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Colorado State University African Americans and Revolutionary Conclusions Paper

Directions: You do not have to write this as a paragraph or essay style. Simply answer the questions as numbered entries.

  1. What does Omali Yeshitela mean? (ii)
  2. What was his name before he changed it?
  3. Yeshitela begins his book by saying he is a socialist but that his ideas were not shaped by Russia, China or Karl Marx. Why do you think this is important? (p. 1 and 5)
  4. What does he mean by “My trajectory towards revolutionary conclusions has been essentially American-made?” (p. 1)
  5. What were some of the historical events that took place when he was a child that you think shaped his life? (p. 2)
  6. What influence did his grandmother have on his life? Why do you think the story of Joseph in the Bible was most important to his grandmother? (p. 3)
  7. Why did Black mothers fear for their children? How did the lynching of Emmett Till confirm those fears and confirm “the disdain that white power held for African life?” What does Yeshitela have in common with Emmett Till? (p. 4)
  8. Describe Yeshitela’s earliest encounters with the police. (p. 5)
  9. Why did Yeshitela drop out of school and join the Army? Did he find the freedom he was looking for? Describe his experiences(p. 6)
  10. What does he mean that: “In Germany I began to understand more about imperialism?” (p. 6) What are some of the world events that happened while he was in the Army? (p. 7)
  11. Why did Yeshitela write the letter to President Kennedy? What was the result of this to his career in the Army? What did the psychiatrist mean that he was a “Garveyite”? (p. 8)
  12. Explain his experiences and views with the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, and the Congress of Racial Equality. (p. 11-12)
  13. Explain SNCC and his actions with them.
  14. As a member of SNCC, Yeshitela tore down an offensive mural depicting Blacks in a slave-like relationship to whites. Yeshitela says the mural “was a symbol for a more important issue.” What was the more important issue? How might activists taking down “racist” monuments today learn from Yeshitela’s experience? (p. 14)
  15. What was the Junta of Militant Organizations? What were some of the campaigns they led? (p. 15-16)
  16. “As it does today, the government attempted to respond to this challenge to the status quo with ____________.” Fill in the blank
  17. What does Yeshitela mean that “the limitations of JOMO had become obvious to me and to others. A militant organization that simply demonstrated and protested against the problems was totally insufficient”?
  18. What does Uhuru mean? What are the origins of this term?
  19. What organization did Yeshitela create after JOMO?
  20. What are some of the organizations, institutions and accomplishments of the Uhuru Movement? (p. 18)
  21. Often depicted as “black separatists,” why is this an inappropriate description of their movement? (p. 18)
  22. How has “community removal” (what we now call gentrification) hurt the Black community in St. Pete? (p. 21 and 22)
  23. Describe the Uhuru Movement plan for economic development and social justice. (p. 23-25)
  24. What does Yeshitela mean that “The problem we face is not simply the rogue cop or renegade group of cops.”?
  25. What do you think young activists now days could learn from the life of Omali Yeshitela?


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