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'On Contact': Chris Hedges and Organizer Adam Jackson Discuss Black Activism for a New Era

A new generation of black activists is working to grow grass-roots movements to confront and change the U.S. political system. This week on “On Contact,” Chris Hedges talks to activist Adam Jackson, CEO of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), a Baltimore organization designed to advance public policy for black people around the country.

Jackson says that members of LBS see themselves as “Pan-African nationalists … the fundamental concept being that black people need to build for self, build institutions that can improve our quality of life as black people so we don’t rely on structural white supremacy to do so for us.” Their goal, according to Jackson, is to figure out how to “replace white supremacy with justice via building institutions for our people.”

LBS works on a local level to help implement its ideas, such as encouraging politicians in Baltimore to pass bail reform measures and creating a debate camp for children.

“Most revolution is local,” says Jackson, adding that people are deluding themselves if they believe they can change the policies and attitudes of the Trump administration and its supporters on a national level without working through local politics first.

In their conversation, Hedges notes that similar movements—such as Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panther Party and HandsUp United—function in direct conflict with the “black leadership class that has been co-opted by the Democratic Party and is complicit in militarization of the police, mass incarceration and the neoliberal agenda.”

When Hedges asks what LBS’ end goal is, Jackson says, “Winning would be black people being able to define our own destiny with our own organizations and infrastructure. … Being able to govern our own affairs on our own terms without white supremacy.”

Watch the interview in full below:

— Posted by Donald Kaufman.

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