It’s December 11, 2016, and the doors to the Akwaaba Hall are unlocking at 3:30 PM. One African man strolls in, signs his name, enters the room and takes a seat in the second row.
Following suit are two, three, four more Africans from the South side of St. Pete; mothers with their children and fathers carrying grocery bags filled with items for the delicious Karamu (feast in Swahili).
Some make themselves comfortable and take their seats. Others observe vendor tables before the meeting begins.
The Burning Spear Audio/Visual team makes its final preparations to go live. The emcee gathers her final notes and proceeds to the front of the room.
Room lights shut off, stage lights flicker on, and a sudden glow blankets the emcee at the front podium.
This is the usual Sunday Rally opening in St. Petersburg, Florida, which highlights the success of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) building the organization by forming branches in various places in the U.S. and around the world.
St. Petersburg, Florida marks a significant location in the history of the African People’s Socialist Party, as it is the area of its founding as well as the current city of the Party’s Headquarters.
This undoubtedly has led to the welcoming embrace of InPDUM from Africans of Southside St. Pete.
To speak to more of that success, InPDUM St. Pete has appointed 17-year-old Liu Montsho Kwayera, one of the youngest members of the APSP as the local President.
Under her leadership, an entire committee was formed, and they have taken on the task to do the local work.
This includes leading campaigns like “Hands off TyRon Lewis Ave” and participating in the building of the Justice for the Three Drowned Black Girls Campaign.
One of the most instrumental tools that helped to consolidate this local branch is the Sunday Rally.
These meetings/forums are held weekly and are open to the public. Each week there is a topic theme based on popular culture, current events, movement actions and events—all of which are summed up with the analysis of African Internationalism.
It is not only a way to politicize the masses on issues faced in the community, but a strategic tool to recruit members into InPDUM and fundraise for the local work.
There is also reverence for the Rallies from Africans in this city. It is a time where members of the community can come into a room where other poor and working class Africans can be seen organizing in their interests.
It is a time where the downtrodden, silenced voices of the African community are heard loud and clear. A time for fun and relaxation for the community as we gather over the Karamu table at the end of every event.
It is a rally that is expanding its reach, from the community of Southside St. Pete to computers of Africans all over.
Join our weekly meetings! If you’re local, head down to 1245 18th Ave. South at 4:00PM! Livestreaming? Check out St. Petersburg International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement Facebook live at 4:00PM EST! Our livestream also appears on Theburningspear.com!
Join InPDUM at InPDUM.org!