More than a thousand delegates from 34 states formed a new black civil
rights organization, the National Black United Front, at a founding
conference held over the weekend in a sweltering armory in the Bedford-Stuyvesant
section of Brooklyn.
The organizers included many long-time black activists, joined in a
coalition that included churchmen and communists, laborers and college
professors. All of the participants contended that the desperate conditions
of black s made it necessary to try again to build a strong, grassroots
A principal organizer, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, a Brooklyn Pentecostal
minister who was named chairman of the group, said that the effects
of unemployment, cutbacks in essential services, shootings of blacks
by police officers and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan have “reached
genocidal dimensions for blacks.”
Leaders of the new group met late yesterday to determine their next
steps, including whether the new organization would participate in any
way in the upcoming Presidential election.
Oba T’shaka, chairman of the San Francisco Bay Area Black United
Front, said the group would seek to enroll black youths, elderly people,
churches, the middle class and professional people “to build the
base that is most effective in working to help our masses.”
Headquarters in Brooklyn
The only group that would not be recruited, he said at the organization’s
headquarters at the former National Guard armory at 357 Sumner Avenue,
were “black leaders created by whites who have sold out to whites
and who function to keep community leaders from developing.” He
refused to name these persons.
Mr. Daughtry and others contended that there is a “vacuum”
in the national black leadership and that “our people are searching
for new leaders and new vehicles.” He said that the participants
in the four-day conference, which ended yesterday, had been careful
not to allow their varying ideologies to keep them from working together.
“Some showed great dexterity in being consistent with their own
ideologies and conciliatory to those here who disagreed with them,”
The organization’s chief of operations, Jitu Weusi of Brooklyn,
said the conference was put together by blacks who met in Pennsylvania,
New York, Oregon, Illinois and Mississippi over the last eight months.
Wide Net Is Cast
Several of the participants said that the wide net cast by the group
could pose a threat to its effectiveness. They noted that while the
organization insisted only on a “functional unity,” some
elements were very diverse, with some preferring integration into the
“system” and others advocating that it be destroyed.
Other problems would be created should the black communists in the group
insist on bringing nonblacks into the group’s future meetings,
Despite the problems, all of the participants interviewed insisted that
the times were so desperate that their differences had to be overlooked.
“We can all sing the same song and the notes can be different,
based on our own vibrations,” said Dr. Maleek Rashadeen, an associate
professor of Pan African studies at California State University at Los
Need for Unity Stressed
Others stressing the need for unity included Amiri Baraka, poet-playwright;
Dr. Bobby Wright, director of the Garfield Park Community Mental Health
program in Chicago, Amiri Obadeli, president of the New Republic of
Africa; Skip Robinson, president of the United League of Mississippi;
the Rev. Charles Koen, a United Front official in Cairo, Ill., Prince
Ashiel Ben Israel, ambassador from the Hebrew Israelites of Dimona,
Israel, and State Assemblyman Al Vann of Brooklyn.
There have been many attempts by blacks to pull together the diverse
elements within black America, most of which have not succeeded. The
late Malcolm X’s Organization of African Unity fell apart after
he was assassinated. The Congress of African Peoples helped to establish
the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Ind., in 1972, but
that has since been greatly weakened because of philosophical conflicts.
To be continued…
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center weekly Thursday night forums 7pm
to 9pm held at the House of the Lord Church.
Hold the date – The National Religious Leaders Concerned About
Darfur (NRLAA) will sponsor its first Anniversary Celebration on Thursday,
October 18, 2007, from 6pm to 8pm at the House of the Lord Church, located
at 415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum focusing on Africa the 2nd Saturday
from 1pm to 2pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House
of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord
Church @ (718) 596-1991.