Survival Programs: Hurricane Katrina, the Black Panthers and the Angola 3, an Evening with Malik Rahim of the Common Ground Collective

NEXT Monday night, August 3rd, please join us at Good Samaritan for this event that will happen at 630pm at the Church, sponsored by the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign Florida​: 

An Evening with Malik Rahim​, founder of the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans as he discusses Survival Programs: Hurricane Katrina, the Black Panthers, and the Angola 3 

Photo of Mr. Rahim was taken at Dolores Park in San Francisco October 27, 2007. Rahim, representing Common Ground, gave a speech to an anti-war crowd who had marched from San Francisco's Civic Center.

Photo of Mr. Rahim was taken at Dolores Park in San Francisco October 27, 2007. Rahim, representing Common Ground, gave a speech to an anti-war crowd who had marched from San Francisco’s Civic Center.

August 29th will mark the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In that apocalyptic atmosphere, life reorganized itself. In the face of the inaction of the public authorities and white vigilantes roaming the streets shooting at unarmed black males, forgotten forms of resistance were reborn. Malik Rahim, a former black panther, and a handful of anti-authoritarians created Common Ground Collective, and with it health clinics, tool lending library, eviction defense, roof-tarping, distribution of aid, community gardens, a woman’s shelter, tree-cutting service, community media center, bioremediation, debris clean up, radio station, they stopped house demolitions, documented police abuses and more. In effect, being “a conduit for the twenty-first century version of the Ten Point Program” These efforts led even ABC’s Nightline to call Common Ground “A very remarkable group of Americans who just may save New Orleans”.

But none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the Angola 3: three panthers in Louisiana’s Angola prison wrongly convicted of murdering a jail guard. The founders of Common Ground found each other through advocating for the release of these political prisoners. Malik Rahim, will recount this history and share the struggle of Albert Woodfox, an innocent man and the sole member of the Angola 3 still in solitary confinement more than 43 years after his wrongful conviction. Every time an elder dies, it is like a library has been burned. A generation ago, Panthers organized for the self-determination of black communities by implementing survival programs, the best known of which was a kid’s free breakfast program, but also consisted of self-policing neighborhoods, political education, and food and clothes distribution, thereby becoming a threat by showing an alternative. These struggles, and the knowledge and experience learned from them, are still relevant to the ongoing struggles of today. It is a history that is lost unless it is told. Malik will join us to spread this knowledge, contributing a vital link connecting movements of today with movements of the past, in hopes of furthering the struggle for environmental peace and justice.

Good Samaritan Church Pinellas Park​ is 6085 Park Blvd. Pinellas Park, Florida, call 727 278 1547 for info about event or find it on Facebook here.

One thought on “Survival Programs: Hurricane Katrina, the Black Panthers and the Angola 3, an Evening with Malik Rahim of the Common Ground Collective

  1. A survival program today would no doubt look different than the Black Panther’s program. However, the principle of building independent structures to address the deadly impact of capitalist and racist exploitation is still of urgent importance. Tens of millions of people cannot meet healthcare costs and nearly