Saturday, July 23, 2011

Texas Tour Lecture Circuit

Texas Tour Lecture Series with Hajj Malcolm Shabazz and MOI JR Valrey
By: Seidah Williams

The People’s Lunch Counter – Dallas/Fort Worth  Chapter (PLC) and The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement – Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter (MXGM) hosted a Texas Lecture Series  with Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), and Bay Area organizer/journalist JR Valrey, The People’s Minister of Information (MOI), the voice behind Block Report Radio on KPFA and Associate Editor of San Francisco Bay View. The Texas Lecture Series toured Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas through July 5 – 13, 2011.


The events were hosted at the following locations:
July 5, 2011 at 7pm, Nu Deals Book Store, 10758 S. Gessner, Houston, Texas 77071
July 6, 2011 at 7pm, S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, 3903 Almeda, Houston, Texas 77004
July 7, 2011 at 7pm, Sedition Books, 901 Richmond Ave, Houston, Texas 77006
July 8, 2011 at 7pm, Orun Center for Cultural Arts, 1401 B Cedar Ave, Austin, TX 78702
July 9, 2011 at 2pm, Mitchie’s Gallery, 7801 N. Lamar Blvd. Building B Suite 148, Austin, TX 78752
July 10, 2011 at 7pm, Resistencia Bookstore, 1801 South 1st Street #A, Austin, TX 78704
July 11, 2011 at 10am, South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 South Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, Texas 75210
July 12, 2011 at 7pm, PanAfrican Connection Bookstore, 828 Fourth Ave, Dallas, Texas 75226
July 13, 2011 at 7pm, Dock Bookshop, 6637 Meadowbrook Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76112
Hajj Malcolm Shabazz and MOI JR Valrey spoke to several audiences of all ages roughly over 300 people in Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas. The events were designed to raise awareness and to inspire the people, especially the youth, to join local movements to fight against police brutality and the issues that we face. They commented on several topics – building a strong network to bring about positive change, the political prisoner movement, the powerless vs. those with power, inferior education, 80 percent incarceration of black people who represent only 12 percent of the total population, and politicians pitting us against each other. From city to city, Malcolm and MOI JR worked together to address the common issues that plague our communities and created a platform for the people to come and network with like-minded individuals to spark the process of organization. Hajj Malcolm calls America “the land of smoke and mirrors” because the mainstream media and political leaders mislead and manipulate the truth to keep the people oppressed and confused. MOI JR also stressed the importance of controlling our own media outlets to enforce what his comrade Hajj Malcolm highlights, education and unity.
In Dallas, at The South Dallas Cultural Center, Hajj Malcolm and MOR JR gave advice and insight to a group of youth. Speaking openly of his imprisonment as an adolescent, Hajj Malcolm stated that he decided to be a positive source of change for other youth. He urged the youth to not repeat the mistakes that he made, but instead to read and comprehend those forces that, by design, keep them from full development of their potential. MOI JR shared his experience with the youth striving to become writers on what it’s like to be a journalist for the people. He shared his experience of being on the frontline with the Oscar Grant case and even the pleasures of interviewing important leaders and artist. MOI JR emphasized the importance of developing the writing skills that could be used for a career with the newspaper or to even write and publish their own books.
Hajj Malcolm Shabazz is the grandson of the late great El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcom X). El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was assassinated in front of his family on February 21, 1965. This was a move by COINTELPRO to silence one of the strongest and most effective revolutionary voices of black people in the US to date. After his assassination, his writings and teachings really took root in the minds of a new generation later known as the Black Panther Party. Even today his life is an example of a true revolutionary and inspires people around the world. Forty-five years later, his grandson and 1st male heir, Hajj Malcolm Shabazz has been touring  across the world speaking on a variety of topics including his own life and legacy – in his words, mainstream media, political prisoners, youth and the criminal justice system, what it is like to be the grandson of the Revolutionary icon Malcolm X and about his recent hajj to Mecca and journey to Libya, Africa for the Pan-Afrikan Conference sponsored in part by the African Union.  
The People’s Minister of Information (MOI) JR Valrey is an organizer/journalist from the Bay area that speaks the truth to the people through his articles and radio shows. He is the voice behind Block Report Radio on KPFA and Associate Editor of the San Francisco Bay View. His work is dedicated to informing and educating Black and Brown people, promoting political artists and sharing vital news about the struggle against oppression across the country. MOI JR screened the documentary that he produced “Operation Small Axe”, highlighting the Oscar Grant murder by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle and police terrorism in Oakland and the Bay Area of California. He also introduced his newly published book “Block Reportin” a collection of interviews with local political leaders, national black resistance leaders, and artists, such as Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Freeway Ricky Ross, Paul  Mooney, Hajj Malcolm Shabazz and many more.  MOI JR Valrey spoke on Police Brutality, his experience as a journalist to Tripoli, Libya for the Pan-Afrikan Conference, and his case with the Oakland Police Department falsely accusing him of arson during the Oscar Grant protest.
The People’s Lunch Counter and The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement would like to thank the many organizations and individuals that made this tour a reality. Our focus is to provide an atmosphere that nurtures and develops self determination by the way of community
You can contact us at: or email:

No comments:

Post a Comment