Prof organizing BLM 'Youth Activist Camp'

A California State University-Los Angeles professor is organizing a week-long “Youth Activist Camp” this summer through the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Professor Anthony J. Ratcliff is the organizer of “Youth Activist Camp and Resistance Space 2017,” a “Black youth-centered resistance space” which promises to teach black children as young as 10 “strategies for organizing social justice campaigns” and “direct action tactics” to fight against racism.

Ratcliff is considered one of the leading Black Lives Matter activists in Southern California, along with his colleague CSULA colleague Melina Abdullah, who has retweeted recruitment memes for the summer camp.

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Since the camp is still in the planning stage, Ratcliff has also launched a fundraiser for the initiative, promising that donations will be used to teach black youth how to make “Black Lives Matter in [children’s] social groups, schools, and communities.”

As of press time, the appeal had only garnered $764 of its $10,000 goal, although 26 days remain until the predetermined end-point.

Ratcliff includes an image of black revolutionary Huey Newton on the fundraising page, along with a quote from him stating that “the young always inherit the revolution,” before making his pitch for the summer camp.

“In addition to learning strategies for organizing social justice campaigns and direct action tactics, the camp will focus on community building, skill-sharing, critical literacy, public speaking, as well as techniques for developing healthy collective- and self-care practices,” the description promises.

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According to The Daily Wire, Ratcliff's camp is geared toward members of the BLM-LA "Youth Vanguard," a sub-group for students ages 6-18 that often participates in, and even headlines, local BLM demonstrations.

While he did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Campus Reform, Ratcliff has a long history of teaching and writing about black resistance.

In fact, he even drew some inspiration from Frantz Fanon, the same revolutionary psychiatrist whose writings TAMU Professor Tommy Curry used as an intellectual basis for his endorsement of violence against white people.

This was seen when Ratcliff quoted Fanon in one of his writings, “Black Writers of the World, Unite!,” invoking Fanon’s description of his own writings as a “literature of combat.”

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References to the pro-violence Fanon are seen in other aspects of Ratcliff’s work, as well, including his Ph.D thesis, which made dozens of references to Fanon’s contributions to Pan-African political ideology.

Ratcliff also co-edited a book in which a teacher discussed engaging youth on Fanon’s notion of “horizontal violence,” described as the “negative effect of colonization and dehumanization” of Native American youth.

When Professor Ratcliff isn’t doing academic writing, he’s in the classroom teaching. According to CSULA’s course registry, Ratcliff  has taught classes including “Black Manhood and Masculinity,” and “Hip Hop as Political Expression.”

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This summer, Ratcliff will teach a course on “Racial Equality, Government, and the Constitution,” which promises to examine the role of the Constitution in “restricting and advancing racial equality.”

In the fall, Ratcliff will teach “Black Political Economy,” in which students will learn about the role of “government policy in relation to racial discrimination and inequality” and become empowered by learning about “social justice in the Black experience.”

Professor Ratcliff did not respond to inquiries from Campus Reform about the Black Lives Matter Activist camp he’s organizing this summer.

Follow the author of this article: @Toni_Airaksinen