California, I presume, is here. Arizona, New Mexico, Texas– anybody from those areas? -Yeah. -Right on. Okay. I wanna emphasize one thing very strongly: If all of you are the press in this room, then you comprise a convention in yourself.
(laughter) And we just can’t get everybody down on that floor. Let me tell you, there are over 500 media from all over the world here. We did not expect it, we are overjoyed, but we cannot physically handle that in a manner that would not interfere with the orderly running of the delegations.
And as you must know, we are most concerned that nothing interfere with the orderly running of those delegations, particularly since there is so much media to witness how we take care of our business.
(rhythmic music, shouting, clapping) I want to say this afternoon, poised as we are at the beginning of this historic convention, that we, in order to understand where we are going, must probe our bitter past where we have been.
This is not the first time Blacks have assembled to chart their political course. 1855. 1871. 1872. These were years in which national Black political conventions met in New York, Columbia, South Carolina, and in New Orleans.
Now, some of the white news media has criticized us for calling this convention and welcoming all of our brothers and sisters. But we shall determine who comes to this convention, not the white news media.
(applause, cheers) And I want to say here and now that all Black people are welcome, the thousands, and that includes Bobby Seale and Angela Davis. (cheers, applause) I just want to tell you this afternoon that the 1968 national party conventions made a mockery of the Democratic process.
They were drunken carnivals run for the exclusive few. They debauched the electoral process, and they shattered the idealistic hopes of youth. Before critical decisions are made, they must be discussed by all of us, in every nook and cranny of this country, from the tarpaper shacks in the Mississippi Delta to the pine hovels in the Appalachian hills, from the rank basement apartments of 47th Street in Chicago to the barrios of Spanish Harlem in New York.
We all must participate in those decisions. We demand that any party which ask our support acknowledge the inhumanity every Black man, woman, and child faces in a hundred different ways each and every day of his existence, up and down the width and breadth of this land.
(cheers, applause) We demand the eradication of heroin from the ghetto. Now we need a way of revival of Black youth. (cheers, applause) We know… Black people know that white society would never tolerate it in such epidemic proportions in suburbia, and we will not tolerate it in the ghetto.
(applause) We say to both American parties that this is their last clear chance. They’ve had too many already. Those of us– those of us already disenchanted with the political system could conceivably turn to other tactics, shattering the quiet routine of daily life in this country.
(shouts, applause) Those of us… those of us still committed to a political solution might then decide to form a new party movement. (cheers, applause) But whatever, I think all of us are saying this afternoon that if the two major parties in this country fail us and reject us once again in 1972, then they must accept the consequences of that act.
(applause) And when and if they leave us no choice, and if we form a third political movement, we shall take with us the Chicanos, the Puerto Ricans, the Indians, the Orientals, a wonderful kaleidoscope of colors.
(cheers, applause) And I want to say to the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, that is not all that we shall take with us. We shall also take with us the best of white America. -We shall– -(applause) We shall take with us many a white youth nauseated by the corrupt values rotting the innards of this society.
(cheers, applause) We shall take with us– we shall take with us many of the white poor, who have nothing to lose but the poverty which binds them. We shall take with us many of the white GIs, ex-GIs, who dares to say, “Never again,” yes, and many of the white working class, too.
(applause) Now, this convention can make history. Whether it does depends upon what we do here today. We must emerge from this convention with an independent national Black political agenda, a dynamic program for Black liberation, that in the process will liberate all America from its current decadence.
(scattered applause) Finally–finally, and this is so central to everything that Black people are about. Dr. King told us about this first. Finally, we shall shun like the plague any political party which does not demand, in unmistakable terms, the immediate return to these shores of every single American boy from the distant Southeast Asian lands.
Right on! (cheers, applause) Our participation in that atrocious war is not an unfortunate mistake on the part of the American ruling class. Rather, it is part and parcel of an economic policy to make the world safe not for democracy but for American corporate penetration and to fill the coffers of corporate treasuries.
