On 6th October, JoNina Abron Ervin and Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin, two long-time grassroots organisers from the United States and former Black Panthers, kicked off their speaking tour of the UK at Edinburgh University. They spoke on the subject of “The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan, new confederacy movements and the anti-racist movement for this period” to an audience of nearly 100, standing room only. The following day they travelled to Glasgow for another packed talk this time on the 1960s/70s US black power movement.
In the Edinburgh talk, Lorenzo gave background on the history of the three rises of the Ku Klux Klan, and both he and JoNina spoke about the recent mobilisation against them in Memphis, Tennessee. JoNina told us about Ida B. Wells, a pioneering investigative journalist who visited the UK in 1893 and 1894 to raise awareness of lynchings in the United States. In her memory JoNina and Lorenzo introduced the new Ida B. Wells Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality, and invited groups in the UK to join.
Lorenzo and JoNina are both founding members of the Black Autonomy Federation based in Memphis, promoting class-based grassroots anti-authoritarian struggle, self-determination for the Black community and autonomy and liberation for the oppressed world-wide. Like them on facebook!
JoNina is the author of Driven by the Movement: Activists of the Black Power Era, and Lorenzo is the author of Anarchism and the Black Revolution.