Our Movements Are Strongest When Led by The Most Oppressed

Legendary activist discusses new program to teach organizing skills to today’s young radicals

Indypendent Staff Jun 10, 2016

Curtis Muhammad's lifetime of organizing began in his hometown of McComb, Mississippi in 1961.  He was 18-years-old and working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a group of young civil rights activists that brought the movement directly into the lives of the poorest black farmers and laborers in the Deep South.

55 years later Muhammad’s passion for justice hasn’t dimmed.

Short version of the video:

“We are at a period of history once again where all young people who are thinking and want to see justice are rising up,” he says looking back over recent years that have seen the rise of Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, the climate justice movement and the Bernie Sanders campaign among others. 

In this video Muhammad discusses his own life experience and the need for today’s radical movements to ground themselves in the day-to- day lives of poor, dark-skinned people and develop their capacity for leading the struggle for their own liberation. Toward the end of the video Muhammad describes how the Ella Baker Organizing Fund is asking young radicals who want to learn the bottom-up organizing skills honed by SNCC to commit to a one-year internship.

Long version of the video:

Muhammad will lead meetings at beginning and the end of the June 17-19 People’s Summit in Chicago for young people who want to find out more about this project. He will lead additional meetings during the week of protests planned for late July when the Democrats hold their national convention in Philadelphia. Please email for more information or if your group is interested in hosting a four-hour session in your community, conference or gathering.

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