In October of 2003 SLAM hosted a talk on “Black Anarchism” by former Black Panther and political prisoner, Ashanti Alston. We here in the kinté space have very little to add to the name of Ashanti Alston. His Internet coverage is impressive and substantial.

What’s interesting and not discussed at length is the relationship Black Anarchism has with traditional, ‘classical’ Africa. The opinion here is that, for example, as reported by Dr. Ernest N. Emenyonu, modern Nigeria has over 390 languages—languages inherited from traditional Africa. Does not this one indicator (of many) translate into a broken English concept resembling “Black Anarchism”? How can you have a centralized authority over 390 different streams of consciousness? Would you not need guns and disease, the fear of death, to control so many different kinds of people?

However, SLAM is described as a “multi-racial student and youth organization” so the keywords “multi-racial” and “youth” suggest that traditional Africa studies is not a high priority because it is not clearly and presently relevant to immediate gratification and is unfamiliar to pop culture. Even Runoko Rashidi says that what happened in ancient Egypt 5000 years ago has little to do with ‘what we need now.’ So Ashanti Alston has more challenges and struggles than those mentioned in his very engaging talk and he is not alone.

What stands out about the structure of this presentation is that the Questions and Answers portion is longer than the lecture. This shows anarchism in practice—and it seems to work for the level of intimacy required for such a situation.


Sound Production by . . . . . . . dv

Online Audio Post-production by . . . . . . . Bryan Wilhite

Production by . . . . . . . Dan V.

Interface Design and Programming by . . . . . . . Bryan Wilhite