Black people in America and throughout the Diaspora:
In response to ongoing transgressions against Black people locally, nationally and globally, and my sense that some of you share my passion and interests to empower and advance our community in tangible ways, I’m working with other Black people to create a new organization. I envision that this organization will have a strong online presence but will in grassroots fashion, address tangible problems on the ground in our respective communities, utilizing the talents and energy of people committed to social change.
It appears that the time is ripe for a mass organization to address issues of solidarity, consciousness, education, deprivation,violence/police brutality, and genuine political empowerment for our people. Everyday in various social networks and print/television media, we witness video clips, articles, and personal observations which demonstrate our ongoing oppression and divisiveness. Therefore, there is no need to waste time here to enumerate every example. We may not be victorious with every project and we may not reach every objective, but if we fail to organize effectively and fail to become actively involved in our own liberation. our continued oppression and defeat are inevitable. Our children and we ourselves deserve a fighting chance.
As a student of Malcolm X, I appreciate his keen analysis and theories concerning Black liberation and solidarity. I also believe the ideas he articulated in the last year of his life are relevant to the condition we find ourselves in today. I’m inclined to resurrect the organization he founded in 1965, the Organization of African American Unity (OAAU). This has a few advantages. For one, the organization already has a solid statement of aims and objectives and intended to address many issues we still confront today. Unfortunately, due largely to Malcolm’s assassination, the OAAU never got an opportunity to implement its ideas. Secondly, the organization will likely attract many activists, artists and intellectuals who respect and support brother Malcolm’s politics and passion.
I am reaching out to solicit your support concerning this project because I believe many of us share the same passion and interests even though we might differ in terms of method. Some of you reading this are professors, schoolteachers, union organizers, writers, community activists, college students, workers, and professionals. Whether we re-establish the OAAU blueprint or create an entirely new one, I am confident that our combined efforts will positively impact our community.
For those of you concerned that airing this over the Internet will attract the attention and hostility of opposing forces, know and understand that I am not proposing we do anything unlawful or illegal; we would just be utilizing our God-given and Constitutional rights to address our affairs; This platform allows us to organize and communicate with several people across vast distances effectively and in a timely manner; many effective grassroots movements and campaigns have begun and been implemented in this very fashion. Organized opposition will be inevitable. And we will need to prepare for and seriously consider it. However we cannot allow hyper- paranoia to paralyze us.
I have already begun the process of reviewing and revising the OAAU charter and I’m in the process of contacting distinguished elder activists/intellectuals (and members of brother Malcolm’s family) for their blessing and mentorship. If you are interested in learning more about this or working with me in this endeavor, I humbly ask that you do the following: 1. Read the OAAU aims and objectives for yourselves 2. Email me ( email@example.com) your name, current city, and cell number so that I can create a national database of interested people. This is still in the planning stages but I will also address any questions/concerns you might have. Someone will contact you soon concerning how we will move forward. Eventually we will need people to help us start chapters in cities throughout the country. The criteria for such people is that you be Black (African descended), willing to work with Black people in your city of different faiths and political beliefs, and committed to Black political and economic empowerment and self-reliance. Thanks for your time and consideration.
Agyei Tyehimba is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.