by Salim K. T. Adofo
National Black United Front
During the summer of 2012 at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in the Brookland Section of Washington DC, the National Black United Front (NBUF) initiated its N’Joya Weusi Saturday School. The school is named after two of NBUF’s founding members Baba Seydou N’Joya and Baba Jitu Weusi. Seydou N’Joya is a long time Pan African Activist that started as a member of the Labor Section of NBUF. He helped people with discrimination complaints in the workforce. Before his passing, he worked in the area of political prisoners, electoral politics and reparations. Jitu Weusi is known as the architect of NBUF and is a long time Pan African Activist as well. He was a founding member of The East Cultural Center, the Council of Independent Black Institutions, the Afrikan Street Festival, The NY State Freedom party and many other organizations. Jitu Weusi worked as an educator in New York City for over 40 years before he passed in 2013.
In the early 90’s NBUF established its “World African Centered Education Plan.” The ultimate objective of the plan is to create a worldwide independent African Centered Education System by developing African Centered independent schools and strengthening existing African Centered Independent schools.
By applying point number two of the plan, NBUF developed its N’Joya Weusi Saturday School in Washington DC. Recognizing that the current District of Columbia educational system isn’t designed to meet the needs of Africans in America, NBUF concluded that it should (as well as other community organizations) organize around supplementing the education (or lack of) that the children in the Black community are subject to in the public, as well as private and charter school system. NBUF’s supplemental educational program is based upon science, technology, engineering, mathematics, (STEM) and the principles of Kwanzaa.
In an article published in May of 2014, CBSNEWS reported the 2013 results of 8th grade Washington DC students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test.
The article stated that in math, D.C. public-school eighth graders scored an average of 265 out of 500, and only 19 percent were rated “proficient” or better. With this in mind, the main focus of the N’Joya Weusi Saturday School has been STEM. Students have successfully conducted science experiments on water purification, renewable energy, global warming and volcanoes. In addition to the sciences, the Saturday School uses the principles of Kwanzaa to address many of the social needs of the children.
NBUF maintains that a healthy and productive learning environment is one that includes a child’s family. Therefore, guided by the principles of Kwanzaa, (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, co-operative economics, purpose, creativity and faith) NBUF uses these principles to help create that environment. Parents, guardians, and extended family members are highly encouraged to participate in all aspects of the classes. This includes financing, preparing lunch, recruiting children and facilitating the lesson of the day. By having a child’s family participate, the family bond is strengthened, a positive value system is reinforced in the home as well as outside of it and a stronger sense of community is developed.
The purpose of education should be to teach a people how to become producers of goods and services, and controllers of the economy, politics, and social structure of their community. However, the current system is training Black youth how to be first class consumers and subjects of the prison industrial complex. The NBUF World African Centered Education Plan and the N’Joya Weusi Saturday School is an organizing tool that can be used to counter the mis-educating of Black youth and set Black people on a path of self-determination. The school, which started out as a six-week summer program, is now facilitated on a quarterly basis and has expanded to Houston TX. To learn more information on the National Black United Front N’Joya Weusi Saturday School, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- African Centered curriculum development and educational restructuring in the public
- Expanding the number and quality of supplementary or after school programs in the African
- Working to restore African extended communities through aligning with African religious / spiritual institutions, community organizations, social organizations, and educational groups to create pilot block by block organizing around African Centered
- Through NBUF’s Prison Project, work to implement African Centered Education in the education programs in the prisons of
- Encourage African governments throughout the world to adopt the African Centered Education thrust.
- Support, when appropriate, African Centered Charter
- The establishment of an NBUF African Centered Teacher Training
- Develop a National Strategy of electing African Centered School Board Members at the local level and establish a National African Centered School Board Organization.
- Strive to coalesce with non-English speaking African people in furthering our efforts to internationalize the African Centered
- That NBUF consolidate the African Centered movement through aligning and collaborating with African Centered entertainers, study groups, churches/temples, scholars, and rites of passage programs.
- Establish an NBUF African Centered Education Summit Network and periodically convene NBUF Educational Summits.