By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (November 29, 2000)

On November 17-19, 2000, the December 12th Movement, based in New York, and the National Black United Front (NBUF), co–sponsored a Black Power Conference in support of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism that will be held in Durbin, South Africa from August 31, 2001 through September 7, 2001.

More that 200 students, activists, community people, and scholars met at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies, located on Chicago’s southside. One of the main focuses of the conference was to lift up the legacy and spirit of the Black Power Movement in the name of our brother Shaka Sankofa (Gary Graham) who was unjustly executed in Huntsville, Texas by the hands of Governor George Bush and the white supremacist authorities in Texas. Shaka’s last words were to continue the struggle for Black Power.

In that regard, the elder activists and scholars who are descendants of the Black Power Movement of the 1960’s and continue to pursue the Black Power goals and objectives over the last thirty–two years, were key participants in the conference.

Black Power activists and scholars such as Dr. Jacob Carruthers, Dr. Imari Obadele, Viola Plummer, Atty. Gilda Sherrod Ali, Dr. Jewel Crawford, Michael Warren, Marcelle Porter, David Mills, Akbar Muhammad, Elombe Brath, Atty. Roger Wareham, Talibah Worrill, Colette Pean, State Senator Donne Trotter, Onaji Mu’id, Viola Plummer, Ayinde Baptiste, Kofi Rodney Penn, Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr, Atty. Lionel Jean–Baptiste, Mawuli Mel Davis, Nzinga Nash–Hill, Atty. Stan Willis, and Tashelle Williams made outstanding contributions to the conference in terms of helping to further shape why we should organize around the following issues as we prepare to participate in the United Nations World Conference Against Racism. These issues are:

  1. African people are victims of racism, specifically the Trans–Atlantic Slave Trade and it on–going affects;
  2. To examine the economic basis of racism;
  3. The Trans–Atlantic Slave Trade must be declared a crime against humanity;
  4. Reparations are due to the African descendants of the victims of the Trans–Atlantic Slave Trade both in the Diaspora and on the continent who continue to suffer egregious human rights violations;
  5. African people in the Western hemisphere are one people by virtue of common origin and circumstances, and may speak as one group regarding human rights conventions and interventions, notwithstanding the need to address the specific effects of racism as impacted by location and culture.

All of these areas were discussed in the various workshops that included: Culture & Education: Tools of Resistance; Criminal Justice: Racisms Final Solution; Reparations; Health; and International Affairs.

The conference was also successful in our mission to bring together elder and youth activists, and scholars to help strengthen the intergenerational continuity of our movement. Young scholars/activists such as Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr, Nzinga Nash–Hill, Ayinde Baptiste, and Kofi Rodney Penn made outstanding contributions to the conference.

The spirit of this Black Power Conference in preparation for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism inspired participants from seventeen states to go back to their respective local areas and intensify their organizing work.

On the cultural side of the conference, the December 12th Movement and the National Black United Front presented Jerry Butler with the Preservation of African American Culture Through the Arts Award. Dr. Imari Obadele, Viola Plummer, Elombe Brath, and Abena Joan Brown received the Revolutionary Commitment Awards.

In 1966, the Black Power explosion shook up America. Through our organizing efforts around the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, we should shake up America again.

The call for Black Power was a major shift away from the Civil Rights Movement during that era. A movement that had successfully dismantled the system of racial segregation (by law) in the southern region of the United States.

However, among the masses of Black people in America, there was a deeper meaning to the idea of freedom, justice, and equality that had not been advocated by the Civil Rights Movement. The call for Black Power by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Kwame Ture (a.k.a. Stokley Carmichael), and others, gave a new impetus for the Black Liberation Movement in America.

We need a new impetus today! That is why we are working so diligently to, once again, raise up the cry for Black Power as we organize around the United Nations World Conference Against Racism.

The manifestation of racism in the western European world has become institutionalized in a worldwide system of white supremacy. White supremacy continues to have a devastating impact on African people throughout the world.

We should thank all the members of the December 12th Movement and the National Black United Front for making the conference successful. Contact us if you want to find out how you can become involved in participating in the United Nations World Conference Against Racism.

National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)

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