This year I moved from Western Massachusetts to Atlanta to build the Black Hammer Organization. Despite losing the vast majority of my possessions in the move, a heart wrenching break up, and sleeping on a comrades couch for most of the year, building this organization has been the most rewarding experience. I can honestly say that working to serve my people pushed me to struggle with myself to be the best revolutionary I can possibly be. I do this work for my people, for them, I have the deepest love I can give. It is this love that pushed me to struggle so fiercely this year.
TAP TAP TAP!
“Amani!” Damu shouts at me outside my room door.
I don’t respond.
The taps quickly turn into a loud banging.
I’m gonna kill this bitch I think angrily as I massage my temples. My eyes snap open as I stare up at the ceiling. What time is it anyway? I turn my head to look at the clock on my nightstand. 9:30. AM! Oh yea, this bitch is tripping for real!
Before Damu can start banging on my door again, I reach over the edge of my bed to grab a shoe and throw it at the door with a loud THUD! Continue reading “Chapter 2: Code of Discretion”
Understanding the rage a colonized person feels under the boot of colonialism, you can imagine how it felt to have all that revolutionary energy wasted by channeling it into a cult. When I severed ties with the past org, all the emotions of seeing my people go through genocide remained dormant in me. Stagnant, just eating away at me.
One day I got a message from comrade Gazi checking in, it was nice to talk to someone that actually went through what I went through. He let me know of an event he was organizing, some grand unveiling of sorts. I wanted to see some of the people from old org, to get some closure and put an end to that chapter of our lives. I traveled to ATL and got my first impromptu assignment as AgitProp, be the cameraman for the event. That day we slammed the door on the past, we severed the chain that held us back with the Black Hammer.
Since that day i aint look back. I learned organization and that i been missing it my whole life. In a span of a couple of months, I became responsible for a bunch of shit i ain’t never done before, making flyers, choppin videos up, setting up audio and visuals so we can have meetings. In the process I have seen myself change, I now value hard work and discipline. I organized a food drive in the most distraught hood in my city, the people FLOCKED to us. Being there feeding the people meant the world to me because they need an organized apparatus that acts in their interest. I knew my brothers and sisters needed Black Hammer.
Now doing outreach, whether in ATL or Orlando there ain’t no hesitation to step right up to a stranger and tell em about my org and all the awesome things we do, I have full confidence in doing so because I helped get it all done. I hated being on camera ever since I was little, now, im on camera twice a week providing political education and combine my two loves Politics and Anime. All I want to do is build Black Hammer because all I want to do is help liberate colonized people.
Almost a year ago, I left what I thought maybe the closest thing to a revolutionary organization. I had only been a member of this organization for about 10 months and there were several red flags that let me know that sometimes just wasn’t right. Don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of awesome Comrades while in the movement, but there were egregious contradictions that I couldn’t ignore. When I did finally leave, I felt a way, because I wanted to be instrumental in acquiring the freedom of African and colonized people, but I had just learned that the Uhuru Movement wasn’t where it was at.
The sheer audacity to exploit the very people that it claims to want to liberate—I was livid. I left Uhuru determined that I would find some way to contribute to the movement, but it would be in time. I remained in contact with Gazi Kodzo, even prior to officially leaving Uhuru. We talked and I decided to attend the launch of the Black Hammer organization February 4, 2019. I had no intention of joining at that moment. I decided that I would just be a supporter and help when I could. I felt that after the bullshit with the last movement, I needed to take some time. That was the opposite of what happened!
Less than a month after the launch of the event, I had been asked to fulfill the role as the Chief of Membership and the forces present in Atlanta were already planning a protest in the city. On the day of the Lil C Note protest, we met up at Cumberland Mall, in bourgeois white Smyrna. There were many Africans in the mall that day, however. I’ll never forget when Gazi leaped (yes leaped) up on that table while I recorded him shouting into the megaphone at the masses of people staring back at him of why this child had been brutalized by the Cobb County police. I thought for sure that I would be arrested along with all the other Comrades there that day. Before we could get out of the parking garage, the pigs cornered us, but we refused to speak with them. I thought for sure that they would detain us until we at least provided our names. The lady pig asked me if my son was my son and I refused to answer. After our Comrade that we united could speak with the pigs recited their law back to them, they told us we could go, but not to return. A few months later, we learned that we had been instrumental in getting the charges completely dropped against Lil C Note.
Here it is, December 2019 going into a new decade. I will say that Black Hammer has taught me an abundance of revolutionary discipline and patience. I am almost 36 and not particularly young, but I am young in organizing and coming down this political path. I have learned (not mastered) endurance. I have learned more about how to take and digest criticism. I’ve had to revisit organization and planning. I’m struggling with things too, though, like trust, settling appropriate boundaries, confidence, and leadership. When we were at the Atlanta Black Pride Event in August, I believe I spoke briefly before more people than I ever had in my life and I hadn’t even prepared a speech! I’ve never been a great public speaker, to be honest, but that is something else that Black Hammer has nudged me to become more comfortable with—engaging the people.
