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A fresh perspective on old ideas

Historically, in order for Black intellectual products to be viable to mainstream society, there needed to be a white institution to stamp the validity of the intellectual product.  Even artistic concepts that pertain specifically to Black people have often required white people, and their institutions, to sanction them as legitimate.

LBS’ autonomous intellectual innovations are products created by members of the organization aligned with our particular framework and beliefs.  These innovations include music and spoken word projects, critical texts and poetry books, paraphernalia and more.

Through our private trainings, public talks, published books and music, curated art, and retail merchandise we are able to share, and when possible monetize, our work allowing for a uniquely independent perspective on issues impacting our community that we hope gains more traction in the academic and cultural mainstream.

The value of our autonomous intellectual innovations lies in its function as an accessory of learning and entertainment that helps to concretize a lot of the hyper-intellectual aspects of our work into a common and more digestible format.

Our innovations offer a sustainable financial contribution to our on-going work and way for Black families and communities who may not have the time and energy to labor with us in the work, to invest and mutually benefit from products that educate and entertain.

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Current Projects

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  • Malcolm X Talks are monthly series of free conversations, seminars, and workshops that are free to the public and offer reflections on the Black experience in Baltimore.  Join us, usually on the last Friday of the month, as we unpack complex public policy, elevate the voice and work of Black people, and share our art and autonomous intellectual innovations.  Our Malcolm X Talks serve as a resource for 21st Century nation-building.
  • We view ourselves as political ambassadors animated by the legacy of the Black freedom struggle. As such, we honor our commitment to education and political change by creating talks that are engaging, challenging, and interactive. 
  • Our past events have integrated spoken word and hip hop performances, audio-visual imagery, public debate formats, and panel discussions as our preferred means for information dissemination. All of our events emphasize a focus on audience participation and allow for question and answer time.

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  • The Black Book: Reflections from Baltimore’s Grassroots is a text that puts academic theory in conversation with the lived experience of black folks in one of America’s most dysfunctional cities. The collection of essays shows how Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle has applied some of the most cutting edge theoretical concepts in their grassroots activism, creating a unique text which combines academic analysis with personal narrative to grounds abstract theory in the real life struggle.
  • Rare voices that have intimate experience with the academy, but are not beholden to its stylistic and political limitations, the authors provide frank commentary on the contemporary crisis in Black politics, calling out seemingly benevolent institutions such as nonprofits and showing the links between liberal academic discourses and the continuing devaluation of black bodies and the notion of black autonomy.
  • Their advocacy of African centered thought deployed toward the goal of producing independent Black institutions yields practical policy and personal recommendation for addressing the continuing system of racism/white supremacy, in the hope that by posing better questions, better answers can be found in these most precarious of times.

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  • Our philosophy is one developed through the activity of high school and college debate. In debate not matter how much you dislike an argument, you have to take it seriously, address its fundamental points of logic, and then deconstruct them through argument. While emotion is an essential part of our debate praxis and answering opposing arguments, relaying on emotion as a tool to avoid answering/engaging arguments was a certain path to losing debates, and we’ve found that engaging even arguments that feel wrong or even offensive has been an essential learning process for us and our students.
  • New Timbuktu archive reflects this pedagogical theory and takes a “big tent” approach to aggregating scholarship. Despite its name, it is not an archive dominated by Afrocentric theorists, nor does it exclusively favor any particular theory of relating to Blackness and its politics (Black Marxism, Afrocentric, Black Anarchism, Post-Blackness, Black Democratic Populism, etc.) over another. It simply tries to present as many different iterations of Black (progressive) thought as possible to allow the view to decide which views they relate to most.

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