Black Radical Congress

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The Black Radical Congress or BRC is an organization founded in 1998 in Chicago. It is a grassroots network of individuals and organizations of African descent focused on advocating for broad progressive social justice, racial equality and economic justice goals within the United States.

History[edit]

At the organizing congress in Chicago in June 1998, 2,000 people participated in creating the organization.[1] However, their first mission predates the organizing congress, having been publicly endorsed and published by a number of high-profile black scholars and activists on 16 March 1998.[2]

On 17 April 1999, the BRC ratified a "freedom agenda" listing 15 objectives dealing with racial and economic justice in the United States.[3] The National Council of the BRC adopted a mission statement on 26 September 1999 in East St. Louis, Illinois. The opening paragraph states:

The purpose of the Black Radical Congress (BRC) is to promote dialogue among African American activists and scholars on the left; to discuss critical issues on the national and international scene that pertain to the Black community; to explore new strategies and directions for progressive political, social and cultural movements; and to renew the Black radical movement through increased unified action.[4]

The complete mission statement [1] discusses approaches to radical democratic methods involving conferences, forums and publications. "Principles of unity" were also adopted, stating that the BRC was established as a "center without walls" focusing on "transformative politics that focuses on the conditions of Black working and poor people."[5]

A national organizing conference was convened in Detroit in 2000, and other conferences have taken place in subsequent years. [6]

Organization[edit]

The BRC has both individual and organizational memberships. It is headed by a National Congress.[citation needed]

Each year, the BRC chooses a different "theme" to focus its work on; past themes have included anti-militarism and the prison-industrial complex.[1]

The BRC has at least two caucuses, subgroups within the organization, the labor and working-class caucus and the Pat Parker Queer Caucus.[7]

The BRC has local chapters in Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Bay Area; Sacramento, California; Minneapolis; St. Louis; New York City; Raleigh, North Carolina; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.[8]

Principles[edit]

Race and racial justice[edit]

The BRC states: "Black is not necessarily a color or hue, but encompasses all peoples of African descent."[9] Their work is focused on racial justice as well as broader social and economic justice as it intersects with the politics of race and racial oppression.

Radical politics[edit]

"Radical means getting to the root causes of society's injustices and working for root-level, fundamental change. Radicalism is an honored tradition in Black political history."[9]

The BRC has many ties to the Communist Party, USA, although the Congress does not explicitly identify itself as communist, socialist or Marxist.

Endorsers[edit]

A number of high-profile black scholars and activists endorsed the creation of the BRC on 16 March 1998:[10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Black Radical Congress", Columbia University social justice wiki, accessed 2 January 2007
  2. ^ "Black Radical Congress Mission", accessed 2 January 2007
  3. ^ "Freedom Agenda Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.", accessed 2 January 2007
  4. ^ "Mission Statement of the Black Radical Congress (BRC) Archived February 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.", accessed 2 January 2007
  5. ^ "Principles of Unity Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.", accessed 2 January 2007
  6. ^ Rogers, Jamala. “From Conference to Organization: The Challenges of Building the Black Radical Congress.” The Black Scholar, vol. 35, no. 1, 2005, pp. 27. www.jstor.org/stable/41069115.
  7. ^ "Email Lists Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.", accessed 2 January 2007; "A Statement by the Pat Parker Queer Caucus of the Black Radical Congress Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.", dated 19 June 2005, accessed 2 January 2007
  8. ^ "Local Organizing Committees Archived December 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.", accessed 2 January 2007
  9. ^ a b "Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.", accessed 2 January 2007
  10. ^ "Black Radical Congress Mission," accessed 2 January 2007