By Michael Simanga (auth.)
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Additional resources for Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory
Four years later when I graduated from high school, there were only a handful of white students who graduated with me. That fall, after the summer of 1967, I considered myself a young revolutionary. My study of revolutionary history and theory intensified. I became a serious student of Malcolm X, reading and listening to his speeches. I became an active organizer of black students in my junior high and then high school. I was aware of and followed intensely the developments around the BPP and the deliberations at the Newark BORN INTO THE STORM 23 Black Power Conference, the second of four such conferences that would lead to the founding of the Congress of African People (CAP) in 1970.
The Jewish community that still lived as our neighbors, the Jewish teachers and students at my school, the Jewish merchants and professionals who owned businesses in the community responded to news of the war by organizing support for Israel (by then I had learned they considered it the homeland of all Jews). They did this on every front. They raised and sent money. The Jewish teachers thoroughly discussed their point of view of the issues related to the war in the classrooms and gave the students information and instruction that it was their obligation to support Israel in the war.
Throughout, the emphasis was on self-help, racial unity, and among the most militant, retaliatory violence, the latter ranging from the legal right of self-defense to attempts to justify looting and arson in ghetto riots, guerilla warfare and armed rebellion. Phrases like “Black 28 AMIRI BARAKA AND THE CONGRESS OF AFRICAN PEOPLE Power,” “Black Consciousness,” and “Black is Beautiful,” enjoyed an extensive currency in the Negro community, even within the NAACP and among relatively conservative politicians, but particularly among young intellectuals and Afro-American student groups on predominantly white college campuses.
Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory by Michael Simanga (auth.)