The New Black Nationalist movement congratulates the The Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club and the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense for its leadership role in hosting three days of commemorative events on the 100th Anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre from May 28 - May 30, 2021.
We cannot underscore enough the importance of these three days of activities with reparations as its central theme. Uniting Black gun clubs, Black militias, Black gun owners associations, various New Black Panther Party factions, and other organizations to memorialize Black Tulsans' heroic resistance to the barbarous 1921 white mob race riot has far-reaching implications.
Historical memory and culture are the lifeblood of national identity. It matters who preserves our historical memory, how they do it, and for what reasons. Over the years, Black civic leaders, politicians, non-profits groups, historical associations, and lawyers have demanded accountability from the City of Tulsa, State of Oklahoma officials, and the courts over the Tulsa Massacre.
In response to these efforts, State Commissions were created, parks were dedicated, scholarship funds were granted, and memorial plaques were mounted. But the sight of 400 Black armed women and men marching through the community chanting 'Never Again,' sends a dramatically different message.
Look at what happened here 100 years ago,” said Nick Bezzel, founder of the Geronimo Pratt Gun Club of Austin, referring to the confiscation of Black Tulsans’ guns and their arrests while white mobs torched their homes and killed their families.
"The armed march" Bezzel added, 'is not meant to stoke violence but is a 'sign of strength' and a message of 'never again." New Black Nationalists agree. Letting the world know the Black community will not only be defended, but possesses the will to fight for its freedom by any means necessary is a welcomed departure.
It also matters that many of the forces that united with the Geronimo Pratt Gun Club and the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense are self-described nationalists. At a press conference, Nick Bezzel was joined by Sheik Imam Akbar Bilal, spokesman of the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, who stated “the Black nation will rise again.”
Nick Bezzel, founder of the Geronimo Pratt Gun Club of Austin
Sheik Bilal's five word statement about the Black nation, can easily be dismissed as radical rhetoric, infantile bombast or a anachronistic throwback to the vernacular of the 1960's. But it shouldn't. Black consciousness and racial consciousness are not the same as national consciousness., as Frantz Fanon so critically insisted upon.
This in not simply a reductionist question that compares the fight to radically reform American Empire by eliminating racial disparities and anti-blackness, versus a revolutionary struggle to overthrow "The Matrix" and create a non-heteropatriarchal Black nation. There is a more profound question here of how we view ourselves as a people.
Are we deserving of the opportunity to govern our own nation and determine our own destiny? Do we possess the knowledge, skills, and courage to do so? Or, after the odyssey we've endured in the Western Hemisphere, is surviving American Empire as supplicants the best life has to offer Black people?
Whenever and wherever Black Nationalists present themselves, notions of a different future and new possibilities are conjured in the Black imagination. We need more self-identifying Black Nationalists on the ground, working with our communities, and competing for hearts and minds.
The commemorative events in Tulsa last weekend demonstrates that after 50 years of Black Nationalists languishing in the post-Black Power Era wilderness, the Red, Black, and Green standard is forcefully re-emerging.
Yet another significant develop from the Tulsa Remembrance events was the laying aside of past differences between different factions of reconstituted Black Panther Party formations. Some of these groups and leaders have been at odds with other for far too long.
Toni Frank of the Geronimo Pratt Gun Club noted that “we have multiple gun clubs including multiple branches of Black Panthers who don’t even like each other that are going to be here together, with each other, in a unified march to commemorate our ancestors.”
If ever Black Nationalists and their allies need to reconcile their differences, it is now. The growing threat of White Nationalists forces, in league with the Republican Party and elements of the U.S. military in staging the January 6 coup at the U.S. Capitol, is a sober warning that its time to cut the bullshit and do the work has arrived.
Can anyone imagine a replay of the organizational in-fighting between Cleaver and Newton BPP factions or the deadly rivalry between the US Organization and the Black Panthers occurring again? Let the reconciliation that began between in Tulsa signal the beginning of a new phase of cooperation and unity.
New Black Nationalists wish to commend all the participating groups of the three-day Black Power Convention and commemorative events for working in cooperation with Tulsa's Black community.
The dedication of historical markers on Friday, May 28, was held at the Vernon A.M.E. Church in Tulsa. The ribbon cutting ceremony of the "Pathway to Hope" walking path in the historic Greenwood District was initiated at Vernon A.M.E.--the last surviving church from the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. We are deeply appreciative of the support of Rev. Robert Turner and his congregation.
The Saturday workshops and panel discussion on Reparations and Self-Defense were attended by the community in Tulsa and its surrounding areas. Local citizens joined the Saturday march through the Greenwood District. Event organizer Nick Bezzel noted that it was important to meet with local Black community members during the conference, to hear what support the community wants and needs.
The leadership of the Black gun clubs, Black militias and political forces in organizing the three significant days of activities for the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, marks an important milestone in the resurgence of Black Nationalism.
It maintains the radicalizing momentum launched by the Black Lives Matter 2.0 Lavender Revolution in the summer of 2020, following George Floyd's police execution. Just as that movement took a more militant, confrontational, and aggressive posture that metastasized into a Black-led planetary revolt, it also spawned the emergence of the Not Fucking Around Coalition. Commander Grand Master Jay's arrest in December 2020, on charges that could land him in prison for 20 years seems to have temporarily sidelined the NFAC, . The Tulsa 2nd Amendment Remembrance March, however, demonstrates that the Black self-defense, Black 2nd Amendment Rights, and the Black militia movements are growing.
On behalf of the New Black Nationalist movement, we wish to thank the following groups and Tulsa's Black community for their efforts to never forget the events and lessons of 1921;
• The Huey P Newton Gun Club (HPNGC)
• The Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club (EGPGC)
• The New Black Panther Party for Self- Defense (NBPP)
• The Fred Hampton Gun Club (FHGC)
• The New Black Liberation Militia (NBLM)
• The Panther Special Operations Command (PANSOC)
The Stateless Maroons of the New Black Nationalist Movement