In 2015 the most rigorous expressions of the Black struggle against oppression and white supremacy could be seen in the fight against police murders. Black youth have taken to the streets to resist the escalating attacks on them by the police and vigilantes. They are calling for systemic change and more and more are devoting their lives to the project of social change.
Fifty years ago, emerging out of the civil rights movement came first the cry and slogan, and then the movement for Black Power. The call for self-determination as a way to end centuries old cruelty and plunder appealed to thousands of African American youth who joined the ranks of the new organizations and helped to shape the powerful movement that we know as the Black Power Movement.
Saladin Muhammad was one of those people who answered the call and has been engaged in the struggle ever since. Through the vehicle of a video autobiography, the website Black Liberation and Social Revolution, the Life and Legacy of Saladin Muhammad (http://theblm.net/saladin/) engages the life and political development of a veteran activist in pursuit of liberation for his people. Video interviews walk us through various phases of his involvement, which coincide with different phases of the Black liberation movement. We learn about his thinking on politics, theory, and organization. In addition to the interesting conversations there are many documents, some authored by him, that reflect movement activity, campaigns and debates.
The new wave of freedom fighters is seeking to merge their approach to the struggle against police violence with an analysis of the root causes of Black subjugation, and like Saladin, want to build a powerful and successful intergenerational Black liberation movement. Sharing and conversations around the lessons in Black Liberation and Social Revolution can be an important part of this effort.
‘We invite people who shared these experiences to contribute their point of view, and on a more general level we invite people to discuss these issues from other theoretical points of view. We oppose dogmatism as if there is a pure truth to be believed, but we welcome struggle to clarify and learn from summing up the diverse and vast experiences of our many movements.” (Abdul Alkalimat from the Introduction)
Saladin’s story and voice is one among many activists that have contributed to the rich legacy of Black radical struggle and one that needs to be a part of the full discussion of where we have been and “which way forward.”
The website is a stand-alone tool for study and discussion but obviously direct conversations via meetings, workshops and conferences are preferred. Saladin will be available for events during Black History Month in particular but at other times during this critical year as we reflect on the Black Power Movement and build the Black Lives Matter Movement into a vehicle of social transformation and liberation
For more information and speaking engagements write Saladin62@aol.com