Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

A 21st century political strategy for black America could turn these state level Green parties into red, black and green parties by doing what the Democratic Party would do if it were a peoples party, but cannot and will not. It would entail running candidates for state legislator, for sheriff and prosecutor who pledge to find ways to roll back the tide of black mass incarceration, to oppose privatization of public resources on every level, to uphold the rights of humans over the rights of corporations. I wrote two articles back in 2005, How to Make Mass Incarceration A Political Issue, and It’s Time to Build A Mass Movement which examined how running campaigns in black constituencies against mass black incarceration might spark an authentic movement in black communities that would put elderly church ladies in the same rooms and in the same political formations as young people. It’s still the way to go. It’s the way we’re going in Georgia.

A new black political strategy would have to look beyond the next election cycle or two, and advocate policy positions, like the restoration of human rights over corporate ones, an end to privatization of schools and prisons, that cannot be accomplished in the next elections. It’s not that hard. People all over the world form political parties to struggle for what they believe they need even when elections are illegal. Only in the US do supposed political activists limit the dimensions of their struggle to what might be pushed through the legislature this year or next. What they have in those other places is something we lost with the slow death of the movement in the sixties and seventies, a culture of struggle for its own sake, whether the goals are achievable this year or next, this decade or the next. With such a spirit, anything is possible, even the politically impossible.

Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member since last year, of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. Deal with it. He can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)

Article Submission: Bobby Ward


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