The OCTOBER 20th 1981 Freedom Fighters, Black Liberation Army/New Afrikan Freedom Fighters, and North American Anti-Imperialists, all members of the Revolutionary Armed Task Force attempted an act of Expropriation

“There is and always will be, until every Blackman, woman and child is FREE, a Black Liberation Army.”

Assata Shakur


ON OCTOBER 20th, 1981, under the leadership of the Black Liberation Army, Black Freedom Fighters, and North American Anti-Imperialists, all members of the Revolutionary Armed Task Force, attempted an act of expropriation of $1.6 million from an armored Brinks truck. Brother Sekou Odinga, our comrade who was captured in Queens, was not involved in the Brinks incident. Sister Fulani Sunni-Ali, Chairperson of the Peoples Center Council of the Republic of New Afrika, was not involved in the Brinks incident in any fashion, and is not a member of the Black Liberation Army. Eve Rosahn was not involved in the Brinks incident, nor is she a member of the Revolutionary Armed Task Force.

Although there have been historical differences between Black Revolutionary Freedom Fighters and North American Anti-Imperialists, there were overriding events that called for this significant alliance. These events were:

1. The killing of Black men in Buffalo.

2. The collaboration of the Ku Klux Klan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina, and the subsequent disclosure of Bill Wilkinson as an FBI informant.

3. Fourteen unsolved murders of Black women in Boston.

4. The on-going murders of children in Georgia.

5. The shooting of four Black women in Alabama.

6. The stabbing deaths of Black men in New York City.

7. The use of KKK, Police and the United States Army as mercenaries in the Dominica invasion.

8. The KKK use of the Department of Parks for its war re-enactment of para-military training. This is a clear indication of government support for right wing fascist military training.

9. The government assassination of Black activist Yulanda Ward in Washington, D.C.

10. The consistent use of mercenary forces in putting down the Miami Rebellion.

BASED UPON AN evaluation of these events, a decentralized intelligence strategy was embarked upon by the revolutionary forces to determine the capability to separate rhetoric from real military action, especially concerning the capability of vigilante armies, and armies outside the United States military complex, that can implement urban terror on the Black and Third World population, and to assess the McCarthy-like period we are in—and to devise a response.

Haki Kweli Shakur ATC NAPLA NAIM 10-20-52ADM


An intensive two year investigation was embarked upon which had people who were living underground for years, non-active in the military,reactivated and assigned to infiltrate and assess the major fascist organizations. This investigation led them to the Klan in Connecticut and North Carolina to determine FBI and local police complicity. It led them to the so-called Christian community to determine their military preparedness in their drive for survival. It led them to investigate the international fascist network in North America and its tentacles into the Caribbean, citing the assassination of Walter Rodney and their complicity in toppling the Manley government in Jamaica


1. That the Black population in North America is the number one focus of all the above organizations, e.g., illustrated in their fliers, and their targets used for shooting practice.

2. The law enforcement agencies, from the local police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, and Central Intelligence Agency,have directly,through their alumni or various associations outside their own structures, used federal money, taken from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration budget, to participate in said organizations, through lending their expertise and financial backing, and use of classified information on their enemies.

3. Members of the ruling class have been used to back these organizations. John Connally financed the mercenary plot against Dominica. H. Ross Perot financed the failed Iran hostage rescue. The Hunt family finances North Carolina Klan activity through the sale of South African Krugerrands.

4. A mass propaganda program on white America to build an hysteria against communism and crime to perpetuate vigilantism, to cover the fascist approach to genocide by these white people, and to cover up the specific programs of the above forces. To move for more tolerance on the part of white America to accept and participate in this situation.

5. The government anti-terrorist force is formulated under the same ideology as the civilian, so-called race terror forces. Richard M. Nixon and his staff in the FBI and Justice Department are the government’s originators of said program.

Reaganomics is used to force the survival of the Black and Third World population to a situation where the apartheid system will be the norm in urban communities. And to put blue and white collar workers into law enforcement related situations, thereby having control over the system as a whole.

THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMED TASK FORCE assesed that the time to respond was NOW. It could no onger be a wait-and-see program. The normal process of watchdog committees, that generally halted these conspiracies, such as the NAACP, the Urban League, and Klan Watch, have been ineffective in exposing the true nature of the crisis.

The fact that the Black Liberation Army had interwoven into the fiber of the Black community clandestinely allowed the Army to have a finger on the pulse of the Black Community as well as the Anti-imperialist movement. The left movement has emphasized its work against the pro-nuclear forces and works within the bourgeois framework. They are unprepared to understand the fact that they have been targeted and are therefore incapable of responding. The lack of response by progressive people to the Moral Majority has allowed for a right wing backlash against all women. On the other hand, the Black Community responded to the propaganda and conditions by resisting at the basic level of survival. The astronomical amount of law enforcement films, the blatant average American racist disrespect of Black people, and the conditions illustrated from talk shows and editorials, to the passive wait-and-see attitude toward the effects of Reaganomics on Black people and poor people, illustrated to us that the time to respond and to stop the flow of fascist racist repression is now and in this period

ONE CLEAR FACT is that all the racist organizations are well financed. Different from the 1960s and early 70s, when Black people offered their money, checks and funds to enhance the public resistance to racism, cutbacks and loss of jobs have eliminated monies available to
Black people. Black people have no control over their communities. Jobs do not exist, welfare lines are longer. The money to feed the handicapped, the aged, and the unemployed all have been cut. The lack of respect for the elders in the Black community and the low level of nationalist programs have led our youth to respond to the programs of oppression and their insecurities as human beings by inflicting petty vicious crimes internally. We oppose such crimes, and since we understand the conditions that create these situations, the Revolutionary Armed Task Force decided that:

1. The masses in the urban areas must develop people’s self-defese units to defend themselves NOW!

2. Programs are needed to set positive revolutionary examples for our youth, and must be developed in practice and in theory NOW!

3. The urgency to accumulate millions of dollars under the political control of the most advanced revolutionary elements for the use of various types of programs in the communities, from cultural, child care, to health care, must be secured NOW!

4. There will be no BLACK HOLOCAUST. It will be the motivation and determination of the combatants in the field to prevent such an occurrance. Therefore we say

THE COMRADES WHO are in jail are not criminals. They are Prisoners of War, and they are HEROES. They are heroes struggling against RACISM, FASCISM, AND IMPERIALISM. The Black combatants follow in the tradition of Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, Mark Essex, Ahmed Evans, Harriet Tubman, Twyman Myers and all those who have stopped the flow of uncontested violence and repression against the Black community. The white combatants follow in the tradition of John Brown, who organized masses of white people to fight against slavery and repression.

Even though this particular military battle failed, the goals should always set the example for our youth and true revolutionaries. To set the record straight, WE HAVE NEVER SHOT OR KILLED ANYONE WITH THEIR HANDS IN THE AIR SURRENDERING. We have not kicked in doors with guns in hand to murder sleeping people.

Even though we know where many children and families of the law enforcement agencies live we have never charged the wife for the crime of the husband nor attacked innocent children.

—We charge the Black community to relinquish their fear of the enemy and to stop robbing each other, and to go to the fascist multi-national corporations where the risk is the same and the act more political.

—We charge the intellectual aspects of the Black community to come forward and clearly identify this era of Black Resistance to imperialism and colonialism and interpret the current events to the Black community.

—We charge the artists to create a clear presentation of our conditions wherever they can.

—We charge the Black and progressive press to do the investigation of our intelligence reports to celebrate the factual information from our heroes. To speak to the Geneva Accords in relation to our Prisoners of War.

—To all conscious Black and Third World people: remain diligent. If you don’t intend to fight, don’t be afraid to speak and resist.

—To our comrades in Azania/South Africa, who we have aided politically, economically, and militarily, our continued support is assured.

We send our solidarity to all members of the Revolutionary Armed Task Force.



“Where is the Blackman’s Army”
—Marcus Garvey

“Our backs are against the wall. Now more than ever we need an army to defend ourselves and fight for our liberation.”
—Assata Shakur


WHY GRENADA FRIGHTENS THE U.S. Extracts from speech by Maurice Bishop at the Marcus Garvey Day rally in the Market Square, St. George’s, Sunday, 23 August 1981.

A7ARG4 Revolutionary mural in Grenada

Extracts from speech by Maurice Bishop at the Marcus Garvey Day rally in the Market Square, St. George’s, Sunday, 23 August 1981.

Why have they singled out our poor, small country? Why do we stimulate so much fear in the minds of Reagan and his warlords? We have no great industries, no great banks, no gold, no oil, no diamonds, few natural resources. There is one distinguishing feature; we in small, tiny, but free, Grenada led the first socialist revolution in the English-speaking Caribbean. Our revolution has challenged the carefully built-up myth that we are too small, too weak and cowardly to stand up to dictatorship. The Revolution smashed this illusion.

This Revolution is also a big threat being in a Black country because the US holds captive millions of black people in racist bondage. They are afraid that black Americans may find out and be inspired by the Grenada Revolution.

Haki Kweli Shakur ATC NAPLA NAIM 10-19 52ADM MOI The Struggle For Independence  Continues!


This is a revolution that has set itself a historic task: to build a new society for a new people. The end result is the construction of a new civilisation model. The imperialists understand that the new democratic institutions and people’s participation will inspire the masses in other islands to ask: How come little Grenada can create programmes to benefit workers, farmers, youth, women? Such is a dangerous question for imperialism. They understand the significance of us joining and playing a key role in the Non-Aligned Nations Movement. They understand that this Revolution is using the little resources we have for our people’s benefit and not for the loupgaroux transnational corporations.

The recession, the economic crisis in the US is forcing them to step up the arms race, hoping that making bombs and armaments will increase industrial activity and restore their super-profits.

That our country is in a ‘strategic’ location in terms of the oil routes the US depends on is also used as a justification for direct intervention.

