Autonomy As A Revolutionary Tendency: What We Mean By Black Autonomy
By: Black Autonomy Federation
Originally Published on January 26, 2013
Because of the dual forms of oppression of non-white workers and the depth of social desperation it creates, Blacks and peoples of color must strike first, whether their potential white allies are available to do so or not. This is self-determination and that is why it is necessary for oppressed workers to build independent movements to unite their own peoples first. Malcolm X was the first one to really explain this. This self-activity of the oppressed masses of color when it reaches the radical stage is inherently a revolutionary force and is an essential part of the social revolutionary process of the entire working and poor class.
As Blacks and other oppressed peoples of color, we are living though some of the most perilous times in both American and world history. The white empire is declining, but in its desperation to cling to power, we face police murder and brutality, mass imprisonment of youth of color, racial profiling, degrading poverty and unemployment, repressive anti-terrorist legislation and new wars of conquest and yet we do not hear the voices of organized peoples of color in their millions in North America. Instead, we are part of “someone else’s agenda” or “someone else political organization”, but it is time now to build our own and speak for ourselves. We must not only demand our rights our “rights” in a Western capitalist society, but fight to build a new world.
The Black, Brown, Yellow, Red and other oppressed people of color on the face of this planet earth have been subjected to genocide, racism, warfare, slavery, torture, economic exploitation and other forms of oppression heaped on them by the Western imperialist countries. For centuries, we have sought to resist, individually and with anti-colonial/liberation and other struggles in our countries, but now we have to build a united front of peoples of color everywhere, fighting the same enemy, the same battles. The whole world is now a ghetto, a ‘hood, with poor/working class people of color in Brussels, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Durban, Detroit, Lagos, Lebanon and cities throughout the world living the same lives of economic, social and cultural deprivation.
So, it is time to get our peoples organized in the barrios, the ghettos, the hamlets, the “quarters”, hovels, college dorms, high schools, churches, prisons and other places we find them. We need to organize a federation of autonomous people of color and begin to practice a lost art among activists these days: community based organizing for grassroots peoples’ power.
We must challenge ourselves to become serious organizers and activists in our own communities, to link up with others and someday build a powerful movement that can change the world. And we must make ourselves both a strong voice in the Anarchist scene and an alternative in the radical social change movement generally, instead of just marginal or token Black, Brown, Yellow, or Red faces in small numbers inside white radical tendencies. Autonomy means independence.