Birth of a Nation


Fifth Estate # 40, October 15-31, 1967

A national movement has been developing in Detroit with accelerated momentum since the summer rebellion, according to an analysis by Grace and James Boggs in the October 7 issue of the independent radical newsweekly NATIONAL GUARDIAN printed in New York City.

The movement, according to the authors, “is conscious of itself as being in the process of creating from all elements of the black community a self-governing nation which will control and determine its own destiny.”

The brutality of the white power structure during the rebellion and the empty solutions to ghetto problems proposed by more enlightened segments of that power structure solidified the movement, according to the Boggses. The uprising demonstrated to the entire black community

“…that the black brothers and sisters in the street have the power to destroy the urban centers of these United States, and that if their needs and aspirations are not satisfied in any rebuilding the whole thing will be burned down again and again.”

The authors, who have lived and worked in Detroit for some twenty years, detail the background, the leadership and the essential identification with the black community of the new Citywide Citizens Action Committee which is presently the organizational vehicle for Detroit’s national movement.

The Boggses conclude, however, that

“…a national movement of such vitality does not depend upon its organizational form or personnel at any one time. The movement has been in the process of development in Detroit for over ten years. Its accelerated momentum today is only the promise of greater momentum tomorrow and the day after.”

A 4-page reprint of the Boggs’ analysis is available at $5 per 100, or 10 cents a copy from 197 E. 4th St., New York City 10009.