THE MILLIONS MORE MOVEMENT AND BLACK POWER
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (September 30, 2005)
The 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March called by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that will be held the weekend of October 14-16, 2005 in Washington, D. C. is fast approaching.
Minister Farrakhan has urged that we use this historic commemoration to build a permanent movement aimed at addressing the critical issues affecting African people in this country and world wide. In this connection, he has called for the building of the Millions More Movement.
In Minister Farrakhan’s statement calling for the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March, he said, “The masses of our people are on a Death March into the oven of social deterioration, broken homes, broken marriages, broken minds, broken spirits, evolving from a string of broken promises by government and leadership that has failed to help our people turn around the misery and wretchedness of our condition.”
He concluded on this point by stating, “The knowledge to correct the horror of our condition is among us. The potential force and power to cause us to use as a people is among us. The finance to fuel our rise is also among us.”
The Black Liberation Movement in America must return, in our movement work, to call for Black Power. It appears that far too many Africans in America have forgotten that we are fighting and struggling for the acquisition of power. Specifically, Black Power!
We must not forget that the late great Congressman from Harlem, New York, Adam Clayton Powell set the tone for the concept of Black Power in a speech he made to a church group in Chicago in 1965.
In this speech, Congressman Powell said, “Victories were many in the Negro Revolt, but still no radical change occurred in America’s social structure. Why? Because a revolt is only an interlude of social protest, a temporary resistance of authority.”
Powell continued by pointing out that, “To sustain these victories, to radically alter the face of white America and complete its cycle, the Negro Revolt was our Sunday of protests, so that Black Revolution must become our week of production.”
Powell explained, “This can only be done by Black people seeking power— audacious power. Audacious power belongs to that race, which believes in itself, in its heroes, in its success, in its deeds and, yes, even its misdeeds.”
My search through my Black Power files revealed that on May 29, 1966, Adam Clayton Powell, then Chairman of the House of Education and Labor Committee, during a baccalaureate address to the graduating class at Howard University, expounded and urged African Americans to seek power.
In this commencement address, Powell stated, “Civil Rights has been that grand deception practiced by those who have not placed God first, who have not believed that God given rights can empower the Black man with superiority as well as equality... To demand these God given human rights is to seek Black power, what I call audacious power - the power to build Black institutions of splendid achievement.”
Brother Powell’s call for audacious Black Power came prior to Kwame Ture’s (Stokely Carmichael) shout of Black Power. It was not until Sunday, June 5, 1966, when James Meredith began his famous Memphis to Jackson march that Kwame Ture, during a voter registration rally in Lowndes County, Alabama began to shout, “We want Black Power,” and the audience began chanting over and over again— “Black Power!”
Brother Ture's Black Power remarks were picked up by UPI and AP and circulated in the mass media throughout the world. It was not too long after this that large numbers of African Americans, from one end of this country to the other, began calling for Black Power.
During the late 1960s the idea of Black people acquiring Black Power became a dominant discussion everywhere in the African in America Community. The idea of Black Power captured the imagination of the Black masses and threatened the white power structure to the extent they tried to dilute its entire meaning by persuading some African in America leaders to reject the call for Black Power.
This move to force certain African in America leaders to reject the call for Black Power caused a serious problem in the movement of the late 1960s that still lingers with us today. It
should be clear to everyone in the African in America Community that in order to solve many of the acute problems we face, we need power— the collective power of Black people working together which translates into Black Power! Building the Millions More Movement can significantly help us achieve this objective.
In the late 1960s some white leaders began to react immediately by questioning whether or not this is what African in American people really wanted— Black Power. The white establishment, through the white media, began a campaign to divide and conquer African in American leadership on whether or not they were advocates of Black Power.
In the meantime, whether an individual African in America leader was for or against the concept of Black Power, the spirit and mood of the masses of African people in America picked up on this idea and a tremendous period in our history of Black consciousness began to rise.
In his speech in Chicago in 1965 Congressman Powell said, “Audacious power is the determination of Black people to be mayors, United States Senators, presidents of companies, members of stock exchanges, the power to decide elections and the capability to alter the course of history.”
These were prophetic words uttered by Congressman Powell. Since the presenting of that speech there are over 10,000 African in America elected officials, including more than 600 African in America mayors.
While we have been electing Black people to public office the last forty years, Arabs, Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese, and other people have been taking over the economic infrastructure of our communities.
We need a new Black Power Movement to begin reversing this trend of linking electoral politics and economics to take back the African in America Community from those outside alien forces. Let’s take one more page from Congressman Powell when he said in this same speech, “Black masses must produce and contribute to the economy of the country in the proportionate strength of their population. We must become a race of producers not consumers.”
Through the Millions More Movement, we must return to the spirit and the call for Black Power in our Movement work. The real meaning of building the Millions More Movement is the implementation of Black Power in our daily lives. Black Power!
National Black United Front (NBUF)