Jamala Rogers

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Jamala Rogers


Jamala Rogers is a leading member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and the Organization for Black Struggle .

Early life

Jamala Rogers was born Terry Massey in 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from Central High School in 1968[1].

Early activism

An activist at Tarkio College, Rogers was a leader of the black student organization. She tried to join the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party, during the time that its leader, Pete O'Neal, was leaving the country. After earning her B.S. degree in education in 1972, Rogers taught elementary school in her old Kansas neighborhood.

Rogers married ACTION member Percy Green and both became members of Congress of African People under the leadership of Amiri Baraka in the 1970s. There, along with Haki Madhubuti, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Jitu Weusi and others, Rogers practiced a version of Maulana Karenga's black nationalist Kawaida Theory. She was also involved in the African Liberation Support Committee and the National Black Political Assembly.

In 1974, Congress of African People dissolved, and she became a part of the RCL, also under the leadership of Baraka. In 1980, Rogers joined Herbert Daughtry, Conrad Worrill and other black activists to form the Black United Front. The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1980 by Rogers and other community activists, students and union organizers to help the black working class and extol the principles of Black Power. OBS programs include community civic, youth, education and cultural arts activities from the African oriented Rowan Community Center[2].

Road to the "Road"

Kalimu Endesha, (St. Louis Congress of African Peoples), Karega Hart (Detroit CAP), Jamala Rogers (St. Louis CAP), Sanjulo Ber(Pittsburgh CAP)

Sanjulo Ber was a Kawaida Advocate in the Congress of African People in the early ’70s. According to Jamala Rogers "I was in St. Louis building a CAP chapter there, while Sanjulo did the same in Pittsburgh. So when Art Young recalls that Sanjulo “did the jobs that others would not: going door to door and hanging posters,” it was a reflection of the revolutionary work ethic that we had learned in CAP. We proudly worked to be real servants of the people."

When CAP embraced a Marxist-Leninist ideology, they became the Revolutionary Communist League. RCL eventually merged with the League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L). Our political journey led us to embrace socialism as system that valued humanity and met the needs of all people. It was a vision for the reconstruction of a society free of all forms of exploitation and oppression. Ultimately, "we found our ideological home with Freedom Road Socialist Organization / Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad. Sanjulo Ber was a member of FRSO/OSCL at his death."

Ber was a founding member of the National Black United Front, the Black Radical Congress and other formations.

Sanjulo was a working class leader and dedicated soldier in the war against capitalism and globalism. Whether organizing workers at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass factory or working with youth, Sanjulo worked tirelessly to empower those at the bottom of the social and economic ladder. He was a familiar and respected figure in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.

Sanjulo Ber had been active in Black Voices for Peace and forceful in his views against the war and Bush’s military policies. He insisted on participating in the local activities marking the third anniversary of the US attack on the Iraqi people. Poor health forced him to ride in the march but he was there.[3]

Recent activism

In 1993, Rogers was appointed director of the City of St. Louis' Office of Youth Development by Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr. fostered serving until 2001. During this period, Rogers also served as chairperson of the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable.

In addition to being chairperson of OBS, Rogers is co-chair of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression and sits on numerous boards of youth and education oriented agencies. Rogers is a prolific contributor to websites and blogs and is also a featured contributing writer for The St. Louis American and an editorial board member of the Black Commentator[4].

Her writing focuses on issues like Hurricane Katrina, the Jenna Six, police brutality and the environment.

Nairobi 1985

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Jamala Rogers traveled to the Nairobi Women's Conference in 1985, along with Anna Ochoa O'Leary and Sasha Hohri.

Unity correspondent

In 1989 Regional Correspondents for Unity, newspaper of the League of Revolutionary Struggle included Jamala Rogers, St. Louis.

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Jamala Rogers was a leader of Socialist Organizing Network.

Forward Motion

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In 1994 Rukiya Dillahunt, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Bill Gallegos, Karega Hart, Ed Hunt, Jamala Rogers, Juliet Ucelli, Bob Peterson, Meizhu Lui were guest editors of the editorial collective of Forward Motion, the journal of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[5]

In 1996 Elly Leary, Bob Peterson, Meizhu Lui, Rukiya Dillahunt, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Bill Gallegos, Karega Hart, Ed Hunt, Scott Kurashige, Jamala Rogers were contributing editors to Forward Motion, the journal of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[6]

FRSO

Jamala Rogers writes a weekly column for the St. Louis American, an award-winning Black newspaper in St. Louis, MO. She is also as of 2009, a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization[7].

Black Radical Congress

In 1998, Rogers joined with Angela Davis, William Strickland and 20,000 other activists to form the Black Radical Congress (BRC) in Chicago. Rogers has served in a number of leadership capacities with the BRC, including as a coordinating committee member and as national conference coordinator.

In 2000 Jamala Rogers served on the Coordinating Committee of the Black Radical Congress.[8]

In 2006 Jamala Rogers was Executive Director of the Black Radical Congress[9].

“Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century”

10th Anniversary Meeting of the Black Radical Congress, “Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century” Black Radical Congress, June 20-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri.

Endorsers for the Congress included Jamala Rogers, Black Radical Congress.[10]

Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression

Members of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression held a press conference in front of St.Louis City Hall June 13, 2006 to call attention what they claim are serious violations to the state's Sunshine Law by the St. Louis Police Board.

Jamala Rogers and John Chasnoff said that the version of a Civilian Review Board reflected in a General Order signed in May by Police Board President Chris Goodson is different from the one presented and approved at the board's April meeting.

