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Nguzo Saba provides us with a cultural value system that calls on us to have

the courage to care and think deeply about what's going on in the world and to enter

the field of action with a willingness to work and struggle hard to build the world we

all want and deserve to live in. Thus, within the conception and definition of

the Nguzo Saba, there is a constant call for striving and struggling for the good,

developing and maintaining the good and becoming and being the good.

 

 

Books by Maulana Karenga

Introduction to Black Studies  /  Selections from Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt  /  The Book of Coming Forth by Day 

Kwanzaa: A Celebration of  Family, Community, and Culture  /  Million Man March: Day of Absence 

Handbook of Black Studies  /  Maat, the Moral Idea in Ancient Egypt  /  Kemet and the African Worldview

Kawaida Theory:  An African Communitarian Philosophy

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The Annual Founder's Kwanzaa Message 2004

Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles

Creating and Practicing Good in the World

Dr. Maulana Karenga, Creator of Kwanzaa

 

This Kwanzaa millions of Africans all over the world come again together to celebrate family, community and culture and to recommit themselves to creating and practicing good in the world, using the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, as the fundamental framework and foundation to achieve this.

Thus, as our ancestors and elders before us, we come again together to reinforce the bonds between us as persons and peoples, and to give thanks for the harvest of good we have gathered from the fertile fields of our lands, the fruitful fields of our lives, and the bruising and blood-stained battlefields of our struggles.

We come together again also to commemorate the past, to raise and praise the sacred names and sustaining practices of the ancestors and to recommit ourselves to the dignity-affirming and
life-enhancing views and values they have left to ground and guide us.

Consciously following in the cultural footsteps of our ancestors and elders, we come together also to celebrate the good in and of the world, the good of family, community and culture, the good of loving-kindness and care, the good of respect for ourselves and others, the good of life and love, of sharing and together, working to build and sustain the world we all want and deserve to live in.

Created in the context of the Black Freedom Movement of the 60's, Kwanzaa reflects the Movement's dual stress on reaffirmation of our Africanness and our social justice tradition.

Kwanzaa is, thus, a self-conscious commitment to return to our own history and to recover the enduring richness of our own culture, its values, insights and instructive practices and to use it as a constant resource to inform, enrich and expand our lives.

Likewise, Kwanzaa reaffirms the centrality of our ancient and ongoing social justice tradition.

Kwanzaa embraces its stress on struggle and its ethical insistence that we seek and speak truth, do justice, care for the poor and vulnerable, empower the masses of people, pursue peace, continuously expand the realm of human freedom and human flourishing and constantly repair and renew the world.

Thus, at Kwanzaa, we are obligated to ask what is the moral meaning of our lives as Africans in the world? What does it mean to be an African living in this time of comforting illusions and brutal realities, in this world where claims of global progress masks the massive disruption and destruction of human lives and the natural environment and where aggression, empire and occupation are justified by racialized religion, manipulated fear, and military might.

In such a context, what are our moral obligations to ourselves and each other, to the poor and unpowerful, to the ill and aged, to the stranger, the environment and future generations and to
the oppressed, suffering and struggling peoples of the world?

Regardless of the specific conclusions we come to with regard to these enduring questions, the overarching answer to these and all related ones is found in the ancestral teachings in the Odu Ifa that "humans are divinely chosen to bring good in the world" and that this is the fundamental mission and meaning of human life.

The Nguzo Saba 

And it is in this process of seeking to create and practice good in the world that we turn to the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles. For they are the fundamental framework and foundation for our self-understanding and self-assertion as Africans in the world.

Indeed, the Nguzo Saba provides us with a cultural value system that calls on us to have the courage to care and think deeply about what's going on in the world and to enter the field of action with a willingness to work and struggle hard to build the world we all want and deserve to live in. Thus, within the conception and definition of the Nguzo Saba, there is a constant call for striving and struggling for the good, developing and maintaining the good and becoming and being the good. This is a call to act in such a way that we embody and express in all we do the best of our values and practices as a people.

