In 1920, Africans around the world envisioned Black liberation from White powers. From the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance in New York to the Black mine workers striking in South Africa, Africans raised their political consciousness, determined their own identities and organized for the freedom of all oppressed Africans. Marcus Garvey proclaimed: “Africa for Africans.” Garvey’s ideology and the work of the United Negro Improvement Association mobilized and organized Africans into a united nation that recognized the ability of Blacks to get free. They did not need the leadership of any other race and, contrary to dehumanizing White Supremacy notions about Blacks, they believed that Blacks have what it takes to get free. Garvey stated in “The Principles of the UNIA” (1922): “If it takes man power, if it takes scientific intelligence, if it takes education of any kind, or if it takes blood, then the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world have it.” It was directly within this context that in August, 1920, the UNIA held the “First International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World.” Now, 100 years later, the International Black Freedom Alliance will be holding “Black Stars Aligned,” with the aim of building a Pan-African movement in the 21st Century. We are not claiming that this movement does not already exist. Our goal is to contribute to the work that is already being done by building a strong and sustainable alliance of African people’s. We have learned a lot from the past 100 years. Both our history and thinkers have revealed much about the Black freedom struggle.
Now, in the 21st, the IBFA is building on the work of our ancestors and organizing a movement where Black folx can get free, in our lifetime. The primary goal of “Black Stars Aligned” is to look at what freedom looks like and the pragmatic steps we as African people around the world should take to get there. The conference will bring together grassroots organizers from more than twenty countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean. During the meeting, we will look at all the components of the Black freedom struggle, its history, theoretical concepts and actions that have been both successful and failed. We will have Sankofa and Ukweli sessions that study theory and the past so we can create a better vision now. The primary goals of these sessions is to equip us with the necessary tools for the Black liberation movement. We invite presentations that explore:
We will also have organization to organization sessions. For example, what would a movement look like if Black people from the hood in Richmond and other cities are strategizing, organizing and working with Black people from the hood in South Africa. It will be this global grassroots movement that will dismantle White Supremacy. We invite presentations that show how your work fits, helps propel, and strengthens the Pan African Movement.
Remember, the primary reason for these sessions are to equip grassroots organizers, from Oakland to Cape Town, with the information we need to develop a plan to get free. For example, presentations on the inaugural UNIA convention that detail its aims, purposes and how and why they developed the “Declaration of Rights of the Negro People” will be beneficial to helping us determine if we should develop a similar document or update the former one.
Please submit your 250 – 500 word proposals by March 1, 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org and make the subject Black Stars Aligned Proposal.
We are sounding the war horn announcing our independence from White Supremacy. We are bound by our unity as we return with wisdom of God and knowledge of self.
Mama Julia Davis
Director of Black Power
Dr. Travis Harris
Political Education Director
The International Black Freedom Alliance