Kali Akuno : Afrikan People's Party Activist, Anti-Poverty Revolutionary, and Cooperation Theorist

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About Kali Akuno

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We are witnessing the rise of a solidarity economy movement, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including organizations like Cooperation Worcester in Massachusetts, Cooperation Humboldt and Cooperation Richmond in California, and Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi, among others. One of the leaders of this movement is Kali Akuno, co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, who recently wrote a book titled "Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi." Akuno was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in a working-class community where he watched the devastation brought by deindustrialization and the gang wars that hit L.A. in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. His family was deeply involved in various social movements, particularly the Afrikan People's Party. Akuno was raised in a world marked by violent poverty, as well as radical activism. Akuno moved around in California and eventually wound up in Jackson, Mississippi. We spoke with Akuno about his work with Cooperation Jackson, the broader solidarity economy in general, and what particular challenges working-class African American communities are experiencing in the deep south.

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Introduction by Adam Weaver Pledging to make Jackson become “the most radical city on the planet,” the July 2017 election of Chokwe Antar Lumumba as Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi is by many accounts an inspiration as to the ability of the left to critically engage in social change through elected office. By no means an isolated effort, Lumumba’s election is the result of decades of base building and social movement growth, most notably highlighted in their use of community assemblies and the work of Cooperation Jackson, which promotes the creation of worker cooperatives. The origins of the campaign are rooted in the politics of Black self-determination and is spelled out in the Jackson-Kush Plan (referred to ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The following is a transcript of a live Q&A session with Kali Akuno hosted on Twitter by Black Socialists of America (@BlackSocialists) on October 10, 2018. We found the discussion valuable and hope to offer more content like this. See below for the original tweets and videos. Q: What do you think of the Leninist idea that the vanguard seizing the state in the name of the working class is the first step towards Communism? If skeptical, what ideas are salvageable from this? If supportive, what can be done to ensure a better revolution? Kali Akuno: This is, I think, an essential one and needs to be addressed. First off, let say that I think Lenin is still one of the geniuses that the movements has produced. That does not me... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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January 22, 2021; 4:02:12 PM (UTC)
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January 10, 2022; 11:01:26 AM (UTC)
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