RAM Philly & Afrofuturist Abolitionists of the Americas

From Solecast

In today’s episode of the solecast we have an in-depth discussion of anarchic black radicalism with comrades from  Ram Philly & Afrofuturist Abolitionists of the Americas.  Anarchic Black Radicalism draws on the history of Black Panthers, early abolitionists, Black Nationalism/Liberation Movements and more to synthesize a distinct form of black anarchism.  We talk about how recent social movements have radicalized a new generation of black youth and how anarchist ideas have gained traction in their wake.  We talk about the importance of centering trans and disabled people and what steps people of color can take to build their own spaces for organizing that aren’t centered around white activists.    We go over about some of the theoretical bases that form their analysis and some of the writers and texts that have informed this direction.   

For more information follow Afrofuturist Abolitionists of the Americas  or Ram Philly

Music “Pass Dat” by Sima Lee  

Some texts discussed: 

Combahe River Collective  

Anarchy of Colored Girls Assembled a Riotous Manner  

Between Infoshops and Insurrection  

The Writings of Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin 

Solecast w/ Zoe Samudzi As Black As Resistance 

There are 3 Comments

I'm curious what the point of using a word like anark*ta is? The interview subjects refer to ak*ta as a slur, which I understand there is some disagreement about. It is certainly a Yoruba word that africans use to describe black americans, so it is not a slur to be reclaimed from an oppressor trying to degrade black people; but there are also opinions among some students of the language that it is not a slur and it is also not a word for non-yoruba people to use or "reclaim" (as it was never theirs). Does all this suggest that there's even vast portions of the black populace that should not be saying this word, or are these themselves minority takes?

The meaning suggesting a wild or feral cat removed from one's home(land) is cool, but I've also seen that it does not mean panther and to suggest some sort of anarcho-pantherism also confuses the understanding of it. I assume the use comes from the interviewees relation to the word in personal experience, so there's probably something I'm missing?

I think RAM is doing some cool stuff with how they’re drawing on black liberation stuff. I just worry about how hyper focused they are with their identity politicking. As a trans person I’m glad they’re centering queer and trans voiced but I’m kind of over hearing the political garbling around identity. RAM nyc has also really confusing politics with their uncritical support of Rojava as a anarchist project which it isn’t. It’s largely a national/ethnic liberation struggle which is fine but it’s not anarchist. Ram just seems obsessed with identity and supporting the right struggles right now. I don’t see them offering anything critical just sort of rehashing some of the same boring leftist positions that end up a waste of breath. I’m interested in afropessimism untethered from identity.

i'm also into afropessimism. i'd be excited to see if and how it gets linked to black liberation struggles. a lot of the newer wave of anarkata/black anarchic stuff is a not spiky enough for me, a lot of social focus (helping people who are suffering without necessarily being into their struggle) that i can't get into. with afropessimist ideas things can take a negative turn that for me dovetails nicely with nihilist ideas and insurrectionary practice.
that said, the afropessimists i've read dont come out explicitly in support of the kind of destructive activity that their analysis implies is important to move in liberatory directions. i guess that's what happens when youre in academia tho. a part of me would like to see afropessimism ideas that comes out of conflictual activity in a more explicit way than what i've read so far.

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