It is difficult to comprehend that an outstanding historian and Egyptologist would be given a “slave burial.” This is a far cry from burials in Kmt. Since Kmt, there has been the enslavement of persons of African ancestry. Our people were reduced to chattel slavery. During this period, most of us, according to Malcolm X, “lost our minds.”
We were never freed from chattel slavery. Instead, we were emancipated. Liberation and emancipation are not synonyms. The struggle continues for liberation and not for civil rights and certainly not for “$ilver rites.” Our goal must be clear. We must control our own destiny.
The twin carriers of slavery are reputation evidence and habit evidence. Dr. Carter G. Woodson sought to address habit evidence in “Miseducation of the Negro.” Black lawyers have failed to address reputation evidence under the Thirteenth Amendment which is now an incubator for the “badges of slavery.” White attorneys are not going to do it for us.
During chattel slavery, blacks were unable to secure legal access to the judicial system or to retain legal counsel. To make matters worse, law schools were not established to provide legal representation to blacks. This is a real problem for blacks in the prison-industrial complex. See, for example, Wayne Williams and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Instead of ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment, our former slaveholders sought to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which would allow for some contractual protections but not for any constitutional rights. Instead of according to our ancestors a Bill of Rights, they were accorded a Bill of Rites.
During chattel slavery, “legalese” was unavailable to “slaves.” Our ancestors were given burials without legal protections. The law of wills enables the deceased to bequeath his or her property to the surviving and remaining class. Wills arose in Kmt. They are about preserving legacies.
Dred Scott has defined descendants of enslaved Africans as a “class.” The survivors, therefore, should pledge, ethically, not to squander the legacy. This is happening to Dr. John Henrik Clarke. Black publishers are picking the pockets of his estate. This is Negro cannibalism. It is an attack on the class.
For example, Gil Noble and Elombe Brath left us “Like It Is.” It is reflected in our history and in our culture. Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Yosef ben Jochannan were mainstays on “Like It Is.” No media company, under FCC law, can own the airwaves. Thus, the black community still owns “Like It Is.” “Here and Now” is an interloper.
“Meet the Press” is a fixture. Similarly, “Face the Nation” is also a fixture. Both have had several hosts but the format has remained constant. They provide public affairs programming. These programs are propaganda tools for white supremacy. They must remain intact.
On the other hand, and after the death of Gil Noble, “Like It Is” was renamed “Here and Now.” There was also a change of format. It is now mostly “arts and entertainment.” This programming is a proponent of Negro inferiority. It is designed to dumb down blacks and stabilize a symbiotic relationship with white supremacy. Dr. Clarke and Dr. Ben are turning over in their graves.
Under FCC law, media companies must satisfy the needs of the community. There must be a media rights organization which enjoys standing before the FCC. Based on the public record, “Friends of Like It Is” comes closest to satisfying this legal standard. No other organization in the black community is in the mix.
I held legal workshops after Gil’s death to prepare for May 1, 2014. “Friends of Like It Is” was on notice to mount challenges to license renewals in the tri-state area. Membership was given a timetable for the FCC in 2012. Other black organizations should have known about the May 1, 2014 deadline. No one has acted on behalf of Gil Noble and Elombe Brath.
I made a request for the return of some of my funds that had been advanced to the black community and to United African Movement and to the Freedom Party. I was given a thumbs down. This was a gesture to Dr. Ben and to Dr. John Henrik Clarke in addition to Tawana Brawley. I would have to employ my own funds if I were interested in preserving their legacies and sufferings. Our community needs HELP.
I also outlined a blueprint for the proper burial of “Dr. Ben.” His death affected not only a family but also a class. There would be a “Symposium on Race and History” to be administered by the Freedom Party. First and foremost, the panel would include an estate lawyer and a copyright lawyer. There would also be a historian and a journalist.
No one in the Freedom Party has ever given me a report on the symposium nor has anyone given me a financial accounting even though funds were collected. The slaveholders have taught our people that all “slaves” are equal. Therefore, you should only listen to a white man for instructions. Our people are beholden to slave instructions by any white man. Slave instructions breed “Negro inferiority.”
An effective and legitimate, black organization must have competent personnel. This includes an attorney, an accountant, a bookkeeper and a legal secretary. There must also be a house organ and a war chest in addition to a work ethic. These are basic necessities. Otherwise, this “organization” is a social club. The UNIA is an ideal business model.
In a posthumous tribute to Gil Noble by WABC-TV, several prominent blacks made cameo appearances. They went MIA while “Friends of Like It Is” was being established as a media rights organization. I did the planning and the financing of the legal workshops in addition to trips to Washington, DC.
“Slaves” lacked the power or authority to enter into contracts or to own property in a judicial system which respects private property. In chattel slavery, they could only expect a burial on untitled property. For most blacks, it is still a slave burial absent legalese. Estate planning for the class is absent.