For the first time ever, I organized a local food drive to feed the homeless. I’ve participated in food drives and soup kitchens, but never orchestrated an event. There is something intoxicating about that. Self-determination comes to mind when I think of it because we raised that money. We cooked and prepared that food. We met up and handled it out to the people. We came together and united that we would feed the people every month! We the people!
Black Hammer has and is teaching me that there is nothing the people cannot do for ourselves. We can house ourselves, trade with ourselves, educate ourselves, produce our own food, care for our own health. Why should we shrive to thrive in a system that is literally killing us? As the Chief of Membership, I can gladly and proudly report that the membership has quadrupled since its launch in February of 2019. In 2020, I want to see that number double! I could just see Black Hammer making the capacity to get our brothers and sisters out of jail with a phone call or having the capacity to teach self-defense to our brothers and sisters in their own neighborhoods. I could see us forming food and good coops to barter with one another. I imagine childcare coops ran by us, the people. Education coops, health clinics, and facilities, libraries full of literature and information about our history and our veterans. Our community will be one where we as Colonized people thrive and not merely survive. To do that, Black Hammer must and will grow. We will recruit engineers, attorneys, mechanics, farmers, doctors, and teachers. We will also recruit those who truly have the heart of the people and will protect and serve.
We won’t stop recruiting until the membership virtually recruits itself—until there is a chapter in every major U.S. city, and it percolates into every neighboring rural town.
We will not stop until there are chapters replicated in every Colonized nation and every nation that has Colonized people. If we proclaim that we want freedom, we must be willing to take freedom and we do that by bringing in the masses. The political education we give, the outreach activities, the propaganda and news we bring to the masses, the money that the people donate is all for the purpose of building a nation where we can truly experience and live within freedom. Black Hammer has made me define what freedom truly is in that before that, I/ we used the word so much, we almost don’t know how to define it. To me to be free means to be unrestricted to any domineering power from the resources of this world put here to help us live a comfortable and prosperous life. That all starts with the hearts and minds who decide to join the Revolution by joining Black Hammer. In 2020, not only will we not give up, we will push through imperialism and show them who the fuck we are. We aim for imperialism to meet its end and the power to do that resides within the people.
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! BLACK POWER!!
Finding Joy in the Struggle
Leaving a cult that I had no idea I was even apart of left me exposed to the question of whether I wanted to continue this revolutionary struggle. There was no security of waking up to do the same mundane tasks that at that point had been defined as my “revolutionary” work. I had no way of defining who I was as a Revolutionary. It was starting back at square one.
2019 was the year I began to internalize that in fact, the hardest struggle that you have as a revolutionary is the struggle you have within yourself; the struggle to overturn and root out ALL the ideals and attitudes imposed upon us by imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism. It was being able to not only internalize this, but forcing myself to find solace in the fact that in this continuous struggle, these contradictions are not reflective of who I am as a human being, but a fallacy compiled of everything that has been imparted into African and Colonized peoples through our oppression for the past 600+ years. It was the struggles with my fellow Chiefs that exposed things within myself that I had no idea was there.
This realization made it possible for me to take myself seriously as a liberation fighter. I was forced to define who I was as a leader, as a revolutionary. It deepened my understanding that revolution is not something to be carried out overnight, that revolution is a process; a process that makes plain the work we do as freedom fighters is not only to organize our sisters and brothers but to organize ourselves as well.
When Gazi asked me to leave St. Petersburg, FL and start an organization, I had no idea of what that would entail. All I knew was that I believed in his work and I believed in the struggle to build towards the liberation of the Colonized peoples all around the world. 2019 was the year I began to put that belief in myself.
2020 is will most definitely be comprised of more struggles but I am now equipped with the skills to pick them apart, find the basis, and overturn them. I am a co-founder of an organization that has created a space for budding comrades to not only express themselves as revolutionaries but a space formed on the basis that we are human, that we come into this work as products of our oppression, judging us not by our contradictions but how we overturn them.
Also, BITCH I WAS ON BEYONCE’S IG STORY!
Black Power Comrades,
I want to start by appreciating Chief Gazi for nominating me this year for the Black Hammer Secretary General Position. At the beginning, I was extremely excited about it and I almost couldn’t believe it myself; but then I remember for being a revolutionary for such a short period of time, I did find myself dedicated to the revolution, to the people, to this org.
I do consider myself an organized person in colonial work life, not necessarily in my personal spaces but ever since starting this position, I feel like all aspects of my life has become more organized. Self-reflecting, I do want to be self-critical for not actively working on my duties as General Secretary but joining all committees and feeling completely overworked; so much so that I failed to put some things of higher priority first—things that pertain to the role I had united on.
My role is to work closely with Chief Gazi, but I struggled a lot with subjectivism and liberalism; both things I didn’t truly understand by just reading them through Political Education, but by living them through different struggles within our cadre committee and especially within myself. I want to thank each one of my cadre leadership for teaching a skill that I had never learned before.