The US Administration is getting more frantic and desperate every day that passes because every day our Revolution brings more consolidation, more unity, more organisation, more preparation of our people. Every attempt at counter-revolution inside Grenada has failed miserably. Even on the external front they are failing. Propaganda has limited success, the economic squeeze and the mercenary threats have not intimidated our people. Reactionary leaders are getting less. We are realizing more and more that these attacks are being responded to by our friends, the masses in our sister islands.

The Americans have come to the conclusion that the Revo is so popular and strong that only an armed invasion can turn it back.

The defence of this homeland of ours can only come from us no matter how many friends we have. In the final analysis, it is our responsibility to defend.

We are a small, poor country, and our economy cannot afford to pay more soldiers to join our army . . . . When you are dealing with an armed people, it is hard for them to divide and exploit the weak and faint-hearted. The militia, as a part-time army that works during the day, is a very important advantage in our situation.

Soldiers who invade do not make distinctions between men or women, young or old. Chile has shown us this and El Salvador, and on June 19th, it was women who suffered the most. Seventy out of the 96 injured were women; 30 out of the 35 were hospitalized. While these invaders will firstly try to identify army camps for attack: with the militia, the people are prepared to defend themselves in every village.

It is the duty and the responsibility of all patriots to learn to use weapons, to defend this land of ours. Those who don’t use the gun in the militia have other valuable functions to fulfill: security, medics, communications, drivers, cooks, messengers, etc.

We know that other people have traveled the same road as we are today.

Size is not the key factor – the quality of a people’s determination, unity, organisation and vigilance are.

Imperialism is not invincible. It has been defeated before. If they have forgotten the lessons of Viet Nam, Angola and Mozambique, we must remember: We in Grenada will teach them again.

We must keep our eyes and ears open for spy flight, warships to the region, counters in the communities. We must be on the look-out for any country in the region who comes up with pretexts.

World public opinion is a very powerful factor these days. Internally, we must unite our friends and families, work hard at building the economy and the mass organisations. Working daily, hourly for the Revo is a key task. All must be involved in Heroes of the Homeland Manoeuvres.

To our friends from the Caribbean, we recognise that we are not an insular revolution. We will always stand firm and principled in our policies and practices.

🇲🇿 The Revolutionary Thought Of Samora Machel Why Political Study is Important, A Luta Continua/ The Struggle Continues

Samora Machel is the name most closely associated with the liberation of Mozambique from Portuguese colonialism and the construction of an independent post-colonial state. Born on 29 September 1933, he would today be celebrating his 82nd birthday had he not died in a plane crash in 1986, almost certainly engineered by the intelligence services of apartheid South Africa.


Machel was a deeply committed and capable leader, accomplished revolutionary strategist, firm anti-imperialist and proud Marxist-Leninist. His story, and that of the Mozambican Revolution, deserves serious study. It’s unfortunate that the legacy of Machel, Frelimo (the Mozambique Liberation Front) and the heroic Mozambican people has passed almost entirely into obscurity, as there is much to learn from such topics, particularly in relation to the extraordinary difficulties involved in building socialism in an underdeveloped, post-colonial country surrounded by enemies.

machel-bishopIn the interests of developing understanding of Mozambique, of Frelimo, and of the broader issues of African anti-imperialism and socialism, we publish here a selection of quotes from Samora Machel. The vast majority are sourced from the excellent (but sadly out-of-print) book of his speeches, ‘Samora Machel – an African Revolutionary’ (Zed Books, 1986); a few are taken from other sources, including Joseph Hanlon’s useful book ‘Mozambique – The Revolution Under Fire’ (Zed Books, 1984).

Haki Kweli Shakur ATC-NAPLA NAIM MOI 10-19-52ADM


Invent the Future will soon be publishing a more detailed article on the history of the Mozambican Revolution and Mozambique’s trajectory as a post-colonial independent state.

Leading by example –

An official who will not let his own hands become calloused may hold hundreds of meetings on production, but he will not persuade one person to be productive or set up a single cooperative.

Global imperialist propaganda-

So long as there is capitalism and imperialism in the world, its propaganda and subversion will make itself felt against us, and the winning of independence and power will be no guarantee of our invulnerability to degenerate values.

The importance of political study-

Political study strengthens our awareness and analytical capacity, enriches the content of our struggle, raises our revolutionary practice and level of commitment, and teaches us how to change society.

Bourgeois democracy-

The successive domination by the various exploiting minorities – dictatorship over the masses – is always exercised in a more or less camouflaged manner so that the masses do not appreciate their real situation and do not perceive that they are subject to oppression.

Leadership and unity-

machel giapFor a leadership body to work with the masses it must be united. When there are contradictions in the leadership body, this gives rise to rumours, intrigue and slander. Each faction tries to mobilise support for its views, dividing the masses. When we are disunited we divide the masses and the fighters, causing the rank and file to lose confidence in the leadership, demobilising it and making it inactive, and opening breaches through which the enemy penetrates. We ultimately divide our own friends… Unity within the leadership behind a correct line, at whatever level, is the driving force of any sector and the precondition for success in a task.

Unity needs daily sustenance. Collective living, working and study, criticism and self-criticism, and mutual help are the food, salts and vitamins of unity. Members of the leadership should not therefore live separately from one another, each absorbed in his own private world, only coming together when there is a meeting… The members of the leadership ought to make an effort to live together, to know one another better in day-to-day life and to understand each other’s failings, so as to be in a better position to offer mutual correction. Working together, producing together, sweating together, suffering the rigours of the march together and overcoming the challenges of the enemy and the environment creates strong bonds of friendship and mutual respect. It is not by words that we are bound together, but by the many activities we share when serving the people; it is unity fed by sweat and suffering and blood that binds us together.

Unity is not something static, a supernatural and absolute value that we place on a pedestal to worship. In the process of struggling for unity we have always said: we must know with whom we are uniting and why.

To live or die-

Death is inevitable for man. The real choice is between living and fighting for victory or lying down under exploitation, domination and oppression.


International solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.

Solidarity is an assertion that no people is alone, no people is isolated in the struggle for progress. Solidarity is the conscious alliance of the progressive and peace-loving revolutionary forces in the common struggle against colonialism, capitalism and imperialism. In short, against exploitation of man by man. And this struggle may be in Asia, in Europe, or in America, or the struggle may be in Africa, but it is the same struggle. It has common enemies and its enemies are always principal.

Solidarity has no race and no colour, and its country has no frontiers. There is no solidarity just among Africans, no exclusively Asian solidarity, since the enemy of the people also has no country or race.

Defining friends and enemies-

Defining the target for our weapons cannot admit any ambiguity, all the more as in the historical context of our struggle, when we are mainly confronting the economic, political and military forces of another nation, it is all too easy to identify the enemy with a race. This denatures the sense of the struggle, allowing the reactionary forces to dig themselves in and losing us the political sensitivity needed to avoid mistaking friend and enemy.

Some might think that in our kind of war, a national liberation war, all those individuals who have the enemy’s colour or nationality are automatically the enemy. The child as much as the soldier, the old man as much as the policemen, the woman in the same way as the big bosses, the worker as much as the heads of the colonial administration; if they are white, or Portuguese, they should be targets for our weapon. The group of new exploiters in our midst who hoped to replace the colonialists as a dominant class did try to impose this definition of the enemy. Some circles regard these racist concepts as revolutionary radicalism, either through lack of ideological clarity or in a bid to confuse public opinion about the justness of our line and to discredit the genuine revolutionary forces.

Since ours in a people’s war and defends the people’s interests, we are well aware that there is no antagonism between the fundamental interests of the Mozambican people and those of any other people in the world, including the portugues people. For the same reason we always say that there is no reason for any antagonism between us and the Portuguese civilian population in Mozambique. It is the Portuguese colonialists who are putting settlers on land pillaged from our population, who indulge in the most atrocious crimes against women, children, old people and civilians in general, who are trying to provoke a racial war that would change the character of our combat.

Frelimo’s political action, the consciousness and sense of discipline of the masses and the fighters have destroyed this sinister manoeuvre of the enemy. We accept in our ranks without discrimination all whites who identify as Mozambicans and want to fight alongside us. Our forces have shown scrupulous regard for the life and property of Portuguese civilians. Frelimo has constantly appealed to the Portuguese community in Mozambique to support the fight against colonialism and fascism.


Let us be clear in this regard. We are utterly against racism. Racism of any kind. Racism is a reactionary attitude that splits workers, by setting white workers against black workers and sapping their class-consciousness. Racism impedes a correct definition of the enemy, by allowing enemy agents to infiltrate under a cloak of colour… We say that our enemy has no colour, no race, no country. Nor does our friend. We do not define friend or enemy in terms of skin colour. There are whites and blacks who are our comrades, and there are whites and blacks who are our enemies. We are not struggling against a colour but against a system – the system of exploitation of man by man. The louse, the tick and the bug are not all of one colour, but none of them drinks water or milk – they live off blood.

Racism is a cancer still manifest in our society. A cancer that splits the workers and denies them unity and class-consciousness. Racism is a cancer that feeds division and saps the common trench of anti-imperialism. It must be ended and eradicated to the last root.

Frelimo once again declares firmly and clearly that it will not tolerate any racial conflict. To the white population, made up essentially of honest workers, we repeat what we have always said: our struggle is your struggle, it is a struggle against exploitation, a struggle to build a new country and establish a people’s democracy.