For only by honoring the obligations placed upon us by our history and highest values can we bring good into the world in its most expansive sense. In this regard, the Seven Principles focus on African family, community and culture, but they also have a meaning and message for society and the world. Indeed, they speak to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense and offer a path to shared good for us as a people and for the whole of humanity.

Umoja (Unity)

The Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, begin with the principle of Umoja (unity). Our text, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, states that the principle Umoja calls on us "to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race," i.e., the world African community. Umoja encourages a profound sense of relatedness, togetherness and oneness in the small and larger circles of our lives. It fosters a spirit of togetherness and moral sensitivity which encourages us to avoid injuring each other and the world and to eagerly work and struggle for the common good.

Indeed, the principle of unity reminds us of the ancient ethical teaching of the Odu Ifa that the greatest good comes from our gathering together in harmony whether in family, friendship, community, society or the world. And this too the principle of unity teaches us: we live in a web and world of interdependence and that freedom, dignity, well-being and other goods should and must be shared goods for everyone, if there is to be any peace, justice and security for anyone in the world.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)

The second principle, Kujichagulia (self-determination), the text says, is a call "to define ourselves, names ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves." It teaches us to define ourselves by the good we do and the dignity-bearing way we walk in the world, to name ourselves in reverent respect for our history and highest values, to create for ourselves in the life-affirming, world-preserving ways of the ancestors, and to speak for ourselves in ways that bring forth the best of our culture, and reaffirms our ancient and ongoing commitment to bring and share good in the world.

Kujichagulia also teaches us that we must constantly dialog with our culture, asking it questions and seeking from it answers in our continuous quest to live full, free and meaningful lives and make a worthy contribution to the ongoing struggles to bring, sustain and increase good in the world.

Ujima (Collective work and Responsibility)

The third principle, Ujima (collective work and responsibility) calls on us, the text says, "to build and maintain our community together and to make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together." This principle teaches us that we are responsible to and for each other, that we must build the world we want and deserve to live in and that it is a work which requires a profound and persistent ethical sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of others.

Thus, the problems of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, crime, early death and racialized justice, the pandemic of HIV/AIDS and the support of its survivors and the care for the families of its victims must not be approached simply as isolated, personalized tragedies and unfortunate problems for others. Rather, they must be understood and engaged as problems which we are all affected by and responsible for solving.

Likewise, the sufferings and struggles of the peoples of the world whether in Sudan, Haiti, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Australia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and other parts of the world are our concerns also. For we live in a world and web of interdependence and the issues of freedom, justice, self-determination and peace are critical issues for all of us, everywhere in the world. For as Malcolm taught us, these liberation struggles are linked with our own and are the motive
force of human history.

Moreover, these struggles raise critical issues for us and the world which we must deal with, i.e., the right to freedom and self-determination, and the wrongness of suppression and oppression, the right and responsibility of resistance, and the wrongness of invasion, occupation and unjust war, the right to the resources of one's own land and the wrongness of international robbery of these resources by corporations or conquering country.

Thus, it is important for us to accept that our concerns for the oppressed must be expressed in a sustained practice to free them, that our anger at injustice must be reflected in our active resistance to it and that our preference for the poor must be linked to a practice which alleviates their poverty and points towards an end of it. This ultimately means that we must take up and continue the historical and ongoing struggle for good in the world, the struggle for freedom, justice, power of the masses of people over their destiny and daily lives and peace in the world.

Thus, we must enter the corporate temples and political courtyards of the rich and powerful and
radically renounce and confront them, we must resist their bloodthirsty gods of wealth and war, turn over the tables around which they design the deaths, dispossession and imprisonment of whole nations and place a new life-affirming, life-enhancing common ground agenda before this country and the world.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

The fourth principle, Ujamaa (cooperative economics), the text tells us, urges us "to build and maintain our stores, shops and other business and to profit from them together." This is a compelling call to practice the principle of shared work and shared wealth in the world. It begins with a call to build and maintain economic institutions and by extension engage in economic practices that address our needs and aspirations and represent the best of our values. And certainly the central values here are cooperation for common good and the collective sharing of that good.

