Black is Back Coalition salutes Dr. Imari Abubakari Obadele and his legacy of struggle

Brother Imari Obadele, 79, former U.S. political prisoner, anti-U.S. military draft activist, leader of the Republic of New Africa, co-founder of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA), and the subject of U.S. government persecution since 1948 died of a stroke, Monday, January 18th, in Atlanta, Georgia.
At the pinnacle of the U.S. Black Power Movement for Self Determination, late 1960's, brothers, Imari Abubakari Obadele and Gaidi Obadele (fka Richard and Milton Henry, respectively) called a national meeting in Detroit, Michigan to discuss the creation of a Black state within the southeastern United States; the area known as "The Black Belt," given the high concentration of Afrikans, primary site of enslavement, and symbol of continued national oppression.  On March 31, 1968, 100 of the 500 conferees signed a Declaration of Independence, elected a provisional government, and named the nation the Republic of New Africa (RNA). Robert F. Williams, a human rights revolutionary and former president of Monroe, NC branch of NAACP, then living in exile in China to avoid lynching and government persecution, was chosen as the first President of the provisional government (PG); attorney Gaidi Obadele was named First Vice President and Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, served as Second Vice President. All were comrades and students of Malcolm X.
The Declaration of Independence asserted the right of self determination of the descendants of Afrikans kidnapped and formerly enslaved in North America.  Among other things, it demanded the cession by the United States of the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, the payment of $400 billion in reparations for the kidnapping, enslavement, and continued injustices suffered by Afrikans in the United States.  Members of the Republic were constantly under assault by every form of U.S. state and federal government.  The U.S. government began monitoring Dr. Obadele in 1948, when he urged Afrikans in the U.S. to resist the draft as a protest against the segregated military. In July of that year, President Harry S. Truman ordered the desegregation of the armed forces.
In 1968, Dr. Obadele was labeled a "key black extremist" by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover because of his civil rights activism.  Three years later, August, 1971, as part of the U.S. government's COINTELPRO program to "expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize" black nationalist and other radical dissident organizations, the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid on the Jackson, Mississippi headquarters of the Republic of New Africa.  In the ensuing gun battle, a Jackson policeman was killed and another, along with an FBI agent, was wounded.
Imari Obadele and several other RNA officials were tried and sentenced to long prison terms.  He was imprisoned for five years and released, along with others, after a national grassroots mobilization and legal campaign. Following his 1980 release, Imari Obadele, as from prison, continued his work with the RNA and became its president. 
Dr. Obadele attended Temple University and, at age 55, earned a PhD in political science. In addition to the RNA, he  served the Afrikan liberation struggle by providing material and political support to independence movements here and abroad, lecturing and teaching at various universities, conferences and gatherings, publishing books and articles upholding the aims of the RNA and the Afrikan’s right of self determination. 
Throughout his life, he worked with and impacted the lives of thousands of youth to ensure the next generation of struggle. Dr. Obadele taught at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, William Paterson University in New Jersey, and the College of Wooster in Ohio. His subject areas included U.S. government, constitutional law, international relations, and African American politics.


- Advertisement -spot_img

Support African Working Class Media!

More articles from this author

Chairman Omali on Tucker Carlson’s show: “The attack on my right to speak is also an attack on the right of the people to...

The following is a transcript from Tucker Carlson’s interview with Chairman Omali Yeshitela broadcasted on Mar. 22.  Tucker Carlson: The details of the story are...

The U.S. government assaults the First Amendment using the case of the Uhuru 3

These are summarized notes from Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s presentation discussing the First Amendment at a Hands Off Uhuru webinar hosted on March 30, 2024. In...

Uhuru 3 legal counsel declares, “We’re building a bullet-proof defense!”

Leonard Goodman - National Lawyers Guild conference, Chicago, IL, April 14, 2024— I want to appreciate the National Lawyers Guild for having us and...

Similar articles

The African People’s Socialist Party calls for unity with Russia’s defensive war in Ukraine against the world colonial powers

On March 17, 2022, the African People's Socialist Party conducted a press conference featuring Chairman Omali Yeshitela, who put forward the official position of...

Fresh La Vwadezil’s ‘Mande Yo Pou Mwen’ justly criticizes oppressive powers for Haiti’s mass displacement

    HAITI—On March 17, 2021, singer-songwriter Fresh La—whose birth name is Donald Joseph and who is the lead singer of his band called “Vwadezil”—released a...

Cops Assassinate African Youth in Broad Daylight

The day after St. Petersburg police brutally executed Dominique, the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), defenders of the African working class, called a news conference led by Director of Agitation and Propaganda (AgitProp) Akilé Anai.