Who's Building Economic and Political Agendas for Black, Working Class Power?

Who's Building Economic and Political Agendas for Black, Working Class Power?

by Taji Amani

March 26, 2022 / 6322 AFK

National Conference on a Black Cooperative Agenda

April 6-8 | Baltimore, Maryland | Info & Registration

In 2022, The Network for Developing Conscious Communities is rewriting Black cooperative history in the United States with the rebirth of The National Conference on Black Cooperative Agenda. The conference theme is “Building Cooperative Capacity Through Conscious Practices”

This conference is a testimony to the work of The Poor People's Development Foundation (PPDF), a group founded by civil rights workers in 1968 with the purpose of bringing together and educating Black and poor people on the importance of building a strong cooperative ecosystem throughout the United States.

Ujima People's Progress Party 2022 Statewide Conference

April 23 | Greater Landover, Maryland / Online | Info & Registration

The 3rd state conference of the UPP, building a black workers-led, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-sexist electoral party in Maryland

10:30am Doors Open

11:00am Conference Opening Session

12:00pm Fighting Police Brutality/Corruption/Murder

1:00pm Community Control of Housing/Fighting Gentrification

2:00pm Lunch Break

2:30pm Building Black Worker-led Mutual Aid/Building Labor & Community Solidarity

3:30pm Plenary Session

4:30pm Conference End

These events and the broader movements from which they come are critical for black liberation because they de-center an approach to social progress that hinges on economic assimilation into capitalism and political assimilation into colonialism and imperialism. As Dr. Cornel West explains here, such approaches have primarily benefited the most privileged segment of the black population which is more committed to individualist, upward mobility than our collective empowerment and self-determination.

Without reengineering our economic activity and defining a class conscious political agenda, then even in this post Civil Rights era, black life in the US will continue to be undervalued: Median, black household net wealth will continue to head to zero dollars. The politicians that black voters overwhelmingly support will continue to defend capitalism, its poverty, wars and ecological destruction. The racist, classist criminal justice system will be the subject of periodic media outrage before ritualistically producing no substantive change. Black home evictions and healthcare - etcetera, etcetera. We're not a few black judges, millionaires or politicians away from a healthy society.

Instead, of just recycling affirmative action to produce diversity and inclusion... instead of just replacing elected, imperialist Republicans with elected, imperialist Democrats... instead of just reproducing Wall Street and its massive shortcomings by aspiring for a Black Wall Street... instead of building "movements" that depend indefinitely on the philanthropy of exploitative companies, black people and our accomplices can trust black people with power over our own lives.

Organizations and events like the ones above have the potential for producing institutions, economic philosophies, political philosophies, culture and history that might actually have a chance of advancing black, working class power, relationships and health.