The model which Kwanzaa raises and the Nguzo Saba teaches is the harvest. To harvest good, we plan and then plant the promising fields of our lives and future together. We cultivate them together with loving care; we harvest them together with hope and anticipation of abundance. We joyfully share the good we have created together. And we conscientiously set aside seeds of good for the future. Moreover, the principle of ujamaa speaks to a sense of kinship we must feel for each other and the world. The root word of ujamaa is jamaa which means family.

Thus, it urges us to engage in economic practices which recognizes and respects our kinship with other humans and the world. It thus opposes activities which exploits and oppresses others and damages the world. Furthermore, as a cooperative pursuit of common good, ujamaa is profoundly concerned with an egalitarian distribution of wealth and good in the world and with care for the poor and vulnerable. Indeed, the Husia teaches us that "we are given wealth so that we can do good with it." And the Odu Ifa teaches us "that anyone who cultivates the disposition for doing good especially for the needy, this person, in particular, will never lack happiness."

Thus, the ethical understanding of our traditional texts and the awesome insights of our ancestors urge us beyond the crass consumerism of the marketplace, the isolated individualism and the market-driven madness of acquisitiveness, posing as a substitute for actual and longed-for freedom. Instead we are informed by the ethical teachings of the ancestors that we are to find meaning in our lives by searching after Maat, seeking to do good in the world, speaking truth, doing, justice, opposing injustice, caring for the vulnerable and being responsive to and responsible for others in the world.

Thus, Harwa, chief of staff of the Divine Wife of Amen, Amenirdis, says in the Husia that we are
to be "a refuge for the poor, a raft for the drowning, a ladder for those in the pit (of despair), a shade for the orphan and a helper for the widow;" that we should be "one who speaks for the wretched, assists the unfortunate and aids the oppressed by excellent deeds," and that we should "give food to the hungry and clothes to the naked (and be) one who removes pain and suppresses wrongdoing and who sustains the aged and eliminates the need of the have-nots." And he concludes saying, "My reward for this is being remembered for my virtue," that is to say, for the good I've done in and for the world.

Nia (Purpose)

The fifth principle is Nia (purpose). The text tells us this principle calls on us "to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our
people to their traditional greatness." Here it is important to recognize that in the best of the African ethical tradition, greatness does not lie in material wealth, military might, scientific or
technological knowledge, but by the good we do with what we have.

Thus, the Husia says "the wise are known by their wisdom but the great are known by their good deeds." This teaching instructs us to move beyond the idol worship of wealth, technology and science to questions and answers of how to put them in the service of the masses of people
who need them most as Mary McLeod Bethune urges us to do. In a word, we are compelled to ask in all we do, how does it benefit the world and the people in it who need it most? This teaching of the Husia parallels and reinforces the teaching in the Odu Ifa that says "Let's
do things with joy--for surely humans have been divinely chosen to bring good in the world."

And this is the fundamental mission and meaning of human life. So let us do good in and for the world. Let us be exalted by the good we do, the good heaven and history have chosen us to do. And even as we are chosen, let us choose to be chosen, not over and against any other people, but chosen with all other people to create, increase and sustain good in the world. And in this choosing, let us always choose life over death, justice over injustice, freedom over oppression, self-inflicted or imposed, peace over war, love over hatred, and truth over lies in any form. In this then lies the moral meaning of our lives to choose to do and do good in the world and to do it not only for ourselves, but for the world.

For the Odu tells us that "when it is our turn to take responsibility for the world, we should do good for the world." Indeed, the Odu says, "doing good worldwide is the best expression of character." For surely, everyone deserves and has a right to the good and goods of and in the world.

