Jitu K. Weusi: Grand retired educator in an Uhuru Sasa state of mind

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:37 p.m.

Along with classroom work, Weusi also took his students on cultural field trips, like seeing African drummers and dancers at Cooper Union and to a screening of "Black Orpheus."

But his teachings did not come without disapproval from white administrators, who had no interest in Blacks learning about their history in public school. Weusi recalls being suspended after taking his students to a memorial for Malcolm X in Harlem.

Parents and community leaders, including Queen Mother Moore, voiced their outrage after a white superintendent tried to remove him from his position. The voice of the community was heard and Weusi was transferred to a school in Brownsville.

While in Brownsville, he, along with the organization East, founded the Uhuru Sasa School for grades K through 12. The name translates to "freedom now" in Swahili. He served as headmaster and chief administrator from 1970 to 1979. In total, Weusi worked in education for 35 years.

In 1979, he began working in politics after meeting the Rev. Herbert Daughtry. The men founded the National Black United Fund, where over the past 30 years he worked on campaigns for Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

In 1995, he earned a master's degree from Brooklyn College and was asked to head the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium in 1999.

Weusi has been married for 25 years to his wife, Angela Hope-Weusi. They have seven children and nine grandchildren.