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There is a myth that Black youth are estranged from civil-rights-type African American politics. It is not true. In fact, it is a great lie, promulgated by the Right. The fact is, Black youth, and many not so young, are frustrated by the ineffectuality of current Black leadership, and are eager to expand upon the gains of the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties, and to push issues related to today's Black realities. The right wing, and it's corporate media, have spread the falsehood that Black youth are fodder for conservative ideology. Yet they, the right wing, have never assembled any large gathering of young Blacks to affirm this lie because they cannot. Black youth conservatism is wishful thinking on the part of our enemies.

In the absence of creative and forward-looking Black leadership for the last thirty-plus years, more than a generation of young African Americans have been left on their own. They sought solace in culture, which spreads on the streets and neighborhoods no matter what the NAACP or the Congressional Black Caucus or the other designated Black "spokespersons"  decide should happen. And there was political content to that youth culture, as there has always been in Black life. "Fight the Power," by Public Enemy, is a work of artistic and commercial art that addressed the political situation as it confronted African Americans, and made it real to the listeners a political expression that led to the banning of political thought in Hip Hop by the corporations that took control of the music. These corporations then invented Gangsta Rap, and coerced Hip Hop artists to produce anti-social lyrics and videos to defame their own race.

The advent of the second National Hip Hop Political Convention this month, in Chicago, following the first one in Newark, New Jersey, in 2004, shows the real trajectory of Black youth political opinion. They want more, not less, Black activism, and in areas that the civil rights-associated generation did not even envision. They want an end to a regime of Black mass incarceration, an urban agenda that deals with gentrification, a domestic policy that accords citizens a meaningful right to a good life, and a foreign policy that is anti-imperialist. These young people who call themselves the Hip Hop Generation are the best of us. And they are multi-racial and multi-ethnic, because that is the human reality that confronts entrenched white supremacist power in the United States. They are eager to "Fight the Powers that Be."

There is a continuity between the Sixties and early Seventies, and Black youth activism of the Twenty-First Century. How could it be otherwise, since there also exists the continuity of racism and exploitation? Crimes will always be answered by the cries of the wounded. How could it possibly be different with the youthful victims of America's racist policies, domestic and foreign? The National Hip Hop Political Convention a movement of young Black people and those who identify with the values of our people is the future of our folk, and our world. When youth are set in motion, we cannot be defeated. For Radio BC, I'm Glen Ford.

BC Paid Subscribers can visit the Radio BC Master page to listen to any of our audio commentaries voiced by BC Co-Publisher and Executive Editor, Glen Ford. We publish the text of the radio commentary each week along with the audio program.


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July 27, 2006
Issue 193

is published every Thursday.

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