Q. What is the uhuru solidarity movement?
A. USM is an organization of white people, created by and accountable to the African People's Socialist Party. We organize in the white community for reparations to African people. Our three Principles of Unity are:
- We are under the leadership of the African People's Socialist Party
- African people have the right to lead their own struggle
- We organize in the white community for reparations to African people
Q. What is "art for reparations" and how did it start?
A. A4R is a project of USM which grew out of the Reparations Challenge campaign in the Summer of 2017. The Reparations Challenge is a call to white people to use their creative abilities and talents to raise resources for the African People's Socialist Party, which is building for black power all over the world in a variety of black economic development projects.
A4R began as a collective etsy shop where white artists could sell their work to be sold as reparations to African people. In 2018 the project rapidly advanced to encompass a large art auction to bring in thousands of dollars of resources.
Q. I'm white and I never owned an enslaved African person. why should i contribute to this art auction or pay reparations?
A. There is a colonial context to a white person’s ability to make art for personal enjoyment in our “free time,” while colonized people suffer in prison and are killed by the police. The reason that white people can develop our talents, attend art school and profit off our art is because the majority of the people on planet earth are living under the oppression of white power imperialism. All talents and skills and abilities of white artists sit on the pedestal of this oppression.
Even the poorest, white “starving artist” still has access to resources and social wealth that come at the expense of African people. The myth of the white “starving artist” does not compare to the actual starvation that African children experience who do not know where their next meal will come from.
There is no such thing as “apolitical art.” Even a seemingly innocent painting, screenprint or song made by a white person must be analyzed through the lens of colonialism: we white artists and musicians use stolen resources from Africa. The coltan in computers for graphic design work, the precious metals in our tools, the fibers in fabric made on cotton plantations, the art schools we attend that are built on stolen Indigenous land, even the time we have to make art in a safe environment– our access to all of these resources and more, from which we benefit, are rooted in the enslavement and genocide of African people. This is why we owe reparations.
Q. What is the black power blueprint?
A. The Black Power Blueprint is an economic development project by & for the working-class black community in St. Louis, MO. It is led by the brilliant Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela of the African People's Socialist Party, and in less than a year has already refurbished a 3-story community venue space and organizing center in the heart of the impoverished black community of St. Louis. The Black Power Blueprint is building rapidly to implement the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace; an Uhuru Jiko community & commercial kitchen; housing; community gardens and so much more amidst a backdrop of food deserts, gentrification, and painful lack of economic development in the black community. The Black Power Blueprint is the most positive project in the world!
Q. How does the silent auction work?
A. When you show up, you can register yourself as a buyer. Each artwork will have a small clipboard next to it, where interested buyers can write their next bid, using the assigned number given to them at registration. At a certain point in the evening, the auction will close, circling the highest bid so you can know who it is. Event organizers will bring each piece off the wall and begin to process payments and wrap up your art. If you saw that your bid won on a selected work, you must check-out at the Art Handling table to pay for your work and receive it wrapped up. On your way out you can take your art with you to its new home!
Q. where does the money go from the auction? Is my contribution tax-deductible?
A. Resources from the auction are collected through the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, which submits resources directly to the African People's Socialist Party and Black Power Blueprint. Sales at the Art For Reparations auction are not tax deductable. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to fund the Black Power Blueprint, you may do so via the non-profit African People's Education and Defense Fund, apedf.org.
Q. I can't attend in person, Can I still participate?
A. The auction will be livestreamed via the Art For Reparations facebook page for viewers around the country to tune in. We will be interviewing guests and showing each piece for the full experience! If you are an interested buyer, we recommend sending a representative who can bid for you, or to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can try to work something out.
Q. I Really love the idea of "art for reparations"! how can I get involved after the auction is over?
A. The Art For Reparations project is a year-round endeavor! After the auction we will hold an open-meeting to build the A4R Committee, which can plan concerts, gallery exhibitions, and mini auctions throughout the year for reparations to African people. Activity is not only limited to Boston MA-- it can happen wherever you are located, and you can be the one to bring it to your hometown. Get in touch! email@example.com