The fact that much of this history is obscured coupled with the unfortunate reality that many of us in this social media world today do not have the discipline to engage in serious study around history, creates an environment where misinformation thrives. So, although I was a little disappointed, I wasn't shocked or upset when I read the comments of a very young African on Face Book today, who commenting on a video depicting the young Carmichael talking to Mike Wallace in the late 60s, said that Kwame was a sell out who sold out the BPP. The comments this youth made do have context. There is plenty of misinformation about the BPP out here today, including the true history of how they were actually founded. There are scores of accusations against Huey P. Newton, Elaine Brown, Geronimo Ji Jaga (Pratt), George Jackson, and Kwame Ture. A major reason why this misinformation exists is intentional. The FBI, to this day, continues to spread confusion by sponsoring dishonest biographies and articles, underwriting less than truthful documentaries, and doing everything they can to keep our youth confused. So, I wanted to set the record straight on what Kwame Ture did and didn't do as it relates to the BPP.
For people who know the operating tactics of the FBI's counter intelligence program, you know that one of their most used methods was to "badjacket" people. That's an FBI term which means creating a negative image of someone in the movement in an effort to create mistrust and confusion within the movement. The FBI did this by spreading malicious and untrue rumors about honest and dedicated activists. This was done to many people. They sent accusatory letters to Huey P,. Newton about Geronimo Ji Jaga which contributed to the scenario where no one spoke up on his behalf, thus setting the stage for him to spend 27 unjust years in prison. They played a role in the communication with young Johnathan Jackson, the younger brother to George Jackson, which had some influence on the actions which led to the courthouse takeover and shootout in Marin County in 1970. They badjacketed Samuel Napier, the hard working editor for the Black Panther Newspaper which led to Napier being viciously murdered. And, the FBI targeted Kwame Ture in numerous ways, including sending letters to Huey P. Newton while Newton was in jail, accusing Kwame of being an FBI informant. This is the unfortunate misinformation the young African was repeating in his comments on FB. Like all the other FBI generated lies, this one has been repeated often. Kwame sold out the BPP and ran to Africa.
What actually happened is that Kwame was summoned in 1970 to testify in front of the then House of un-American Activities which was a congressional committee which was enacted to engage in witch hunts against activists and people who dissented against the U.S. Advised by movement attorneys to testify to avoid jail time, the young Carmichael appeared for his hearing. Although it was a closed hearing, everyone who was there, including those representing the government, have acknowledged that Kwame gave them nothing to work with that day, instead choosing not to comment on any of the questions that were posed against him. Clearly, had the young Stokely Carmicahel - the poster child for the Black Power movement - snitched on anyone or any organization within the African liberation movement, the FBI would have sang it from the mountain tops in an effort to discredit the movement. Yet, although the lie that Kwame sold out is repeated, none of the people repeating it can illustrate anything concrete he did to discredit the BPP, because no such actions existed. In fact, the only evidence of any of this was Huey P. Newton's statement made shortly after his 1970 release from jail where he accused Kwame of being an informant, charges Huey later renounced as being influenced by the misinformation letters he was receiving.
Its important to address these issues because that youth isn't the only person operating on this confusion. The other often repeated element, and this one is more widely copied than the BPP allegation, is that Kwame ran to Africa. Just the fact that this statement could even be made speaks volumes to the level of identity confusion that exists among African people. The logic of such a statement is based in the belief that America is the core and center of the African liberation struggle, and every other struggle, and that in order for someone to really be doing serious work, they have to be in America. This point of view is wildly influenced by white supremacy and capitalism. The U.S. isn't the center of anything except greed and confusion. If one understands anything about world politics and economics, its quite clear that the U.S. economy is based squarely on the backs of the African continent. Exploiting everything from Africa, all the way down to the columbite tantilite that is powering the device you are using to read these comments. There is no question that Kwame Nkrumah was correct when he said "the core of the Black revolution is in Africa and until Africa is free, no African anywhere will be free!" Capitalism is a worldwide system of exploitation. There is no place on the planet, not even the few socialist countries like Cuba, where you can escape capitalist domination. Certainly not in Africa which has been the resource pool for capitalism for 500+ years. What also must be included in this part of the discussion is this extremely sad and uninformed sentiment rising up today that is attempting to separate Africans in America from Africa. This new confusion even boldly and ignorantly asserts that we are not descendants of Africa and that we have always been in the Western Hemisphere. This is a very unfortunate aspect of this intellectually devoid society we live in today. I'm quite sure there are some Africans who left Africa on their own before colonialism. These people traveled to the Western Hemisphere when Europeans believed the world to be flat. They engaged in civil and respectful trade relationships with Asians and the Indigenous people's of the Western Hemisphere. This happened, but this was no where close to the majority of people. It was not even a large percentage. That's why I don't know a single person who's origins point in this direction and neither do you, but I can stop any African on the street, no matter what country they were born in throughout the Western Hemisphere, and I can point out in a fast and ill-refutable way where that African's family name and ties point directly to the slave ship. So, there is clearly no scientific and historical basis for this confusion which leads me to conclude that it's only purpose is to further separate us philosophically and psychologically from Africa. Separating Africans from Africa has always been a primary tactic of the capitalist system because in order for it to insure it has free rein to continue to steal our wealth, they have to make sure we are looking the other way. If we don't see ourselves as being connected to Africa, we won't question their continued plundering of our homeland. And, we won't make the connection between our continued suffering and what they are doing in Africa. Their objective is to continue to own Africa, while leaving us to be satisfied with the nebulous and unscientific concept of black pride.
Finally, those who are serious about studying history and taking responsibility to carry it forward, should study the work Kwame Ture did once he moved to Guinea-Conakry in 1969. Guinea is one of the three or four poorest countries on the planet today and Kwame lived there the last 30 years of his life organizing for revolutionary Pan-Africanism by building the All African Committee for Political Coodination (A-ACPC) into the All African People's Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) as called for by his mentors Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Ture (the two people he took his name from). Kwame could have been mayor of any big city in the U.S. Possibly governor, maybe more, but he had no interest in any of that. His interest was in the total liberation of his people. So he lived and worked humbly for those last 30 years while the people spreading misinformation about him - saying he sold out - live in comfort within U.S. capitalism today, eating well, living well, and doing absolutely nothing to attack the capitalist system which manages our oppression. We have far to many keyboard revolutionaries right now. People who do nothing except watch and critique other people's perspectives and work while you do nothing except front like a revolutionary behind the comfort of your computer. We don't need or want anymore people like that. What we need is more selfless and courageous people like Kwame Ture who worked tirelessly to educate and organize us to the necessity to unite and liberate Mother Africa. Kwame Ture deserves our respect. He helped stabilize an organization dedicated to fighting our people's liberation that continues on 16 years after his physical transition in several countries around the world while you who spread lies about him cannot even organize a neighborhood get together.