By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (June 15, 2000)

The National Black United Front / NBUF, is preparing for the Twenty–first Annual National Convention to be held in Brooklyn, New York from July 13 – 16, 2000.

Time has a way of moving forward and its hard to believe that NBUF has been in existence twenty–one 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 (COINTEL PRO), 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–four 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.

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–one years later.

Over this twenty–one 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–first National Convention.

This year’s theme is "Revitalization of the African Extended Family Through African Centered Education." NBUF take the position that only through our own economic self–sufficiency and self–help will we truly liberate ourselves from the continued devastation of racism and white supremacy in this country.

I will write more on the convention theme in future columns.

National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)

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