PHILADELPHIA—On Saturday, September 21, the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) and Black Star Industries (BSI), sponsored the 5th annual and best ever, One Africa! One Nation! (OAON) Uhuru Book Fair & Flea Market.
This dynamic, free, all day festival in Clark Park featured over 100 vendors, African authors, musicians, dancers, speakers, free education resources and the Children’s Circle.
Under the slogan “Putting the power of education in the hands of the African community,” APEDF, BSI and our many partners involved the black community of West Philadelphia in bringing to life the positive future of African self-determination in the real world.
Omali Yeshitela Speaks
Keynote speaker Chairman Omali Yeshitela engaged the crowd with the analysis of African Internationalism, the theory behind this work.
The unity from the community was palpable.
Chairman stated, “When you live in a society that is based on slavery, the ideas that are promoted in that society are never ideas about freedom and liberation.
“They are about the continuation of a social system based on slavery. It is not simply because the slave master or the white people do not like you. It is because it is profitable to maintain that kind of system.”
On a MOVE
Other speakers included Janet, Janine and Eddie Africa, three members of the MOVE 9 who were recently released from prison after serving 40-41 years each.
In 1978, the city of Philadelphia attacked the MOVE organization. The police surrounded their house and shot 10,000 rounds into their basement.
They shot so many bullets that one cop shot another in the back of the head. Nine members of MOVE were framed and convicted for a crime committed by the Philadelphia police.
The Uhuru Book Fair took place in a park not far from the neighborhood where the city attacked MOVE.
Then in 1985, the city government dropped a bomb on another West Philly MOVE house murdering 11 African children, women and men and burning down over 60 houses.
The city’s goal was to terrorize and forever silence the voice of the African community. The whole city watched and was traumatized by this attack, which has now been so totally covered up that many newer and younger residents have never heard of it!
The Uhuru Movement came to Philadelphia in 1986 to respond to the bombing of MOVE with the slogan, “Reinforcements are on the way!”
Putting the power of education in the hands of the African community
Now, as Chairman Omali so eloquently stated, the Uhuru Book Fair opens up a space where Africans can and must talk about the war against our people and the way forward to freedom and self-determination.
Philadelphia is a majority African and Puerto Rican city with the highest rate of poverty of any major U.S. city.
Philadelphia’s public schools are under-funded by $1.35 billion per year. The schools are notorious for crumbling, lead paint-contaminated buildings and textbooks that are outdated or nonexistent.
Almost 40 percent of the education budget is spent on “security,” which is the war against African children and only 4.5 percent of teachers are black men.
A powerful program
Percussionist extraordinaire Karen Smith & Friends kicked off the program. Mike Africa Jr., son of two other MOVE 9 members Mike Africa Sr. and Debbie Africa, performed original hip-hop resistance songs.
The program featured jazz vocalist, friend and generous APEDF donor Rhenda Fearrington, Rugrat, rock guitarist Amari Rebel, African drums by The Urban Shamans, African dance, poetry and spoken word.
Twelve African authors read from the stage. Musicians, poets and dancers expressed appreciation for the Uhuru Movement.
Teddy Valentine (aka not only a DJ) performed and donated the use of his equipment for the entire festival.
The Children’s Circle involved education activities, art projects, their own book readings, free face painting and balloon animals.
The shoppers went home with great finds and the vendors had a successful day.
Buy Black Power member Rasaq Lawal of JaajoDanceEast expressed deep appreciation for APEDF as he closed the show with a dynamic African dance workshop getting everyone on their feet.
Volunteer shout out
APEDF particularly appreciates the Lincoln High School basketball team and their coach who helped load the truck Friday afternoon and came back Saturday to load and unload all the equipment at the end of the festival.
The political and economic are one
This is the 14th year of the One Africa! One Nation! Uhuru Flea Markets in Philly and every year more of our vendors build their own brick and mortar businesses from the ground up because of this market.
Every year more of the participants articulate their unity with African Internationalism.
The OAON Uhuru Book Fair & Flea Market shows what it looks like when we educate ourselves and our children, build economic development to benefit our community and organize to solve every problem imposed on African people!
We are winning!
APEDF community meetings
Every other Wednesday at 6:30pm
832 N. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19130
Next N2U Orientation
Tues. Nov. 12th @ 6:30pm