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The People’s War – Episode 22: Black Power and the struggle against gentrification

Ticharwa Masimba with African flag“The African community in St. Louis has a very rich and vibrant history of culture, music, resistance and strong family. That’s still a fact in north St. Louis. We contrast that reality to the economic reality where 30% of the population is living on less than $5 a day. Until recently, there have been about 25,000 vacant and abandoned buildings in north St. Louis and much of it looks like a war zone. With the Black Power Blueprint, we want to bring the black community back – with grocery stores, healthy food, vibrant businesses, owned and controlled by the people”, says Ticharwa Masimba.

Masimba, along with Uhuru Movement President Kalambayi Andenet – both longtime residents of St. Louis – are this week’s guests.

They discuss the progress of the Black Power Blueprint in revitalizing north St. Louis with the creation of a community center, outdoor event space, community garden, basketball court and workforce housing.

thumbnail-2.jpegAndenet reflects on the unifying impact of the 50-foot high red, black and green flag that flies over the community garden. “St. Louis has been named the murder capital. The horizontal violence is a real issue. This flag has been the way we have able to say ‘cease fire and save the bullets for the real war’.  We are engaged in getting the gang leaders to sign a peace treaty and say the red, black and green flag trumps all flags.”

Masimba and Andenet explain role of the planned 1000-acre National Geospatial-Intelligence (spy) Agency in the gentrification of north St. Louis and the role of the St. Louis Land Reutilization Agency and Alderman John Collins-Muhammad in supporting white developers and blocking black community property acquisition.

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