Apr 14, 2022
In this episode we interview Dhoruba bin Wahad. A leading member of the New York Black Panther Party, a Field Secretary of the BPP responsible for organizing chapters throughout the East Coast, and a member of the Panther 21. He is a veteran and co-founder of the Black Liberation Army and a former political prisoner. He - and Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt - are, we believe, the only two Black political prisoners to use COINTELPRO documents to secure their release from political imprisonment. Both the FBI and NYPD settled with Dhoruba in lawsuits he filed against them for framing him.
There are a number of great writings and conversations with Dhoruba bin Wahad out there. But we asked Dhoruba to do this episode to discuss his political philosophy. He found our approach to that a bit humorous at times, but as one of our favorite thinkers, and someone who embodies their theory in social practice to a degree few of us can imagine, we hoped to contribute to his legacy in this way.
In this conversation we cover some common themes in Dhoruba’s writing, we ask about his ideology, his frequent use of the term “whirlwind,” Democratic Fascism, his emphasis on humanism, and the differing historical destinies of white and Black people in the US. Dhoruba talks about demands, encapsulation, the local nature of politics, Black sovereign thinking, solidarity, united fronts and political consequences for injustice. We also discuss the iconification of Assata Shakur and what it means to support the right of self-determination and the people who become political prisoners for exercising that right.
There were other questions and follow-ups we wanted to ask, but time did not allow for it. We hope that if possible we will be able to record a part 2 in the future.
More importantly, we want to note that we are not requesting financial support for our platform for this episode. Instead what we hope our listeners will do is contribute to the GoFundMe that Community Movement Builders has set up for Dhoruba bin Wahad’s medical fund. Dhoruba has stage 4 cancer and is in need of financial support. The GoFundMe will only be up for two more weeks, so if you can give something to that, please do so now. We’ll include a link to that in the show notes.