September 2010


 

“No matter what language we speak, No matter where we are born, No matter what religious we practice, We are ONE AFRIKAN PEOPLES home and abroad!!!”

Greetings Your Excellencies, Clergy, Elders, Scholars, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters of the African Diaspora. It is with joy to report to you this day of the advancements made by your African Diaspora Brothers and Sister as we embraced the missions set by the African Union, to have the African descendants who are living outside of Africa, to organize towards the United Union States of Africa. We hope that you will find this report refreshing for we as African Diasporas have received our torch passed on to us by our ancestors of African Unity, Pan Africaism, and African Nationalism and we are together moving forward. We have to give thanks and praises to God, whose name and attributes are just as diverse as the names, cultures, and tradition of us as African blood descended people and to our ancestors, martyrs, our saints, who all over the world, struggled to lay this foundation we have today to continue in the spirit of freedom, the spirit of Pan Africanism, and the spirit to return and maintain our integrity as a stolen and lost people of the African Continent.

Ato Kassayi with SDRC Liberia Delegation

We would like to thank the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus( SDRC) for their hard work and strength. We have had the pleasure to see them in action in New York as they laid down the structures to the definition of the African in the Diaspora and held various community gatherings to gain the awareness of the African Union’s invitation to invite the African Diaspora to join them in their efforts to create the United States of Africa and to help build the African Union. We would also like to thank the Charleston South Carolina community for their generous hospitality in hosting such a noted and praise worthy international conference like PADU, and we are confident that they will go on to speared the good news of total African cohesiveness.

Your Excellencies, African Unity of Harlem, Inc is proud to announce to you new developments within our origination. We are now official partners of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SDRC) and voting members of the Pan African Diaspora Union (PADU). These two accomplishments have enable us to network with a wide range of our people whose efforts are in various paradigms of work to build up the new face of Africa and whose economic strengths together can produce abundantly in various fields of development for the African Diaspora and Continent. AUH, Inc. has also advanced our developments towards the establishment of, “The Center for African Unity of Harlem”, with locations and offices in the heart of Harlem. We will be sending a separate communication to schedule presentations with you in the near future.

As we sojourn from New York to South Carolina, the twenty hour bus ride on Greyhound gave us much needed time to rest back from the fast busy day to day life of New York City. Being that we respect all African Black people regardless of language, religion, or place of birth it was easy to spark up conversations with those going along to the South. There is much respect and hospitality African Blacks in the south hold. Very personal and intimate.

As told by one of the city’s Elders, originally South Carolina stretched far south as Florida and as far west as California. In Charleston around 1670 the town was known for its lumber and in 1678, exploration ships arriving from Madagascar landed on its coast. The land was once dense in marshlands and was seen to be a good business place to harvest in rice production. Seeing rice cultivated in the west coasts of Africa, the exploiters began shipping African people to the western lands to cultivate and harvest rice. From the skills and techniques African peoples used, the land would go on to produce enough to have a wealthy population. We, as Africans, were sought after for our knowledge, for cultivation skills and it was our skills that would invent long grain rice.  As the rice production grow more and more Africans were brought in to the Diaspora allowing the Gala Gushy culture to flourish.  After a tsunami erupted in the land, thousands of people were swept away along with the rice fields.  As of today, Charleston consist of several Islands all bond together through a serious of bridges.

PADU Delegation

The City of Charleston is home to the oldest African Diaspora Church, the proclaimed African Methodist Episcopal Church. The AME Church. It was originally founded in Philadelphia in 1891 when three African worshipers went to pray in front of the altar of the church they attended. During those days Africans could only pray in the upper balcony so one day these worshipers after seeing the entrance door to the church locked, entered through the front door. They stopped to pray in front of the alter to worship before going to the upper balcony, immediately they where manhandled and ordered to go to the back of the church. The three African men used this denial for them to worship their God as strength to leave that church to establish their own! The famous AME Church.

The Pan African Diaspora Union first international conference was much success. Please view videos of our trip on our YouTube channel and visit our blog for pictures and more details. Please read the official press release concerning the outcome of the conference and we look forward in meeting with you to give presentation of the Center of African Unity of Harlem.

Most Respect

Sister Ivory Ann Black II Woletta Sellassie

Executive Secretary

African Unity of Harlem, Inc

Website: http://www.afrikanunityofharlem.com

Blogesite: http://www.afrikanunityofharlem.wordpress.com

Radio/TV Program: Watch us at afrikanunityofharlem.com

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On Saturday, July 24, 2010 in Charleston, South Carolina at the Community Center of the International Longshoreman’s Union, a magnificent step forward for African descendants was taken within a memorable historical context: the Pan African Diaspora Union (PADU) was born. Standing on the shoulders of Pan African giants who have cut through the forest of false entanglements, confusion and lethargy to show the way  forward, this grouping of 21st century Pan Africanists met as the PADU International Diaspora Council to help organize the African Diaspora, educate the African descendant masses about the importance of African re-engagement and to do its part to help achieve the United States of Africa/Union of African States—out of 54, one.

