“I want our people to walk away with new ideas to move forward, to build our nation up,” said Bomani Mayasa, co-organiser of the three-day “100 Years in the Whirlwind” virtual conference celebrating the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey from Aug. 14-16 hosted by Kujichagulia Inc. & United Front/A.I.M.
Mayasa stated, “This is the centennial of the Red, the Black and the Green…and you only get one. This is the first international conference of the UNIA. We have been chosen to commemorate and celebrate it. It’s 100 years, and what is the plan for the next 100?”
Mayasa said they have “over 30 speakers from around the African world to speak on issues pertaining to Black people with regards to: African-centered education, African martial arts, to economics, to current affairs, and how we move forward.”
Co-organizer Aleous Kujichagulia explained that for those who don’t know, Marcus Mosiah Garvey decided to develop the now global Red, Black, and Green flag at the first United Negro Improvement Association conference meeting on Aug. 1, 1920 in New York City. “Around the time when the Universal Negro Improvement Association was founded, the African people didn’t necessarily have a flag that was theirs. They didn’t have a standard to carry into war—and we are always at war. War isn’t anything but a competition for resources, land, wealth and power,” Kujichagulia said on Amsterdam News Editor Nayaba Arinde’s radio show, “Back to Basics.”
On Aug. 13, 1920, at Madison Square Garden, the Convention of UNIA created and adopted their Declarations of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. They established the flag, saying that it consists of three colors, Red (blood that is/has been shed), Black (the people), and Green (the land). Garvey’s UNIA believed in Black nationalism with the motto “One God, One Aim, One Destiny.” With his Back-to-Africa movement ideology, Garvey published his multi-lingual Negro World newspaper and launched his Black Star Line fleet which included the SS Frederick Douglass, one of several ships in the all Black crew and captains fleet.
“Africa for the Africans at home and abroad,” said Garvey.
The Garveyite movement was worldwide and continues. “Look for me in the whirlwind,” Garvey said. Hence the title of the conference celebrating his flag.
“To me it is super important personally when we are given our marching orders to collectively globally organize to one end because we are one people, with one destiny,” said co-organizer Kujichagulia.
Garvey did it by word of mouth; Kujichagulia said they have the advantage of the internet and other platforms.
“As I started to get more spiritual and emotionally connected, it is what motivated me to continue the legacy of what Marcus Garvey started. My wife and I started a youth track team where they wear the colors of the flag. We wanted to intergenerationally pass this information on to our children, and any African children we come into contact with. We have a responsibility to ourselves, and our families, and our people. There is a shield and a spear that may fall, but you have to pick it up to ensure that we continue to exist into perpetuity.”
Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey grew his organization steadily, and it was global. He caught the attention of authorities internationally. In 1923 he was convicted of mail fraud. He was jailed in Atlanta and then deported to Jamaica in 1929, where he continued his activism. He relocated to London in 1935, and died there in 1940.
Garvey’s African-focused impact still reverberates worldwide.
Another co-organizer Doc Mahdi said the Red, Black and Green flag “gives a very simple and concise blueprint and objective as to what we have to do as a people. It is a unifying agent that the most Honorable Marcus Garvey provided us with.”
The celebration will be a three-day Zoom podcast event, starting on Friday, Aug. 14 and ending on Sunday, Aug. 16. Organizers say the purpose of the event is for all “Afrikans” to celebrate their achievement while educating and being unified. “You only get one centennial so we wanted to do it big for the Red, Black and the Green! We are so honored to be chosen to commemorate what our people have accomplished over the years,” said Mayasa. The theme of the weekend is “‘A Legacy of Resistance, Rebellion and Revolt.’ We have over 30 speakers to discuss issues surrounding Black people. We will be discussing everything from African martial arts to economics and how do we move forward as a collective. August 14 is the beginning of our three-day conference; it is also the first day of the Haitian Revolution, and the release of the United Front’s ‘Harriet Tubman’ album.
“I want our people to walk away with new ideas to move forward, to build our nation up,” Mayasa continued. “We have a lot of African-centered educators and speakers on the roster. I feel that without educating our future, we won’t have one. Without downloading the Pan Africanist revolutionary software into their brains, then we are not really teaching them correctly.”
United Front artist and co-organizer Deedle Green said the conference “will feature over 20 of the world’s most sincere, world-renowned African-centered scholars, their analyses and proven solutions,” and “over 30 far-reaching master-level course lectures, tons of educational resources, Afrikanly awesome virtual vendors, and United Front/Afrikan Insurrektion Muzik providing the revolutionary soundtrack over the course of the conference—this experience will inspire our legitimate right to resist.”
Mayasa concluded, “We are excited that some of the most brilliantly beautiful Afrikans here in the United States, Canada, from the West Indies, in Europe and from Afrika will be part of this collective work of learning, sharing and cultivating an authentic expression of Black August so we can appropriately identify the shoulders beneath our feet. We guarantee ‘100 Years in the Whirlwind’ will educate, motivate and inspire each of us to be our best selves as we move forward to create a reality where Afrikan children have the opportunity to grow and actualize their truest Afrikan potential.”
International educators and activists on the program include Mwalimu Baruti, Ola Tokunbo, Baba Imhotep Fatiu, Jonathan Born Jackson, No Kala Asante, Montsho & Nwasha Edu, Keisha Forrester, Dr. Maat, Taj Anwar, Afi Ese, Yaa Asantewaa, Nzngha, Omowale Asante, and the Vanguard United Front.
Amsterdam News Editor Nayaba Arinde will be featured on the Aug. 15 show from 6 to 8 p.m., New York City time. Her themes are: Returning to Our Natural Nature and From Rhetoric to Reparations. Her guests include Assemblyman Charles Barron, Council Member Inez Barron, and international journalist Diabel Faye. For more information and to see the program, log on to www.dtc1.org.