Conversations #11 - Tara Perry
|Nicholas McCay||Sep 29, 2020|
A conversation with the founder of BlackPact.org, Tara Perry—
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Hey Eclectic Spacewalkers!
After a four-month hiatus due to COVID-19, we were finally able to record a podcast with Tara Perry, founder of BlackPact.org. Tara has been enormously helpful and a trusted friend in navigating the discussion of race in our present society over the last year.
Shortly after the death of Nipsey Hussle in 2019, we reached out to Tara regarding some filming opportunities in order to learn more about the community that just lost a hero. The following months were a humbling journey in thinking and talking about race, privilege, and whiteness that pointed to how entangled those subjects are not just in the United States, but around the world. Unfortunately, we were unable to produce an event/concert in celebrating the life of Nipsey Hussle, but an important conversation had begun.
Here is the event prompt we wrote as a preview to our present discussion:
“The purpose of BlackPact Presents is to “edutain” (Education through Entertainment) the Black community. It is a political education for the public masked as a concert. BlackPact wants to reignite the political flames of the Black Community. Tasking them with the responsibility of getting back involved and facing them with the consequences of what happens when they’re not politically engaged.
Our neighborhoods are being gentrified, our Black men are overly incarcerated, our neighborhoods have been stripped of resources to the point there is nothing left for our children and we aren’t doing anything about it!
We have the responsibility to transform our apathy toward politics and remember what our people have achieved in recent history. We want our message to be conveyed by the heavy hitters of hip-hop to remind the public Black Voices Matters, Black Money Matters & Black Votes Matters. Bringing black people together to commemorate the memory and philosophies of MLK, Malcolm X & Nipsey Hussle.
The purpose of BlackPact is to restore economic/political unity in our community!
A Political Action Committee or PAC's main focus is to use monied contributions to elect or defeat political individuals, but are capped at $5,000 for individuals and $15,000 for any national committee per year.
Starting first as a PAC, BlackPact.org’s ultimate goal would be to become a Super-PAC - which can give unlimited campaign contributions.
BlackPact.org’s mission statement & goals -
“BLACK PACT is a Political Action Committee (PAC) committed to creating a social contract among Black American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) to be politically, economically and socially responsible for one another's interests as a cultural collective. We make a pact to organize the masses of our people and allies to push a political agenda that not only represent the members of our organization but to work against policies that adversely affect our communities. We are driven by a single goal; to push a political agenda that addresses the specific ills forced into our communities through slavery, the reconstruction era, Jim Crow, redlining and the prison industrial complex. Our decision-making process is informed by comprehensive empirical studies and high-quality data evaluations. We strive to make a positive impact on all of our pursuits.”
Tara and I discussed her upbringing and her first dealing with the concept of race, the ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves) movement, running as a write-in candidate for District 8 in Los Angeles, founding BlackPact.org, the history of Jim Crow and redlining, and gentrification’s impact on the Black community among other topics. I thank Tara for her time, research, and eclectic mind.
I hope you enjoy the conversation.
Who were your earliest influences? (01:45)
When was the first time you learned about race? (04:00)
What is ADOS and what is its main goal? (10:48)
Watchmen, Black Wall St., Black Art, Slavery in “the land of the free” (13:45)
How had your concept of race changed after going away to university and coming back to Los Angeles? (19:36)
Experience running for elected office in LA’s District 8 (41:33)
Homelessness, New LA Rams stadium & failed promise in local jobs, and gentrification’s impact (49:15)
Nipsey Hussle and celebrating black culture in the mainstream (58:22)
Tara moderated a panel called “Resurrecting Malcolm” and the wisdom we can attain from Malcolm X in 2020 (01:06:26)
Eclectic Spacewalk’s influences and Tara’s recommendations of others to research (01:15:21)
What is BlackPact’s mission? (01:21:53)
What can be done about reconciling the harms of slavery? (01:29:56)
The New Jim Crow & the prison industrial complex (01:32:57)
What would you say to the World if you were experiencing “The Overview Effect?” (01:42:58)