In Search of Black Power

In Search of Black Power

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

Hosted by:

Lawrence Grandpre

Director of Research
Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

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S. Rasheem

Independent Researcher &
Scholar

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Dayvon Love

Director of Public Policy
Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

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New Episodes every Wednesday @ Noon

Now Streaming:

2022

Is the “left” actually addressing urban gun violence? (Part 1)

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.

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A Pan-African Approach to Addiction and Harm Reduction

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.

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Afro-pessimism: A Grassroots View

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.

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Support or Co-Option? The Red, Black and Green New Deal and Foundation Driven Environmentalism

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.

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Beyond Liberal Co-Option: A radical defense of Critical Race Theory

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.

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White Lies & Statistics: How Bad Stats are a tool of White Power

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.

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Can Cannabis legalization save the reparations movement?

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?

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2021

Resisting the New “Woke Technocracy”

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.

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2020

Election 2020: Settler Colonialism vs. NeoImperialism

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”.

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The Myth of Black Buying Power w/ Dr. Jared Ball

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”.

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2019

The Miseducation of ‘The Boys of Baraka’

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.

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South Africa – Revolution vs. Mandela Mythology

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?

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Us – A Spooky Social Justice Analysis – Part 2

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”?

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Us – A Spooky Social Justice Analysis – Part 1

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.

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The Assata Mixtape – LBS Baltimore

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.

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#HotMicSession: Drug Policy as Social Policy

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.

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Recap & Summer Reading Special – Books Talks from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

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.”

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Is Trump a Space Trader? – On Derrick Bell And The Permanence of Racism

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?

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Sankofa Cities – Visions of Black Cooperative Economics Pasts and Futures

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.

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Beyond Wakanda-Black Panther and Urban Planning Beyond “Woke” Gentrification

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?

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Hardcore Black History – Part 2 – Slouching Towards Baltimore: Dreams of a Ghetto Utopia and the History Behind the #BaltimoreUprising

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?

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2018

Voices from the Real Baltimore – Challenging The Wire on Drugs and Violence

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.

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