Authors: Joe Sims, Zenobia Thompson, Eric Brooks
African American Equality Commission, CPUSA
Reprinted from the Communist Party USA website, here: https://www.cpusa.org/article/cpusa-reforms-the-african-american-equality-commission/
March 30, 2021
With reformation of the African American Equality Commission, the CPUSA signals renewed focus on the Black community and anti-racist struggles
At the request of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), and building on the February 28, 2021, online event, “We’re Not Going Back! 2021 annual celebration of African-American culture and struggle,” on March 4, 2021, a convening committee was created to help reorganize the African American Equality Commission, CPUSA (AAEC).
The AAEC will support the CPUSA National Committee, clubs, and members in maintaining a focus on outreach and recruitment in the Black community, help the CPUSA strengthen the theoretical framework for a Marxist/Leninist understanding of the current struggles of the Black community in the USA, and spotlight struggles to improve Black living conditions.
The AAEC will encourage a party-wide dialog on the importance of infusing anti-racism and anti-misogyny issues into every struggle in which we participate, maintaining a special emphasis on the struggles of Black women.
On March 9, 2021, the first African American Equality Commission online meeting took place, in which a vital discussion ensued, committing to produce a report to the next NC meeting on the reformation of the AAEC, and to meet regularly going forward. The next AAEC meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2021.
The CPUSA has a rich, full, proud history of theoretical and organizational leadership of movements to fight systemic racist violence by the police, counter racist hate groups, and win Black access to the voting booth. The CPUSA, in the past, struggled against tremendous challenges to build Black worker power in the South.
We build on the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, Claudia Jones, William L. Patterson, James and Esther Jackson, Charlene Mitchell, Paul Robeson, Henry Winston, Claude Lightfoot, and many others to overcome anti-communism and organize effectively for the needs of Black people.
We fight for democratic rights including the right to vote. We struggle to free Black political prisoners, like Angela Davis and all political prisoners. We demand an end to the police murder of Black folks. We demand a just, anti-racist, anti-misogynist, democratic society that meets the subsistence and developmental needs of Black working families.
The COVID-19 pandemic, yet again, highlights the lack of access to quality health care for Black people. Akilah A. Jefferson Shah, M.D., Msc, in her HuffPost article “COVID-19 Has Devastated the Black Community. Here’s Why and What Needs to Change” found:
A recent poll showed Black Americans are twice as likely to know someone who has tested positive or died from COVID-19. Why? It is complicated. Underlying health disparities and social determinants of health play a large role. But, Black Americans have also had less access to COVID-19 testing and medical care. We have been turned away from testing sites, and our symptoms have been minimized. For too many, this has proven fatal. For others it is yet another reminder that Black Americans are not afforded the same opportunities as other Americans, even during a pandemic.
The U.S. inability to meet health demands the COVID-19 pandemic placed on the Black community must be addressed, and demonstrates the racist, inhumane underpinnings to capitalist society.
The AAEC stands in solidarity with all people of color and workers globally fighting to meet their needs for food, housing, education, jobs, unionization and worker power, cultural activity, healthcare, and a healthy environment, and to end racist and misogynist violence. We stand against the destruction wrought by the capitalist exploitation of humanity and of the environment.
The AAEC is composed of members of the Communist Party USA focused on and supportive of the struggles of Black people in the United States against racist and political repression and violence, economic and physical. Its leadership includes many Black folks who are both long-term and newer members of the Communist Party USA, and friends. Please write firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the Commission.
Image: Lorie Shaull (CC BY-SA 2.0).