Wednesday, February 16, 2005

An Evening with the Anarchist Panther

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to and meeting Ashanti Alston at the la Petite Gaule café in Montreal.

Presently the Northeast regional coordinator for Critical Resistance, Ashanti is a former member of both the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, and was a political prisoner for over 12 years. Currently, he is a member of Estacion Libre, a people of color Zapatista support group, as well as a board member for the Institute for Anarchist Studies. Ashanti also authors the zine Anarchist Panther.

As he soulfully recounted his personal history and that of the American black liberation movement, I couldn't help but think of the day, in the future, when transhumanism may become a civil rights struggle if human enhancement technologies are forbidden or access to them severely restricted by bioconservative governments.

Despite a very warm conversation where Ashanti spoke of his embrace of anarchist, feminist and queer theory, I didn't have the time to talk to him about anarcho-transhumanism (a political philosophy synthesizing anarchism and transhumanism), afro-futurism (African-American strategies to overcome racial and social classification by means of technology and futuristic mythology) and how a fusion of these two currents could be one funky solution to reconnecting with the imagination of black youth in search of radical empowerment.

Perhaps an email is in order...


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