This May 19 and 20 the December 12th Movement is calling on our community to respect and celebrate Malcolm X by participating in the Malcolm X Conference for Self-Determination.
May 19, we will assemble at noon at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building (163 W. 125th St.) for our 28th annual Black Power “Shut ‘Em Down” March. The march will kick off at 1 p.m. as we ensure that all the businesses on 125th Street between St. Nicholas and Fifth avenues close from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in a commercial show of respect for Brother Malcolm.
At 6 p.m., we will host a Cultural Tribute to Malcolm X in the Gallery of the State Office Building. African drumming by Ndigo Washington and Joyce Jones will introduce the film “Malcolm X Speaks.” Spoken word presentations by the inimitable Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, the fiery Mandela Brathwaite (son of Pan-African giant Elombe Brath) and the nationally acclaimed IMPACT Repertory Theatre Group will be followed by a jazz performance by Jazzmeia Horn’s (2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition winner) quartet.
The conference will formally open Saturday, May 20, at All Souls Episcopal Church (88 St. Nicholas Ave. at 114th Street). Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the December 12th Movement and the conference organizational supporters will greet the attendees. The dynamic Fred Hampton Jr., son of the slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, and chairman of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee, will deliver the keynote address at 11:30 a.m.
The heart of the conference will be the two panels/workshops. From noon to 2 p.m., the first panel, on “The Historical Demand for Independence and Reparations,” will be a discussion on (i) Black people’s revolutionary battles for self-determination through independence, separation and repatriation and (ii) the political and legal battles for reparations as a remedy for the United States’ crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing (now called “gentrification”) of Black people.
The second panel, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., on “The Political and Cultural Battle for Independence and Freedom” will look at how a plebiscite (referendum) can be a weapon for Black self-determination and a weapon against rising fascism in the U.S. The open discussion will examine “Which Way Forward” for Black people in the age of the Trump/Clinton platform of lies and the systemic derailing of our fight for freedom.
The day will conclude at 5:30 with a plenary to sum up the panels’ findings and propose a course of action for the future.
The conference is supported by CEMOTAP, National Black United Front, People’s Organization for Progress and Black Lives Matter of Greater New York.