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Haki R. Madhubuti discusses the state of freedom for Black Americans

RollingOut Magazine shoot with Smokey
Haki R. Madhubuti
Poet, founder and publisher of Third World Press

What is your opinion on the ‘statutes of Liberty’ given the current state of affairs in America today? What is your opinion about the state of Freedom for Black people in particular, and Americans in general?
The statue of Liberty was never meant for Africans—people of African ancestry and was not meant for people south of the U.S. boarder or other people of color. We must never forget that the founding “fathers” were not only owners of African people who were enslaved in the Americas, but these founders were white supremacist whose white nationalism formed the core of their intellectual philosophy.

What does the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement mean to you? How do you see it in its current form and what, if anything, do you expect it to accomplish?
Frantz Fanon states: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity;” and each generation out of its own struggles will recreate definitions as well as movements. I support this movement. Indeed social media has changed the character and definitions of social change activity. However, everything still must be coordinated—the substance of the message, time, place, date, and even the desired outcomes must all be strategically planned. People must be involved at all levels from the key organizers, medical staff, lawyers, political people, speakers, funding efforts and more. What’s happening here in Chicago and across this nation is just a beginning—another beginning—but it must have long term goals and objectives.

What message would you like to send to readers of this story? Is there anything that you would like people to be mindful of, pay attention to, or take action about? Why?
We are trying to stop police (blue on black murders) and internal community murders—and in a larger context—we are trying to stop white on Black murder and white on white murder.  We must never forget the larger policy questions: Why are there no jobs? Where are the factories that made products that once supported a viable middle class and working class population? Why are we now at the mercy of the one percent: the banks, mortgage companies, politicians and others who enjoy the mis-gotten fruits of our labor? In order for this to change, a national/political/economic and cultural movement especially among the young is absolutely necessary for this country and much of the world to change course where it will benefit the greater majority of the world population rather than a privileged few.