By BO Staff Writer
The Regional Chapter of Black First Land First (BLF) conducted a very successful and liberating session with the community of Sedibeng on Saturday 24 September 2016. A lecture carrying the theme “how Biko makes us think black” was delivered by BLF’s Regional Head of Political Education, Neo Mokatsanyane, at the Boipatong Communal Hall. He spoke of the need for the black first approach to thinking, which only black consciousness can teach, so as to respond to the white supremacist system that continues to oppress blacks twenty two years into democracy.
He informed the community that “BLF has consolidated the black first approach to thinking into a Black Agenda which can be accessed on the BLF website” and that the said agenda “is (a) guide to the method and program for achieving genuine liberation for blacks”. Reiterating the Black Agenda he said that “black people are at the bottom of society in all areas of life” and that “the white settler minority has the land via colonial theft (while) the black majority remain landless.” Mokatsanyane then supported his assertions with statistics indicating that “out of more than 54 million people in South Africa only 35 thousand white families own 80 percent of the land” and that “(t)he ANC government has been able to buy only 8 percent of the stolen land from the settlers at a cost which is approximately 50 billion!” He called on the people to “(j)ust imagine the madness – the twisted logic of buying back what was stolen from you”. For real liberation to occur he said that, amongst other things, the following must occur: land must be returned to blacks, imperialism must end, white monopoly capital must end, free quality education must be realized now, nationalisaiton of banks and the other key sectors of the economy must become a reality, a living wage must declared and implemented and patriarchy must end.
In conclusion, he told the community that “(t)o think black first is a revolutionary call to equip ourselves with the necessary mental and practical capacity so as to remove ourselves from the bottom of society” and that “(i)t is through this way that an end to the suffering, poverty, landlessness and all other ills that have been brought to bear upon us by white supremacy can be realized”.
Following the lecture there was lot of engagement (mainly initiated by the women present) about problems people were having and how the BLF must or can help. To this end the Black Agenda was elaborated as a reference to finding practical solutions. A short video featuring the BLF National Convener, Andile Mngxitama, was also screened at the event. In the video Mngxitama elaborated on the status and resolution of the land question along the lines indicated in the Black Agenda. The video also featured Steve Biko who enlightened the audience about what a black socialist society would entail. The screening was well received by the community.
After the event volunteers were engaged on intensifying the BLF’s #HandsOffZumaEconomicLiberationNow campaign and how thinking black first is connected to it. There was evidently a lot of enthusiasm from both BLF members and supporters who were prepared to participate in the campaign to educate the people via mass pamphlet distribution.