Analysis for the Intelligent Abolitionist
The term “prison abolition” and police abolition are increasingly being thrown around as buzzwords by activists and social media figures. But what do actionable plans for abolition look like? At New Timbuktu, we theorize real-life alternatives to policing and prison which center the cultural resources of Black communities as solutions to their own problems. New Timbuktu seeks to present analysis toward an “intelligent abolitionism” which takes serious the intellectual, organizing and logistical work necessary for massive social transformation. We intend to spotlight examples of effective work being done on the ground to bring this vision out of the realm of cathartic revolution fantasy to material reality.
Non-Profit Industrial Complex.
Beyond the White Saviour. Becoming the Solutions to Our Own Problems
Popularized in the 2007 anthology “The Revolution Will Not Funded,” the term “Non-Profit Industrial Complex” refers to the constellation of factors which turn the ostensibly humanitarian and radical work of not for profit organizations into an extension of oppressive systems. From the racial politics of the “White Savior” to the reality of increasing focus of many nonprofits away from radical social change to direct social services provision, the functioning of the 2 trillion dollars nonprofit sector has become a topic of political contestation. Increased theorization is needed from those who wish to reclaim the radical potential of mass movements and political organizing from an increasing bureaucratized nonprofit sector.
New Timbuktu seeks to specifically theorize the role that whiteness and white supremacy play in both the institutional structure of nonprofits and the philanthropic decision-making that orchestrate the various strings attached to funding available to Black organizations. We seek to use our unique experience as both providers and consumers of the direct services (as it relates to youth leadership development) to curate conversations that highlight the racial power dynamics within the nonprofit sector and theorize emancipatory alternatives which focus on independent Black institution development.
Building a New Black Economic Ecosystem
The history of independent Black institution building and Pan Afrikan organizing has been plagued by a central tension between the history of revolution, Black socialism, and the real material advancement made by institution builders who chose to work within the existing capitalist system forced upon Blacks in America. New Timbuktu seeks to theorize beyond the caricature of Black/Pan African socialists as starry-eyed dreamers and Black nationalist institution builders as “myopic Black capitalists.” We endeavor to find intelligent solutions to community economic development which focuses on redistributing resources toward the construction of cooperative Black social and economic ecosystems. Building on the long-standing tradition of Black scholarship and activism which sought a “third way” strategy which synergizes the best of these two traditions, New Timbuktu seeks to produce analysis which takes seriously the risks of falling into dogmatic ideological purity and alternatively promotes actionable solutions for Black communities to begin to rebuild and reform their communities toward economic self-determination.
Black Thought for the Street Smart Scholar
Never have there been more people talking about race, yet it seems harder than ever to find a deep understanding of the conditions Black peoples face. The universe of academic thought on Black people is diverse and ever-changing, and thus New Timbuktu seeks to be a guide to help readers navigate what at times can seem like the dense and inaccessible world of academic theorizing on Blackness, Pan Africanism and race to pull together the best of multiple academic traditions. Operating from first-hand experience with an increasing neoliberal educational apparatus, New Timbuktu seeks to hold up the work of often overlooked academic traditions, such as Black political economy, Black psychology, Black sociological, African centered academic through, Black feminism and Afropessism. New Timbuktu also makes space for citizen scholars, outside of traditional academic institutions, to create and offer a diversity of well-researched approaches toward a shared goal of material change for Black people, community self-determination, and liberation for African people worldwide.