Veteran political activist Omowale Clay celebrated his 65th birthday among a host of friends and family on Saturday at Sistas’ Place in Brooklyn. Clay, a leader in the December 12th Movement who coined the internationally known political slogans, “No Justice, No Peace!” and “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” enjoyed a jazzy birthday featuring the extraordinary cellist Akua Dixon and friends, including Kenny Davis on bass, Randy Jackson on guitar and Victor Ector on drums.
Many participants engaged in an impromptu roast that had everyone laughing. Clay then thanked all for “making this a very special day” and for recognizing his family and his “political family.” “Given the fact that over 700 Department of Education workers recently were laid off, gentrification threatens Sistas’ Place and the African Peoples’ Farmers Market’s existence; they’re still bombing Libya and our fight for reparations continues. We have much work to do.”
Clay has been at the forefront of many local, national and international struggles.The 1980s “Days of Outrage!” that shut down New York City and the Black Men’s Movement that took to the streets to close crack houses, to the first national march for reparations in Washington, D.C., in 2002, to the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, to acting as the present vice president of the African Union Diaspora Task Force are just a few highlights in his four decades of struggle.
Fight on, Omowale! Many more birthdays to come.