Black Solidarity Day: 50th Anniversary


The late Dr. Carlos Russell. Photo YouTube.

Monday, November 5, 2018 marks the 49th anniversary of Black Solidarity Day.

In 1969, Dr. Carlos Russell was inspired by a play written and produced by Douglas Turner Ward entitled “A Day of Absence” which depicted a small southern town experiencing the ramifications of the unexpected absence of all the black people. Dr. Russell initiated the call for a national Black Solidarity Day on the day before election day. A day of absence from school, work, and shopping; a day for black people to remove themselves from business as usual in resistance.

Dr. Russell joined the ancestors on July 10 this year aged 84.

“This year, as we approach the 50th anniversary of Black Solidarity Day, we must recapture the heart of its principles. Dr. Carlos Russell envisioned a collective action that would impact the political and economic system that has and continues to oppress Black people today. Black Solidarity Day exposes the hypocrisy of U.S. democracy,” explained Lateefah Carter, veteran activist in the December 12th Movement.

“It has historically been held each year on the day before election day in order to heighten the duplicity of the U.S. political process and to exert the economic power of the masses in our people. No work, no school, and no shopping, allows us to fundamentally impact the political-economy. The absence of transit workers, nurses, teachers, social services, utility workers, and government staffers, would cripple the city. Restaurants, retail stores, entertainment, and sports would shut down,” she continued.

“Black Solidarity Day is a day for us to come together and reflect on our current conditions and plan which way forward in resistance and liberation. As the right wing in this country becomes more and more virulent, hostile, and violent toward people of color, we must stand in solid unity. The ethnic cleansing of black communities across the country demands our direct action. We a’int going nowhere. The relentless suppression of our votes demand a conscious analysis of the political-economic system itself. And we must pay close attention to the 2020 US Census.” In conclusion Carter stated, “We all must be counted and we Black ”

The Black Solidarity Day Coalition will hold three community events throughout the day in respect of the traditional call for No Work, No School and No Shopping.

“Teach the People Program” Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza 10:00am – 12:00pm,1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY. The “OUR STREETS!” Rally & March against Ethnic Cleansing will assemble at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza at 2:00pm, on the corner of Marcy Avenue and Fulton Street, Brooklyn. “Don’t Count Us Out – 2020 Census” Forum at 6:30 pm, at Siloam Presbyterian Church, 260 Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn NY.

For more information or endorsements call (718) 398-1766,, or #BlackSoliday / #WeBlack / #WeAintGoingNowhere.

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