black people on the move!

Who we are

The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) was founded in 1980. A group of veteran activists, students, union organizers and community members in St. Louis were seeking to address the needs and issues of the Black working-class. There was a vacuum of Black radical leadership that could boldly speak and act, unencumbered by government or corporate structures. In retrospect, this was a challenging period.

The FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program, known as COINTELPRO, wreaked havoc on the leaders and organizations of the Black Liberation Movement. By 1980 the right was beginning to consolidate its power politically, with a conservative in the White House for the next 12 years. The country was struggling to get out of the economic recession. It was out of this abyss that OBS was born.

Our Work

Racial Justice

Racial Justice

Our people deserve court systems that are just and free of political corruption. We are determined to end police violence. We will fight for the abolition of the prison industrial complex and the death penalty. We will fight for a society in which every person and every community is liberated from state repression and violence. This means building a humane system rooted in restorative justice and with a keen understanding of historic trauma that continues to shape our psyche and relationships.

Women's Rights

Women's Rights

OBS upholds Black, radical feminism and recognizes the intersectionality of race, class and gender. We fight against all forms of patriarchy, such as sexism and misogyny, that stifles the full human rights of women in all areas of personal, social, economic and political life. We respect the spectrum of gender and sexual identities.

Black Workers Rights

Black Workers Rights

We demand a re-structuring of the capitalist economy to ensure human needs are met over the accumulation of corporate super-profits. We seek full employment at livable wages. We support the right of workers to organize themselves in public and private sectors. Workers deserve a safe and healthy work environment.

Black Political Power

Black Political Power

We believe in Black self-determination in all areas of society. We fight for a political system that results in a real democracy where Black people and all marginalized people can effectively exercise full political power and govern. We demand the end to voter repression and disenfranchisement.

Youth Empowerment

Youth Empowerment

We believe our children are truly our future. The quality of their lives is based upon quality education, health care, housing, recreation and nutrition. We fight for the end to the dehumanization and criminalization of our children and youth. We seek to build communities that are child-centered and that support families in a holistic way.

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Get the book

 In the wake of Mike Brown’s brutal death by police, Jamala Rogers, an award winning columnist and author of The Best of the Way I See It was compelled to frame the national dialogue of Ferguson within the context of the American experience. Ferguson Is America: Roots of Rebellion chronicles the long-standing fight for racial justice and human rights in the region, affirming why black lives have always mattered. Through her vivid writing, Jamala shares her organizing experiences and poignant insights into the decades of unjust inequalities and institutional racism in Ferguson and the surrounding municipalities. She lays the conditions leading up the uprising at the feet of the American reality of racial discrimination and economic injustices.

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