The Uhuru Movement salutes long-time supporter and good friend Ted Vincent, 73, who died in Oakland, CA on June 14, 2009. Called by some “the last of the white black nationalists,” Ted always stayed true to his commitment to justice for African people.
Ted was the author of Black Power and the Garvey Movement, published in its second printing by the African People’s Socialist Party’s Nzinga Publishing House in 1988.
As a historian and author, Ted shared a wealth of information about the early 20th century black power movement led by Marcus Garvey—the movement that was a precursor of the Uhuru Movement today.
In the foreword to the edition of Black Power and the Garvey Movement published by the Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela wrote about Ted:
“What is…obvious is that Vincent intended the book as his own intervention in the struggle against white left opportunism toward the U.S. front of the African Liberation Movement by offering up the objective and historical basis for the Garvey Movement. It is here that we find the significance of Vincent’s book, and for this we are grateful.”
As a white man dedicated to social justice for African people and an enthusiastic supporter of Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru Movement, Ted spoke at Uhuru Bakery and at the Oakland Uhuru House several times in the late 1980s and early 90s.
In 1964, early in his teaching career, Ted taught at Oakland’s Merritt College where one of his students was the young Huey P. Newton who later founded the Black Panther Party. It was the influence of Newton and the Black Power Movement of the 1960s that led Ted to his lifelong dedication to help bring to light the truth about African people and to help forward the movement for African Liberation.
A tribute to Ted written by his son Rickey Vincent, a Bay Area radio personality and Funk music historian, summed up Ted’s work in these words:
“There is his massive track record of writings, in essays and books, ranging from comparisons of slave overseers to modern cops, to pioneering research on the runaway slave Yanga, an African prince that founded a city of his own in southern Mexico in the 1600s which survives to this day.
“Ted uncovered the writings of Malcolm X’s mother, Louise Little, which she contributed to the Marcus Garvey paper, The Negro World. Historians now agree that both of Malcolm’s parents were Garveyites, not only Malcolm’s father, which was implied in Malcolm’s autobiography.”
In addition to writing Black Power and the Garvey Movement, Ted Vincent edited Voices of a Black Nation: Political Journalism in the Harlem Renaissance, published by Ramparts Press in 1991.
He wrote Keep Cool: The Black Activists Who Built the Age of Jazz in 1995, and The Legacy of Vicente Guererro, Mexico’s First Black Indian President in 2003, parts of which were published in The Burning Spear. In addition Ted wrote dozens of articles that appeared in various publications.
An avid runner, Ted competed in marathons, and for many years was often seen doing laps at Oakland’s popular running spot, Lake Merritt.
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of our dear friend Ted Vincent and we acknowledge his lifelong work to bring the truth about the history and struggles of African people to the world.