While Black people often share cultural, historical and experiential linkages, we have never been a monolith. These tensions between collective identity and individual autonomy sometimes contribute to splintering among organizers who advocate Black freedom.

As of Wednesday, the activist organization formerly known as Black Lives Matter Cincinnati (BLMC) announced their transition into Mass Action for Black Liberation (MABL). In the announcement, the Ohio-based group also issued a scathing critique of the larger Black Lives Matter (BLM) network to which they were previously connected. 

The statement highlights intra-organization struggles over whose work is deemed legitimate, receipt of credit and some activists’ dissatisfaction with the national BLM organization’s “shift towards electoral and liberal Democratic Party politics and away from revolutionary ideas.” It cites the #WakandatheVote voter education and registration initiative as an example.

The former Cincinnati chapter further condemns the way select BLM members are centered in the media, these members’ ability to turn activism into profit, and what it characterizes as the national organization’s failure to meaningfully engage, include and credit less visible members of the community. The Ohioans also believe the national organization inadequately pursued the jailing of police officers who kill Black people.

Last May, Blake Simons raised similar concerns here at the Black Youth Project about the intersections of capitalism, media acclaim and movements for Black liberation. Mass Action for Black Liberation’s post may be read in full here.