Charles Barron: Speaking Truth to Power Articles and Essays on Revolution, Black Radical Politics and Leadership, His New Book
Once again I will be writing about Councilman Charles Barron and his newly published book Speaking Truth to Power Articles and Essays on Revolution, Black Radical Politics and Leadership. While Mr. Barron is an elected official that makes him consistent with the elected officials about whom I’ve been writing. But Mr. Barron is very much alive. The other elected officials that I’ve been dealing with under the theme, ‘I Remember’ are deceased.
Honesty compelled me to say, one of the reasons that I want to change the theme is I want to help Charles sell his new book. If you do not know Mr. Barron, you will learn about him and his great contributions in the few words I will write about him. But especially from his book.
I met Charles Barron for the first time when he was a sophomore at Hunter College. He was very impressive. He was smart, aware of current events, culturally conscious, knowledgeable especially of our history, and a skillful organizer. All of these qualities I could discern during our first meeting and the program he had organized. Not long after, he joined our movement, more specifically the Black United Front (BUF) which I headed. All the other organizations that emanated from our movement he was a part of. The qualities that I discerned initially became more and more evident. His participation and his qualities moved him into more important roles. He became a special assistant to me and then chairman of the Harlem, NY chapter for the NBUF. But he was more than that. He was a friend and confidant; sharing our deepest thoughts, plans, ideas, visions, etc.
One of the organizations that we started was the African Peoples Christian Organization (APCO). I was founding President and he was Secretary-General as we set out to build a Christian nation. He was my trusted advisor and I had confidence in him and trusted him implicitly. He became my delegation leader to foreign countries. I trusted him to meet with heads of state fully confident that he would handle the assignment appropriately. He became a member of our church. I baptized him in Augusta, GA. I married him to Ms. Inez Barron, who was a principal and later became a Councilwoman, I christened their first son Jawanza.
I think I’ve said enough. There is far, far more I could write about Charles Barron, that's why you need to read his book. To get to know him fully, his life, and his thinking. I think I’ve given you enough for you to understand another aspect of why a section of Charles Barron’s book is included. If anybody reads what was going on at the House of the Lord Church and the movement of that time surely it would be Charles Barron. He was there and an integral part of the movement.
Black Liberation Theology and Black Power Ideology ________________________________________________
God and Liberation! Religion and Revolution!
The 1960s was a dynamic period in the history of Black people in America that ushered in movements that demanded Black power, civil rights, human rights, Black nationalism, and calls for revolution. These movements had a profound impact on the Black church, especially the Black power movement.
Dr. James Cone wrote a book during that time titled, Black Theology and Black Power. Cone states in his book, “Black theology is the theological arm of Black Power, and Black power is the political arm of Black theology.” He further states that “While Black power focuses on the political, social and economic conditions of Black people, Black theology puts Black identity in a theological context.” Dr. Cone also wrote God of the Oppressed and Black Liberation Theology.
Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr. (a.k.a Jaramoge Abebe Agyeman) wrote books titled, The Black Messiah and Black Christian Nationalism. He also founded The Shrines of the Black Madonna, churches that focus on the revolutionary dimensions of Jesus Christ, the Black Messiah, building Black Christian Nationalism and political activism. It is important to note that the Black Madonna, Jesus’ mother, is recognized all over the world. Rev. Albert Cleage, Jr. also provided leadership in organizing the historic “Walk to Freedom” with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Detroit, Michigan in June of 1963. Over two hundred thousand Black people participated in the largest civil rights march in history at that time. It was at the “Walk of Freedom” in Detroit where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Rev. Cleage made a fifteen-minute speech just before Dr. King that brought the house down. Two months later in August of 1963, Dr. King reported the “I Have a Dream” speech at the historic March on Washington which received worldwide attention.
In November of 1963, Rev. Cleage organized the forum that brought Minister Malcolm X to Detroit to make his historic “Message to the Grassroots” speech. Minister Malcolm X mentioned Rev. Cleage admirably during his speech. Rev. Cleage and Malcolm X became good friends. Minister Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz spoke at Rev. Cleage’s Shrine of the Black Madonna and heaped high praises on Rev. Cleage and the Shrine for the work that they do in the community. Inez and I (aka Camara and/Shomari Baruti) are presently members of the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Atlanta.
Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry wrote, Jesus Christ African in Origin Revolutionary and Redeeming in Action and My Beloved Community. He became the national presiding minister of The House of the Lord Pentecostal Churches that focuses on the priestly and prophetic dimensions of Christianity (personal salvation and collective liberation). He also became the founding chairperson of The National Black United Front, a grassroots Pan-Africanist activist organization that had its founding convention in Brooklyn, New York attracted over one thousand people, representing over forty states in the United States and five foreign countries.
Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry traveled extensively across the United States and throughout the world championing human rights. National and international leaders considered it an honor to speak at Rev. Daughtry’s historic House Of The Lord Church. Leaders such as Winnie Mandela, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Rosa Parks, The Honorable Judge Bruce Wright, Viola Plummer, Muslim Minister Dr. Khalid Muhammad, Afeni Shakur (Black Panther and mother of Tupac Shakur), numerous ambassadors and freedom fighters from Africa and the Caribbean, countless Black elected officials and grassroots leaders. Rev. Jesse Jackson launched his historic 1984 presidential campaign at The House Of The Lord Church. I am sure that I left out some very important leaders. The list is endless!
Rev. Daughtry was the president and founder of the African People’s Christian Organization (APCO). I was honored to serve as the Secretary-General of the African People’s Christian Organization. APCO, as we affectionately called the organization, established “The Timbuktu Learning Center.” Renowned scholars lectured at the center such as Dr.John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Dr. Cornel West, Dr. James Cone, Dr. Rosalind Jeffries, Dr. Leonard Jeffries Jr., Dr. Adelaid Sanford, Dr. Amos N. Wilson, Dr. Paulette Pierce, Dr. James McIntosh, and many more. As chairman of the National Black United Front, Rev. Daughtry spoke at huge rallies in Washington D.C., on college campuses, and in communities across the nation on a myriad of local, national, and international issues. He united Black radicals/revolutionaries, liberals, socialists, communists, Black nationalists, Christians, Muslims, and even atheists under the banner of the National Black United Front. Rev. Daughtry, a prophetic minister of Black liberation theology is affectionately known as “The People’s Pastor.” His wife, Rev. Dr. Karen S. Daughtry, is presently pastor of The House Of The Lord Church in Brooklyn, New York. I am humbled and honored to say that my wife, Inez Barron, and I served as members of The House Of The Lord Church under Rev. Daughtry’s pastorship, and I served as Rev. Daughtry’s Chief of Staff under his leadership as chairman of the National Blak United Front.
Father Lawrence Lucas is a revolutionary Roman Catholic Priest who was born in Harlem and has pastored in Harlem for over thirty years. He authored the book, Black Priest/White Church: Catholics and Racism, and he co-founded The National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. He is a revolutionary Black liberation theologian who has done grassroots organizing with the revolutionary December 12th Movement in New York City. He is a true champion of Black liberation, human rights, and social justice.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright is the retired pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Rev. Wright served on several boards of directors, including The Black Theology Project and The Malcolm X School of Nursing. He was the pastor of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama. He performed their marriage ceremony and baptized their children. When he was a community organizer and Senator, Barack Obama attended a sermon delivered by Rev. Wright titled, “Audacity to Hope”, which was the title of his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and later became the title of his second book.
To be continued…