The liberation of women-

The liberation of women is not an act of charity. It is not the result of a humanitarian or compassionate position. It is a fundamental necessity for the Revolution, a guarantee of its continuity, and a condition for its success. The Revolution’s main objective is to destroy the system of the exploitation of man by man, the construction of a new society which will free human potentialities and reconcile work and nature. It is within this context that the question of women’s liberation arises. In general, the women are the most oppressed, the most exploited beings in our society. She is exploited even by him who is exploited himself, beaten by him who is tortured by the palmatorio, humiliated by him who is trod underfoot by the boss or the settler. How may our Revolution succeed without liberating women? Is it possible to liquidate a system of exploitation and still leave a part of society exploited? Can we get rid of only one part of exploitation and oppression? Can we clear away half the weeds without the risk that the surviving half will grow even stronger? Can we then make the Revolution without the mobilization of women? If women compose over half of the exploited and oppressed population, can we leave them on the fringes of the struggle? In order for the Revolution to succeed, we must mobilize all of the exploited and oppressed, and consequently the women also. In order for the Revolution to triumph, it must liquidate the totality of the exploitative and oppressive system, it must liberate all the exploited and oppressed people, and thus it must liquidate women’s exploitation and oppression. It is obliged to liberate women.

Three-fold nature of the Mozambican Revolution
The Mozambican people’s struggle at its current stage has three aspects. It is an anti-colonial struggle aimed at destroying the colonial-fascist state; an anti-imperialist struggle aimed at destroying the control by multinational companies and ending imperialism’s use of our country as a launching pad for aggression against progressive African regimes and protection of the bastions of racism and fascism; finally it is a struggle aimed at destroying the system of exploitation of many by man and replacing it with a new social order at the service of the labouring masses of the people.

A historical line from the Paris Commune to the Mozambican Revolution-

samora sankara Historically speaking, the first occasion when the exploited masses did, after various failed bids, win and exercise power, was Paris in 1870. The Paris Commune was smashed after a few months by a coalition of French and German reactionaries, and 30,000 workers were massacred. Finally, in 1917, under the leadership of Lenin, the exploited achieved power in Tsarist Russia and created the Soviet Union, the first state in the world with the people in power. After the victory of the democratic forces in the anti-Fascist war, people‘s power spread to new countries such as China, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Asia. In Europe, people’s power was established in many countries such as the Romanian Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Bulgarian Republic, etc. The first people’s state on the American continent was established with the victory of the popular forces in Cuba in 1959. People’s power has become a reality for about one-third of mankind. The areas where the working masses have won power are known as the ‘socialist camp’ and today comprise 14 countries. In our country, slave-owners, feudalists, kings, emperors ruled society until the colonial conquest. The colonialist bourgeoisie then established itself in power and imposed its wishes upon all strata in the country until the time when our struggle began to overthrow it.

Socialist solidarity-

samora stamp In the socialist countries, where, with the example of the great October Socialist Revolution, the system of exploitation of man by man has been overthrown, the masses in power are building a new society and are establishing a liberated area of our planet, a strategic rear-base for our fight. The wealth of theoretical and practical experience they acquired in the fight for liberation from the old society and to build the new, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for all of us. The moral, political, diplomatic and material support granted to our struggle is an important ingredient of the successes we have achieved. Those countries are our natural allies throughout the entire process of revolution, since the objective is to build a new society free of any human alienation. Their existence provides the crucial external objective factor for the current triumph of our people’s democratic revolution.

There has been an extraordinary strengthening of the ties of friendship and solidarity between us, and of the exemplary fraternal support afforded by the socialist countries to our cause. We have established direct relations between Frelimo and the parties leading the German Democratic Republic, Bulgaria, China, the DPR Korea, Yugoslavia, Romania, the Soviet Union and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and this has been a profound inducement to a deeper knowledge of our mutual experience, to a better understanding of our needs and situation, with the consequence of more appropriate material aid.

Global struggle-

In view of the character and objective of our fight, our natural allies are essentially: the national liberation movements, and in these there must naturally be included countries recently liberated, especially in Africa; socialist countries; the labouring masses, especially the working class; and the progressive anti-colonialist and anti-fascist forces in the capitalist countries.

Our experience has shown that it is possible to establish a broad front throughout the peoples of the world for the isolation of Portuguese colonialism. Within countries committed to NATO, which support the colonial war economically and militarily, action from the people can make governments dissociate themselves from Portuguese colonialism, as has been shown by the positions taken by the governments of Holland, Denmark and Norway. The recent stand taken by the people in Italy and Belgium, among others, has had a positive effect on the governments. Other governments, such as those in Sweden and Finland, which traditionally had good relations with Portugal, are now, thanks to the people’s sentiment, committing themselves to support our cause.

Progress by the representative movements of the European labouring masses, development in the trends that strive for unity of the progressive forces within capitalist society, are tending to weaken imperialism and so contribute to our common success.

Of particular importance to us is the development of the anti-war movement in Portugal. Increasingly heavy casualties for the colonial troops, the astronomic rise in the cost of living due to the war, along with campaigns by the Portuguese democratic forces, have led to increasing consciousness on the part of the broad masses. The labouring masses and the working class who bear the main brunt of the war in lives, taxes and worsening living standards, and students and intellectual circles, have played a relevant part in this. We must emphasise that the Portuguese Communist Party and other progressive and democratic forces have been crucial to this process. We find today that all social strata and non-fascist sectors are committed to struggling against the colonial war.


The men and women who accompanied Marx at his burial in a London cemetery were few. Today the lives of thousands of millions of men and women have been profoundly affected and changed by the enduring ideas of Marx. In four continents, workers, taking control of their destiny, are building a happy future, are building socialism, communism. Against Marxism, against Leninism, which is our epoch’s Marxism, imperialism mobilises incalculable human and material resources. The most sophisticated weapons, the threat of thermonuclear, bacteriological and chemical disaster, the ocean depths and cosmic space are deployed in an attempt to neutralise and destroy Marxism-Leninism. The spectre that haunted the bourgeoisie in Europe a hundred years ago still haunts them, but now it is perceptible throughout the world.

For the oppressed peoples and classes, for the peoples and workers who have taken control of their destiny, Marxism is a shining path, a sun of hope and certainty that never sets, a sun that is always at its zenith. Marxism, the science of revolution, is the fruit of practice, of mankind’s struggle for a better future and so is renewed and developed through human practice. The experience of revolutionary struggle of the Mozambican people provides an illustration of this principle… A century after the death of Marx, the cause of socialism and communism has ceased to be a dream and has become a reality that changes the world. The vitality of revolutionary science, systematised by Marx, can have no better proof than the facts themselves.

The accumulated experience of mankind in the struggle against exploitation, synthesised in Marxism, enabled the Mozambican revolutionary movement to benefit from and absorb that experience. In the process Marxism was enriched.

Liberation struggles and the Portuguese revolution
The heroic struggle of the Mozambican people led by Frelimo, and the struggles of the brother peoples in Angola and Guinea-Bissau, led by the MPLA and the PAIGC, brought the collapse of the Portuguese colonial-fascist regime. The 25 April movement was thus a product of our peoples’ heroic struggles – we liberated the metropole. Without the struggle in the colonies, fascism would not have fallen. It was not an act of charity but a sacrifice by our peoples. Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique crumbled in the face of Frelimo’s decisive victories.

Problems after liberation-

Discontent will arise. All those who were hoping to exploit the people, to step into the shoes of colonialism, will oppose us. Erstwhile companions of ours who initially accepted the popular aims of our struggle, but who in practice reject the internal struggle to change their values and customs, will move away from us to the extent of deserting or even betraying… The reactionary forces, the disgruntled elements, will see in an alliance with the enemy a way of safeguarding their petty and anti-popular interests, while the enemy will find in such an alliance a golden opportunity to strike a blow against the revolution.

Real liberation versus neocolonialism
We often say that in the course of the struggle our great victory has been in transforming the armed struggle for national liberation into a revolution. In other words, our final aim in the struggle is not to hoist a flag different from the Portuguese, or to hold more or less honest elections in which Blacks and not Whites are elected, or to put a black president into the Ponta Vermelha Palace in Lourenco Marques instead of a white governor. We say our aim is to win complete independence, establish people’s power, build a new society without exploitation, for the benefit of all those who identify as Mozambicans.

The patronising western view of ‘Africanness’
samora neto After independence, we went on with our fight for liberation: the fight to restore dignity, identity and the Mozambican culture; the fight to build a new society, a new outlook, a New Man; the fight to destroy exploitation; the fight to build socialism. We freed the land. We nationalised the schools: education ceased to be a privilege; we abolished the private schools and private tutors. We nationalised the health service: the hospitals were opened to all the people; we did away with private medical practice. We abolished private legal practice: justice ceased to be a commodity. We nationalised the funeral parlours: we ensured dignity for the burial of any citizen. We nationalised rented property: the cities became the property of those who built them; the cement cities, for the first time in our history, took on a Mozambican face.

These are our people’s revolutionary victories. They were the first steps towards the building of a new society, a socialist society. A socialist society means the welfare of all: the right to work; the right to education and health without discrimination; the right of every citizen to decent housing, to reasonable transport, to butter and eggs for our children and for all of us; the right to be decently dressed… that’s what we want.

Bur our friends in the west say that if we go about well dressed, if we shave, if we have decent housing, we shall lose our ‘African characteristics’. Do you know what ‘African characteristics’ are? A skin, a loincloth, a wrap-around cloth, a stick in hand behind a flock, to be skinny with every rib sticking out, sores on the feet and legs, with a cashew leaf to cover the suppurating wound – that is African. That’s what they see as African characteristics. So when the tourists come, they are looking for an African dressed like that, since that is the ‘genuine African’. Now when they find us dressed in a tunic and trousers – we are no longer the Africans. They don’t take photographs. They need Africa to have no industry, so that it will continue to provide raw materials. Not to have a steel industry. Since this would be a luxury for the African. They need Africa not to have dams, bridges, textile mills for clothing. A factory for shoes? No, the African doesn’t deserve it. No, that’s not for the Africans.

The decadent nature of colonial armies-

The exploitative mentality of the colonial army naturally leads it to pillage and robbery of the people’s possessions. The enemy’s corrupt mentality in regard to women leads him naturally to immorality and rape. The decadent tastes of capitalism lead to a taste for drunkenness and drug-taking, as a way of smothering and alienating consciousness. Fascist and colonialist logic, and its intrinsic contempt for human dignity, leads to systematic use of the most barbarous, inhuman and sadistic crimes, just as it provokes human degradation and bestiality in the repressive forces themselves.

