By Uhuru B. Rowe
August 6, 2017
Peace Black brother,
I hope this letter finds you strong and defiant in mind, body, and spirit. I really enjoyed the few times we exchanged ideas about the new Black liberation struggle. I was a little surprised when you told me that you consider yourself a Black revolutionary because most young brothers who gang bang don’t identify themselves as such, and that’s because being one requires opposing and resisting racism and oppression which is a huge burden and responsibility. Others simply don’t understand the concept of a Revolutionary.
To put it simply, a Revolutionary is someone who fights and struggles to change the conditions of oppressed people. A counter-revolutionary is someone who-consciously or unconsciously–fights and struggles against change so as to exacerbate and perpetuate the conditions of oppressed people. A Revolutionary is someone who strives to transform the criminal mentality into a Revolutionary mentality. A counter-revolutionary is someone who maintains, values, and takes delight in the criminal mentality. A Revolutionary seeks to become a part of the solution to what’s plaguing the Black and oppressed communities. A counter-revolutionary seeks to remain a part of the problem of what’s plaguing the Black and oppressed communities. A Revolutionary is someone who utilizes all of his/her strength and energy in trying to liberate Black and oppressed people. A counter-revolutionary is someone who utilizes all of his/her strength and energy in trying to oppress and exploit those already oppressed and exploited by this white supremacist, capitalistic system. A Revolutionary is someone who opposes the Gestapo police who are daily murdering and brutalizing Black and oppressed people. A counter-revolutionary is someone who murders and brutalizes Black and oppressed people who are already being murdered and brutalized by the Gestapo police.
So, young brother, upon examining yourself, and taking the above examples of a Revolutionary into consideration, which category do you truly fall into: a Revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary? Most gang bangers, unfortunately, fall into the category of a counter-revolutionary.
As with most–if not all–Black street gangs, which I prefer to call social clubs, they started out as Revolutionary because the social, political and economic conditions that Black people were subjected to in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and even today, necessitated that they come together and organize to try and resist and change those conditions. But during the ’80s when the CIA began flooding poor Black communities with crack cocaine and guns to finance its illegal counter-revolutionary war against the democratically-elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua, and to further destabilize the poor Black communities making them more susceptible to subjugation and genocide, these social clubs and the oppressed communities they existed in became fractured and divided. Consequently, these social clubs became counter-revolutionary in that they lost sight of their original purpose and began to prey on the very people and neighborhoods they originally organized to defend, protect, and liberate.
One of the best examples of a social club becoming Revolutionary as the result of a radical transformation in the mentality of its membership is the 5,000-strong Slauson gang under the leadership of Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter. During the early ’60s, Bunchy was successful in uniting all of the various social clubs in Los Angeles under his leadership. According to Elder Freeman, a close comrade of Buchy’s, this was the first and only time in history that there was only one unified social club in Los Angeles. To build off of that success and momentum, Bunchy then spearheaded the formation of the Los Angeles Black Panther Party in 1967 which recruited heavily from the ranks of the Slauson gang. Because Bunchy was such a dynamic organizer and a charismatic leader who inspired other “street” brothers and sisters to become Revolutionaries, then FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, had Bunchy and his Black Panther comrade, John Huggins, killed in a COINTELPRO created beef between the Los Angeles Black Panther Party and Ron Karenga’s United Slaves Organization on January 17, 1968.
Following in the footsteps of Bunchy, who recognized the need to unify rival social clubs and redirect their aggression and rage away from each other and towards changing and improving the conditions of Black and oppressed people, General T.A.C.O. (a.k.a. Wolverine Shakur) and other FORMER Bloods and Crips came together in unity in 1996 and founded the Black Riders Liberation Party, otherwise known as the New Generation Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, at a youth gang prison in California. This Party was created as a political vehicle to build Revolutionary Black love and unity; serve the needs of the people in Black and oppressed communities; organize against white supremacy, capitalist oppression, and police brutality; and resurrect the spirit of the Black Power Movement. I want to emphasize to you brother that the Black Riders Liberation Party (BRLP) was founded by FORMER gang members because the LA Police Department and the FBI have attempted to label it as a gang in an effort to vilify them in the eyes of the general public, alienate them from the Black and oppressed communities in which they seek to serve, and to justify their continued harassment, imprisonment, and (attempted) assassination of its members. The same tactic was used against the original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense founded in West Oakland, CA by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
That a bunch of poor Black gang bangin’ youth were able to transform their criminality mentality into a Revolutionary mentality by taking the initiative to educate and politicize themselves behind the walls of a neo-slave plantation, and then uniting and founding a New Generation Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in the image and likeness of the original BPP, makes the racist power structure extremely uneasy. And then to have the audacity to organize chapters all across amerikkka from its base in Los Angeles brings on the most brutal and hostile kind of repression which the BRLP has experienced since its inception in 1996. And it is this kind of repression which evinces that the strategies and tactics of a Revolutionary organization are truly effective.
The sisters and brothers of the Black Riders–New Generation Black Panther Party for Self-Defense are the rising Black revolutionaries of our generation, the Revolutionaries Bloods and Crips, and virtually all Black social clubs which formed in oppressed communuties in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, were originally intended to be. Now, whether or not these social clubs can and will transition from counter-revolutionary to Revolutionary depends upon the willingness of their leadership to develop and organize them on a political and militant level that is rooted in an anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist framework.
All Power to the People!
Uhuru Rowe #1131545
Sussex II State Prison
24427 Musselwhite Drive
Waverly, VA 23981