Kuumba (Creativity)

The sixth principle is Kuumba (creativity) which the text tells us calls on us "to do always as much as we can in the way we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it." This principle speaks in a larger sense not only to our always striving to make our own community constantly better and more beautiful and beneficial, but also the world. This Kwanzaa, as always, we put forth the possibility of healing and repairing the world, making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. This we do in the spirit of the ancient African concept of serudj ta which means in ancient Egyptian--to repair, restore and renew the world making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it

But inherent in this concept is the call to heal ourselves and each other as well as the world. This is the real meaning of reparations. It is not about receiving monies, but about the larger struggle to achieve justice and liberation and the radical repairing we will do to ourselves, society and the world in the process of struggle. Now the concept of serudj ta is rooted in the ethical teachings of our ancestors that we constantly injure ourselves, each other and the world as a whole, not only by what we do wrong, but also by what we fail to do right. Moreover, the damage we do to each other and the world, like the good we do, we do to and for ourselves.

For as the Odu Ifa teaches us, we live in a world and web of interdependence. Thus, the Odu says "Anyone who does good does it for herself and anyone who dose evil does it to himself."
We do damage to the world, ourselves and each other in varied ways. We do damage when we fail to follow the best of our ethical and spiritual teachings and instead use religion to disrespect and impose on others, to justify unjust wars, to seize and occupy others' land and to claim a special religious and racial status above and beyond all other people in the world.

We do damage when we turn a blind eye to injustice, a deaf ear to truth and an uncaring heart away from the suffering and pain around us and throughout the world. We do damage when we make material gain the measure of all things, when we pollute, plunder, deplete and destroy the environment and undermine the basis for life on earth, and when we act in ways that dim and diminish the future for coming generations. Our ancestors, the ancient Egyptians, taught that, "We must think of eternity and plan for the future for those who will come after us.

We must leave them a legacy of good, indeed, an ancient teacher in the Husia says, "I did good for my community. I spoke truth. I did justice. For I knew the value of doing good. It will be a storehouse for those who come after us." And Queen Hatshepsut said, "I added to what was formerly done. For I wanted it to be said by those who come afterwards. How beautiful is this which happened because of her.”

Imani (Faith)

Imani (faith) is the seventh principle of the Nguzo Saba. And the text tells us that Imani, the principle of faith, calls on us "to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory our struggle." We must then, have faith in our people, in their capacity for and commitment to good in the world; in our parents-fore parents and current ones, and the good they've done, do and want for us; in our teachers who teach us the good and inspire us to embrace it; and in our leaders who guide us toward the good and aid us in becoming self-conscious agents of our own life and liberation

And ultimately, we must believe in the righteousness and the rightful and right direction of our struggle. We must believe that our struggle for freedom for the oppressed, justice for the wronged and injured, power for the masses of people over their destiny and daily lives and for peace in the world is a rightful and compelling one. And we must believe in the rightfulness and eventual victory of our struggle, believe that we can together end oppression, lessen and eventually
eliminate injustice, put an end to the disempowerment of the masses of people, and erase the scourge of war from the world.

And finally, we must have faith that a different future is possible; that we can, as Frantz Fanon urged us, start a new history of humankind with other progressive people in the world, bring into being a new world and a new man and woman who will cherish, respect and reaffirm each other, sustain the good world and pass on this good and legacy to future generations.

Let us go forward then, in and with unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith striving to embody and live the life-affirming, and life-enhancing values of our ancestors that represent the best of what it means to be African and human in the world. Let us always strive to be a powerful presence for good in the world and constantly work for the good life every person and people as bearers of dignity and divinity demand and deserve.

And let us this Kwanzaa and always, wish for each and all of us, a long and good life, blessings without number and all good things without end, in a word, all the good that heaven grants, the earth produces and the waters bring forth from their depths.

posted December 2004

Dr. Maulana Karenga is creator of Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba ; professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State  University-Long Beach; chair of The Organization Us and the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO); author of the authoritative book on Kwanzaa titled Kwanzaa, A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. For current information on Kwanzaa see: www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org  and for information on The Organization Us see: www.Us-Organization.org .

