Voices of Resistance: An Evening of Poetry & Spoken Word in Solidarity with African Liberation

Chair of USM, Stephanie Midler, reads a poem included in the book “Overturning the Culture of Violence” by Penny Hess

Sunday, August 18th, supporters and organizers of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement gathered at Genaro’s Café for an evening of spoken word & poetry in solidarity with African Liberation.

The evening was a fundraising event for Days in Solidarity with African People campaign. The campaign has a goal to raise $14,000 to the work of the African People’s Socialist Party as a concrete expression of our unity with reparations.” Voices of Resistance an Evening of Poetry in Solidarity with African Liberation” is one of the many types of fundraisers happening across the country.

The evening offered a way for newcomers and supporters to gather and express their outrage against a system that wages a war against African people inside in the U.S. and around the world. Performers spoke of the vicious attack on Africa that provided colonizers in the United State a way of building capital and accumulating wealth, atop the bodies of indigenous people and on the backs of African slaves.

Mona Leza
Mona Leza

Mona Leza showed the audience a heavy iron band that was placed on slaves upon birth, and resized as they grew, but never removed. This relic of slavery harkens back to the history of oppression that laid the foundation for what see today. We can look at skyrocketing prison rates of Africans behind bars, the lack of resources and funding in the African communities, while the U.S. government will increase funding to police and to their other occupying armies. In his poem, Jimmy Dunson vividly recalled when the cops gunned down Africans fleeing their flooded communities, seeking shelter after Hurricane Katrina.

The performers spoke keenly to the wide range of evidence that the U.S. government, from its establishment and til now, carries out a war against the African community in the U.S. and around the world. The outrage and pain was unanimously felt among the crowd. However what set this evening apart from just simply being cathartic, is the potential to raise funds to provide as material solidarity for programs of economic development and self determination in the African community, in African hands.

Princess "Bella" performs
Princess “Bella” of African People’s Education and Defense Funds

Princess “Bella”, of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund, set the tone of revolutionary optimism by performing a song to kick off the evening.

The African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) addresses the grave disparities faced by the African community by building programs that provide for sustainable ways to address health, education and economic development. This is just one of example the Uhuru Movement is providing concrete ways in the hands of the African working class, to overturn system of parasitic capitalism. The Uhuru Solidarity Movement recognizes that is in the interest of the white people to unit with the struggle for African liberation and self determination because we have historically been at the center of benefiting from this system which is ultimately unsustainable. If we want to see a world of real peace and justice, we must unite in solidarity with the struggles with African and oppressed people fighting for their resources. This is our only stride towards uniting with humanity. The Days in Solidarity with African People is our way of expressing genuine solidarity and raising funds to be utilized for programs such as APEDF. We call on others who unite with this message to Take the Pledge of Solidarity now so we can reach our $14,000 pledge goal, which will then be turned over to the African People’s Socialist Party.

special raffle prize

At the Voices of Resistance event we held a raffle, which included exciting prizes that spoke to the theme of African liberation. One basket had different books of poetry by African poets, like Langston Hughes. USM organizer from Miami, Kefira Baron, created a painting specifically in honor of this occasion.  It was  a portrait of George Jackson, honorable African leader, juxtapose the words of one of his poems. This was perfect considering it is Black August.

As the event came to a close,  organizer and performer Jamie Simpson addressed the crowd and made a call for everyone to get involved. The Days in Solidarity is the way for people to show their genuine stance of solidarity and we call on everyone to participate in some way. It could just be by Taking the Pledge of Solidarity or putting on an event like Voices of Resistance: evening of poetry in solidarity with African Liberation or becoming an organizer in your area.

Voices of Resistance set the precedent for upcoming events for Days of Solidarity with African people, and shows other white people that we have interest to organize and build solidarity in our communities.

You can make the first step to being in genuine solidarity by Taking the Pledge of Solidarity with African People. The funds go directly towards the programs of the Uhuru Movement, and you will help us reach our $14,000 pledge goal by October.

Learn about more ways to get involved with the DSAP campaign.

click here to see more photos from the event
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