitentiary, Ed Mead developed Men Against Sexism, an organization that combatted prisoner-on-prisoner rape, and the prison sex trade in which prisoners were literally bought and sold by one another for sex. Ed Mead transformed himself into a new type of queer, a "political faggot" in his words, who was dedicated to fighting against patriarchy and capitalism by any means necessary. He said:

I was a pistol-packin' faggot. It was whole new idea of what it meant on the inside to be a faggot. We can be tough. You think you can push us around? We'll put an immediate stop to that.

Queer New Afrikans and New Afrikan revolutionaries in general can learn a lot from both STAR and Ed Mead / Men Against Sexism. In order to combat the queerphobia inherent in bourgeois patriarchal society, it is necessary to both serve the queer sector of the poor New Afrikan masses and to cultivate the development of queer revolutionaries who are able and willing to combat patriarchal and queerphobic violence by any means, including force of arms. Whether it's on the streets or in the prisons, New Afrika needs politicized queers guided by revolutionary theory as part of the general struggle against oppression of all kinds, brave souls that are willing to take their fates into their own hands, and fight tooth and nail for liberation.

Who fears the New Afrikan queers? Only the reactionaries, the bourgeoisie, the White supremacists, and those who refuse to free themselves from the depraved patriarchal culture of bourgeois society need fear us — for the place of the queer sector of the immiserated masses of New Afrikans is within the revolutionary struggle for land, independence, and socialism, and for the realization of a world free from any form of oppression of man by man. Today the situation of many queer New Afrikans is dire, today many of us are fighting for our lives or even considering ending them, but tomorrow, queer New Afrikans will join the masses of our nation in rising, and utilize our collective strength to grind capitalism-imperialism to dust. Who fears the New Afrikan queers? Only reaction does, because the revolution will welcome us. As the queer Maoist revolutionary Ka Princess said: "The revolution does not discriminate on gender. The gun has no gender."