Lesson from Snowden: Myth of the Free Press

By Saswat Pattanayak   The recent rise in whistleblowers in America maybe new, but the governmental scrutiny and penalization process is hardly so. Apart from the widening scope of social/virtual media’s sphere of influence, there is hardly anything unique about the circumstances unraveled by Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. Political radicalism, underground media activism and alleged unpatriotic nature among conscientious citizens in the United States are what has indeed uniquely created this country. It has always been the case of the powerful ruling class elites duly supported by the judiciary, military and corporate media constantly engaged in wars against progressive…

Occupy Wall Street: Challenges, Privileges & Futures

“One who tells the people revolutionary legends, 
and who amuses them with sensational stories, 
is as criminal as the geographer 
who would draw up false charts for navigators.” 
 – HPO Lissagaray, “History of the Paris Commune of 1871” (1877) The challenges to Occupy Wall Street are many. Some even more critical than the very issues the protestors are fighting against. Whereas it claims to be the 99%, yet the movement practices the age-old privileges of class and race blindness. Similar to most white liberal movements, the OWS is hardly inclusive of the people of color. Although the spirit is…

Gil Scott-Heron :: Revolutionaries Live Forever

The brother who prophesied that the revolution won’t be televised is no more. Many of us did not believe in his cautionary words. Some of us caricatured the concept of revolution as manifesting in fast cars and expensive elections. Those in Egypt claiming themselves to be revolutionaries even held up signs to proclaim revolution was indeed being televised. Some Iranian protesters claimed revolution was being Twitted. Indeed, during his lifetime, Gil Scott-Heron was ridiculed, neglected and relegated to a hopeless corner. After his passage, he will probably be obliterated from prospective history narratives, as our liberalized society continues to glory…

Lucy Parsons :: Revolutionary Feminist

By Saswat Pattanayak No legal case in American history has been more cited than The Scottsboro Trial. Nine young African American men, aged 13 and up, were jailed in Scottsboro, Alabama to await trial over an accusation that they had raped two white women on a train in the Spring of 1931. The nature of racism in this instance was not the novelty – indeed, American society was witness to countless false charges brought against the black people. However, The Scottsboro Trial became a landmark via the manner in which racism for the first time was fiercely and openly challenged…

Whose Fourth of July?

By Saswat Pattanayak Even as President Obama leads the nation into the biggest fireworks show in American history to celebrate the day, the Fourth of July is a stark reminder of American inequalities, not independence. The independence movement of American republic was not aimed at securing liberty to the inhabitants. American independence from the British Empire was not attained for the indigenous peoples, the black population or for the women. It was an independence that certainly had created a radical series of documents but the departure from the tradition of overlooking the plights of the oppressed has never been done…

A Warning From An “Eyes On The Prize” Creator

Got this from Dr TSB of the media blog Drums in the Global Village. Hey, Folks – Yup, the first 6 hours of EYES ON THE PRIZE will, finally, be re-broadcast nationally on PBS’ “The American Experience” on the first three Mondays in October (Oct. 2, 9, 16) at 9:00 pm (check local listings). They’ll air 2 hours each Monday. Hour 1 – “Awakenings” (1954-1965) — Emmett Till and Montgomery Bus Boycott Hour 2 – “Fighting Back” (1957-62) — School Desegregation, including Little Rock and ‘Ol Miss. Hour 3 – “Ain’t Scared of Your Jails” (1960-61) — Sit-ins and Freedom…

In Search of ‘B-Span’!

The following article is authored by two of my dearest comrades. In the quest for What Needs to be Done! IN SEARCH OF ‘B-SPAN’: The Promise of Black Media Self-Determination NOW By Drs. Jared A. Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs “If the people only knew/ The power of the people” —From the 1970s song of the same name “The Negro race has enough power right in our hands to accomplish anything we want to.” —The late, great Adam Clayton Powell Jr. “Power, culture and communication are indissolubly linked.” ­–– John Downing Cell phones that record sound and take pictures. CD…

Jack O’Dell on Black Communism

Sharing with all a significant interview below: “Jack O’Dell was a union organizer, a civil rights leader, and a member of the Communist Party. His political consciousness formed in the 1940’s, when the African-American community became more assertive in their efforts to improve conditions and expand civil rights. Like many blacks, including one of his role models, Paul Robeson, O’Dell was drawn to the Communist Party because of their staunch stand against racism and segregation. During the 1940’s, O’Dell found a welcoming environment in the National Maritime Union. Later, he worked for the director of the Southern Christian Leadership Counsel…