NBUF, REPARATIONS, AND BLOCK-BY-BLOCK ORGANIZING

By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (June 15, 2001)

The National Black United Front (NBUF) is preparing for the Twenty-second Annual National Convention to be held in San Francisco, California from July 12-15, 2001. Since the launching of the NBUF Genocide Campaign in October of 1996, NBUF has become one of the leading organizations in the reparations movement, working closely with the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N`COBRA), in the United States and throughout the African World Community.

NBUF’s work in the Reparations Movement has intensified through our alliance with the December 12th Movement in organizing to participate in the upcoming United Nations World Conference Against Racism that will be held August 31 – September 1, 2001 in Durban, South Africa.

Over the past two years, the December 12th Movement, with the support of NBUF, has effectively made public, throughout the world, the African Group Resolution that takes the position that the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery was a Crime Against Humanity, and the Economic Roots of Racism should be examined. In this context, we take the position that African people are owed reparations throughout the world.

Currently, the December 12th Movement and NBUF, along with African Governments, Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), the African and African Descendents Caucus, are fighting for the above positions to be included in the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) Durban Declaration. Obviously, led by the United States, the European Union is opposed to the inclusion of these positions in the Durban Declaration. They don’t want to admit that the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery was a Crime and that African people are owed reparations.

Our voices have been made loud and clear as we continue our organizing work to participate in the WCAR. In this regard, the theme of this year’s NBUF Convention is:

Reparations: The Key to the African Struggle— Building a Black Mass Movement through Block-By-Block Organizing.

The central focus of this convention is to address the growing organizing taking place in this country, and worldwide, around the various demands and strategies in the worldwide African Reparations Movement. To facilitate organization of our people, a primary concern of this conference is the concept of "Block-By-Block Organizing."

The growing demand for reparations relates to the continued governmental and corporate racist policies providing a rationale for the increased demand for reparations, above and beyond slavery and the slave trade, and what happened to African people before the Civil War. Therefore, in line with our theme, the convention will address issues and strategies for organizing our people around the case for reparations as a means of addressing the larger issue of mobilizing our people for the liberation of African people worldwide.

Time has a way of moving forward and it’s hard to believe that NBUF has been in existence twenty–two years. It is a remarkable achievement that a Black Movement organization made up of committed volunteers, with limited resources, has survived and continues to grow and develop.

NBUF grew out of the spirit of the 1960’s and 70’s when African people in this country were aggressively organizing around numerous issues. The activism of the Civil Rights Movement and its challenges against legal segregation was a spark that set off the mass motion of African people in America.

The mobilization and organizing of the Civil Rights Movement transitioned into the Black Power Phase of our movement in the late 1960’s, sparking the renewed call for Pan Africanism and Black Nationalism.

Through the disruptive tactics of the United States Government and its counterintelligence programs (COINTELPRO), the Black Liberation Movement, in America, suffered serious setbacks. Many leading activists and organizers were arrested and convicted on false charges, and continue to remain locked up, as political prisoners. Others were assassinated, such as Malcolm X. Dr. King, Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark.

By the late 1970’s, the Black Liberation Movement was in serious disarray. This stimulated numerous leading Black activists, organizers, and leaders to convene a series of meetings. Twice during the latter years of the 1970’s (1976-1977), in Brooklyn, New York, several organizations attempted to bridge the gap of ideological disunity among the various forces in the Black Movement and to formulate a United Front formation.

Many of the members of NBUF can remember the all–day meetings held in the East in an attempt at national unity. But the commitment, positions, and images of most forces were fixed. The mistrust and apprehensions of the past years lingered in the memories of most participants.

However, a core group of participants in these meetings, from around the country, agreed that it was urgent that a call be made to convene the founding convention of the National Black United Front / NBUF.

The founding convention was held in Brooklyn, New York at the Old Armory in June of 1980. More than 1,000 activists from thirty-five states and five foreign countries participated in this four-day convention. Rev. Herbert Daughtry was elected interim National Chairman and we approved a draft of the Constitution and By Laws. I succeeded Rev. Daughtry as chairman in 1985.

At the second national convention, once again, held in Brooklyn in July of 1981, NBUF ratified a permanent Constitution, By Laws, and leadership structure. NBUF Chapters emerged across the country in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Greensboro, Mississippi, Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area, Muskegon, Lansing, Detroit, New York, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Memphis, and Chicago. Most of these chapters continue to function today— twenty-two years later.

Over this twenty-two year period, NBUF has organized around the following principles:

NBUF believes that in order for Black people in America to become free, liberated, and independent, we must be organized. Therefore, we believe all Black people should join an organization that is working in the interest of our people. We believe that the National Black United Front is such an organization and we urge you to join us and participate in our Twenty–second National Convention.

 
National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)


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