Plenary and Session Questions
Questions for Thursday’s Plenary
1. When the demand for Black Power was declared in Greenwood, MS in 1966 it spread like wildfire throughout the world. First, how do you understand Black Power? How was Black Power understood in the liberation movements in your country? And briefly describe how the demand for Black Power influenced the demands and programs of the liberation movement(s) in your country, homeland or region?
2. The Black Power Movement without question changed the world. However, the quest for its fulfillment remains incomplete. Why did the movement fall short of its aims and objectives? What were the external challenges? What were the internal challenges?
3. One of the weaknesses of the Black Power Movement was its ambiguous definition and meaning. In the United States, its definition varied from national independence and sovereignty for Black people to Black Capitalism. The question is what can and must we do in the here and now to better define and come to some consensus on the definition and meaning of Black Power?
4. What do you see as the overall present weaknesses of the Black Liberation and Pan-Afrikan movements, and what can and must we do to rebuild them?
Questions for Friday’s Plenary
1. As we reflect on the positives and negatives, gains and setbacks of the last 50 years, we have to ask ourselves: What are the central lessons that we should draw from the successes and shortcomings of the Black Power Movement?
2. One of the weaknesses of the Black Power Movement was its ambiguous definition and meaning. In the United States, its definition varied from national independence and sovereignty for Black people to Black Capitalism. The question is what can and must we do in the here and now to better define and come to some consensus on the definition and meaning of Black Power?
3. Given the historic and ongoing challenges many of our liberation movements and ideologies have with sexism, patriarchy, ableism and other systems of oppression and exclusion how do we collectively incorporate the insights and lessons of intersectional theory and practice - drawn from Black feminist, womanist, queer, and differently abled theory, organizing, and experience?
4. In order to make Black Power, Black Self-Determination and Social Liberation real, we think that we can all agree that we must be organized, and organized on a high level. The question is how do we advance from our present challenges & weaknesses to form/create dynamic self-determining organization? What should our programmatic focus be to enable us to attain this level of self-organization? What kind of formations or relationships between organizations would help facilitate us being organized on the highest level?
Saturday and Sunday
Thematic Group Outlines and Tasks
Each Thematic Group will meet throughout the day in each of the 4 Breakout Sessions listed below. The objective is to go deep in each of these 4-Theme centered areas to develop the outlines of a program of action for building and attaining Black Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation in the 21st century.
Economics: Building an Economy for the People and the Planet
We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a program that addresses how we should produce and secure the essential material goods (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) and various productive (ex. construction work) and social (ex. medical) services needed for us all to have materially secure lives.
This group should attempt to address the issue of how Black people are going to collectively secure and/or seize control of the means of production - i.e. the control of the necessary land, water, other natural resources, tool production, food production, energy production, education, communication, and material goods – to eliminate our exploitation.
Politics: The Struggle for Power, Self-Determination and Social Liberation
We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a program that builds political power, that is the ability to collectively determine when, where, why, how and to whom resources and social services are provided and distributed in society.
Climate and Ecology: Honoring our Relations and Saving Ourselves and Our Future
We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a comprehensive program that a) protects our environment and preserves the diversity of the earth’s ecosystems to sustain the diversity of complex life and b) develops innovative ways that will enable our species to live without material scarcity while regenerating the earth’s biodiversity.
Culture: Creating a Just Society and Social Order for All
We are asking the participants in this group to focus on the development of a comprehensive program that fosters the development new of practices and systems of social liberation, that is the development of social relationships that are only inhibited by mutually informed consent, not systems and practices of manufactured consent or social, religious, state sanctioned or market driven coercion that foster the oppression, subjugation and exploitation of humans by humans.
Questions for Saturday
Please keep in mind that we are not trying to build one super organization, but rather we are trying to unite on the development of a set of activities and institutions, i.e. a program, that we can engage throughout the African world with appropriate contextualization of space, time and conditions on a local, regional, national and international scale to build our collective strength and power.
What types of activities (campaigns, projects, programs, etc.) and institutions do we need to build (Economically, Politically, Ecologically and Climatically, and Culturally)?
Why should we engage in these types of activities and build these types of institutions? To what ends are we building them?
How can and should we organize these activities and build these institutions? How will we resource these activities and institutions with sufficient labor, money, etc.?
How do we adapt our present work to correlate with this broad program when and where possible? When should we aim to start building concrete links between our work and this programmatic vision?
Questions for Sunday
How do we link the visions and work done by each Breakout Group? What commonalities do we see? What differences? How do we overcome the differences?
Collective Discussion Part #1
How do we link the visions and work done by each Breakout Group? What commonalities do we see? How do we build on the commonalities? What differences? How do we overcome our differences?
Collective Discussion Part #2
What are our preliminary points of consensus? Where do we go from here? How do we communicate our discussion and process with others? How do we continue the conversation and process of collective program development beyond this conference?