Production as an act of militancy-

The enterprise, the workshop, is for us the incubator where class consciousness is nurtured. What we manufacture, the way we work, how we discuss and plan production, provides a window on our class consciousness. In our republic where power belongs to the worker-peasant alliance, production is an act of militancy. Now that we no longer have the whip and forced labour, production is an act of militancy.

The main tasks-

We want to create conditions such that in this generation disease, hunger, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance should begin to vanish forever from our country. Just as we emerged victorious from the struggle against colonialism, just as we smashed the racist aggression of the illegal Ian Smith regime, so we shall also emerge victorious from this battle, because once again we shall be able to bring together the energy and intelligence of the entire people for peace, progress, prosperity and plenty. It is the task of all of us to organise society so that we can conquer underdevelopment.

Asa G. Hilliard III, Ed. D. Nana Baffour Amankwatia II “The Maroon Within Us: Selected Essays on African American Community Socialization”

Cultural surrender is more than a matter of rejecting one’s father and mother culture. It means that one accepts a new definition as a person. The culturally grounded person is a creator. The culturally dependent person is a mere spectator, a receptacle for the creativities of others. To demand freedom from slavery only to use that freedom to commit one’s self to a voluntary cultural servitude is to lose the chance to be human. People who have no ‘parents’ will never learn to parent. That is to say, people who have no awareness of a parent cultural identity have little meaning to offer to their children. Any group that participates in cultural surrender need not waste time with concerns about parenting. That is like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.”


Asa G. Hilliard
The Maroon Within Us

Why have African Americans in general so willingly engaged in CULTURAL SURRENDER? I think that there are several reasons. We have tended to accept certain false dichotomies:

1. We have tended to equate sophisticated technology with culture, believing that such technology is exclusively European and that to affirm African culture is to reject technology.

2. We have tended to equate modern with technology, and to value modern as if it were cultural “progress.” At the same time, we have seen the affirmation of African/African American culture as a matter of retrogression. Further, we have seen African/African American culture as static rather than dynamic and adaptive.

3. We have tended to equate European culture with wealth and African/African American culture with poverty.

4. We have tended to associate education with the acquisition of all the cultural forms of Europeans, and find it hard to conceive of educated persons who live the African/African American culture.

5. We have tended to equate self-affirmation with the hatred of others.

6. We have tended to equate religion with particular forms of European interpretations of Christianity and have not seen our own people as religious.

7. Generally we have failed to study ourselves and to know our culture.


“These are all errors. Because we have made these particular errors, we have been vulnerable to confused definitions of our problems in education. We have accepted a whole host of remedies for ‘problems’ that we have seen as originating in individuals or in isolated families. We have accepted programs to improve the ‘self-concept’ of ‘individuals,’ to diagnose an ‘individual’s learning disability, to put ‘individuals’ into a mainstream, to work with ‘individual’ adolescents about their pregnancies, to cure ‘individuals’ from drug addiction, to respond to problems created for ‘individual’ families that are ‘broken.’ At no point have we realized that a community or group may be culturally disabled because of the distortion or suppression of culture. And yet, any superficial study of strong nations and groups will reveal the degree of detailed attention and high level of resources that go into the study, articulation, dissemination, preservation, and institutionalization of cultural forms.”

“We on the contrary, have failed to understand the political function of culture. Franz Fanon showed us its meaning where language is concerned. He tells us that the very act of speaking a language means not only to grasp the rules of that language, but, in addition, to assume a culture, supporting the weight of the civilization itself. Therefore, a person who has a language has a world that is also expressed and implied by that language.”



“Fanon says that every colonized people, in whose soul an inferiority complex has been deposited because of the death and burial of their local cultural originality, will find themselves face to face with the language of their oppressor. Therefore, the colonized are said to be ‘elevated above their ‘jungle status’’ to the degree that they adopt the language of the colonizing country. As they become ‘Whiter,’ renouncing Blackness, renouncing their environment, they are frequently called upon to act as interpreters, as go-betweens brokering for Whites and their interests. They convey their masters’ orders to their fellows, and as a result enjoy a certain position of honor.”

Asa G. Hilliard III, Ed. D.
Nana Baffour Amankwatia II
“The Maroon Within Us: Selected Essays on African American Community Socialization”
Page 57

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Will Destroy Black Historic Sites, Land, Water & Communities in Virginia , Nelson County , Buckingham County, Union Hill ,

Save Historic Land Of Enslaved Africans And Descendants No Atlantic Coast Pipeline! Historic Black Community Theres a proposed destruction of an historic African- American Freedmen community that is one of the founding agricultural communities of colonial America There are two historic African-American churches – Union Hill Baptist & Union Grove Missionary Baptist – within close distance to this proposed industrial facility. Union Hill began as a brush arbor church, the only form of church allowed to slaves before Emancipation. Each has extensive graves of former slaves and their descendants, who still live in Union Hill, or move back to retire. All of that rich history from the 1700s onwards is in jeopardy.”
1)Donate directly to the Union Hill Community if you can and fight Dominion’s racist fracked gas pipeline.
2)Call the governor and tell them they need to stop the pipelines and demand site-specific permits! (804-786-2211) .
3)Join us and come out when Union Hill needs support. Get updates at


Nelson County

The Rev. James L. Rose is taking a stand among the graves of his ancestors in Peaceful Garden Cemetery.

The cemetery is on land deeded in 1887 to his great-grandfather, Moses Bowling, who had been a slave in the swath of 18th- and 19th-century plantations built along the James River here in southern Nelson County. It includes descendants of four intertwined families: Rose, Bowling, Wright, and Bailey.

It is among at least four known African-American cemeteries in the area of Union Hill, an African-American settlement that is now in the path of a 42-inch natural gas pipeline that is proposed to sweep through Nelson from the Blue Ridge Mountains across the James into Buckingham County.

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“This is the heart of the African-American community,” Rose said. “It runs right through it.”

Dominion Transmission Inc., leader of a partnership that proposes to build the $5 billion, 554-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is trying to thread its way through dense layers of history in a region settled first by the Monacan tribes hundreds of years before Capt. John Smith documented their presence in 1612, and then by plantation owners who relied on river commerce and slave labor to prosper.

“As we get out on the ground and survey, we’re going to be looking for these things,” said Bill Scarpinato, a Dominion manager and environmental specialist on the pipeline project.

Opponents contend the history will be impossible to avoid — from the African-American burial sites and former Monacan villages on the river lowlands to the architecturally rich Norwood-Wingina Rural Historic District, which the state recommended in the fall for nomination to the national and state registers of historic places.

“The point we are trying to make to both (federal regulators) and Dominion is that this entire area is too sensitive and significant for a pipeline to go anywhere near,” said Janice Jackson, a Shipman resident who has been working with Rose to highlight the potential threat to the community’s history.

“These are treasures, and they go back to the beginning of our nation,” said Constance Brennan, a Nelson supervisor who is a leader in the fight against the pipeline.

Dominion’s task is complicated by resistance from landowners in Nelson to survey of their properties. The company has been denied access to more than 70 percent of the affected parcels in Nelson, from Afton to Wingina. Consequently, the company is preparing to sue 122 landowners for access under a 2004 state law that gives natural gas companies the right to come onto private property to survey for pipeline routes.

The company intends to remove 14 owners of 17 parcels from the list, after an adjustment to the pipeline route in October that still wasn’t shown on the company’s map at an open house in Nelson last week.

Greg Park, construction supervisor on the project, said he made the change after being approached by Stan Olah, whose home was in the path of the original route, about shifting it northeast onto pasture and timber land he owns.

“I didn’t know all this until I got permission to get out on the property and look,” Park said during the open house at Nelson County High School, which drew more than 300 people, many of them vocal opponents, last Wednesday evening.

Emmy and Stan Olah came to the open house because the Dominion map still showed them in the pipeline’s path, even though they had seen survey markers on the back of 320 acres they own where the new route would pass.

“None of us want the pipeline,” Emmy Olah said last week. “But we feel the pipeline is coming whether we want it or not. If it is, we want it in an area that’s more desirable.”

The original route also would have clipped the 16-acre property owned by Pearl Miles and her daughter, Sherry Miles. “We’re not going to affect you at all,” Park told them.

They were happy for the news, but Pearl Miles said, “I’m still concerned about the pipeline. It’s still right across the hill.”

They were among the initial 20 landowners to receive notice from Dominion that the company would take them to court to gain access to their properties. The list of landowners was based on maps that Dominion said had not been updated after the route was changed three months ago.

“This was an oversight on our part, for which we apologize,” said Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle, who said the change affected 14 landowners, including Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks and his wife, Sherri. “We are working to understand how that happened so it won’t happen again.”

“We are removing the 14 landowners from the list of lawsuits and apologizing to them for our mistake,” Norvelle said. “While the lawsuits were filed with the Nelson County Circuit Court clerk, they had not yet been served. Nevertheless, we are notifying them that their properties have been removed from the proposed route.”

Dominion officials say they do not know the location of family cemeteries and other sensitive features unless they can get onto the property to survey.

“We certainly need to know this information from landowners so we can plan the best route with the least impact to the environment, historic and cultural resources,” Norvelle said. “After all, landowners know their properties the best.”

Rose is among those who have denied access to about 30 acres he tends for himself and other members of his family along Union Hill Drive. The pipeline study corridor goes through one 5-acre piece of the property with two houses on it.

“I said, ‘No, I’m not falling for that,’?” he said. “There’s no guarantee they’re going to change it once they come out and survey.”

“We’ve got to be stewards for the land our family left us,” Rose said. “That’s why I’m fighting so hard to try to keep it intact.”


Three cemeteries flank St. Hebron Baptist Church, where African-Americans have worshiped since 1866.

The largest, a modern cemetery still used for burials, lies behind the church. An older plot sits to one side.

