Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Amiri Baraka’s Notes from Rikers Island Prison

Relationship of the Marxist-Leninist Party to the Black Liberation Movement and the National Black United Front

First Published: Unity, Vol. 3, No. 6, March 14-27, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The recognition that Black people are an oppressed nation in the Black-belt South, must also raise the responsibility to understand the forms of struggle necessary to liberate that nation!

The fundamental form of struggle for the Afro-American nation and oppressed Black nationality – whose struggles for democracy, even outside the Black-belt, are still aimed at the same white racist monopoly capitalist class – is a national Black united front. Such a front is composed of all the democratic classes, organizations and individuals objectively opposed to U.S. imperialism, and struggling objectively for self-determination.

The question of how the various groups define self-determination and how finally the main focus of most definitions will emerge as land and power, specifically, Black control of the Black-belt South, is a question that will be resolved through unity and struggle in the next years.

We should be clear that the National Black Assembly and the African Liberation Support Committee were both forms of the national Black united front in the early 1970’s, effective and dynamic, that were rendered ineffective and objectively destroyed by the errors of militants, but mainly by the clandestine activities of the state.

A national united front is the fundamental weapon of liberation for oppressed nations and peoples. Inside the U.S. the Chicano liberation movement to free the Southwest of U.S. imperialism and the struggle of the Native Americans for land and power are two movements depending on the building of united fronts of all who oppose U.S. imperialism and who will struggle for self-determination.

However, for the majority of people in this country, who are part of the U.S. multinational working class (including the oppressed nationalities) the struggle is directly for socialism, in a one stage socialist revolution. In order that this struggle be successful, a multinational Marxist-Leninist party, based on the science of revolution, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, must be built from the most advanced fighting elements of the working class.

But even to accomplish socialist revolution, a united front of all classes, organizations and individuals struggling against the U.S. monopoly capitalist class must be brought into focused consistent militancy; finally, revolutionary militancy. The movements of the oppressed nations and peoples in the U.S. are objectively part of the united front against the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. This does not mean that their struggles are “subordinate” to the struggle of the multinational working class, but that they are part and parcel of it.

The Marxist-Leninist communist party is of such importance just because it can unify and bring into conscious alliance the various legitimate revolutionary struggles in this country. As we say, transform objective allies into conscious allies.

As communists, in a country where there is no single, unified vanguard Marxist-Leninist party based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, our first priority is to build such a party. But it is not a step one now, step two process as our U.S. dogmatists propose, as a caricature of Marxism. When, for instance, we help build the national Black united front, struggling for communist leadership in such a front, we are also struggling to build a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party, by putting communist ideas to work within the Black Liberation Movement, by the practice of giving leadership, however and to whatever extent that is possible.

The extent to which communist theory can penetrate and give leadership to the mass movement, the national liberation movement, the spontaneous struggle against the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and transform that spontaneous movement, into scientific and thereby more revolutionary movement, the concentrated revolutionary expression of the multinational working class and its closest allies, the oppressed nationalities, is the exact extent to which the struggle to end all forms of exploitation and oppression in the U.S. has been advanced.