(shouts, applause) We shall never forgive the massive support that a racist American government and the American corporations have extended to the white barbarians who reign in the Union of South Africa, Angola, Rhodesia.
.. (applause and cheers) I believe that the ’70s will be the decade of an independent Black political thrust. Its destiny will depend upon us here at Gary this afternoon. How shall we respond? Will we walk in unity or disperse in a thousand different directions? Will we stand for principle or settle for a mess of pottage? Will we maintain our integrity or will we succumb to the Man’s temptation? Will we act like free Black men or like timid, shivering chattel? Will we do what must be done? These are the questions confronting this convention, and we–you and I– are the only ones that can answer them, and history will be the judge.
Thank you. (cheers, applause) (uplifting music) Our story continues. It is an old story, one that started along the Nile Valley thousands of years ago. It is a story of triumph and tragedy, of dark ages and golden ages, of freedom and slavery.
Out of the long winter night of our oppression in America, we are witnessing the birth of a new golden age for our people. Did this age begin in Selma or Harlem, Gettysburg or Watts, with Crispus Attucks or Angela Davis? In the years to come, some may say it began in Gary, Indiana, at the National Black Political Convention held on March 10, 1972.
Some will say that that was the time when we as a people seriously began to confront the basic issues surrounding our centuries-long oppression in America. (gavel banging) Thank you.
The convention will come to order. Now you know why we came to Gary. (applause) Could you comment on the nature of the struggle as it stands now in Mozambique and Angola and tell us something about the spirit of the brothers who are engaged in that struggle? The people in Mozambique and the people in Angola and the people in Guinea-Bissau and Zimbabwe have made a decision that the only way that they’re going to get their freedom is through armed struggle, so that the brothers that I was with inside of Mozambique were in fact carrying out this armed struggle.
Now, I was very pleased with the morale of the guerrilla fighters in Mozambique, and I was very impressed with the type of struggle that they’re carrying out. I was very impressed with their relationship to the peasants inside of Mozambique, and most of all, the commitment that they have to a struggle for our people.
Roughly 10,000 people have congregated here in Gary this weekend of weekends. 10,000 brothers and sisters from almost every state of this former Indian territory. They have come with one purpose in mind, and that purpose has eluded our people ever since we left the distant shores of Africa.
That purpose is to unite all the segments that go to make up the thing we call Black America. This has been the central task of our beloved martyrs. It is a task we have finally accomplished here in Gary.
The only way that you can really introduce the person who is going to introduce Jesse Jackson is to just say, “Here she comes, Sister Betty.” Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. (cheers, applause) Thank you very much.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much, I’m very pleased to be here, very happy to be here. When I walked through the doors… when I walked through the doors, I felt good. But then I said, “It’s not about feeling good.
” Too many people have their eyes on Gary today. Not just in the United States, but all over the world. We have had in the past various leaders, but we must today focus our attention on one that’s in our midst.
He’s a motivating force for a lot of Black people. He is an inspiration. He’s original in a lot of his thought. He gets results. His thought is here and his action is here. A lot of us have our thought here and our action here, but with this leader, they have merged.
What else can I say but introduce to you one of the most dynamic leaders today, Jesse Jackson, National President of PUSH. (applause) (uplifting music) And so, the strong men keep getting stronger.
The days of silence are over. For each and every murdered martyr, 500,000 strong men and women take their place. Here is one. Brothers and sisters… Today, as we gather on this Saturday, March 11th, in Gary, Indiana, 24 million Black people have been ratified as a new colossus of power in world history.
At this historical national Black political convention, for many of us here, Black politics is a new baby for the masses of Black people. Brother Hatcher came up north and got a house in Gary and said to all of the scattered children in the various Black tribes across the nation, “Come home.
I know my home is too small, brothers and sisters, but it’s home. Come home.” We would have gone to New York, but we didn’t have a home there. We would have gone to California, but we didn’t have a home there.
