feature: “meet the badass activist collective bringing direct action back to black communities”
March 3, 2015
Meet the BlackOUT Collective, a “badass” Black Direct Action collective that provides training and support in communities that “prioritize the liberation of black people” – with the belief that “direct action works. We have seen it work for hundreds of years.” AlterNet recently interviewed the founding members of the organization, check out the interview here and read some extracts below.
By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor
“All of us unsuccessfully attempted to bring black non-violent direct action trainers down there, and when we got to Ferguson most of the training team were white allies. We noticed that there was a shortage of black direct action trainers,” Faison said. “We looked at each other and said we need to develop some more folks to train our people and coordinate actions. And from there burst the BlackOUT Collective on the frontlines around 11 o’clock at night in front of the police station.”
I think people will continue to do action nationally and locally. We know, and one of the reasons we were founded is, that direct action works. We have seen it work for hundreds and hundreds of years. From slave rebellions to the abolitionist movement to SNCC to the Black Panther Party and then internationally we have the work in South Africa during the student rebellions. These were all direct actions done by black people and black communities as a result of oppression. And I think that we’re seeing some of that happening now.
I think the other thing is broadening the conversation and really looking at what the war on black people looks like nationally, outside just the aspect of police. We’re looking at the ways our education system is devised, [at] housing and transportation. People are really starting to put the dots together and vocalize all the ways we’re oppressed. Police violence is at the national forefront because it is literally taking lives. But our lives are being slowly killed in lots of different ways—environmental racism, gentrification, and our criminal justice system, our education system. There are so many systems that need to be dismantled. I think what we’re seeing now is almost like an age of enlightenment that these systems exist and we are beginning to build an analysis around it and then some demands around it.
The Black Lives Matter movement is autonomous and leader-full which is a really radical and beautiful thing. And what I’m especially excited for is the frame of Black Queer Feminism. I think that frame is really important and it’s a radically inclusive black movement for black liberation, black self-determinacy, black resistance and healing. And to have it with this black queer feminist frame now expanded to include everyone, I think that’s the key to the future of the movement.
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