It was announced that Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., son of former Black Panther leader, Chairman Fred Hampton, and chairman of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee and Black Panther Party Cubs, will be returning to Harlem, N.Y. to keynote the opening of the Malcolm X Conference on Self-Determination taking place as the community honors the 92nd year of the birth of Malcolm X.
Roger Wareham, international human rights attorney and founding member of the December12th Movement, sponsors of the conference, felt that Hampton would set the proper tone of resistance and analysis to fire up the opening of the conference. Wareham stated, “In honoring the birth of Malcolm X, we are challenged to apply the lessons Malcolm taught us to the rapidly deteriorating conditions of Black people in America. Conditions founded on chattel enslavement; passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments denying Black people the right to choose their destiny; and chaining Black people to a second-class citizenship of terrorism, cheap labor and poverty.”
Wareham continued, “In this period, particularly under this president, the recognition and implementation of Black people’s right to self-determination is crucial to our survival, development and liberation. We cannot be truly self-determining if we don’t recognize our rights, up to and including separation, as inviolable principles by which we fight against rising fascism and this criminal ruling class. This criminal class of super-rich people want us to abandon the lessons learned from our past leaders, like Chairman Fred Hampton and Brother Malcolm X who so correctly said that, if we are not absolutely careful, they ‘will have us hating our friends and loving our enemies.’ In other words, this criminal class is waging a propaganda war against Black people.”
The goal of the conference, as stated in various communications is for “Black people to arm themselves for this propaganda war by stimulating dialogue, provoking critical thinking and putting forward possible solutions.” The December 12th Movement’s position is that “we can best exercise our right to self-determination by calling for a plebiscite, where, for the first time in this hemisphere, Black people can decide what we want our relationship to be to the United States of America.”
The conference workday starts at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 20, 2017, at All Souls Episcopal Church, 88 St. Nicolas Ave., through plenary sessions and panels (“Black Independence: Historical Demand”; “They Stole Us, They Sold Us, They Owe Us—Reparations Now”; “Recapturing Black Culture;” “Internationalizing Black Liberation”) by which, Wareham stated, “We plan to chart a road forward.”
The conference officially starts at 6 p.m., Friday, May 19, at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building with the keynote address by Hampton. But the day’s events begin Friday at noon, when we assemble at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building for the “Harlem Black Power March and 125th Street Business Shutdown.”
Wareham noted, “This will be the 28th year that we ensure that businesses across 125th Street close for three hours in honor of the birthday of the Black Nation’s ‘Shining Prince,’ Malcolm X.”