There is an unlimited library of lessons in the lives and teachings of our ancestors, those who, as Seba Ptahhotep says in the Husia, “listened to the Divine”, spoke truth, did justice, and worked tirelessly to secure the well-being of our people and the world. So it is with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., awesome preacher, prophet and dream weaver whose martyrdom and sacrifice we commemorate this month.
March 10-12, 1972, an estimated 10,000 Black people converged on a small steel town in Indiana for one of the greatest gatherings in the history of Africans in America – the Gary National Black Political Convention. As I reflect on more than a half century on the frontlines of the Black Freedom Struggle, anyone who is intimately familiar with my work is aware that the Gary Black Political Convention was one of the defining moments for an emerging social/political activist from Youngstown, Ohio.
On April 27th at the Schomburg Center in New York family, longtime allies/friends and the community will gather to share in the celebration of my 70th Birthday. Personally, I’m not much on birthday celebrations, so the event will be a benefit to support the work of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), the organization which I have devoted my energies building for the past decade. I view IBW as a signature/legacy initiative – the culmination of nearly a half century of advocacy and organizing on the frontlines of the Black Freedom Struggle.