Sankofa Caravan to the Ancestors Brunch: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Institution Building

by Salim Adofo

 

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The Black Power Movement was started and fueled by the energy and fervor of many individuals & organizations that inhibited and exercised resiliency, zeal, and an undying commitment towards elevating black people and ultimately liberating them from the roots of oppression economically, politically, and socially. These leaders have left for next generations a powerful legacy through their speeches, books, and institutions. Unfortunately, as time has passed, these present elders have not been fully tapped by younger generations to share their wisdom, experience, and critique of the Black Power Movement. Over the last few years, many of these individuals have transitioned to join the ancestors. We are finding, as time continues to pass, we are continually losing access to the knowledge, resources, and recommendations from our elders.  Additionally, many of the younger generation are not getting the quality political education and firsthand accounts that are necessary from movement elders. They are in fact getting a lot of their information from social media and the internet. Therefore the National Black United Front and Rhythm and Justice Radio will convene the Sankofa Caravan to the Ancestors Brunch to facilitate an intergenerational dialogue on institution building to address the above stated deficiencies in the Black Liberation Movement.

The Sankofa Caravan to the Ancestors Brunch will provide young people with opportunity to learn and grow from committed elders with a track record of success in the movement. Through structured dialogue communal discussion, the youth will have the opportunity to learn what no textbook, no university course, nor museum exhibit could convey about building institutions for Black Power. In turn, the elders will have the opportunity to call upon the energy of the youth to revive the Black Power Movement and once again instill a collective fight towards Black empowerment and self-determination.   The intergenerational dialogue will focus on the social, economic and political issues related to building and sustaining institutions for Black Power. The conversation will also focus on the successes, ongoing failures, and recommendations for rebuilding institutions for Black Power.

The brunch will take place Sunday October 16 at 10 am at the NBUF Houston headquarters, located at 2428 Southmore Blvd Houston TX 77004.  The brunch will feature Deloyd Parker, founder of S.H.A.P.E. Community Center.  S.H.A.P.E. (Self-Help for African People through Education) Community Center was founded in 1969. For over 46 years, S.H.A.P.E. has survived the ebbs and flows of the civil rights movement. S.H.A.P.E.’s journey from a small organization to one of international scope mirrors the transition of its leadership.  Deloyd Parker is the Co-Founder and has been the Executive Director of S.H.A.P.E. for over 46 years. Deloyd worked in the Ujamaa Villages of East Africa and traveled to many countries in the eastern part of Africa, spreading S.H.A.P.E.’s philosophy. His most recent trip to Africa was in the summer of 2000. He went to The Gambia in West Africa where he met with the President of The Gambia and was able to expand relations with the government as well as grassroot community leaders. The initiation of the SHAPE philosophy was embraced by the people of The Gambia and “The S.H.A.P.E. of The Gambia” was born.  Deloyd along with countless volunteers, staff and supporters have built S.H.A.P.E., a comprehensive and holistic community institution. Deloyd Parker attributes all of these accomplishments, achievements, successes and victories to embracing the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa (Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith).  In addition to Deloyd, the brunch will feature international poet and activist Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets.

Oyewole is a founding member of the The Last Poets. On May 19, 1968, the anniversary of Malcolm X’s birthday, Oyewole and two others David Nelson and Gylan Kain read poetry in tribute to Malcolm X, and formed the group.  The Last Poets message is deeply rooted in Black Nationalism and has had a profound effect on the development of hip-hop music.

The brunch is free for NBUF members and a donation of $10 for guests is requested. All proceeds will benefit the work of S.H.A.P.E. Community Center.  For more information contact: rhythmandjustice@gmail.com.

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