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Burning Spear News

Uhuru Foods & Pies builds the African workers' liberated economy—even during this pandemic!

May 11, 2020
Bakari Olatunji, Western Regional Representative, APSP-USA

COVID-19 is not a medical problem; it is a political problem. Its origins must be put in the context of what’s happening in the world today and who stands to profit from this deadly form of biological warfare. 

As an organization that is fighting for the liberation of African people everywhere, we know that one aspect of our political struggle is to control our own economy.

The African People's Socialist Party (APSP) understood from its founding in 1972 that economic self-reliance and self-determination were a necessity to carry out the goals of the liberation struggle.

That is why the Uhuru Movement has more than 50 separate institutions and created Black Star Industries (BSI). One of the most dynamic institutions of Black Star Industries is Uhuru Foods & Pies.

The birth of Uhuru Foods & Pies

Uhuru Foods & Pies was born out of a political problem in the late 1970s. What was typically characterized as violence against women in general was in fact colonial violence against African people, women and men alike.

At that time we were fighting to free Dessie Woods, an African woman who defended herself from her white male rapist and was given 22 years in prison for killing him with the gun he used to attack her.

We needed to raise funds for that campaign. Selling food was something that our Party had always done as a fundraiser. 

During the 1970s the Party did constant fish fries, car washes, donation campaigns, owned a black commercial newspaper and opened a bookstore, record store and restaurant. 

So, we held the first Uhuru food booth at the San Francisco Gay Pride celebration in 1978 to raise funds for the July 4th Campaign to Free Dessie Woods. That was truly the birth of Uhuru Foods & Pies.  

For many years, Uhuru Foods & Pies was led by and carried out by the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) to raise resources for the political work of the Party.

Uhuru Foods & Pies was a stance of reparations from the white community

This was during a time when the U.S. government counterinsurgency war was in full effect to keep revolution off the agenda for African workers. The Party has been the only organization to expose this war against the African community.

The Party had created APSC in 1976 to extend our Black Revolution into the white community and to take on the fact that this system is parasitic. 

Everything you see in the white community was stolen from our people, including our land, labor, culture and natural resources, to build capitalist wealth that is found in every white community in the world.

This is why the main work of APSC is to raise reparations to the African Revolution.

APSC did bake sales and began doing concessions at progressive political events in the San Francisco-Oakland bay area and other cities. 

For over 40 years, Uhuru Foods & Pies has been operated by dedicated volunteer teams who unite with our mission to create, produce and sell the freshest foods to build self-sustaining economic development designed for the prosperity and self-determination of present and future generations of African people worldwide.

Today, Uhuru Foods & Pies is owned by the Party’s economic engine, Black Star Industries and is truly a mechanism for an independent economy in our African community.

Uhuru Foods & Pies is not a business owned by an individual, but part of an independent African economy that African people are building to once again own and control our resources, including our own land, food production and distribution.

With this COVID-19 virus impacting the black community in huge disproportion to any other community, Uhuru Foods & Pies, for the safety of our customers, volunteers and staff, temporarily has closed our operations.

Transitioning our model, not our mission

We are conducting regular webinars and meetings through social distancing apparatuses to inform our base of ways they can support our work.

We are seeking to grow our wholesale capacity by contacting alternate businesses, some of which may not be viable once the shelter in place is lifted.

We are engaging volunteers, both new and old, to join us as we move to rapidly solve problems that have grown out of our inability to operate normally as an economic institution of the African working class should.

The long-term effects of this colonialvirus remain to be seen.

We were recently informed that the Pride Celebration 2020 in San Francisco has been cancelled.

It is entirely possible that large events that bring resources from the colonizer community to the colonized community through Uhuru Foods & Pies may be cancelled through early 2021.

Uhuru Pies annual pie campaign

Uhuru Foods & Pies is planning to go forward with our 42nd annual holiday pie campaign. We intend for this to be the biggest pie campaign ever.

Put it on your calendar.

We are working on new products, online ordering, better packaging and deepening our networks so that every community can participate.

Uhuru Foods & Pies team members are part of The People’s War Committee.

This is an ad-hoc committee put together to extend the reach of all the institutions of the Uhuru Movement into the colonized African community to provide information and leadership.

The goal of the committee is to sum up this virus for what it is: the continued centuries-old extraction of human and material resources from Africa and its people worldwide to benefit parasitic capitalism. 

Just as African people have survived 600 years of colonial attacks, this latest attack will come to pass.

However, African people today have an opportunity now more than ever to organize and rid ourselves of this blood-sucking parasite forever.

Join the continued anti-colonial work of Uhuru Foods & Pies built on a tradition of fighting for the African working class to become the benefactors of our own labor by our own hands.

We plan to come out of this stronger than ever with the participation of the people.

Learn more about Black Star Industries at apspuhuru.org.

Forward the African Revolution! 

Donate at uhurupies.org today!

 

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