episode: PART ONE

From The Black Myths Podcast:

In part one of this conversation, we discuss the origins of the phrase ‘Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ coined by the late poet Gil Scott-Heron, how the phrase has been misunderstood, and the history that preceded it.

Our guests are Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly and Dr. Jared Ball. They discuss Their subsequent works: “Black Cold War Liberalism as an Agency Reduction Formation during the Late 1940s and the Early 1950s” and “The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power.” 

Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly is an assistant professor of Africana Studies and political science at Carleton College. In 2020–21, she will serve as the Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Race and Capitalism Project at the University of Chicago. She is also the coauthor, with Gerald Horne, of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Life in American History, and she is currently working on a manuscript, The Radical Horizon of Black Betrayal: Anticommunism and Racial Capitalism in the United States, 1917–1954.

Dr. Jared A. Ball is a father and husband. After that, he is a Professor of Communication Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. and is founder/curator of a multimedia hub of emancipatory journalism and revolutionary beat reporting. Ball is also author of The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power and editor A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X

Full episode: PART TWO

We are still joined by Dr. Charisse Burden and Dr. Jared Ball. In part two of our conversation on ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,’ we explore how the themes discussed in the first episode (Anti-communism, Black buying power, The Black bourgeoisie, etc) relate to our current political moment. We discuss the current propaganda machine, class dynamics of Black lives matter, the negotiating between organizing and ideology, and how red-baiting is ever so present in our political cycle.

One Comment

  1. “It was Gil Scott – Heron – long before Public Enemy [ the rap group ] was conceived – who said, “I have believed in my convictions / and have been convicted for my beliefs”.

    Welcome to America. [ Haki Madhubuti; Chicago State University, 1990 ].

    Gil Scott Heron’s creative convictions substantiate those of the late Larry Neal, a scholar of African American Theater. He is well known for his contributions to the Black Arts Movement

    of the 1960s and 1970s:

    “…the key to where black people have to go is in the music. Our music has always been the most dominate manifestation of what we are and feel; literature was just an afterthought,

    the step taken by the Negro bourgeoisie who desired acceptance in the white man’s terms. And that is precisely why the literature has failed. It was the case of one elite addressing

    another elite. But our music is something else. The best of it has always operated at the core of our lives, forcing itself upon us as in a ritual. It has always, somehow, represented the

    collective psyche”.

    It can also be called a case of one elite addressing another elite regarding the politics of respectability, which seeks to reform the behavior of individuals, and as such takes the emphasis

    away from structural forms of oppression such as racism, sexism and poverty. The logic is as follows: ” We will get our rights if we prove we deserve them. Positive images of us will ensure

    a better ground on which to fight for our rights. The politics of respectability was at work during the Harlem Renaissance, when influential intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois and

    Alain Locke called for fictional portrayals of upstanding, proper middle – class blacks in contrast to representatives of the black working class, their blues, their sexuality, their artistic forms.”

    The politics of respectability was at work when civil rights leaders decided not to organize a bus boycott around a young, unwed, pregnant black woman, Claudette Colvin, and instead waited

    for the proper, hardworking Rosa Parks”. [ If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery; Farah Jasmin Griffin; 2001 ].

    The masters of capitalism attempting to control its opposition with the assistance of the black bourgeoisie: “Robert F. Williams, a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of

    Colored People [ NAACP ] in Monroe, North Carolina in the 1950s and into 1961, wrote prolifically about armed self – defense and guerrilla – like retaliation against Ku Klux Klan marauders.

    Whether because of political disagreements with Williams or because of his strategic choices, the national NAACP hierarchy simply had no respect or affection for the Monroe branch leader.

    NAACP executive director Roy Wilkins dismissively called him “the Lancelot of Monroe”, and NAACP counsel and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall even suggested to the FBI

    that the agency investigate Williams”. Wow, not the much lauded, iconic Thurgood Marshall? [ This Nonviolent Stuff ‘ll Get You Killed. How Guns Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible;

    Charles E. Cobb Jr., 2014 ].

    An excerpt from ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ : “There will be no slow motion or still lifes of Roy Wilkins Strolling

    through Watts in a red, black and green liberation jumpsuit that

    he has been saving for just the proper occasion".

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