Jamala Rogers (from St. Louis) and i have just produced an essay looking at lessons to be drawn from the experience of the Black Radical Congress. I am hoping that you will take a look at this.
Originally i and several other friends had thought about writing a narrative piece reflecting on the experience of the Black Radical Congress, a united front of Black leftists which formed in 1998 and ceased to exist around 2008. As someone who was integrally involved in the formation of the BRC and much of its life i felt that we could not afford to let that experience vanish (as all too often happens in the history of the Left). Developing a comprehensive narrative history became an overwhelming task and, over time the project evolved towards identifying key lessons. I am actually much happier with this.
This paper is written particularly with younger activists in mind. It is not simply or mainly a history of the BRC. It is an attempt to identify what can be learned from that experience that may help activists in other social movements as they develop strategy and organization.
I remain proud of the effort to build the BRC. We were up against many obstacles in this initiative, but we accomplished a great deal.
Organizations are easy to form and easy to dissolve; but they are very difficult to sustain. Hundreds of Black radical activists worked to advance the BRC as a project. It was a great “moment”.
Before you ask, here is my answer: yes, we still need a Black Radical Congress. What it is called is secondary; it is more about the process and the objectives.