            This was a modern achievement of unity without uniformity, a phrase many of us have used often but not carried out. The AAPRP/AAWRU (All African Peoples Revolutionary Party/All African Women’s Revolutionary Union), Honorable Marcus Garvey’s UNIA-ACL (Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League, the SRDC (Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus), PerAnkh University/PerAnkh em Smai Tawi  (V.I.), AUH (Afrikan Unity of Harlem), CABO (Central American Black Organization), CBPM (Collective Black People Movement) and the UNIA-LDF (Legal Defense Fund) met as partners who have agreed to a common set of Pan African principles without losing any of their own sovereignty or status. Each group has one vote on all issues, there is a collective of talents, resources and network associations, and the huge coalition is founded on mutual respect and mutual civility for all member organizations and for African people. There are fourteen member organizations in all thus far, including NBLC, PANASTRAG, MIR (Martinique, Paris), CIPN (Guadeloupe/Antilles) and AUADS-Europe, among others.

            PADU’s primary objective is to assist greatly in organizing the 300 million-plus African descendants now living in the African Diaspora, spread over 90 countries and 70,000 miles. To do that, PADU members will focus jointly and individually on nation building (African unification), capacity building (working to expand the African Diaspora’s collaborative resources so together we can help each other as opposed to waiting for others to help us), sustainability (cooperative economics, trade, food production, healthcare, ethical decision-making, etc.), and the constant advocacy for increased integration of African women’s leadership and empowerment. On its website, PADU will maintain an up-to-date calendar of Diasporan events relevant to these aims.

            This is 21st century Pan Africanism at a higher ground, and it is part of the Decade of the Diaspora (January, 2010—December, 2020) within which the African Diaspora as a whole has to step up and take its rightful place inside the African Union and as a valued decision-maker in Africa’s future.  The African Diaspora has been invited to the table, and we must organize ourselves in order to accept it.

            For those Pan African organizations quite serious about their mission forward to help Africa unify and who are interested in working in partnership with others on the same path, we will see you in the whirlwind. Forward ever, backwards never.                                                                                                                                                                                   A Luta Continua

ATTENDEES: SRDC Members and Facilitators, and CCOE Members (Maryland, S.C., California, N.Y.,  Washington State, Ohio, Nicaragua Central America), Elected Representatives and Observers (Ohio, Maryland, California, S.C., Washington State), and  special guests (Dr. Robert Brock, Sister Mickie, Apostle T.L. Rodgers, Rev. Arthur Pinckney, Rev. and Mrs. Leo Woodberry, Brother Hodari Kamau Omari-Church of the Black Madonna, Sister Marva Berry, etc.)  and interested members of the public. Also in attendance were officers and spokespersons for the UNIA-ACL (PG Senghor J. Baye, Zama Cook, Nyata Toure, Chuck Banks), UNIA-LDF (David L. Horne), CBPM (Ras Marvin), Per Ankh African Kingdoms Federation/Africans of the Diaspora Caribbean Region (Dr. Chenzira Kahina, Ramona LaRoche), AAPRP (Sister Moya Mzuri Pambeli, Shabaka Ture), CABO (Sidney Francis), and  AUH (Sister Ivory Ann Black, Kassayi Hailu) , all of whom were new partner-members of the International Diaspora Council, PADU which met for the first time. There were also five recently elected AU-Diaspora Representatives (Sister Aline Diakite and Kamau Ron Taplin, from Washington State,  Anita Diop and Shabaka Ture, from Ohio, and Curtis Butler from California), along with Observer Shari Harris, and new member Jackie Howard, both from Ohio. The approximate conference attendance for the three days was 135. (For an official list of attendees, contact organizingsrdc@aol.com)

THE OFFICIAL CONFERENCE PROGRAM:

Friday  July 23   9:30 am Bus Tour of Charleston and Gullah Areas                                                                1:30 pm  Welcome to the Conference:          

                                               SRDC Status Report

                                               Bringing the Youth into the Effort to Organize the Diaspora

                             6:30  pm   Charleston Community Gathering—Bringing in the Spirits

Sat.     July 24    8:15 am   The Inaugural Meeting of the PADU International Diaspora

                                                Council

.                          11:30 am  A Public Plenary—Comments by Dr. Brock, the Church and

                                                21st Century Pan Africanism, the Issue of Dual Citizenship                                                   for the Diaspora, Joining Forces to Be More Effective

                             7  pm     Community Banquet

Sun    July 25    8  am      SRDC Closed Plenary—Taking Care of Business

                             3 pm      Ball Down–Adjournment       

                                               

SPECIFIC SCROLL NOTES TAKEN AT THE CONFERENCE: (by Brother Cliff)

Washington State included in their delegation two newly-elected Representatives: Bro. Kamau Taplin and Sis. Aline Diakite (she’s from Burundi and married to a Brother from Mali), who accompanied their State Facilitator, Sis. Folashade Farr, and Bro. T. West, who served as Facilitator last year when Sis. Folashade’s husband tragically passed.  Bro. T. West had completed the fine work Sis. Folashade had done in preparing the National Summit in Seattle last year.

