TWENTY–FIRST NBUF CONVENTION AND AFRICAN CENTERED EDUCATION

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

The Twenty–first Annual National Black United Front National Convention will be held in Brooklyn, New York, July 13 – 16, 2000 at Medgar Evers College of the City University. This year’s convention theme is: Revitalization of the African Extended Family Through African Centered Education. Over the last fifteen years NBUF has been at the forefront of the African Centered Education Movement.

The attacks by the white supremacist defenders of western civilization, against the African Centered Education Movement, should not deter our determination to seek the truth, and teach the truth, in all subjects regarding the contributions of African people to the world. After many years of discussion by the National Black United Front / NBUF leadership, it finally became apparent during 1986 and 1987 that the experience of our Portland Chapter in confronting the Public Schools of Portland, Oregon to change the curriculum to more accurately reflect the contributions of African and African in America people from ancient times to the present, in all subjects, should be an issue that all NBUF chapters needed to address. In fact, we felt that this was an issue that the entire African in America Community should address throughout the American public school system. Additionally, through the Portland experience, the Portland Baseline Essays and Lesson Plans that were developed have served as a model on why the American public school curriculums should be changed, and how they should be changed.

At our Ninth NBUF National Convention in 1988, it was decided that using the Portland Model in challenging the racist and white supremacist public school curriculums in America should become our National Plan of Action. And indeed it has! Throughout the national African in America Community the call for an African centered education has become one of the major educational agenda items. As NBUF forges ahead with our National Plan of Action in African Centered Education, we have expanded our work in this area.

At the Twelfth NBUF National Convention, in Muskegon, Michigan in 1991, the NBUF leadership adopted NBUF’s World African Centered Educational Plan. The ultimate objective of this plan is the development of a worldwide independent African Centered Education System by developing African Centered independent schools and strengthening existing African Centered independent African schools. The NBUF African Centered Educational Objective is being carried out by NBUF Chapters who are organizing educational initiatives in the following areas:

  1. African Centered curriculum development and educational restructuring in the public schools.
  2. Expanding the number and quality of supplementary or after school programs in the African Community.
  3. Working to restore African extended communities through aligning with African religious/spiritual institutions, community organizations, social organizations, and educational groups to create pilot block by block organizing around African Centered education.
  4. Through NBUF’s Prison Project, work to implement African Centered Education in the education programs in the prisons of America.
  5. Encourage African governments throughout the world to adopt the African Centered Education thrust.
  6. Initiate and develop African Centered Charter Schools.
  7. The establishment of an NBUF African Centered Teacher Training Institute.
  8. Develop a National Strategy of electing African Centered School Board Members at the local level and establish a National African Centered School Board Organization.
  9. Strive to coalesce with non–English speaking African people in furthering our efforts to internationalize the African Centered Movement.
  10. That NBUF consolidate the African Centered movement through aligning and collaborating with African Centered entertainers, study groups, churches/temples, scholars, and rites of passage programs.
  11. Establish an NBUF African Centered Education Summit Network and periodically convene NBUF Educational Summits.

Noted African in America educators and activists will be participating in this year’s NBUF convention such as: Professor Cy Edwards, Professor James Small, Dr. Leonard Jefferies, Dr. Joyce King, Dr. Adelaide Sanford, Dr. Mwalimu Shuijah, and Professor Matthew Mead. NBUF has established " A Plan of Action in African Centered Education" that will require the support of African people everywhere. In Ayi Kwei Armah’s book, Two Thousand Seasons, he wrote, "…you hearers, seers, imaginers, thinkers, rememberers, you prophets called to communicate truths of the living way to a people fascinated unto death…"


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