Over in this little smoke-filled small city called Gary, one of our Black brothers said, “Tribes, come home.” (cheers, applause) The tribe in Mississippi does not know the tribe in California. The tribe in New York does not know the tribe in Georgia, and now that Brother Hatcher and Baraka and Diggs have called the tribes home, the challenge of our coming together is so great until nobody has the right to rob the family of this opportunity to organize political power.
(applause) As we go about the business of outlining national priorities here today in this United States of America, built by the dehumanizing institution of slavery, built on the tortured muscles of our forebears, the African diaspora has trumpeted its summons to all of the tribes with a question put forth by Brother Baraka, whose answer alone legitimatizes our collective existence.
Brothers and sisters, what time is it? -It’s Nationtime! -It’s Nationtime. It’s Nationtime for all of the tribes, from Boston to Birmingham, Mississippi to Minnesota, San Diego to Seattle and Galveston to Gary.
-What time is it? -It’s Nationtime! For 13 Black congressmen, one U.S. senator, 81 Black mayors, 677 Black school board members, 873 Black elected officials in 11 Southern states, 2,000 Black elected and appointed officials in legislatures and governments, what time is it? Nationtime! For 7,500,000 registered Black voters, six million unregistered Black voters, -what time is it? -Nationtime! For Black Democrats, Black Republicans, Black Panthers, Black Muslims, Black independents, Black laborers, Black businessmen, Black professionals.
.. (applause) Black mothers on welfare, what time is it? Nationtime! Black is our common denominator. Brother Malcolm X said on more occasions than one, we saw ourselves as house slave, field slave, and yard slave.
Only when we recognized our common denominator was slavery and that our numerators didn’t make any difference could we come together and begin to break it up. (cheers, applause) I don’t want to be the gray shadow of the white elephant of one party.
I don’t want to be a part of the gray shadow of the white donkey. I am 21, it is ’72, I am a Black man, I want a Black party. I do not trust white Republicans or white Democrats. (cheers, applause) Other ethnic groups cultivated politics.
They developed a skill of political manipulation. We’ve been busy buying more records than books and dancing away our lives. We’re not gonna take over this nation drunk or on dope. We must be sober. We got to know what’s going down.
(cheers, applause) It is bad, it is real bad to be in a slum, but it’s far worse to have that slum in you. That must… (cheers, applause) Lot of us running around talking about genocide, but before the Man can get to us, Black-on-Black killing is fratricide.
That is when the slum has gotten in us. When we snatch our own Black women’s pocketbooks, the slum is in us. (cheers, applause) When we run down Black folks and run from white folks, the slum is in us.
(cheers, applause) You ain’t gonna get no slum out ya by drinkin’ no chlorophyll neither. You’ve got to clean off your mind. It ain’t your breath, it is your thought patterns. Let us clean up our minds.
(cheers, applause) It was only four years ago, in Memphis, Tennessee, where a Black Southern city with a 38 percent Black population gave only 12 percent of that vote to a Black man, A.W. Willis. Brother Willis in his own profound way said, “I see what the problem is.
We need more than a voter bill.” He said, “I see what the situation is. We need more than civil rights. The Black man has been taught to be inferior. He thinks the white man’s ice is colder, thinks his sugar is sweeter, thinks his medicine is better.
We’ve got to clean off our minds.” (applause, cheers) We’ve got to put our minds inside our bodies. If your body is here and your mind is in some white camp, you are a schizophrenic. Check out your mind.
(cheers, applause) While white people are having white conventions, they are not preoccupied with the ghetto. While Black people are having Black conventions, we shouldn’t be preoccupied with the suburbs.
Let us deal with our own self’s business. (applause) Let us deal with the facts of the matter. If the 22 million, the 25 million Black Americans constituted a distinct nation, this Afro-American population would be the 26th largest nation in the world.