Gazi: thank you for teaching me how to speak up. Nyah: thank you for teaching me that no matter how much work I think we have, there’s always more and to always be so kind and available. I truly look up to you. Dia: thank you for teaching me this year to be more lively on camera. I don’t like being on video and the first time I hosted a meeting by myself, which you pushed me to do, I appreciate you for pushing me to my full potential. Mouhamadou: you are such a dope writer, political educator I want to thank you for being on the streets of ATL and teaching me how to connect with the masses of the people, how to engage with them, and how conversate with them. You’re truly the best at doing outreach. Rob: thank you for teaching me endless P.E and documentaries, for believing in me and constantly letting me know how proud you are of me, but also with struggling with me the most—for the endless back and forth that made me a stronger revolutionary.
Organizing the Orlando Homeless Food Drive was very eye-opening and the responses of the masses who wanted to support us was one of the best feelings. Being able to inspire other chapters like the East Coast chapter and supporting them with the knowledge I was able to obtain through my leadership was one of my favorite things of 2019.
It was a fun, challenging, rewarding year, but I do know I could’ve given more of me. I could have organized and worked more closely with Chief Gazi, who has a lot of experience and years of organizing. And, instead of spending so much time trying to prove why I felt I was correct in all situations, I could have fell back and listened to someone else’s perspective.
Thank you to everyone and the people for believing in me and inspiring me daily. My goal for 2020 is to fight liberalism, subjectivism and to build confidence, and as we promised the people in our first 2020 meeting: to NEVER give up and push through!
By: Kimya Banks Chief of Economic Development
This year, there have been many news stories that have dealt with women and their bodies. One of the biggest has been the abortion debate. Now trending is the story about T.I. attending his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah’s hymen at her annual well women’s exam.
The underlying issue in all these stories is whether a woman has agency and bodily autonomy. Is a woman’s body her own?
Many people’s ideas on sex, gender and gender roles are based upon 19th century Western European biomedical practices and ideas, such as:
- Sex is pre-determined in the womb;
- Sex is defined by anatomy which in turn determines sexual identity and desire;
- Differences are all connected to reproductive functions;
- Identities are immutable; and that
- Deviations from dominant ideas of male/female must be “unnatural.”
In African and colonized communities, the strict adherence to these Western European practices and ideas and firm control on women, from appearance to behavior, began as a way to combat the stereotypical, hypersexualized image held of women of color used to justify abuse at the hands of the colonizer. Continuing to the present day, these unfair and destructive stereotypical misrepresentations contribute to crimes against African and colonized women.
By: Diakiesse Lungunissani Chief of Political Education & Culture
Ask anybody and they mama what a trap house is today? They’d be able to tell you in a heartbeat!
Sh*t, depending on who you ask, they’d prolly tell you where it’s at and what you could cop there. The term is fairly new tho; if you was to ask the OG’s or elders of our communities, they’d plainly tell yo a*s the trap house is nothing but a “made up” way of saying crack house. Period.
The problem is there’s no discussion of its origins. We know this is a contradiction; if we don’t know it’s origins then there’s no place to begin to fight! This contradiction was deepened for me when visiting TI’s Trap Museum here in ATL. You pay $10 to enter this building where the replicas of a living room and kitchen used in a “trap house” is so realistic, all I could say to myself was what the fu*k? Scales here, pounds and pounds of weed there. Sheets covering what would be windows, roaches, overturned liquor bottles and empty beer cans. PACKS OF ODDLES & NOODLES MY NIGGA! And of course, crack, crack, and more CRACK.
The initial shock of realness fades as you walk throughout this display that represents so much pain and hurt within our communities. That shock is replaced with anger as you read descriptors that can define what a trap house is but not WHY and HOW they got here. Empty ass declarations of how tragic it is for this to be our reality but that’s just the way it is, that this is what our brothers and sisters have to do to survive.
By: Chief Gigi Lopez, General Secretary
Black Power Comrades!
For this section of Decolonize Yo’ Diet we are going all the way to West India. This recipe was provided by a comrades grandmother from our Agitation & Propaganda Team!
We chose a very tasty snack called “Dhokla” that basically translates to fermented batter derived from rice and chickpeas. It is a very popular snack and street food in parts of India and can even be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or preferably just as a snack. One of my favorite things about this snack is that it can be served hot, cold or room temperature and it still slaps!
What’s the meaning of “true love” shared between two colonized individuals?
At this point in his life, Amani aka Trillion does NOT want to find out!
A professional revolutionary, Amani uses his alter ego Trillion to navigate the treacherous seas of dating on the “colony” though his comrade Damu tells him love is just beyond the horizon.
Will the persistence of a past hookup be Amani’s undoing or will Trillion help Amani avoid commitment at all cost?
Either way, it goes, it’s Trillion’s Way or no way at all!
***MATURE CONTENT, 18+***
Boy on boy
character list :
Amani, aka Trillion
Code of Discretion
It’s 3 am as I climb into my Uber. I nod and briefly smile to the driver as we make eye contact through her rearview mirror. Continue reading “Chapter 1: Code of Discretion”