Every year, tens of thousands of people, mostly Black, converge in the heart of Los Angeles for Taste of Soul– a celebration with food, music and entertainment.
This year, among the festivities as well as corporate sponsors, the Afro Socialist Coalition, made up of DSA-LA, Left Voice, The Undercommons and the Los Angeles Black Workers Center, will table at the event bringing socialist politics to A Taste of Soul. We will have literature, buttons, music and a video of Black socialists. The Afro-Socialist Coalition seeks to reach out to members of the Black community with a bold message of socialism, Black liberation and unity.
Our purpose is to discuss and build upon the Black Socialist tradition; we are part of a long line of Black socialists who believe that the struggle for Black liberation is inherent to the fight against capitalism. We want to discuss the legacy of Black socialists such as W.E.B Dubois, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, CLR James, Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. We hope to discuss politics against police violence, oppression and imperialism, while putting forward the strategy of class struggle and socialism as the solution to these and many more problems.
As we organize for the Taste of Soul event, the FBI classifies Black activists as “Black Identity Extremists,” following in the footsteps of COINTELPRO. We are committed to the fight against police brutality and in support of Black people targeted by the State.
Also, as we prepare for Taste of Soul, the internet is filled with #MeToo stories of sexual assault and violence experienced by women of all races. This is a campaign originally designed by a Black woman, Tarana Burke, and it reminds us that we must be committed to fighting bigotry– from sexism, to heterosexism to transphobia. We are also reminded that the State creates and perpetrates our oppression- from Donald Trump who sexually assaults women, to the prison industrial complex, to the courts who let police kill us with impunity.
Black people have been militants in class struggle since our ancestors were kidnapped and forced into slavery around the world, taking up the struggle against racism at the job as well as leading the fight for unemployed workers’ rights. A. Philip Randolph led the Sleeping Car Porters strike and Martin Luther King endorsed the AFSCME strike of the sanitation workers– one of his last political acts before his assassination. Today, Black people have proportionally higher representation in unions than any other ethnic group. In the recent Fight for $15, Black women have been the frontline, rank-and-file leaders and organizers at the workplace for a universal $15 minimum wage.
Today, the US is bombing African countries like Somalia and Libya, so when we say that Black Lives Matter, we must also take an anti-imperialist stance. Out anti-imperialism is all-encompassing– not only against US bombs, but also against economic imperialism that extracts resources while millions starve. We fight for imperialism out of Africa and African diasporic communities.
We invite people in Los Angeles to come discuss and debate these ideas with us at our tent at Taste of Soul.
The Afro Socialist Tent at A Taste of Soul! 10/21/17 @10am til 7pm!
Left Voice will be filming the event as well as speaking with members of the Afro Socialist Coalition.