The third is scattered among the leaves and branches of a hillside wood, where uninscribed field stone and quartz mark the graves of unnamed churchgoers, some of them possibly newly freed from slavery as the church moved from a white Methodist to a black Baptist congregation after the Civil War. One grave next to a fallen tree includes a funeral home marker for the 1962 burial of someone in a family that still attends St. Hebron.

The pipeline route originally would have come within 360 feet of St. Hebron. The new route would take the pipeline 1,200 feet away from the church and its graveyards.

Dominion officials are emphatic that the pipeline would not disturb cemeteries.

“We’re definitely not coming through any cemeteries that are known at this time,” said Doug Lake, senior vice president and technical director of the Natural Resource Group, which the pipeline company has hired as a consultant.

The challenge for the company is the extent of slave cemeteries that are not known in the area surrounding former plantations that sprang from a royal land grant in 1738 to Dr. William Cabell that encompassed 4,800 acres along the James.

“Some of them we knew, some of them we didn’t know,” said Rose, a former pastor at St. Hebron who now is pastor of Montreal Baptist Church in nearby Shipman.

Identifying and documenting slave cemeteries is “a huge difficulty,” said Lynn Rainville, a research professor in humanities at Sweet Briar College and author of “Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia,” published last year.

Rainville, who also is director of the Tusculum Institute for historic preservation at Sweet Briar, identified and chronicled more than 150 African-American cemeteries, primarily in Albemarle and Amherst counties, in more than a decade of research.

Slave cemeteries are hard to find, even if you know where to look, Rainville said. They often were placed on undesirable land, such as wooded ridges and along back fence rows. The graves are marked by natural stones, usually uncarved and uninscribed, or perishable wood or plantings.

Rainville’s only experience in Nelson came during brief visits to a major slave cemetery — with 60 to 100 graves — on the site of the former Union Hill plantation, which is more than a mile west of the proposed route. She recalled it as a unique slave cemetery because of the number of inscribed headstones and carved imagery.

“These sites have a tremendous amount of cultural importance,” she said in an interview last week.

Rainville is an advocate for a study resolution proposed this year by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, and Del. Mark J. Berg, R-Frederick, to direct the Department of Historic Resources to develop a list of documented slave burial grounds, a procedure for documenting and adding new sites, and a plan for preserving them.

“These are places that could continue to give us information about enslaved African-Americans and wealthy landowners for generations to come,” she said.

For African-American residents here, the potential threat to their family cemeteries and land is personal. “It’s a sacred thing,” Rose said.

John Brown’s Raid October 16 1859 The New Afrikan Freedom Fighters You Should Know Osborne, Lewis, Newby , Greene, Copeland

Lewis Sheridan Leary (A 24-year-old free black, he was mortally wounded while trying to escape across the Shenandoah River. He was stationed in the rifle factory with Kagi. Alleged to be buried at John Brown gravesite at North Elba, New York. Cenotaph memorial in Oberlin, Ohio.)
Dangerfield Newby (At about 35, he was born into slavery, with a white father who was not his master. He was given permission to move to Ohio along with his mother and siblings, but when he tried to gain freedom for his wife and children, their master refused. This inspired Newby to join Brown’s raid. He was the first raider killed. (His body was mutilated; for example, his ears were cut off by someone in the crowd as souvenirs.) First he was buried at Harpers Ferry; reburied in 1899 in a common grave near John Brown at North Elba, New York.)

John Anthony Copeland, Jr. (A 25-year-old free black, he joined the raiders along with his uncle Lewis Leary. He was captured during the raid and executed on December 16, 1859, in Charles Town. The body was claimed by Winchester Medical College as a teaching cadaver. The last resting place is unknown. Cenotaph memorial in Oberlin, Ohio.)
Shields Green (At about age 23, Green was an escaped slave from South Carolina; captured in the engine house on October 18, 1859 and hanged December 16, 1859 in Charles Town. The body was claimed by Winchester Medical College as a teaching cadaver. The last resting place is unknown. Cenotaph memorial in Oberlin, Ohio.)
Osborne Perry Anderson (Served as a soldier in Union Army, and wrote a memoir about the raid. Died 1870)

In 1859, Brown led an unsuccessful raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry that ended with the multi-racial group’s capture. Brown’s trial resulted in his conviction and a sentence of death by hanging.

Brown’s attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (later part of West Virginia), electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, the murder of five men and inciting a slave insurrection. He was found guilty on all counts and was hanged. During the Kansas campaign, he and his supporters killed five pro-slavery supporters in what became known as the Pottawatomie massacre in May 1856 in response to the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavery forces.

The connection between John Brown’s life and many of the slave uprisings in the Caribbean was clear from the outset. Brown was born during the period of the Haitian Revolution, which saw Haitian slaves revolting against the French. The role the revolution played in helping to formulate Brown’s abolitionist views directly is not clear; however, the revolution had an obvious effect on the general view towards slavery in the northern United States. As W.E.B. Du Bois notes, the involvement of slaves in the American Revolutions, as well as the “upheaval in Hayti, and the new enthusiasm for human rights, led to a wave of emancipation which started in Vermont… swept through New England and Pennsylvania, ending finally in New York and New Jersey.” This changed sentiment, which occurred during the late 18th and early 19th century, undoubtedly had a role in creating Brown’s abolitionist opinion, during his upbringing.

The Gabriel Prosser – Black Panther Rebellion 1800-1966 / John Brown Raid October 16 1859 Virginia Haki Kweli Shakur ATC NAPLA October 16 52ADM


The 1839 slave insurrection aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad, off the coast of Cuba, provides a poignant example of John Brown’s support and appeal towards Caribbean slave revolts. On La Amistad, Joseph Cinqué and approximately 50 other slaves captured the ship, slated to transport them fromHavana to Puerto Principe, Cuba in July 1839, and attempted to return to Africa. However, through trickery, the ship ended up in the United States, where Cinque and his men stood trial. Ultimately, the courts acquitted the men because at the time the international slave trade was illegal in the United States. According to Brown’s daughter, “Turner and Cinque stood first in esteem” among Brown’s black heroes. Furthermore, she noted Brown’s “admiration of Cinques’ character and management in carrying his points with so little bloodshed!” In 1850, Brown would refer affectionately to the revolt, in saying “Nothing so charms the American people as personal bravery. Witness the case of Cinques, of everlasting memory, on board the ‘Amistad.’” The slave revolts of the Caribbean had a clear and important impact on Brown’s views toward slavery and his staunch support of the most severe forms of abolitionism. However, this is not the most important part of the many revolts’ legacy of influencing Brown.

The specific knowledge John Brown gained from the tactics employed in the Haitian Revolution, and other Caribbean revolts, was of paramount importance when Brown turned his sights to the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. As Brown’s cohort Richard Realf explained to a committee of the 36th Congress, “he had posted himself in relation to the wars of Toussaint L’Ouverture… he had become thoroughly acquainted with the wars in Hayti and the islands round about. By studying the slave revolts of the Caribbean region, Brown learned a great deal about how to properly conduct guerilla warfare. A key element to the prolonged success of this warfare was the establishment of Maroon communities, which are essentially colonies of runaway slaves. As a contemporary article notes, Brown would use these establishments to “retreat from and evade attacks he could not overcome. He would maintain and prolong a guerilla war, of which… Haiti afforded” an example.

The idea of creating Maroon communities was the impetus for the creation of John Brown’s “Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States,” which helped to detail how such communities would be governed. However, the idea of Maroon colonies of slaves is not an idea exclusive to the Caribbean region. In fact, Maroon communities riddled the southern United States between the mid-1600s and 1864, especially theGreat Dismal Swamp region of Virginia and North Carolina. Similar to the Haitian Revolution, the Seminole Wars, fought in modern-day Florida, saw the involvement of Maroon communities, which although outnumbered by native allies were more effective fighters.

Although the Maroon colonies of North America undoubtedly had an effect on John Brown’s plan, their impact paled in comparison to that of the Maroon communities in places like Haiti, Jamaica and Surinam. Accounts by Brown’s friends and cohorts prove this idea. Richard Realf, a cohort of Brown in Kansas, noted that Brown not only studied the slave revolts in the Caribbean, but focused more specifically on the maroons of Jamaica and those involved in Haiti’s liberation. Brown’s friend Richard Hinton similarly noted that Brown knew “by heart,” the occurrences in Jamaica and Haiti. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a cohort of Brown’s and a member of the Secret Six, stated that Brown’s plan involved getting “together bands and families of fugitive slaves” and “establish them permanently in those [mountain] fastnesses, like the Maroons of Jamaica and Surinam.” Brown had planned for the Maroon colonies established to be “durable,” and thus able to endure over a prolonged period of war.

The similarities between John Brown’s attempted insurrection and the Haitian Revolution, in both methods, motivations and resolve, is still seen today as the main avenue in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince is still named for Brown as a sign of solidarity.

Haki KweliShakur 10-16-52ADM August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM

The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African , Horrors Of Slavery On Virginia Plantations

Google honors the Great Igbo Abolitionist Olaudah Equiano 272 Birthday who wrote the book on his life and the horrors of Enslavement of Africans on Virginia Plantations He Witnessed this would fuel his goals to end slavery, Snatched from his Ibo village in Nigeria at the age of eleven, Equiano was transported to Barbados, Virginia, and finally England, where he gained his freedom in 1766. He is the author of the only memoir by an enslaved African brought to Virginia.

The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano Equiano wrote in his narrative that domestic slaves in Virginia were treated cruelly and suffered punishments such as the “iron muzzle” (scold’s bridle), which was used to keep house slaves quiet, leaving them unable to speak or eat, I have seen a slave beaten till some of his bones were broken, for only letting a pot boil over. I have seen slaves put into scales and weighed, and then sold from three pence to nine pence a pound.

Haki Kweli Shakur ATC NAPLA NAIM 52 ADM


His vivid descriptions of the various punishments and humiliations that slaves had to endure were the first published account of an autobiography of a slave. Speaking of the Virginia overseers.

