St. Petersburg’s Akwaaba Hall was packed Friday night, May 15, for the “Malcolm X 90th Birthday Celebration: The Struggle Continues!”
Sponsored by the African People’s Socialist Party’s Uhuru Tours and Speakers Bureau, the celebration featured Chairman Omali Yeshitela as the keynote speaker.
Jevon Gee, Vice Chairman of the Party’s department of Agit-Prop was the MC.
The event drew African people of all ages as well as allies and friends intent on hearing the Chairman’s summation of the significance of Malcolm X and his relevance to the struggle for the liberation of African people today.
The evening opened with a dynamic scene from the play, The Meeting, a fictionalized encounter and debate between Malcolm X who believed that African people must win our freedom “by any means necessary,” and Dr. Martin Luther King who advocated non-violence.
The entire play was performed at Akwaaba Hall in 2014, receiv-ing rave reviews from the community and movement.
Written by Jeff Stetson and directed by Uhuru Radio’s own Ron Bobb-Semple, The Meeting featured actors Federico Gordon as Malcolm and Josh Goff as Dr. King and drew an enthusiastic response from the crowd.
Next up was the popular and talented group from St. Petersburg, Reality DC, who entertained the audience with their powerful and innovative robotic style of hip-hop dance.
Spoken word artist Dennis Amadeus from the organization Black on Black Rhyme performed his strong poetry showing the conditions faced by African people in the U.S. colonial prison system.
Chairman Omali sums up life of Malcolm
The highlight of the night was the electrifying presentation by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, which kept the audience glued to their seats.
The Chairman laid out some of the history of Malcolm’s life as well as his influence and stance in the 1960s and his significance in this period of renewed struggle and growing revolutionary consciousness among African people today.
“The significance of Malcolm X,” the Chairman explained “is that he is representative of a particular period in time and a particular people that suffers extreme brutality in this social system.
“Malcolm X,” the Chairman continued, “was born on May 19, 1925.
“It is worth noting that the year of his birth is the same year that the United States government jailed Marcus Garvey.
“Malcolm X’s father and mother were followers of the movement led by Marcus Garvey that was called the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African communities League.
“It was a movement that raised the slogan, ‘Africa for Africans, those at home and those abroad.’ “It was a movement that recognized that black people stretched across the globe in a condition that was imposed on us by hostile forces, by Europe, by white power, by America.
“Our future had to be one that involved coming to power on our own terms. We had to be a self- governing, free people.
“This was the family that Malcolm X grew up in at a really important time in history.”
The Chairman went on to lay out the significance of today’s African liberation struggle and the similarities to the period faced by Malcolm X in the 1960s.
He explained the petty bourgeois class basis of the movement for Civil Rights versus the African working class-led movement for Black Power.
The Chairman showed how the African People’s Socialist Party carries on the legacy of Malcolm X today and has built revolutionary organization in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and throughout North America.
Fundraiser for Chairman Omali’s tour to South Africa
The event was part of the Africans One Billion Strong Donor Campaign effort to raise $15,000 for the Chairman and his entourage of organizers to travel to South Africa in November to consolidate the Azanian base of the Party and put the African Socialist International on the ground there.
Go to gofundme.com/africannationtour to contribute to this critical trip to carry out the vision of Garvey and Malcolm to make one united and liberated Africa a reality.
APSP Secretary General Gaida Kambon and the Chairman’s Administrative Assistant Tammy Harris led the successful appeal for resources, a process that is a fixture at all Uhuru Movement events. The appeal raised over $1,100.
The Malcolm X 90th Birthday Celebration in St. Petersburg was an excellent event that left the audience in high spirits equipped to continue the struggle to complete the Black Revolution of the 1960s.