The Coalition said these changes are significant, and that they were not made in an open meeting is a violation of Missouri's laws on open government.[11]

Venezuela

In 2007, Rogers was part of a U.S. delegation invited by Presidente Chavez to Caracas for the unveiling of the Dr. Martin Luther bust-Busto Martin Luther King Paselos Insignes. The delegation was organized by Joseph Jordan Director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill).

I was able to see first hand the efforts of the Bolivarian Revolution, like the land reclamation projects. I was struck by the engagement of the people in their society, many of them carried their dog-eared Venezuelan Constitution in their pockets every day. And why not? They had helped to create it. They were genuinely excited about building futures. The knowledge of African and African American History as well as the Black Liberation Movement by the Venezuelan people was remarkable. We were treated like dignitaries while in the country and were given access to the people and to many of the country’s programs like the Comités de Tierra Urbana (Urban Land Committees or CTU).

My comrade, Genevieve Williams Comrie, wrote a great piece for Al-Jazeerah.com about Chavez.[12]

Committees of Correspondence conference

At the 6th National Convention of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) at San Francisco's Whitcomb Hotel July 23-26 2009 a Symposium roundtable[13]conversation on "Building the Left and the Progressive Majority." featured CCDS leader Mildred Williamson, Judith LeBlanc of the Communist Party USA, Joe Schwartz of Democratic Socialists of America, Michael Rubin of Solidarity, Jamala Rogers of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Linda Burnham. The panelists discussed the importance of building the left within the current upsurge, working for left unity in struggle against the right, and the tactical issues that arise in uniting the progressive majority.

Black Commentator

As of 2009 Jamala Rogers was listed on the Editorial Board for the Black Commentator.[14]

Justice for Reggie Clemons Campaign

July 17, 2009, the Justice for Reggie Clemons Campaign welcomed the resolution of the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP, the nation's leading civil rights organization, in support of the nationwide effort to secure justice for Reggie Clemons. The resolution was passed at the NAACP's 100th Anniversary Conference being held in New York City.

In its resolution the rights group announced that it has launched a clemency campaign on Clemon's behalf and lauded the decision of the Missouri Supreme Court to appoint a special master to look into the case and investigate claims that Reggie was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. The Court acted in response to a petition for habeas corpus filed by Reggie's attorneys on June 12th.

Jamala Rogers, the coordinator of the Justice for Reggie Clemons Campaign, called the NAACP'S action, "critically important to the struggle for justice in Reggie's case." She added, "we hope and believe that Governor Nixon is paying attention to the numerous and important voices who are urging a fresh look at the very disturbing facts in this case."

In addition to the NAACP, groups including the ACLU, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and high profile individuals including Congressman William Lacy Clay, Danny Glover, Mike Farrell and Bianca Jagger have spoken out on Clemons's behalf.

Reggie was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of two young women who drowned after plunging from the Chain of the Rocks Bridge into the Mississippi River.

David Lerner/Karmen Ross, Riptide Communications were contacts for the campaign.[15]

Political connections

Writing in the St Louis American, March 14, 2013, Freedom Road Socialist Organization member Jamala Rogers, claimed to have a "long relationship with" both Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr..[16]

US Social Forum National Planning Committee

Contact Sheet for the National Planning Committee of the U.S. Social Forum, Detroit 2010. Original April 09, 2009, Updated February 23, 2010.

Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression

A proposal to create a civilian review board for city police, which stirred the ire of the police union on one side and protesters on the other, was approved January 2015, by a committee of aldermen Monday largely unchanged from its original wording.

“By the time we come to the first anniversary of the Mike Brown tragedy, we need to be able to say we passed a bill,” said Jamala Rogers, a co-chair of the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression, who spoke before the committee on Monday.[17]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those invited, on Facebook included Jamala Rogers .[18]

References

  1. http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=1749&category=Civicmakers&occupation=Community%20Activist%20%26%20Newspaper%20Columnist&name=Jamala%20Rogers
  2. http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=1749&category=Civicmakers&occupation=Community%20Activist%20%26%20Newspaper%20Columnist&name=Jamala%20Rogers
  3. http://freedomroad.org/2006/04/ipresente-sanjulo-ber-nilliam-harvey-johnson/ FRSO, ¡Presente! Sanjulo Ber (né William Harvey Johnson) Posted on Wednesday April 26th, 2006 by Freedom Road Socialist Organization]
  4. http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=1749&category=Civicmakers&occupation=Community%20Activist%20%26%20Newspaper%20Columnist&name=Jamala%20Rogers
  5. {Forward Motion 58,Summer 1994]
  6. {Forward Motion Winter 1996/97]
  7. http://freedomroad.org/content/view/581/230/lang,en/
  8. BRC Today, Volume 1, Issue 4, Winter 2000-01, page 9
  9. http://freedomroad.org/content/view/647/231/lang,en/
  10. Info Exchange, 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Black Radical Congress, June 20-22, 2008
  11. PubDef VIDEO: Illegal CRB Changes? By Antonio D. French Filed Tuesday, June 13, 2006
  12. [ http://jamalarogers.com/The death of Presidente Hugo Chavez]
  13. http://www.cc-ds.org/convention_2009/Socialism_and_the_Emerging_Progressive_Majority.pdf
  14. http://www.blackcommentator.com/about_us.html
  15. http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/07/17/campaign-salutes-naacp-resolutions-calling-justice-reggie-clemons Common Dreams, riday, July 17, 2009 - 3:23pm Justice for Reggie Clemons Campaign Campaign Salutes NAACP on Resolutions Calling for Justice for Reggie Clemons]
  16. A defeat and a victory, Posted 3 weeks ago | By Jamala Rogers
  17. St Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis aldermen move forward civilian oversight board of police 3 February 09, 2015 11:00 pm • By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
  18. FB Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing Went 109