These overseers are indeed for the most part persons of the worst character of any denomination of men in the West Indies. Unfortunately, many humane gentlemen, by not residing on their estates, are obliged to leave the management of them in the hands of these human butchers, who cut and mangle the slaves in a shocking manner on the most trifling occasions, and altogether treat them in every respect like brutes. – p.105 ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano‘ Equiano wrote that he was so shocked by his experience that he tried to wash the colour out of his face in an attempt to escape his position as a slave.

The interesting life of Olaudah Equiano 1789

Virginia is Igboland

Igbo captives were so numerous and dominant in Virginia that some historians of the Colonial Era actually referred to Virginia as “Igboland”. By the 1700’s Virginia plantation owners gathered to discuss the “Igbo problem “ as the hardworking but resistant Egbo are acknowledged to have dominated the Virginia trade. This further lends credence to the alleged Willie Lynch speech of 1712 which advocated the implementation of harsh measures of containment designed to eradicate Egbo culture and in turn slave resistance on all levels. The speech of proposals was delivered by Willie Lynch on the Bank of the James River in Virginia, in 1712. 120 years later Nat Turner led a revolt in Virginia that killed approximately 60 whites. In accordance with his Igbo(Egbo) origins, Turner bestowed upon himself the honors of Odogo,a ceremonial ritual in which an Igbo warrior places feathers in his cap to signify the killing of a person of rank in war. After killing Hark Travis,the head of the Travis farm,Turner placed feathers in his cap and a red sash around his waist.

Douglas Chambers recently published a book which discusses the alleged role of the Igbo in the murder of President James Madison’s grandfather who was killed in Virginia. Igbo (Egbo) revolts were so frequent and intense throughout Virginia that it was understood that this revolutionary mentality on the part of the Egbo captives was an obvious reflection of Igbo culture as the Igbo proverb states;

“ What saves also kills and what kills also saves.”

It is of interest to note that James Africanus Beale Horton who clearly understood the proper application and usage of the term Igbo and its sub-tribe variants such as the Egbo,Ibo and Ebo chose to dominantly use the Egbo variant when speaking of the tribe in general,while remaining in clear avoidance of using the Igbo spelling. This is obviously a reflection of his descendancy from coastal Egbo captives who were resettled in Sierra Leonne.

“ The Egboes are considered the most imitative and emulative people in the whole of Western Africa,place them where you will or introduce them to any manners of customs and you will find they easily adapt to them.”

“ The population of Egbo is unknown.” (HORTON 1969:157)

The Black Panther Party Oakland to New York Founded October 15 1966 Spreads Nationwide

The Black Panther Party Harlem Branch Collection consists of the personal files of Cheryl Foster, the School and Housing Coordinator of the Harlem Branch. The National Office files contain a copy of the Ten Point Platform and program; membership rules and regulations; and a list of chapters, branches and community centers. The files of the New York Chapter include Foster’s notebooks and writings documenting her work for the Harlem Branch, in particular her notebooks containing schedules of her daily and hourly activities, fieldwork notes, minutes of her meetings, and reports to the National Central Committee ministers of housing and education. There is also information on the branch’s work with the students and parents of George Washington High School, and the national student strike of May 1970, including copies of the newsletter produced by the National Strike Information Center. Additionally, the collection contains printed matter from the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut chapters.


The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California on October 15, 1966 by Huey Percy Newton and Bobby George Seale. Originally called the “Black Panther Party for Self Defense,” the name was abbreviated because Newton wanted the party to be recognized as a political organization and not merely a paramilitary group, or an organization of body guards. Their symbol, the leaping black panther, which later became identified with black militancy, had originally been used in 1965 by Alabama’s Lowndes County Freedom Party.

Huey Newton, the Party’s Minister of Defense, was born in Louisiana in 1942; when he was a year old, his family moved to California. Although he graduated from high school, he claimed that he became literate by “self determination,” and attended Merritt Junior College. Bobby Seale, the party’s Chairman, was a musician, carpenter, journeyman sheet metal mechanic and a mechanical draftsman, and was born in Dallas, Texas in 1936. He moved with his family to California, and graduated from Oakland High School after a stint in the Air Force.



Newton and Seale met at Merritt College and worked together to initiate courses in black history and lay the groundwork for the hiring of more black instructors. They also worked at the North Oakland Poverty Center and joined the Afro-American Association, a black nationalist group at Merritt, early in 1965. They left within a year, dissatisfied with the group’s emphasis on cultural nationalism which made no distinction between racist whites and non-racists whites; and that a black man cannot be the enemy of black people. Besides questioning the validity of these beliefs, Newton and Seale were also disturbed by the fact that the group mainly met and talked and did nothing concrete to end oppression in the black ghetto. Shortly thereafter, they began working in the black community, knocking on doors and asking residents of Oakland’s ghetto what they needed and wanted. From the responses they received, Newton and Seale developed the Black Panther Party’s ten-point program – “What We Want, What We Believe” – which would become the basis for all Panther actions.


Source Link Archives NYPL

The tenets of the ten-point program included a demand for: freedom, full employment, the end of robbery by capitalism in the black community, decent housing, exemption of all black men from military service, an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people, and freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails. The Party also advocated that all black people brought to trial be tried by a jury of their peers or people from black communities, and a general program demanding land, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. The ten-point program also stipulated as one of its major political objectives, a United Nations supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black “colony” in the U.S. in which only black “colonial” subjects would be allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.

When the Party put their ten-point program into action they began with point 7, the end of police brutality and murder of black people. Completely within the law, carrying both guns and lawbooks, the Party established a system of armed patrol cars trailing police cars through the slums of Oakland. Whenever black men or women were stopped by police, armed Panthers would be on the scene, making sure that their constitutional rights were not violated.

A month later, the first Black Panther Party headquarters opened in Oakland on January 1, 1967. In their first venture outside of Oakland, an armed group of Panthers marched into the San Francisco airport to provide an escort for Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, on her appearance at Black House in that city. Another example of how the Panthers operated in this early phase was in the action taken around the death of Denzil Dowell in April 1967. Dowell, a black youth living in North Richmond, California, a city a few miles from Oakland, had been shot and killed by the police, whose official account of the slaying was contradicted by dozens of black eyewitnesses. The Dowell family called in the Panthers to investigate, and the Party decided to hold a street-corner rally in the neighborhood to expose the facts of the slaying and the political importance of self-defense. The Panthers, assuming the police would try to stop the rally, decided to demonstrate their point on the spot and set up armed guards around the rally site. Hundreds of black people turned out, many carrying their own weapons. The police who came to stop the rally quickly turned away. Several Panthers, including Huey Newton, addressed the crowd, explaining the Party’s program. That day, hundreds signed up to work with the Party.

With about forty active members, the Black Panther Party remained a local operation in the Oakland-San Francisco area. While they received attention for their self-defense activities in 1967, they were also involved in a variety of other work. The Party protested rent evictions, informed welfare recipients of their legal rights, taught classes in black history, and demanded and won school traffic lights. The installation of a street light on a corner where several black children had been killed coming home from school was an important event in the Party’s early history.

May 2, 1967 marked a turning point for the organization. A floor discussion was scheduled in the Assembly that day on an Oakland Assemblyman’s bill to restrict the carrying of loaded weapons within city limits. Huey Newton sent a delegation of thirty armed Panthers to the state capitol in Sacramento, led by Seale. Upon their arrival Seale read Newton’s “executive mandate” on the capitol steps. Seale and twenty-five other Panthers were arrested and subsequently served a six-month prison sentence. Despite their efforts, the gun restrictions were passed by the California Legislature, thus putting a permanent curb on the Panther’s public gun displays and armed patrols in northern California. This incident however, resulted in national publicity for the Panthers, which was followed by the addition of two well known black militants to the team: Stokely Carmichael and [Leroy] Eldridge Cleaver. In May 1967, Carmichael publicly pledged support for the Panthers. Newton “drafted” the former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) chairman, who had received a great deal of publicity as a result of his militant cross-country speaking tours, as the Party’s first and only Prime Minister, invested with the rank of field marshall for the eastern part of the United States.

Although Eldridge Cleaver’s formal association with the Panthers was not immediately made public, after joining the Party he became Minister of Information. Later, the publication of his widely acclaimed book Soul on Ice,gave the Party national publicity. In May 1967 – with Cleaver serving as editor – the first issue of The Black Panther,a tabloid type newspaper was sold on the streets by the Oakland Panthers. Described in the masthead as the “Black Community News Service,” it was issued once or twice a month until April 1969, when a weekly publication schedule was established. It was Cleaver who devised the pose Newton assumed for a photograph which appeared in the Panther newspaper and was thereafter widely circulated in poster form, showing Newton seated in a wicker chair with a shotgun in one hand and a spear in the other. Cleaver also contributed his talents on the Panther lecture circuit, and when both Newton and Seale were in jail later that year, he took over supervision of the Party. Another national officer of the Party was H. Rap Brown, who was Minister of Justice. In August 1970, Huey Newton assumed an additional title “Supreme Commander” of the Black Panther Party.

In October 1967, the course of the party changed, when Oakland police stopped a vehicle in which Huey Newton was riding. A shootout ensued, a policeman was killed, another officer wounded, and Newton was taken to the San Quentin State Prison hospital, with four bullet wounds in his stomach. Charged with murder and kidnapping, Newton immediately proclaimed his innocence, and the Black Panther Party mobilized its forces for a “Free Huey” campaign. With its two top officers in jail, the Panther party was piloted onto its new course by Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver and Chief-of-Staff David Hilliard. They were credited with building supportive alliances with black nationalist and white radical organizations. The most successful of the coalitions established after the jailing of Newton was with the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP), an emerging political force, first in California and then across the country, consisting mainly of a coalition of white left-liberals and radicals organized as a third party electoral alternative in opposition to the war in Vietnam. The PFP allowed the Panthers to use their organizational facilities in the Newton defense campaign. Joint rallies and speaking tours, use of printing equipment and sound trucks, and the availability of numerous young militants, black and white, to write, print, and distribute thousands of buttons, posters, leaflets, and other literature helped to publicize the Newton case and the Panther program, not only nationally but also abroad. Additionally, nationwide publicity for the Panther cause was assured later in 1968 when Cleaver became a Peace and Freedom Party candidate for President of the United States.

