In Search of Black Power challenges conventional narratives around Black policy, Black movements, and Black Life.
We focus on creating a new language to discuss the issues presenting Black America, with a focus on independent institutional building and seeing Black folks as the solutions to our own problems. New episodes every Wednesday @ 12PM.
New Episodes every Wednesday @ Noon
Samantha Mellerson is with the W. Haywood Burns Institute, a national Black led organization that works to dismantle structural racism. We discuss the mainstream criminal justice reform movement and its successes and challenges.
A discussion on: the power dynamics within inter-racial adoptions; the politics of the Democratic party and an over-reliance on the Supreme Court and; potential legislative solutions to build Black power in the child welfare space.
We analyze how Child “Welfare” criminalizes poverty, targets Black families for family separation and serves as a vector of policing and structural violence.
Part Two of our conversation around the Left and its engagement (or lack thereof) with urban gun violence.
Lawrence and Dayvon address some of the political reasons why the left fails to address gun violence in Black urban communities. The left’s failure to address Black community’s immediate material needs for security and self-determination is exposed to be a critical reason why working-class Black voters seem reluctant to vote for leftist candidates.
Senator Jill P. Carter is the most progressive member of the Maryland State Senate and long time Maryland legislator. She discusses her battles with the Democratic Party establishment in Maryland.
Lawrence and Rasheem give a presentation on the limitations of the mainstream “Community Violence Intervention” programming, expose some of the fundamental limitations of their approach.
In this special two-part episode, Lawrence and Rasheem start with a discussion of Roe’s repeal, what it means for the Black community and how we got here. We then transition to an episode recorded before Roe’s repeal, where they discuss some of the larger dynamics around reproductive justice.
Rasheem and Larence talk about the research, and their personal experiences, relating to physical discipline. They’ll seek to understand why, despite research on the empirical harms of physical discipline, so many Black parents feel it is a part of a necessary part of raising Black kids.
Lawrence and Rasheem talk about the racial dynamics of addiction and harm reduction. They cover critiques of 12 Step/Narcotics Anonymous, the need for harm reduction, and legitimate critiques of harm reduction designed to push the movement to a more racially equitable frame.
Dayvon Love and Lawrence Grandpre from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS) explore the value of Afro-pessimism from the perspective of grassroots activism. They correct mischaracterizations of Afro-pessimism as a prescriptive call for academic nihilism and explain it as a political lens to understand how Blackness functionally historically as fuel for people’s fears and fantasies. They also discuss how this knowledge has helped LBS navigate the political terrain and achieve on the ground political victories.
Black advocates are demanding A “Red, Black, and Green” new deal to address environmental racism and fund Black advocacy around environmentalism. While the advocacy is being branded as a Pan African, race concious alternative to the Green New Deal – an investigation of the advocacy reveals the limits of foundation-driven advocacy and the need for genuine study of Pan Africanism to develop autonomous political institutions which provide better solutions for our movement and our climate.
In this conversation with the founder of Fight Blight Baltimore, Nneka Nnamdi, we will discuss the politics of urban space, gentrification, and predatory wealth extraction policies of Baltimore City.
The hosts discuss how Critical Race Theory is a critical heuristic and tool to analyze power and understand Black history. We engage the history behind critical race theory and explain how it comes out of a Black radical tradition hostile to the nonprofit industrial complex and simplistic liberalism increasingly trying to co-opt the term.
Lawrence and Rasheem discuss Howard University professor Ivory Toldson’s book No B.S. (Bad Stats), with a focus on debunking popular yet false “statistics” around Black education, explaining the role of data in furthering the oppression of Afrikan people, and presenting tips for how to avoid falling into B.S. (Bad Stats) trap.
We analyze “The Whiteness of Wealth” by Dorothy A. Brown – which argues homeownership fails to fulfill its promise to stabilize Black communities and build wealth for Black families.
Heber Brown is the director of the Black Church Food Security Network. We discuss his work regarding food sovereignty and address larger issues of revolutionary praxis and Pan African nation building.
Reparations for slavery have gone from a third rail issue to a mainstream Democratic Party talking point. While much of the conversation has focused on HR 40 and local/statewide task forces – has the reparations movement left a critical tool in the reparations battle of off the battlefield?
In this talk, LBS Director of Research Lawrence Grandpre will use violence prevention as an example of the need for emancipatory, African Centered research. He’ll be diving into the literature to display the limitations in Eurocentric public health methodologies of violence prevention and the need for African-centered alternatives.
In a talk given to the Baltimore City Green Party, Lawrence Grandpre explains the technocratic tricks liberals use to deny community control over essential issues in the name of “efficiency”. Also, after the events of January 6th, protecting minorities from “white backlash”. He explains the dynamics of what he calls the new “woke technocracy” in issues of policing, economic development, and cannabis legalization.
We’re back with a wide-ranging interview on Black organizing and the 2020 Election. In a conversation with Matt Stannard of Wyoming’s Solidarity Collective, Lawrence Grandpre discusses the recent protest movements, the limits of social justice strategies focused on the courts, and an explanation of Black populations can build power in and beyond the current American political “left”.
Black political figures from DuBois to Garvey have embraced the notion that Black America’s combined “buying power”, if harnessed correctly, would be a revolutionary force. But is this true? Morgan State University Professor Dr. Jared Ball joins us to discuss this issue from his new book “The Myth of Black Buying Power”.
What is the history of public health expertise? Who benefits from western nations controlling third world health infrastructure? In the first part of of this investigation, we reveal the dangers of Eurocentric expertise, showing that public health philanthropy can serve as a tool of social control.