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Promoting Cooperative Economics Education and Practice through Kwanzaa—Ajamu Nangwaya—24 December 2011— We have the chance to move from a celebratory approach to Kwanzaa as a holiday to one that integrates its essence, values or principles in organizing the economic development of the community. Ujamaa or cooperative economics is usually advanced by some celebrants of Kwanzaa as the way to African American economic empowerment. However, it is our contention that the ideas behind this principle are little understood by those promoting it.

For many Kwanzaa practitioners, it is the mere buying of goods and services from African American-owned companies. This practice does not speak to the ownership and governance structures of the enterprises that are patronized. Wealth from economic production is a collective endeavor, as it is virtually impossible for the individual to create it single-handedly. Under the dominant economic system of the day, the people (the workers) who create wealth are generally not the ones who own and enjoy the use of it. Furthermore, the popular perception of the Ujamaa principle does not have a dialogue with the notion of “shared social wealth”, and the economic model that would best manifest this idea and practice.

We believe it is time for African Americans and all those who want a better economic life in this country to promote the knowledge of cooperatives as organizational models and tools for economic and social development. Cooperative education is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for its adoption by the community. It must be put on display and experienced, as a practical way to meet the material and self-actualizing needs of the people. In order to disseminate the information about cooperatives, we should utilize the public forums that are used to celebrate the holiday as educational instruments. We may use each principle to highlight particular and relevant aspects of the structure and operation of cooperatives. In the community organizing phase of our educational effort we should experiment with different spaces (living room meetings, public meetings, street corner, places of worship, etc.) to reach the people.—MediaCoop

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 Karenga on Malcolm   Justice for the Poor  Kwanzaa 2004   Kwanzaa Message 2006 

The 10 Best Black Books of 2010 (Non-Fiction)

Gramsci"s Black Marx

Whither the Slave in Civil Society?

 

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933.

Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today.

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Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait

By Molefi Kete Asante

In this book, the most prolific contemporary African American scholar and cultural theorist Molefi Kete Asante leads the reader on an informative journey through the mind of Maulana Karenga, one of the key cultural thinkers of our time. Not only is Karenga the creator of Kwanzaa, an extensive and widespread celebratory holiday based on his philosophy of Kawaida, he is an activist-scholar committed to a "dignity-affirming" life for all human beings. Asante examines the sources of Karenga's intellectual preoccupations and demonstrates that Karenga's concerns with the liberation narratives and mythic realities of African people are rooted in the best interests of a collective humanity. The book shows Karenga to be an intellectual giant willing to practice his theories in order to manifest his intense emotional attachment to culture, truth, and justice. Asante's enlightening presentation and riveting critique of Karenga's works reveal a compelling account of a thinker whose contributions extend far beyond the Academy.

Although Karenga began his career as a student activist, a civil rights leader, a Pan Africanist, and a culturalist, he ultimately succeeds in turning his fierce commitment to truth toward dissecting political, social, and ethical issues. Asante carefully analyzes Karenga's important works on Black Studies, but also his earlier works on culture and his later works on ethics, such as The Husia, and Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings.

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Predator Nation

Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

By Charles H. Ferguson

If you’re smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren’t rich, you’re now better off being born in Munich, Germany or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident.  Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite.  It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers.  It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed “reforms” installed after the collapse of 2008. Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite.

Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimes—there is no other word—committed in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis.  And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream.Read Chapter 1

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 9 July 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: Should Kwanzaa Stay in our Neighborhoods  Kwanzaa  Kwanzaa 2004   Kwanzaa Message 2006  Maulana Karenga Bio   Ron Karenga   Karenga on Malcolm 

Justice for the Poor