HOUSTON—For the first time in more than twenty years, African People’s Socialist Party Chairman, Omali Yeshitela came back to Houston to address the African community in an event titled, “The Black Struggle in the Era of Barack Obama.”
Held at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center in Houston’s Third Ward, the program also featured National Black United Front (NBUF) Chairman, Kofi Taharka; All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) Director, Aisha Fields; and a powerful cultural performance by Ashlei and Justice of the 144 Elite.
Famed poet and reggae star Mutabaruka was also in attendance. And like the other 70 or so community people and vendors, Brother Mutabaruka stayed the entire program. He expressed his political unity with Chairman Omali’s condemnation of neo-colonialism as manifested by U.S. president Barack Hussein Obama and any other African heads of state whose political and economic integrity are compromised by their subservient relationship to their U.S. and European imperialist masters.
The event opened with five powerful African drummers provided by Baba Shango’s Martial Arts School which also played a pivotal role on Chairman Omali’s security team for the event. The drums and the S.H.A.P.E. environment brought Africa right there inside the building. It set the tone for the evening and you could sense our people’s will and determination to be free.
Before you could get to the main speaking auditorium you had to pass through the African vendors who had the center resembling an African marketplace. Delicious aromas came from CC and Ali Muhammad’s vegan restaurant which provided wholesome nutritious food for the evening. In fact, Chairman Omali stashed him a whole bean pie to carry on his next journey to the West Coast. At least that is what he said.
The event was now off and running as S.H.A.P.E. executive director Deloyd Parker and AAPDEP member Danielle Ross introduced Brother Kofi Taharka as he poured libations and called for the unity of African people. Taharka also called for the freedom of Black Panther Sundiata Acoli who was arrested along with Black Panther Assata Shakur and charged with killing a state trooper on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973. State troopers also murdered Black Panther Party member Zayd Malik Shakur in the unprovoked armed attack by the police.
Members of the National Black United Front circulated a petition calling for the release of Sundiata when he comes up for parole next month. Sundiata is now 72-years-old and is still an African warrior.
Following Kofi’s presentation Sister Aisha Fields silenced the audience with a multimedia presentation on the work of AAPDEP here in the U.S. and on the African continent.
She highlighted the organization’s work especially as it relates to infant and maternal mortality caused by preventable airborne diseases, no medicines, and absolutely no prenatal care. Her presentation made it plain that we could do the work necessary to challenge these and other conditions that have been imposed on our people by colonialism and now neo-colonialism.
The presentation was the Revolution in motion, demonstrating concretely how putting self-help programs that serve the people’s actual needs for survival is a direct decolonization process in the form of dual and contending power. Politically, because it puts power in the hands of the people, and economically because it creates jobs for ourselves, and good food and clean water that we need to continue the fight, this time ‘til it’s won!
The African People’s Socialist Party
Omowale Kefing, Editor of The Burning Spear newspaper, the Party’s central news organ, and main organizer for the event introduced the African People’s Socialist Party and its Chairman to the African community in Houston, Texas. Houston is where Black Panther Party leader Carl Hampton was assassinated, not even ten blocks from the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, from which the Panthers ran its Free Breakfast for School Children program.
Kefing introduced the Party in no uncertain terms as the Party of the African working class. Its mission is the overturning of imperialism and the socialist reunification of Africa and her people. The leader of this great mission is Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, and Chairman of the African Socialist International, Omali Yeshitela. It was the first time in more than 20 years that Chairman Omali had been to Houston as a representative of the Party.
Chairman Omali proceeded to deliver a passionate historical analysis of the African Liberation Movement from the first encounter with Europeans on the African Continent
to “The Black Struggle in the Era of Barack Obama.”
Chairman went on to give a scathing and heart throbbing presentation on slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism with an in-depth analysis so inspiring and truthful that the refrains of “teach brother,” “tell it,” and “yeah you right” could be heard over and over again. And the people kept demanding more.
Chairman Omali knowing and feeling the pulse of his people, cut some of the tension in the room with a little humor. In critiquing the horrible relationship Africans have had with Europeans, Chairman said, “and I ain’t lying. But y’all know that. You don’t have to make up a damn thing on white people. All we have to do is tell the truth. They have done it all and more.”
But the program had to end somewhere. At the end of his presentation, in front of a standing ovation, Chairman Yeshitela lead the people in the slogan that our brothers and sisters of occupied Azania gave to us, “Izwe Lethu i Afrika!” (Africa is our land).
Chairman then ended his presentation with a call for people to join the November 7th Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations mobilization in Washington, D.C. He then called on Brother Mutabaruka to come to the podium and say something to the people.
LONG LIVE THE AFRICAN PEOPLE’S SOCIALIST PARTY!
FORWARD TO DC!
BLACK IS BACK!