As the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primaries heat up, we look back at 2016. Should Black voters “Vote Blue No Matter Who” or be willing to withhold their vote to pressure the Democrats into concessions?
In the mid-2000s, a documentary about “troubled youth” from Baltimore sent to Africa was critically acclaimed. it was more than another white savior story. It revealed the fundamental flaws in the logical liberal white racism. We use the documentary as a starting point for an analysis of the racism in the human & social service sector by juxtaposing the interventions of the documentaries teachers with African centered liberatory methodologies.
We think we know the story of South Africa: the people rise up, international sanctions are levied, Nelson Mandela is released and this leads to a peaceful transition to multi-racial democracy. But what if this is wrong? In this interview between Dr. Jared Ball (Morgan State University) & Frank B. Wilderson III (a UCI-Irvine professor and former ANC/Umkhonto We Sizwe member). Many of the fundamental beliefs on South Africa are challenged, and a more sinister question raised: What if the story of the rise of Mandela hides a more sinister story of the crushing of South Africa’s revolutionary struggle?
Happy Halloween! This is Part 2 of New Timbuktu’s analysis of Jordan Peele’s 2019 film – “Us”. We go deeper into the story of Lupita Nyongo’s character, Adelaide. We analyze the movie’s surprise ending and explain some of the meaning of the use of “Hands Across America” as a symbol. Can a quote from Tupac Shakur help us understand the revolutionary position of the “tethered”?
Jordan Peele’s movie “Us” left audiences dazzled, but also confused. How should we interpret this complex and layered social justice horror film? New Timbuktu Creative Director Lawrence Grandpre gives his take; linking to film to mass incarceration and the cost of black upward mobility through the lens of Winston Duke’s character Gabrielle, and his prized boat.
Assata Shakur has become a revolutionary icon, for better or worse. Attempts to legitimate her resistance to police violence and venerate her escape from prison have had the side effects of obscuring the breadth of depth of her radical politics, anti-capitalism, and insightful analysis. This collaboration with IMixWhatIlike.org brings you Assata in her own words, infused with hip-hop and jazz.
In our final #HotMicSession for the Summer, Dayvon Love gives a talk on the psycho-social dynamics behind white folks doing work with Black kids. Combining personal experience with academic analysis, Dayvon breaks down the role whiteness plays in the social imaginary and, despite good intentions, how it manifests itself in everyday teacher/student engagements.
We take you with us into one of our fundraising dinners, where we discuss the history of the scholar activist network which brings you ISOBP – Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. We break down our methodology around policy advocacy and how we seek to innovate as a “Grassroots” think tank.
Dayvon Love breaks down the history of independent black institutions in Baltimore, explaining the political advancements these institutions and the lessons we should learn for contemporary activism.
We’re on a Summer Break! We’re bringing you our #HotMicSessions – talks recorded live and in the field. In this first session, our host, Lawrence Grandpre breaks down some history of the war on drugs and how we need more comprehensive solutions to address the issue of drug addiction.
We analyze 3 books all written by our collective – Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. We examine how the centrist politics of Democrats are a core impediment to Black progress with Dayvon Love, author of Worse Than Trump, the American Plantation. We then discuss Lady Brion’s poetry in With My Head Unbowed and conclude with a discussion with host Lawrence Grandpre on “The Black Book: Reflections from the Baltimore Grassroots.”
Derrick Bell is often called “The Father of Critical Race Theory” and his sci-fi inspired story “The Space Traders” has been taught for decades as surreal thought exercise on question our underlying assumptions on race in America. In this episode we look back at Space Traders story and use Bell’s work to challenge the multicultural orthodoxy on racial progress, examining Bell’s theory of interest convergence and the role Cold War politics played in limitations of Brown v. Board. How can Bell’s theories be applied to the question of strategizing for radical change in the face of white racial backlash?
What would a Black city based on radical cooperative economic visions really look like? In Search of Black Power Hosts Lady Brion and Lawrence Grandpre present two examples of these futures. The first, based upon real Black organizing in Baltimore, presents a vision of how culture becomes the seeds for grassroots community revitalization. The second, based upon a cooperative visioning process, dreams of the new institutions cooperative Black Power could create. Can these “Sankofa cities” pull from the best of our Black collective past to build a new future? We interview noted scholar Jessica Gordon Neimhardt to help us in our quest.
As Wakanda returned to the big screen in the New “Avengers” film, in Search of Black Power looks back at the original movie and how it represents a particular vision of a black techno-utopia which requires deeper examination. What is the link between the images of the black “futures” we’re sold in popular culture and the recent wave of new urban renewal policies promising to use arts and culture as a tool for Black community empowerment? Could these be the tools of a new form of “woke” gentrification?
In Part Two of In Search of Black Power’s Hardcore (Black) History of Baltimore, we tell the story of one of the grandfathers of the neoliberal city, Jim Rouse, depicting what happened when his vision of city planning as “civic engineering” came to West Baltimore. In trying to create a utopia in Upton, did liberal reformers and nonprofit developers sow the seeds for the 2015 Baltimore Uprising?
Inspired by Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History” Podcast, In Search of Black Power host Lawrence Grandpre does a deep dive on Baltimore history, using the stories of the riots of the 1860s and the 1960s to show Baltimore as a site where the highest hopes, and deepest darkness, of the American experiment in race relations have been played out.
The HBO show The Wire is hailed as a “realistic” portrayal of the Baltimore’s street drug trade and violence that springs from it. But is this true? In the first episode of “In Search of Black Power” activists and residents from Baltimore challenge the show’s depictions, incorporating analysis from Baltimore history and of current movements to show the real Baltimore is more complicated, and beautiful, that the show could imagine.