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NBUF 30th Annual National Convention: A Grand Success - Worrill's World - By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill, PhD - Columnist
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The 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.

The 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.

Our 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.

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The 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 contribution.

It 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

In 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.

NBUF, clearly, 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.

And 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!

It 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. Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click here to contact Dr. Worrill.


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July 23, 2009
Issue 334

is published every Thursday

Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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