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Black Solidarity Day Rally for Bill Thompson

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:35 p.m.

This Monday, November 2, marks the 40th anniversary of Black Solidarity Day.

The first Monday of every November is recognized as Black Solidarity Day, coincidently always the day before a general election.

This November 2 takes on particular significance says political and grassroots advocates, such as Councilman Charles Barron and retired educator Jitu Weusi, as the city has in its grasp the real possibility of electing it's second Black mayor in City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

"The best way to show Black solidarity this time around is to vote into office the second Black mayor in the history of New York City," Barron told the AmNews. "We need someone who will focus on stopping the senseless violence, address the high unemployment rate, get some affordable housing and stop the foreclosures. In the name of Black solidarity, we should fire Bloomberg and hire Bill Thompson."

Brooklyn's Dr. Carlos Russell created Black Solidarity Day, as inspired by the infamous Douglass Turner Ward play "A Day of Absence."

In the play, Black folks in a small Southern town were underpaid and underappreciated and collectively decided to disappear for a complete day. The affect is devastating. And noted.

Weusi told the AmNews, "Now if we apply this to our present day New York experience, we can say again that the masses of our people are underpaid and underappreciated, but one thing we have is the vote.

"The present occupant of City Hall is up for election on November 3, 2009. He is accused of race baiting by using Rudy Giuliani to stir up the white votes two days after he summons his Black supporter, General Colin Powell to eat hot dogs in Time Square and tell the darkies that the mayor is alright. Are we stupid or what?

"In the largest metropolis of this nation, where we are unemployed and underpaid. We are given one-way tickets out of town. We are the maximum of the homeless and the hungry. Our kids are miseducated and senselessly killing each other in the streets. Our workers and their unions are treated as invisible people."

Weusi is avidly supporting his fellow Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklynite in Thompson and is also organizing a Black Solidarity Day event, which will take place at Brooklyn Boys and Girls High School on Sunday, November 1. It is likely to become something of a cultural and political campaign rally.

"We can send an Election Day shock that will be heard all over the world," said Weusi.

"We are on the cusp of losing what little gains we've made if we are subjected to another four years of the Bloomberg administration," said Marquez Claxton, activist and co-founder of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. "We will get congestion pricing, continued property tax increases, more stop and frisks and, unfortunately, more police misconduct if Bloomberg gets back in. The developers will be delighted because they will own more of this city than they've ever owned before. We have to vote for Bill Thompson."

"I endorse Billy Thompson. He is the best man for mayor for the city," Rev. Al Sharpton told the AmNews. "I endorsed him and I've campaigned with him. We need a mayor who understands this city and understands what the people go through in everyday life."