The “Free Huey” activity spanned most of 1968. In September of that year, Newton was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two to fifteen years in prison. In May, 1970 the California Court of Appeals reversed the conviction, and in July, Newton was released from prison pending a new trial.

Growth from a local operation to a national organization
By 1969, the Panthers were nationally known, and within a few months branches had been established in Los Angeles, Tennessee, Georgia, New York and Detroit. Black youth around the country were attracted to the Panther Party and its programs. In the space of only two years, the Black Panther Party grew from a local operation in Oakland to an organization of 1,500 to 2,000 members scattered in twenty-five chapters across the nation, with many additional thousands of supporters in major urban areas. Almost two years later, the party announced establishment of an “international section” headquartered in Algeria.

The Black Panther Party at one time or another, from its founding in October 1966 to early 1971, had official chapters with the same name or affiliated organizations under other names in at least 61 cities in 26 states and the District of Columbia. This activity was conducted under the supervision of 13 Black Panther Party chapters and five branches, twenty National Committees to Combat Fascism (NCCF), and two community information centers. NCCF’s were Panther controlled/multi-racial local committees, sometimes referred to as “organizing bureaus,” aimed at maintaining a link between black miltants and whites willing to work on the Panthers’ behalf. The admission of whites to NCCF membership also gave the Party a broader base for fundraising and propaganda purposes. Most of the chapters and branches functioned in large urban centers outside of the South. The rise and decline of local Panther organizations varied from city to city and the success of a chapter depended, to some extent, upon the availability of qualified leadership. After the winter of 1968-69 the trend veered away from “mass” membership and toward small hard-core Panther chapters with “mass” support relegated to National Committees to Combat Fascism created after July 1969.

Around April 1968, a central committee, consisting of the national leaders, was formed to make policy decisions for a rapidly growing organization. Prior to that time, all policy matters were democratically decided upon by a vote of the Panther membership, which did not exceed fifty in the headquarters area, and even fewer hard-core members. When the central committee was formed, a central staff was also created to implement decisions of the committee. Chief-of-Staff David Hilliard, who had been brought into the Party by Newton in the spring of 1967, with the rank of captain, supervised the headquarters staff. In addition to the national leaders previously mentioned, also included were ministers of education, finance, culture, religion, a deputyminister of information, an assistant chief-of-staff and a communications secretary.

During the spring of 1968 Bobby Seale and David Hilliard began “chartering” the groups in various cities of the United States that were calling themselves Black Panthers. The charter was a statement that national headquarters recognized a group as one of its official chapters, and was granted only to groups that agreed to meet qualifications established by the national office. Persons who desired to establish a new chapter were required to attend a six week training program which included political education classes, and instruction on administrative and reporting procedures of chapters’ activities. Individuals approved for Panther leadership assumed the rank of deputy chairman, defense captain, or deputy defense minister. All chapter heads were directly responsible to national headquarters and required to submit weekly and monthly reports concerning their chapters’ activities and financial status.

In January 1969, a complete reorganization of the Party structure from the national to the local chapter level occurred. A three month moratorium was put on the acceptance of new members, and a purge was launched against party members who had broken discipline. Sixteen new rules were added to the original ten governing party members’ behaviour which were aimed principally at abuses in the areas of narcotics, alcohol, gun handling, and petty crime, and promised expulsion to any member on hard drugs. Most of the sixteen new rules dealt with administrative measures to insure activity of chapter members on paper sales and Panther community projects. Other significant additions were instructions to all Panthers to “learn to operate and service weapons correctly” and to have “first aid or medical cadres.” The new rules stressed “political education” and required Panthers in leadership positions to “read no less than two hours per day to keep abreast of the changing political situation.” Besides the twenty-six rules, Panther members continued to be controlled by the Party’s “8 Points of Attention” and “3 Main Rules of Discipline” taken from Mao’s “little red book” and updated.

Sale of the Black Panthernewspaper was one of the main sources of revenue for the organization. At a cost of twenty-five cents, national headquarters received fifty percent of all sales, with five cents from each sale sometimes going to the individual member making the sales as an incentive to meet national and local quotas. Of the national office’s share, after production and shipping costs were subtracted, about five cents profit was realized. It was estimated that 140,000 copies of the paper were circulated in the United States weekly in 1970. Fees from speechmaking, donations or contributions were the other main sources of income.

Seeking to solve critical community problems, the Panthers adopted a “serve the people” program. In 1970, community centers or community information centers were added to the organizational structure of the Panther Party at the local level. The community programs, often directed and staffed by female members, included free breakfast for school children; free medical care; liberation schools; free transportation to visit relatives in prison and for senior citizens; free shoes and clothing; student action committees; political education classes for adults; petition campaigns for community control of the police; voter registration assistance; and legal aid.

Nineteen seventy-one brought the first signs of serious internal strife in the Black Panther Party. By March 1971, the dissension led to an open break between two of the most prominent Panthers, the party’s founder and Minister of Defense, Newton, and Minister of Information-in-exile, Cleaver. In November 1969, Cleaver, along with his wife Kathleen, national communications secretary, had fled to Cuba and then Algeria to avoid a prison sentence. The Cleaver faction called for party emphasis on underground confrontational activity, while the bulk of the party under Newton, Seale and Hilliard’s leadership appeared to prefer legal forms of activity such as community service programs, spoken and printed propaganda, rallies and conventions.

In addition to internal problems, external forces such as intense undercover activity by the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program Against Domestic Dissent), local law enforcement actions (in 1969 alone, three hundred and eighty-four Panthers were arrested on a variety of charges), and excessive media coverage, led to the decline of the Black Panthers. It should also be noted that much of the internal dissension mentioned above was traced to the FBI’s COINTELPRO activities once the documentation of this program surfaced during the 1975 hearings of the United States Senate Committee on Terrorism in the United States (Church Committee). With many of its leaders jailed, exiled, expelled, or dead, a small hard-core group of Panthers, based mainly in the Oakland, California area remained active in politics (in 1973 Bobby Seale made an almost-successful bid for the mayorship of Oakland and in 1977 the Panthers helped to elect the city’s first black mayor, Lionel Wilson, and community service programs as late as 1981.

New York Chapter – Harlem Branch
Although most Black Panther Party chapters and branches were formed after January 1968, there is evidence of BPP activity in Harlem as early as the fall of 1966. Located at Seventh Avenue and 141st Street, one of the Harlem Branch’s first acts was a call for a September 12th shutdown of Harlem schools, and demands for two high schools in Central Harlem, a community college, African languages and arts and sciences classes in elementary and junior high schools, and the hiring of more black superintendants, assistant superintendants and principals.

The Harlem Branch operated under a forty-seven article constitution, which spelled out in detail all rules and policies governing membership, organizational structure and Party principles. The branch was made up of three basic party organizations: the Party Congress which included the total active membership; the Executive Committee which included the chairman, executive director, executive treasurer, executive secretary, the editor of the Party organ; and the Party Directors who were responsible for political, organizational and community relations, community action, housing, educational, economic, cultural and youth oriented matters. The Party leadership core came from the Executive Committee and the Party Directors.

The Harlem BPP also established a youth section called the Black Panther Athletic Club and, like most branches, organized a free breakfast program for school children similar to the one on the West Coast. A sickle cell anemia screening center was also opened as was a health clinic that was located in the Bronx. The health clinic provided medical and dental services to the community at a reduced fee. In conjunction with the Brooklyn, Bronx, Mt. Vernon and Corona branches, the Harlem BPP issued a multi-page newsletter or bulletin called the People’s Community News.Articles were contributed by members from all the aforementioned branches concerning activities and events in their areas. Included were descriptions of new programs, police actions and arrests, world news, letters from interested observers of Panther activities, announcements of locations for free health care and free breakfast programs, upcoming Panther events, messages from national leaders and photographs.

In addition to the Harlem BPP Branch, whose offices were considered to be the central offices for the entire State, there were branches in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Mt. Vernon, Corona-East Elmhurst, Staten Island and Jamaica. The Party also operated in White Plains, Peekskill, and Albany. The Ministry for Information for the east coast was located on Boston Road in the Bronx; a community center operated in Mt. Vernon, and east coast distrition for packaging and preparing the Panther newspaper was located in Jamaica, N.Y.

Leaders for New York State included field secretary Dhoruba bin Wahad (Richard Moore); Zayd-Malik Shakur (James Coston), Minister of Information/area captain; and David Brothers, State chairman as well as a captain for the Brooklyn BPP. Joudon Ford was the captain for New York City and Minister of Defense for Brooklyn BPP, and the Harlem BPP Branch heads included Deputy Minister of Defense Lumumba Shakur; Rashid al Fatal, section leader; Al Carroll, captain of defense; and Beth Mitchell, Minister of Information/Communications Secretary.

Although New York was one of the BPP’s stronger chapters, and was at one time put in charge of the Philadelphia Branch, it had one of the highest number of expulsions during the 1969 national purge and reorganization. Further membership reductions came about when the Harlem Branch’s leadership, also known as the New York Panther 21, were arrested on charges of planning to dynamite and bomb New York City department stores. Some of the Panther 21 were released before trial; those remaining became known as the Panther 13, and were acquitted of all charges against them in May 1971.

