30th Annual National Convention of the National Black United Front
that was held in Chicago, Illinois from July 16-19, 2009 was, in my judgment,
a grand success. It
was a grand success for many reasons. First,
it was a grand success because many of the original founders of
NBUF have continued to participate and contribute to the ongoing development
of the organization over the years. Founding Elder Jitu Weusi,
Kofi Hooper, Brother Sedu,
and Sister Maxine Flowers of New York; Elder Richard Dockett and
Brother Valentine from St. Louis; Sandra and Mickey Dean, Ajamu and Kinda Webster, Samori Grace, and Michael Byrd from Kansas City; and Dr. Oba T`Shaka from the Bay
Area were part of this group that came to Chicago to participate
in this historic convention. It was also a success because we had
NBUF Chapters represented from New
York, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Bay Area, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Columbia, South Carolina, and Seattle, Washington. In addition we had supporters from
Durham, North Carolina and Memphis, Tennessee.
Further, it was successful because of the young people and elders who participated.
We had college students from the University of Wisconsin in Platteville who
chartered a bus to come to the convention. We must thank Sister
Merrie Felder and Veronica of the Milwaukee Chapter for helping
to facilitate the student participation in the convention through
working with the University
of Wisconsin in Platteville and Carl Wesley.
These young people seemed to have been inspired by the convention
to the extent that they are organizing to start a student NBUF chapter on their campus. We
also had young people who participated from the Coalition to Improve
Education in South Shore / CIESS,
most of which were high school students. They all contributed to
the youthful dialog of the convention and appeared to receive a
lot of important information that the convention provided.
Chicago elders who have been NBUF contributors and supporters over the past thirty-years such as
Mama West Kaba Bobo, Ulu Bobbie
Womack, Ifé Carruthers,
Chester A. Spears, and many, many others attended and participated
in the convention.
great supporters, William “Bill” Merritt of the National Black United Fund,
Inc. and consistent supporter Henry English
of the Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) were important contributors
to the work of NBUF, especially in the economic arena. Dean
Murrell Duster of Northeastern Illinois
University, Dr. Mario Beatty of Chicago State University and his wife Dr. Valethia
Watkins of Olive Harvey College, Brother Robert Muhammad of the Nation of Islam joined us on Thursday
evening. It was also significant that our good friend and colleague
in the struggle over the past thirty years, Dr. Ron Daniels, CEO of the Institute of the Black World, joined us on Saturday.
Kick-Off keynote address was delivered on Thursday evening. Brother
Malik Zulu Shabazz gave a glowing introduction
of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who delivered one of his
classic and profound presentations. His presentation is one that
all black people need to hear. Minister Farrakhan absolutely gave
a masterful critique and charge for our future organizing work for
black people in this country and around the world. NBUF
was truly humbled by his keynote address as well as his financial
was also a success because we had outstanding presentations from
Atty. Lionel Jean Baptiste, Dr. Ray Winbush, Dr. Iva Carruthers, Atty. Mawuli Davis,
Rahim Chesed, and Julian Dixon. Other presenters, Hasina Webster, Rev. Reginald Williams and Brother Leonard Dunston along with Yvonne
Jones, Pam Brown Ali, and T. J. Crawford,
contributed their insight, expertise, and wisdom. The profound presentation made by Dr. Lance Williams at
the banquet on Friday evening still resonates in the consciousness
of all the convention participants.
plenary exchange and dialog throughout all of the convention sessions
were superb and uplifting. The Saturday Cultural Extravaganza, coordinated
by Sister Sharon Pulliam, brought forth the cultural tradition and
spiritual Upliftment through a variety of performances that were
inspiring to the audience, who on many occasions showed their appreciation
with standing ovations. Also contributing to the evening was Emcee
Zin. Emcee Zin brought the audience to their feet with his creative
Hip-Hop presentations. My spirit was uplifted on this evening when
my 95-year-old father, Walter Worrill, called in and instructed
my younger brother, Oscar, to congratulate
NBUF for its thirty years of organizing
and work for black people. He congratulated the new leadership of
NBUF and informed everyone that he has
been trying to get his son out of Chicago
since he brought him here when he was 9-years-old.
theme of this year’s convention, “Turning
Point 2009: Connecting the Black Power Generation to the Hip Hop
Generation” was embedded in the National election that took place.
New leadership was elected at this historic 30th National NBUF
Convention. NBUF now has a new, dynamic National Chairperson in Brother Kofi Taharka of Houston, Texas and a new Vice Chairman of Organizing and Training,
Brother Salim Adofo. We re-elected Brother Toriono
Granger who has served with distinction as our National Secretary
and Sister Sandra Dean our illustrious National Treasurer who is an outstanding
keeper of our financial records. We must also recognize Brother
Toriono for the superb job he did as the National Convention Coordinator
for our 30th Convention. The National Chairperson,
in one of his first official acts, appointed
Emcee Zin NBUF’s Minister of Culture.
This will be a welcomed addition to the NBUF
Leadership team in the cultural arena. We thank Charles Rolland,
Coordinator of the National Election and Thomas Muhammad of Dallas for his work in documenting NBUF over the years.
spiritual leadership of Priestess Talibah
Worrill along with the spiritual contribution of Brother Oshi Adelabu
of Milwaukee and our Master Drummers, Babu Atiba, Asante Nalls, and Enoch Wilson,
helped us maintain the ancestral connection to our work.
many NBUF Chicago Chapter members who were the nuts and bolts and did all
the “nitty gritty” work to make this convention successful must
be acknowledged as a critical organizing component of this convention.
Without the Chicago Chapter NBUF members, much of what made this convention a success would not
have occurred: Theodore R. Floyd, Iris
Dunmore, Brother Bernard, Viola Henry, Ms. Martin,
Sister Mamie, Brother Armel Peel, Michael Gaines, and Sister Billye
Ayodele Wilson, to name a few.
this regard, a special thank you must be given to my “Circle of Friends” who contributed
financially to the success of this convention. It is without question
that this convention helped revitalize NBUF
as we continue to organize in the African Centered Curriculum Movement, continue to struggle for economic self-sufficiency, our continued organizing around issues of the Criminal In-Justice
System, and support for the freedom of
Political Prisoners, our work with young people to engage them in
our work in the African Liberation Movement and our continued work
in the realm of cultural and international affairs.
has much work to do with the challenges of people of African descent
that stare us in the face, I am convinced
that the new leadership of NBUF with Broth
Kofi as our National Chairperson is equipped and prepared to retool
and revitalize the work of NBUF to meet
these great challenges.
finally, we must thank Dr. Wayne Watson, former Chancellor of the City Colleges
of Chicago and new President of Chicago State
University, and President Clyde El Amin
of Kennedy King
College for being gracious hosts for the
convention kick-off at the new Kennedy King College. As always,
the staff of the Carruthers Center
for Inner City Studies, the main site
of the convention, was superb!
has truly been my honor to serve as a member of NBUF
for the past thirty years and as the National Chairman for the past
twenty five years. I thank you for allowing me to be of service.
I will continue to actively participate in NBUF
in my new role as Chairman Emeritus and Elder Advisor.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National
Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click here
to contact Dr. Worrill.