Led by a broad coalition of Black organizations and community members, the first State of Black Oakland People’s Assembly will be convened this Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at historic Geoffrey’s Inner Circle. CRC strongly encourages the participation of any and all Black folks who live, work, and/or have community in Oakland, whether affiliated with a political organization or not.
Correct assessment is the primary precondition for correct action. In this historical moment, it is critical for Black people to get together to assess our collective situation in a comprehensive manner.
The primary purpose for the first State of Black Oakland is to listen to the needs, demands, and wisdom of the Black community. Our goal is to bring together a broad cross section of people in order to hear as many perspectives as possible.
The basic framework that will be used for the State of Black Oakland is the 9 Areas of Self Determination:
Traditions & Ways
It is our belief that the Black community in Oakland has the capacity for total Self Determination in all of these 9 areas. The problems we face as a community are not the result of a lack of capability, but a lack of organization, discipline, and power.
We are raising the issue of Self Determination in this space because it is important to be clear that Self Determination is the only solution to the problems we face. Our communities are consistently presented with fallacious or superficial solutions that are just remixed versions of the same white supremacy that has oppressed Africans since slavery and ultimately serve the interests of the White Power Structure.
We define “the White Power Structure” as a network of institutions (public school systems, hospitals, State governing bodies, corporate media, etc.) that collaborate with each other to enforce white supremacy and the exploitation of poor and working people for the profit of the (majority white) ruling class (who consolidated their wealth through the colonization of so-called "North American" land, the genocide of Indigenous people, and the enslavement of African people).
The White Power Structure will maintain its power through consent or conquest. Right now, we are living in an age of manufactured consent, which is only conquest in sheep’s clothing. Concealed through the manufacturing of consent, the White Power Structure’s goal of conquest over Black people is still being achieved.
As a community, we need to build on principled points of unity. We must also combat messianic ideas of liberation; the belief that one individual or group of individuals has the answer to our problems. In the struggle for Black communal Self Determination, there are no saviors. We are all leaders and must all take part in our liberation efforts. We have to save ourselves.