/  07.14.2020


REVOLT.TV is home to exclusive interviews from rising stars to the biggest entertainers and public figures of today. Here is where you get the never-before-heard stories about what’s really happening in the culture from the people who are pushing it forward.

On Tuesday (July 14), a new political party called Our Black Party launched and its mission is to improve the lives of millions of Black Americans by demanding political action and passed policies that prioritize the Black community.

During a time when the Black Lives Matter movement is in full force due to the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and so many more Black lives; now seems to be a great time to introduce such a party that’s political agenda unapologetically “gives power to the ​people.​” According to a press release, the party consists of a number of Black elected officials, advocates, organizers, policymakers; cultural, community and spiritual leaders all focused on finally obtaining the American promise for Black citizens — a promise that millions of Americans, especially Black ones, think is long overdue…by centuries.

“Our Black Party was born of this moment. As Black people force this country into a reckoning with centuries of racism and injustice, we must also harness our collective power to change the laws and the lawmakers that have fortified these systems of oppression. Our Black Party exists to do just that—we are seizing this moment to create lasting change for all of us,” said ​Candace Hollingsworth, ​Our Black Party Co-Chair and Mayor of Hyattsville. 

It hasn’t been since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 that America passed a comprehensive public policy that positively affected the lives of Black people. Our Black Party is looking to change that. Some of the initial goals of Our Black Party are to decriminalize poverty, defund the police, address racism in healthcare, provide guaranteed income for all, grow black businesses, provide high-quality and affordable education, and much more.

The party plans on reaching these feats by electing at least 1,000 Our Black Party politicians at every level. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center report, out of the 500,000 elected positions in the U.S. government; less than 1% have Black officials. This number is alarming considering the fact that the Black community makes up 13% of the 40 million people that the American population consists of.

“In this heightened era of showing the world that Black Lives Matter, we have to take control of our politics, as well. In order to control our economics, our communities, our lives, we have to control our politics. It’s time for us to speak for ourselves. Our votes, our political positions, and our policies matter. Our Black party is the home for our people and those committed to helping us achieve our vision,” said Dr. Wes Bellamy​, Our Black Party Co-Chair and former Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Both Hollingsworth and Bellamy spoke to REVOLT about Our Black Party, its mission for Black people, and much more. Read below.

Define what Our Black Party is and its mission.

Bellamy:Our Black Party exists to advance a political agenda that addresses the needs of Black people and to provide a political home for Black people.

What inspired the creation of this new political party?

Hollingsworth: ​There is a collective frustration right now with the political policies and political systems that are currently in place; along with that comes a number of people trying to figure out how to exactly fix the problem in the best way.

Wes and I have known each other for years, and collectively with members of the Steering Committee, have been working on this vision for some time. The current climate of this country allowed for Our Black Party to be brought to fruition, while welcoming the contributions of everyone in the Black community to create an organization that will power the Black agenda.

What can Black people depend on from this party versus the others?

Hollingsworth:One thing that we want to make clear is that we are focused on the interests of Black people over politics. We have a fierce commitment to Black people and the needs of our communities. We named this Our Black Party because it’s all of ours. It belongs to people committed to pushing forward the Black agenda.

A lot of Black Americans tend to be Democrat. Why do you think that is and how has the Democratic party failed them?

Hollingsworth: ​Both parties (Democratic and Republican) have failed Black Americans. The fact that we have continued to participate in the electoral system and, in particular, overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic candidate is a testament to our fervent belief in this country and its democracy. Our goal is to raise the standards of engagement with our community and, in turn, elevate our expectations of those seeking the Black vote.

Why is now an important time for Our Black Party to launch?

Bellamy: From a national, state, and local perspective, there’s currently a lot of energy in terms of people wanting to do something and Our Black Party is one vehicle that can be used to corral collective energy to cultivate change. We don’t just want symbolic change, we want substantive change.

Some of the party’s initial efforts are to defund the police, provide guaranteed income for all, decriminalize poverty, address racism in healthcare, grow black businesses, provide high-quality and affordable education and more. How will it go about achieving such difficult goals? What will be the process?

Bellamy: We are not a monolithic group and no one group of Black people can speak for all Black people. With that being said, there are quality of life issues that all of us experience and our goal is to advance policies that dramatically improve the quality of life for Black people. To do that, we plan to go beyond legislating through elected officials.

To achieve our initial outlined goals, we will develop policy tools, instruct and teach community members on how to pass legislation at the local level while continuing to advocate consistently with existing legislators. We want Black people to feel empowered and have the tools that they need to push elected officials to do the work we expect them to do. Everyone is needed to create change — activists, organizers, etc. Not just elected officials.

Will the party also tackle the second amendment and Black firearm ownership?

Hollingsworth: ​As long as the second amendment is enshrined in the U.S. constitution, our goal is to make sure that all rights that are extended to the American people are extended in the same way and for Black people to receive equal protections. While members of our leadership are firearm owners, we recognize that gun violence is an issue in our communities and we want to work with community partners to address it.

How will the lives of Black Americans improve if more Black politicians who share their beliefs enter office as Our Black Party officials?

Bellamy: ​We are setting an expectation that has never been set before. In order to get the support of Our Black Party, we want people who are stating their commitment to the Black agenda, who are taking advantage of the tools we are making available for them to develop policies that address the Black agenda, and looking for the results of that commitment through policies that have been passed through their jurisdictions.

Would you call Our Black Party radical?

Hollingsworth: ​In this country, the very idea of saying Black people should have candidates that address their needs is a radical concept.

How many members does the party currently have? Who are these members?

Bellamy: ​Our goal is to have 250,000 members before we head into the Presidential election this November.

We recently launched and we are currently in the midst of a membership push. We are looking for more people to get involved, and you can do so by going to www.ourblackparty.org​ for more info.

Do all members have to be Black?

Hollingsworth: ​No successful movement has been tackled without the support of allies, and accomplices, and we don’t see this being any different. However, we don’t need allies, we need accomplices. We need people who are willing to put it all on the line: their time, support and treasures to ensure that this party is successful.

How can people join and how can they stay updated on the party’s moves?

Bellamy: ​People interested in joining Our Black Party and staying updated can visit www.ourblackparty.org​.

What message do you have for Black Americans who aren’t sure about how Our Black Party can help their lives?

Bellamy: ​Black people have the right to wonder, “What is this going to do for me?” and be skeptical about the political process. However, we want to remind everyone that before you were a Democrat, Republican or Independent, you were Black and it is time for us to own our politics. We are at a turning point in American politics and in order to have real change for our future generations, we must do something differently now. We cannot limit our action to only protests, but also extend our protest to our politics and into policy development.

What message do you want to send the U.S. government about Our Black Party’s birth?

Hollingsworth: ​Although a new entity, Our Black Party is not a new concept. Black people in this country have long wanted candidates to address their needs and respect their vote. Our Black Party is a manifestation of this collective dream and our network intends to make it a reality.

What message do you specially have for the racists and oppressors of this country about Our Black Party now being here? What can they expect – even fear — about America’s future with this new pro-Black party’s creation?

Hollingsworth: ​Our Black Party plans to work to secure the American promise for Black people and that means undoing centuries of oppression and white supremacy. We know that by doing so, we are upsetting a system on which many others have thrived. Working on the behalf of marginalized and oppressed communities benefits all of us, and if doing so upsets those who are wedded to oppression and white supremacy, then we say, “Game on.” 

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