International Black Freedom Alliance

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The International Black Freedom Alliance (IBFA) is a radical-left activist group which claims to represent the interests of black people around the world. The group touts its alleged global reach, claiming that it “organizes without boarders [sic]” and claiming that it had supporters in multiple cities around the world when it launched in 2016. 1

The IBFA has announced its intent to spend 2021 building momentum for a “cultural revolution” that would radically change the basic structures of Western, free market societies, which the group describes as being part of “the system of white supremacy.” 2


The IBFA describes itself as a “pan African (all black people everywhere) organization.” Pan-Africanism is an ideology which states that all African indigenous and diaspora groups share common interests and should unite against other racial groups to advance those interests. The group quotes black nationalist leader and pan-Africanism supporter Malcolm X on its website. Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was a prominent figure in the controversial Nation of Islam (NOI), an anti-white and anti-Semitic religious extremist organization known in the mid-20th century for advocating violence during the American civil rights movement, before converting to Sunni Islam and later being assassinated by NOI militants. 34

The group has embraced left-wing and radical-left status, claiming Marxists, anarchists, socialists, black nationalists, and radical feminists as allies. The IBFA has even disavowed other far-left racial issue organizations as being too moderate, including the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In April 2021, the group claimed that organizations such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation were operating without financial transparency and failing to distribute funds to local BLM groups. The IBFA demanded $20 million from BLM leadership, claiming that the IBFA would “continue the work they started.” 5


The IBFA announced short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives after its apparent founding in 2016 The group’s one-year goals included training 250 organizers and recruiting members on “six continents” through “national and international campaigns.” Within three years, the group laid out goals of acquiring “black controlled land” that its supporters could use for “agriculture, housing, and education,” with the eventual objective of creating a new nation for African-descended people. In its five-year goals, the IBFA sought to to provide food and education for all of its members, create 100 “communities of resistance,” and attract one million supporters around the world. The group also intends to present a reparations policy proposal to the United Nations. 6

The IBFA has identified four strategies to achieve its goals, drawing on left-wing black nationalist campaigns of the past. “The ballot” involves organizing black voting blocs, political parties, and policy proposals for reparations. “The bullet” involves “protest and conscious raising events” with the goal of creating “entire cities where black power in (sic) the culture.” The IBFA has encouraged black separatism, employing “the buck” strategy to create economic institutions for black people separate from mainstream society. Most radically, the IBFA lists “the boat” as one of its strategies, calling on black diaspora populations to return to Africa. 7

The IBFA claims to be working on ideological programs to implement in universities and schools, in addition to developing an educational institution of its own. The group also aims to create black political parties in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The IBFA has recruited organizers to set up visits to Africa for black people and is attempting to put together resources to help people of African descent return to Africa.


Tory Russell is the director of black organizing at IBFA. On Twitter, Russell has criticized mainstream black activists, especially celebrity figureheads of the BLM movement, for allegedly misusing movement resources. He has also praised South African radical-left militant politician Julius Malema, who has encouraged his supporters to kill white farmers (statements that resulted in his expulsion from the country’s governing social-democratic African National Congress party8)  and has called on the South African government to seize white-owned farmland. 910

The IBFA refers to most of its leadership by pseudonyms. “Mama Julia” is listed as “director of black power,” “Comrade Vusi” is listed as “director of African unity,” and “Hood Scholar” is listed as “director of revolutionary black education.” 11 The group describes its leadership as “a mixture of womanist, the formerlyformally [sic] incarcerated, college students and graduates, and black immigrants.” 12


  1.            “Mission Statement.” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  2.        “Mission Statement .” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  3.           “Pan-Africanism.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  4.        “Mission Statement .” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  5.          Joseph Simonson. “The families left behind by Black Lives Matter.” Washington Examiner. April 19, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  6.    “Mission Statement .” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  7.              “Black Political Revolution.” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  8. “ANCYL Leaders’ Convictions Upheld.” IOL. IOL | News that Connects South Africans, November 14, 2016.
  9.             Tory Russell. Twitter. Accessed April 22, 2021.

  10.        “ANC Julius Malema’s Shoot the Boer ruled ‘hate speech.’” BBC. September 12, 2021. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  11.     “Origins.” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
  12.             “Projects.” The International Black Freedom Alliance. Accessed April 22, 2021.
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