Ohio brought along its newly-elected Representatives, Sis. Anita Diop and Bro. Shabaka Ture, and one of its elected Observers, Shari Harris, all of whom accompanied their State Facilitator, Sis. Michele West, and a member of their Council of Elders, Mama Rihanni Aanika.

The New York delegation included Facilitators Sis. Iman Uqdah-Hameen, and Carmen Collymore along with  Elder Mama Anisa Edwards.

California’s group included the International Facilitator of SRDC, Dr. David Horne, as well as newly-elected Representative Bro. Curtis Butler, re-elected Representative Dr. Ruth Love, Observer Bro. Al Washington and three members of the Council of Elders (Mama Opal, Mama Beverly and Baba Daoud).

Maryland was represented by myself (State Facilitator and elected Representative) and Bro. Tafari Melisizwe, a new member who came on board earlier this year and perhaps SRDC’s youngest member at age 20.  He gave an inspiring talk about organizing the youth on Friday.

On Friday, we were treated to a Bus Tour of Greater Charleston, with emphasis on the nearby Sea Islands.  We visited a plantation and held a Tambiko (libation) at a large tree near the quarters where enslaved Afrikans had been held.  We learned much about the history of the AME Church, the artisans of Charleston and the issue of Black Land Loss during the tour, which culminated in a meal at the Wadmalaw Island Community Center.

That evening the Community Karamu was held.  There were Afrikan Drummers and Dancers, as well as comments made by a variety of attendees for the weekend.  Prior to that, Dr. Horne and Bro. Tafari made statements to the delegates.

Saturday morning featured what could be called a historic event: the first meeting of the new “Super-Coalition” we now call the Pan Afrikan Diaspora Union or PADU.  This group includes SRDC, as well as organizations such as UNIA-ACL, PerAnkh (US Virgin Islands), Central American Black Organization (representing Afrikan communities in 7 of the 8 countries of Central America), A-APRP, Collective Black People’s Movement, Afrikan Unity of Harlem, Black Power Media and several others.  While we in SRDC continue with our work of organizing the Afrikan Diaspora on the grassroots level to bring our voices, through elected Representatives, to the African Union, we are also partnering with these other organizations that recognize the importance of each other’s work and contributions and are working to bring those collective talents and works together in a coordinated, cooperative way.  While the concept of PADU was officially conceived last summer and agreements have been made with several organizations since then, the meeting that was held on the morning of Saturday, July 24 marked the official birth of PADU, and as such represented a historic coming-together of these strong Pan-Afrikan organizations that we expect to lead to great accomplishments on behalf of Afrikan people in the near future.

Saturday afternoon was devoted to several panel discussions, all of which were held for the general public as well as for SRDC members: The Black Church and Its Role in Furthering Pan-Afrikanism; the issue of Dual Citizenship (a panel which included Dr. Chenzira from the US Virgin Islands, Baba Senghor J. Baye from UNIA-ACL, and Dr, Robert Brock, considered by many to be the “father of the modern reparations movement” because of the class-action lawsuit he filed to beat the expiring statute of limitations on court claims for reparations); and Practical Projects, which featured Bro. Al Washington from SRDC-California, Dr. Ruth Love from SRDC-California, and Bro. Kumasi Palmer from SRDC-South Carolina, all of whom discussed specific projects they have been involved with on behalf of SRDC and the African Diaspora. Additionally, Sister Iman Hameen explained the economics of real time African repatriation by describing the experiences of her mother, who still resides in Ghana.

Sunday was devoted specifically to SRDC business and was a “closed” meeting for SRDC members only.  A few issues of importance were discussed, including clarifications of relationships between the Secretariat, the Facilitators, the CCOE and elected Representativers/Observers, and the Representatives then voted among themselves to determine the four (4) who are expected to represent the Diaspora from the US at the African Union Summit.  We fully expect to finally gain official approval of our methodology for electing Representatives this year, which means the four who were elected at the National Summit should have the opportunity to travel to the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia sometime next year to take their places in ECOSOCC (the ECOnomic, SOcial and Cultural Council).  The four Representatives who were elected were Dr. Ruth Love (California), Bro. Kumasi Palmer (South Carolina), Sis. Aline Diakite (Washington State) and Bro. Shabaka Toure (Ohio).

The other main issue that was discussed on Sunday was the location of the 2011 National Conference.  Since that weekend in South Carolina, it has been made official: The 2011 National Conference will be held in the Baltimore, Maryland area, over the weekend of August 19-21.  We’re already making preparations for next year’s Conference.  The Conference has been bigger and better each successive year, and the Conferences in Columbus, Ohio (2008), Seattle, Washington (2009) and Charleston, South Carolina (2010) have raised the bar higher and higher.  We plan to raise that bar once more in 2011.

THANKS to the great team in Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, South Carolina (D. Wright, D. Fludd, F. Lincoln, A. Pinckney, K. Palmer) for all of their dedicated work which produced an exciting and dynamic three-day gathering in the heart of the South, and especially to Mr. Ken Riley and the International Longshoreman’s Association.

                                                            Report Submitted by Brother Cliff & DLH   August, 2010