Burning Spear News
“Bringing the Revolution Back to the Campus”
By Kobina Bantushango, Membership Coordinator for the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement
HUNTSVILLE, AL — The 2nd Annual African Student Leadership Conference held on March 30-31 and sponsored by the Pan-African Alliance (PAA) of Alabama A&M University (AAMU) proved to be an historic event. The conference was themed “Bringing the Revolution Back to the Campus,” and it did just that with participation from the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and others.
The conference’s title reflected the reality that since the military defeat of the Black Revolution of the Sixties, there has been no meaningful participation from the campuses in the revolutionary process.
The conference began with an electrifying presentation made by APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela. Over the two-day conference, the Chairman would give two more presentations providing leadership on questions ranging from the struggle that is currently taking place in Guinea-Conakry to African student’s role in the Revolution.
The Chairman explained that the students have a responsibility to contribute to the revolutionary process to win for African people control over our own lives. He spoke of his vision of a student wing of the African People’s Socialist Party, the African International Student Organization (AISO). AISO will help students to use their skills to develop the African world and transform them into the revolutionaries that Africa and African people need.
During the African Student Leadership Conference, students asked pertinent questions about revolution and where they should go after graduation. The Chairman clearly explained the revolutionary process and then tied it to practical application guiding the conference attendees to the process through African-led programs such as the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), Burning Spear Records (BSR) and Burning Spear Media.
Dr. Aisha Fields and Omavi Bailey teamed up to give a magnificent presentation on the topic ‘All Diamonds are Blood Diamonds’ and the AAPEDP work that Dr. Fields is leading. This project will be taking water purification and electrification throughout the African world.
One African sister donated her illustrious diamond ring to the program after the presentation. Students from the different universities took with them packets that offered an opportunity to bring Omavi Bailey, Director of Burning Spear Records, and Dr. Aisha Fields to their campus or city. The two of them will be on a dynamic U.S.-wide joint tour entitled “All Diamonds are Blood Diamonds” starting in late April and going into the middle of May. This is definitely a tour that Africans will not want to miss.
Omavi Bailey and BSR artist Bombai led a workshop entitled “Ending Horizontal Violence” that explained that horizontal violence — which has often been termed black on black violence — is a result of the oppressive conditions African people are forced to exist in under imperialism.
Students could not stop talking about the wonderful workshop that Minister Carla Harris, International Secretary of InPDUM, gave on “Using Your Spirituality to Forward the African Revolution.”
Baba Wavoka Sobukwe, a teacher at Quitman County Schools in Mississippi, gave a wonderful presentation to a wall-to-wall packed room on African-centered Education and its importance. These were just a few workshops that contributed to this conference being such an historic event.
As if that was not enough, BSR artists and poets from various parts of the country gave electrifying performances at the Free Da Mic that closed the conference out on Saturday March 31.
Tenaja Ali, President of PAA and Chairperson of the Conference Committee, stated that the outcome exceeded the conference organizers’ expectations.
Students left the Conference with theory that they were ready to go back to their campuses and apply. Schools were represented from Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida. Some students and participants joined this revolutionary process by committing to join BSR while others joined AISO and other programs presented at the conference.
The students that became a part of process of building AISO are now preparing to take on the task of organizing the students to come into a revolutionary process. These students, full of energy and ideas, were enthused about the organization and the work that they are embarking on.
Some of the students in AISO have taken on responsibility to help build for an AISO organizing conference that will take place the weekend of June 22-24. At this conference leadership will be chosen and a constitution for AISO will be formed.
Students Jamaal Fields and Larry Love will be taking on the task of researching the parasitic corporations that exploit Africa and African People and find themselves on college campuses selling our stolen resources back to us. Amir Shabazz has taken on the task of organizing student participation in the African Liberation Day event and conference that will be held in Washington DC on May 26, 2007.
Indeed, the revolution has been brought back to the campuses. Forward to the International African Revolution!