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The African Peoples Socialist Party (APSP) is a left-wing pan-Africanist organization working towards reparations for slavery in the United States, identifying ideologically with African internationalism and African socialism.[1] The party was formed in May 1972 by the merger of three black power organizations based in Florida and Kentucky. Omali Yeshitela, one of the original co-founders, leads the APSP as of 2019.[2][1][3]

African People's Socialist Party
AbbreviationAPSP
ChairmanOmali Yeshitela
FoundedMay 1972 (1972-05)
HeadquartersSt. Petersburg, Florida
NewspaperThe Burning Spear Newspaper
IdeologyAfrican internationalism
African socialism
Anti-imperialism
Black nationalism
Black separatism
Pan-Africanism
Reparations for slavery
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationInternational People's Democratic Uhuru Movement
Website
apspuhuru.org

The APSP's stated goals are "to keep the Black Power Movement alive, defend the countless Africans locked up by the counterinsurgency, and develop relationships with Africa and Africans worldwide".[4]

HistoryEdit

The APSP was founded in 1972 — emerging from three earlier Black organisations in Florida, namely: the Junta of Militant Organizations (JOMO), the Black Rights Fighters, and the Black Study Group. JOMO, the most influential of the three organisations then led by Yeshitela, was a Black organisation protesting against racial discrimination, and racist police brutality and abuses against people of African descent in Florida, United States. Omali Yeshitela, who was then the chairman of JOMO also founded APSP in 1972 and became its chairman.[2] According to Klehr, the APSP styles its members as "true, genuine communists."[1][3] That same year (1972), the APSP adopted the oldest Black Power newspaper in the U.S. — The Burning Spear Newspaper as its official publication.[3]

The APSP established the African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC) in 1976. The APSC is a Euro-American/European people organisation "that works in solidarity with the struggle for African liberation and the unification of Africa and African people worldwide." The role of the APSC is to raise funds through donor campaigns and economic development campaigns operated by the APSP. In defense of this controversial move/organisation which is contrary to the true spirit of Pan-Africanism,[5] the APSP "argues that it forms a revolutionary force within the white community and that its campaigns enabled the Black revolution to reclaim stolen resources."[6]

In September 1979, the party founded the African National Prison Organization (ANPO) following a 4 September 1977 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Several nationalist organisations attended that meeting where the importance of, and the need for developing greater unity between pro-independence forces were established. It was decided that the ANPO "would be the gateway to building a national liberation front. Additionally, the participants at the meeting established five principles as the basis for forming the ANPO, which were self-determination, political independence, anti-imperialism, anticolonialism, and self-defense."[6]

In 1981, the party moved its national office to Oakland, California, and opened the Uhuru house.[2] The first party congress was held in Oakland in 1982. At that congress, the party passed a resolution to create the African Socialist International (ASI) organization. The ASI sought to be the "international party of the African working class",[7] and has held conferences in various countries outside the United States.

The APSP also founded the African National Reparations Organization in 1982, and the First World Tribunal on Reparations for African People was held in Brooklyn, New York.[8] On its official website, the APSP claims that "through this work, the African People's Socialist Party gave birth to the modern Reparations Movement."[9] Martin and Yaquinto however posits that, in the National Black Political Assembly's (NBPA) Black Agenda report published in 1974, the NBPA "endorsed the concept of African American reparations." Citing Hakim (Hakim, I. T., Reparations, the Cure for America's Race Problem. Hampton. Va.; U.B. and U.S. Communication System, 1994), the authors however went on to write that: "The African National Reparations Organization linked to the African People's Socialist Party has conducted yearly tribunals on U.S. racism since 1982 and demanded $4.1 trillion in reparations for stolen labor."[10] That financial reparation was initially demanded at the First World Tribunal on Reparations for African People's 1982 meeting, which concluded that, "the United States owned $4.1 trillion for the crime of genocide against African Americans and the unpaid labor provided by them and their descendants during the period of slavery."[8] The stated objective of the movement is to obtain compensation for the injustices of slavery, as well as segregation and neocolonialism since then.[8][10]

In the mid 1990s, the party's national office moved back to St. Petersburg, Florida.[2]

On December 11, 2017, Omali Yeshitela announced that YouTuber Gazi Kodzo would become the Secretary General of the African People's Socialist Party. In January, it was claimed by the party that Gazi Kodzo was removed from the position and expelled from the party on November 18, 2018 for disciplinary reasons following a vote.[11] Kodzo and other former party members who also recently split from the party deny being removed. In his video records, Kodzo claims he chose to leave the party (see the external links heading for his video responses), and upon learning this the party then issued the statement that Kodzo had been disciplinarily ejected.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Klehr, Harvey, Far Left of Center: The American Radical Left Today, Transaction Publishers (1988), p. 118-119, ISBN 9781412823432 [1] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  2. ^ a b c d Shujaa, Mwalimu J.; Shujaa, Kenya J.; The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, SAGE Publications (2015), p. 316 ISBN 9781506300504 [2] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  3. ^ a b c The Weekly Challenger, The Burning Spear celebrates 50 years, December 20, 2018 [3] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  4. ^ "African People's Socialist Party-USA - History". asiuhuru.org. African People's Socialist Party. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Tani, E.; and Kae Sera; False Nationalism False Internationalism: Class Contradictions in the Armed Struggle, Seeds Beneath the Snow Publications (1985), pp. 163-229, PDF [in] readmarxeveryday.org - [4] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  6. ^ a b Umoja, Akinyele; Stanford, Karin L.; Young, Jasmin A.; Black Power Encyclopedia: From "Black is Beautiful" to Urban Uprisings, ABC-CLIO (2018), p. 811, ISBN 9781440840074 [5] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  7. ^ Yeshitela, Omali. "Main Resolution (2004)". asiuhuru.org. African Socialist International. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Araujo, Ana Lucia, Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History, Bloomsbury Publishing (2017), p. 159, ISBN 9781350010604 [6] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  9. ^ The African People’s Socialist Party-USA official website. "History" : Founding of the African People's Socialist Party, [7] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  10. ^ a b Martin, Michael T.; and Yaquinto, Marilyn; (contributors: Lyons, David; and Brown, Michael K.), Redress for Historical Injustices in the United States: On Reparations for Slavery, Jim Crow, and Their Legacies, Duke University Press (2007), p. 362, ISBN 9780822389811[8] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  11. ^ APSP's official website: Important PSA of the African People’s Socialist Party, (November 18, 2018)[9] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)

External linksEdit

  • The Bridge, A Day of Reparations Stops in Portland by Rory Elliott, November 21, 2018 [10] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  • For more on the background of this organisation, see Tani, E.; and Kae Sera; False Nationalism False Internationalism: Class Contradictions in the Armed Struggle, Seeds Beneath the Snow Publications (1985), p. 163-229, PDF [in] readmarxeveryday.org - [11] (Retrieved 19 April 2019)
  • Gazi Kodzo's Youtube video responses to his alleged expulsion as Secretary General [12]; [13]; [14]; [15]