During the jailing of the New York Panthers, further dissension erupted between the national leadership and the east coast Panthers which hastened the demise of the New York Panther organization. Two of the defendants, who were out on bail, Dhoruba bin Wahad (Richard Moore) and Michael “Cetewayo” Tabor had fled to Algeria, further angering national leadership. New York Panthers told the New York Timesthat Oakland headquarters paid more attention to the legal defense of national officers than to New York members who had been in jail since the spring of 1969. Oakland was accused of being angry asbout its inability to “control” the New York Chapter. Differing ideological views brought about the expulsion of first the Panther 13, and then the entire New York Chapter. In retaliation, the New York Chapter similarly “expelled” Huey Newton and David Hilliard and announced that the group was setting up a new national headquarters of the Panther Party in New York City and would publish its own newspaper. The newspaper Right Onwas published beginning in March 1971 by the East Coast Black Panther Party. Despite the attempt to continue the Panthers in New York, it was too late. Some New York Panthers went “underground” and became active with the Black Liberation Army, but it became clear that COINTELPRO had succeeded in demoralizing and splitting the leadership.


The Black Panther Party, Harlem Branch Collection, 1970, nd. consists of the personal files and papers of Cheryl Foster,the School and Housing Coordinator of the Harlem Branch. The collection has been organized into two series, NATIONAL OFFICEand NEW YORK CHAPTER.

The Black Panther Party Harlem Branch files are arranged in two series:

National Office
1970, undated
The NATIONAL OFFICE, 1970, n.d., (5 folders)series contains a copy of the Ten Point Platform and program; rules and regulations for members; and a list of chapters, branches, community centers and National Committees to Combat Fascism (NCCF).

New York Chapter
1970, undated
The NEW YORK CHAPTER, 1970, n.d., (9 folders)series contains Cheryl Foster’s(6 folders) notebooks and writings documenting her work as School and Housing Coordinator for the Harlem branch, and printed matter from the New York New Jersey and Connecticut chapters, including a copy of the People’s Community News.Of particular interest are Foster’snotebooks which contain schedules of her daily and hourly activities, field work notes, minutes of meetings, and her reports to the National Central Committee ministers of housing and education. There is also information on the branch’s work with the students and parents of George Washington High School, and the national student strike of May 1970, including copies of the newsletter put out by the National Strike Information Center.

Sundiata Acoli Had Carotid Surgery

Carotid Surgery
by Sundiata Acoli

They took me to an outside hospital for surgery on my right carotid artery which carries blood thru the neck to my brain. Blockage of these arteries can lead to brain damage called a stroke.

The surgery was done to remove deposits or plaque from my neck artery. The deposits/plaque can slow or even stop blood flow thru the artery.

An opening was cut in my neck, clamps placed above and below the plaque in my carotic artery where sometimes a temporary bypass is used to maintain blood flow around the area being operated on. The artery was opened, cleared of plaque and sewn back together. The clamps and any bypass tubes were removed and the neck incision was closed with stitches. The operation lasted 1 and 1/2 hour.

I was returned to FCI Cumberland, MD that afternoon or the next and full recovery is expected in 2 weeks.

Send Elder Sundiata Acoli Some Love And Get Well Wishes

Write Sundiata Acoli:
Sundiata Acoli #39794-066 (Squire)
FCI Cumberland
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 1000
Cumberland, MD 21501



Suwanee River New Afrikan Atonomous Independent Settlements 1818-1821

Suwanee New Afrikan Timeline

1817 Robert Arbuthnot opened a store on Ocklockoney Bay; later another one on the Wakulla River at the site of the old Panton, Leslie store.

1817 June, Josiah Francis/Hillis Hadjo returned to Florida and called for a gathering of Native Americans at Tallahassee

1817 November 21 and 23, Fowltown in Southwest Georgia was attacked

1818 March, Andrew Jackson ordered the construction of what became Fort Gadsden, over the ruins of the Negro Fort.

1818 March 31, Tallahassee Talofa was found abandoned and burned by Jackson’s forces.


Haki Kweli Shakur 10-9-52 ADM ATC NAPLA NAIM MOI

1818 April 1, the Battle of Miccosukee involves villages on the west coast of Lake Miccosukee; Jackson’s forces move south and take Fort Marks/San Marcos de Apalache

1818 April 12, the US army attacked a Red Stick village on the Econfina River

1818 April 18, Battle of Suwannee: maroons held off US army, allowing time to escape further south, then the abandoned houses are destroyed. The survivors of the battle expanded the size of maroon community on the Manatee River; Angola grew in importance as a refuge

1818 April 29, the Arbuthnot and Ambrister Incident occurs: Andrew Jackson judged and condemned Robert Ambrister to death by firing squad and Robert Arbuthnot by hanging

1818 May 24, Jackson marched on Pensacola and captured the Spanish Fort

1819 to 1821 negotiations for what becomes the Adams–Onís Treaty, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty

1821 March 10, U.S. President James Monroe appointed General Andrew Jackson Commissioner of the United States to take possession of Florida and gave him the full powers of governor. Jackson resigned on December 31, 1821

1821 July 17, Spain transferred Florida to the United States

Former Enslaved Afrikans Set Up New Afrikan Black Settlements Along Indigenous Native Nation’s on The Suwanee River In Florida , Gullah x New Afrikan Nation’s

The Suwannee engagement was the largest and most decisive battle of the war, and the principal fighters were black. Despite the prominence of the black warriors, however, politicians and historians united in writing them out of the record books, classifying the First Seminole War as an Indian conflict. Jackson’s enemies, most notably Henry Clay, sharply criticized the general’s treatment of the Indians, but legislators did not protest the devastation wrought upon the blacks, if they were even aware of it. And yet Jackson’s primary goal in Florida appears to have been the destruction of the black settlements on the Suwannee. The Hero himself did not shy away from describing the danger of the African rebels, as in this 1817 letter to the Pensacola governor:

Negroes who have fled from their masters, citizens of the United States … and the Seminole Indians … all uniting, have raised the tomahawk, and, in the character of savage warfare, have neither regarded sex nor age. Helpless women have been massacred, and the cradle crimsoned with the blood of innocence.

New Afrikan/Black Seminoles & Native Seminoles Defeated at battle of Suwanee April 16-18 1818, there were many other Black leaders of the Seminole tribe. It would take at least two more major wars of resistance before the Seminoles and their Black allies lost possession of those lands.

In the spring 1818, during the final stages of the First Seminole War (1816–18), General Andrew Jackson led 1,500 soldiers and 1,800 allied Creek in a two-pronged campaign to end Seminole resistance in north-central Florida Black Seminoles: the former slaves at Fort Mose went to Cuba with the Spanish when they left Florida in 1763, others lived with or near various bands of Indians. Slaves continued to escape from the Carolinas and Georgia and make their way to Florida

The challenging terrain of the peninsula, especially its dense tropical swamplands, would make it attractive as a haven for African freedmen and those who escaped slavery from the north. Culturally, the African people had more in common with the Native nations than with the European slaveholders. Both Native and African cultures valued family above economic profit and had a different relation to the land than did the Europeans.

“I think it solidified them,” Katz said. “The emphasis on nature, on kinship rather than ownership. Many of them didn’t know what (land) ownership meant; they didn’t care.”

Family and allies did matter, though, and as the Africans established their own villages in the region, they formed alliances with many of the neighboring Native populations.

“In time, the two groups came to view themselves as parts of the same loosely organized tribe,” according to Joseph A. Opala in his article “Black Seminoles – Gullahs Who Escaped From Slavery.” The Black Seminoles brought knowledge of rice cultivation, which they shared with their Native Seminole neighbors. In turn, they adopted clothing styles of the Native populations.

Over time, more Africans escaped to the area and more Native peoples also migrated there to escape persecution. Eventually the U.S. government, under the leadership of General Andrew Jackson, moved into the region to claim it and to end it as a haven undermining slavery. What would be called the First Seminole War lasted from 1817 to 1818, often with Creeks aiding the U.S. military against the Seminole peoples.

“The blacks and Indians fought side-by-side in a desperate struggle to stop the American advance, but they were defeated and driven south into the more remote wilderness of central and southern Florida,” Opala wrote.

But the Seminole people continued to live in the region. According to Katz, “hundreds of Seminole families hurried southeast to join Chief Billy Bowlegs on the Suwannee River.” There, Seminole fighting groups were forming and drilling.

In 1819, the U.S. government bought the peninsula from Spain for $5 million (again, under the assumption Spain “owned” the lands).

Meanwhile, efforts were made to corrode the African and Native alliances and to encourage the Native populations to make the Africans their “slaves.” Although some Seminole and others in the “Five Civilized Tribes” did follow that lead, often intermarriages and other alliances continued.

The Second Seminole War would last much longer, erupting in 1835 and continuing to 1842. Trickery and forced treaties that would move the people west lead to retaliations by Seminole people, including raids on a plantation and an attack on the troops of Major Francis Langhorne Dade that ended in death for him and nearly 110 soldiers. According to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, “the seven-year war cost more than the American Revolution (estimates start at $20,000,000). It involved 52,000 soldiers fighting against less than 2,000 warriors.”

Katz suggested a $40 million monetary cost along with the deaths from battles and the deportation of people into slavery or onto reservations. Ultimately up to 4,000 people—Native and African—were removed to Oklahoma territory. Still a few hundred Seminole remained hidden in southern swamplands; many were united under Chief Bowlegs. Some of the Seminole peoples, like friends and leaders Wild Cat, a Native Seminole, and John Horse, of African descent, moved to Mexico and allied with the government there.

The Third Seminole War started with an attack led by Chief Bowlegs in December 1855 and continued with more than two years of guerrilla-style raids until 1858, when the chief agreed to emigrate along with about 165 people. He would die of yellow fever while serving as a major for the Union in the Civil War.

Katz estimated a couple hundred Native people, however, remained hidden in the Everglades while the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum reports “No one really knows how many Seminoles were left in Florida after the 3rd Seminole War ended in 1858.”

However some did remain, surviving by hunting, guiding tourists or making items to sell; they were the ancestral foundation of today’s Seminole Tribe of Florida.