Countdown to NBUF Convention Time

By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (July 13, 1999)

The National Black United Front / NBUF and it supporters and friends are preparing for the countdown to our Twentieth Annual National Convention that will be held in Kansas City, MO next week, from July 22 through July 25.

Over the last 20 years, we have had a variety of convention themes addressing various critical issues impacting on the African Community in America. However, we have never addressed, as a convention concentration, the question of economics and the Black Liberation Movement.

Therefore, for whatever reasons that only the ancestors can reveal, we have finally decided to make the question of economics and the Black Liberation Movement the central theme of this year's convention as we focus in on "Economic Liberation For The Black Nation."

From the very inception of NBUF, the question of economics emerged in two significant ways. First, we had intense discussions over the general economic condition of the African community in America. Secondly, the question of how we would financially sustain NBUF as an organization became a major debate.

A variety of proposals were put forward, but fortunately we decided that the best route for maintaining a strictly Black independent organization was, as our Constitution spells out, "To maintain strict political and financial independence of the National Black United Front."

This has been a challenging principle to stand on over those 20 years, but we have managed to adhere to this principle. The question of finding economic solutions for African people in America and financing our own independent Black institutions and organizations remains a serious and critical challenge to the Black Liberation Movement as we enter the 21st century.

It is in this spirit that we have conceptualized our convention to address the question of the "Economic Liberation for The Black Nation."

We will have several activities during the convention to aid the dialogue about how we concretely deal with the question of economics and independence.

The opening rally will feature Sherry Scott. Ms Scott was the female vocalist for three years for the world renown, Earth, Wind and Fire. She has also worked with such artists as Freddie Hubbard, Pharaoh Sanders, and Hugh Masekela. Ms Scott is currently involved in a business that uses the new computer technology and electronic commerce to create, produce, and market music.

She will make a presentation, in word and song, on how Black people must learn to make use of the new technology, and how we can make sure that our youth participate in the technological revolution.

Our major plenary workshop on PowerNomics will be presented by Dr. Claud Anderson. Dr. Anderson is the author of the book, Black Labor, White Wealth: A Search for Power and Economic Justice. He is the founder and president of the Harvest Institute, a think tank whose mission is to address the social and economic ills of African people in America.

Dr. Anderson is a real estate developer; maintains ownership interests in retail food businesses and was one of the first Africans in America to own a radio station. Dr. Anderson has begun to build industries based on his PowerNomics economic principles.

The Cooperative Economics and Models of Success workshop will feature Sister Asabi Carroll of Omaha, Nebraska. Sister Carroll developed the Umoja Gold Card Strategy which is a series of cooperatives operating in Black communities throughout America.

One such entity is the Safari Market Place in Chicago. The idea of this workshop is to bring people examples of successful cooperative economic ventures that can be replicated in other cities.

There is no debate that land is key to economics. In this regard, The Question of Land and Economic Development workshop will be facilitated by Ester Dolittle. Sister Dolittle is the Alternative Crop Marketing Coordinator at the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff.

The Reparations Movement in America and throughout the African world had become a major area of organizing in the Black Liberation Movement. Dorothy Benton Lewis of Washington, D.C., National Vice Chair of the National Coalition On Black Reparations of America (N'COBRA) will be presenter in this workshop.

NBUF member Khalfani Mwamba of Seattle, WA will lead the workshop on Socially Responsible Wealth Building. The focus of this workshop will be on how African people in America can create investment wealth for themselves and their families from an African Centered perspective.

Fund-raising for the Black Movement and the National Black United Fund Model will be led by Henry English, President and CEO of the Black United Fund of Illinois. This workshop will focus on how we can utilize models like BUF to finance, through our own self-reliance, projects in the Black community.

Finally, the Rev, Al Sharpton will be our banquet speaker on Saturday, July 24. This year's NBUF Convention will help ignite the NBUF slogan¬óForward Ever and Backward Never! See you in Kansas City.

National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)

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