The Africans United Coalition (AU Coalition) held a march on August 1st, Emancipation Day in Nassau, Bahamas. The march culminated with a rally and a community marketplace. The AU Coalition aimed for the day to be about political protest and community economic development.
The Coalition is made up of African-centered and grass roots organizations including the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress (EABIC), The Qubtic Church of the Black Messiah, The Nyabinghi House, the African Peoples Socialist Party-Bahamas (APSP-Bahamas) and other organizations.
Historically the EABIC held the march on Emancipation Day, but this year all of the African centered groups in Nassau decided to unite to hold one march. The theme of this year’s march was “Social Justice & Economic Empowerment.”
On that day, more than 100 Africans marched from the South Recreational Grounds on Blue Hill Road along Market Street to Downtown Bay Street. They then marched along Parliament Street onto East Hill Street and back to the South Recreational Grounds. During the procession, the marchers sang and chanted “No Justice, No Peace!” and “One Africa, One Nation!”
They also carried placards that read: “The Whole World is Built on a Bluff,” “Reparations Now” and “Black Lives Won’t Matter Until We Get Black Power”.
When the march ended at the South Recreational Grounds, the Rally and Community Marketplace took off.
Africans unite at rally
Speakers at the rally included members from the AU Coalition and friends and supporters of the Coalition who gave solidarity statements. Alex Morley, Chairman of the APSP-Bahamas and Chairman of the AU Coalition, gave the opening address, thanked everyone for attending and said that the Coalition must be about the business of liberating and unifying Africa and African people.
Ras Marcus of the Nyabinghi House said that there was much work that needed to be done in the Rastafarian community and he said that the Coalition intends to hold a community marketplace every month so that we can empower the community.
Elder James Rolle spoke to the audience about the importance of African people knowing their true history and said that Africans in The Bahamas needed to form cooperatives for economic development.
Pastor Anku of the Qubtic Church of the Black Messiah stressed the need for unity and the ability to work together despite differences.
Perry Sears from the Bahamas National Disability Council told the crowd that the march changed his view of Rastas in The Bahamas. He said that during the march it started to rain and one of the marchers held an umbrella over his head while others pushed his bike up the hill as they marched.
He told the crowd that he felt love on the march. He also said he wished to establish a relationship between the AU Coalition and the Bahamas National Disability Council.
A cultural occasion
A variety of natural food and drinks and African clothes, jewelry, utensils and books were on display at the AU Coalition Community Marketplace.
Vendors included the Nyabinghi House, BlackFood Bookstore and Culture Shop, The Qubtic Church of the Black Messiah, Elder James Rolle Black Book Store, the Akephran International Academy, African Sisters for All Women (ASFAW) and Coco-Lex.
The crowd was also treated to the talent of our people. Cultural performers included Jah Doctrine, Jah Bon Fide and Ubuntu. Ras Tommy from the Nyabinghi House was the DJ on the sound system.
April 2011 a BlackFood Activists Conference was held under the theme: “The Politics of Land in The Bahamas: From Colonialism to Neocolonialism”. The Conference gave local activists an opportunity to discuss why most of us don’t have land and the struggle involved in getting it and maintaining it for those of us who do.
Speakers included educator Ean Maura, law lecturer Dion Hanna and Grand Bahama social activist Troy Garvey. The guest speaker was Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African People’s Socialist Party-USA who called on those in attendance to form a Coalition.
Following the Conference, it was resolved that Africans in The Bahamas will create alternative means of generating capital to transform this social system.
It was resolved that Africans in The Bahamas will reject the foreign legal system that is imposed on us – in particular in regards to land possession – and that we will embrace our African communal system of land possession. It was resolved that it is necessary for African working people to seize power and become the ruling class in this country.
It was also resolved that those in attendance at the Conference would form the Africans United Coalition.