We would be the third largest Black nation in the world, third only to Nigeria and Ethiopia. With our $35 billion, we would be the richest Black nation on earth, 15th richest nation on the globe. Check out our minds.
(cheers, applause) We are not here to deal with white attitudes. We are here to deal with economic conduct. We ain’t talkin’ so much about right and wrong, good and evil, sin and salvation. We’re talking about profit and loss, asset and liability, short term, long term.
Economics is the issue. (applause) As a result of 1964, and Dr. King and others, we got our civil rights. As a result of the Selma movement, we’re beginning to get our civil power. But now we find ourselves with the right to move in any neighborhood in America, and we can’t pay the note.
We have the right to go to any school in America. We can’t pay the tuition. We got the right to buy any car in America, but we can’t stop it from being repossessed. We are not arguing about our constitutionality.
We are raising the basic question, “When will we get paid for the work we have already done?” (cheers, applause) Some of us are getting a little excited about the fact that now we’ve got 13 Black congressmen.
That is only three percent of what we’re supposed to have. We are supposed to have 52 Black congressmen. We got a long ways to go. In this coming year, when the debate of this convention will be over, when the philosophy will be over, when our favorite outfit will have been modeled, this year, there will be possibly Black congressmen or women from Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chapel Hill, and the question is, if there stands a chance to get five or ten more Black congressmen, will we leave here working or will we leave here debating? We must understand quantitative politics, but we must also understand qualitative politics.
When the speeches are over, the question is, is your next-door neighbor registered? Can you deliver your block? Can you deliver your ward? Can you deliver your district? Will you put your body where your ideals are? (cheers, applause) When I look at Imamu Baraka and Congressman Diggs, and I look at John Conyers and Parren Mitchell, you look at Carl Stokes, we got the minds.
Except our problem is not that we got too much ego– that ain’t the problem. Some of us been discussing we got too much ego, but we don’t even understand the ego as it relates to the id and the superego.
Fact of the matter is, we are sitting here, we ain’t got enough ego. We are willing, even those who recognize that ego is confidence. We’re sitting here with healthy Black bodies. We sit here with developed Black minds, and yet, where is our ego? It ain’t there.
When we jam each other, that ain’t ego, that is abuse. When you sit here with your healthy Black body, sit here with your developed Black mind, and then put your confidence, put your creativity, put your belief in somebody else who is less intelligent than you, who represents you, your ego has been castrated.
You need an ego! (cheers, applause) -What time is it? -Nationtime! For too, we must implement the doctrine of Black parity. Everywhere there is a Black population, we must have our minimum percentage of jobs.
Many of us have sold out too cheap ’cause we couldn’t even count. The fact is, we are one– I want you all to get this fact, Democrats– we are one of every five national Democratic votes. That means that we are due 20 percent of that party.
What does that mean? Twenty percent of the judges, of the generals, of the admirals. Twenty percent of the Treasury Department, the Labor Department, the Commerce Department, the Office of Management and Budget.
We got to learn how to count. (applause, cheers) Lastly, brothers and sisters, I don’t care how much confusion we have here today. This is a beautiful occasion. When– (applause) When the baby is gonna be born, everybody gets scared.
I know a lot of you are a little jumpy. Your wife woke up waiting for you to call ’em on the phone… (cheers, laughter, applause) One thing about this fight is that these Black leaders who called us together, they did not originate an idea.
They innovated an idea that has evolved as a result of our growing Black consciousness. Therefore, we are pregnant, we are ready for change, and whether a doctor is there or not, the water has broke, the blood has spilled.
A new Black baby is gonna be born. (cheers, applause) We…if we left this place today, we would be derelict, because we know who our parents are. We look at Muhammad Ali, Imamu Baraka, and Ralph Abernathy, and Angela Davis, and Minister Farrakhan, and Nikki Giovanni, Charles Hurst, Roy Wilkins, Roy Innis, Queen Mother and Preston Wilcox, we know who our parents are.
Their baby has now been born. We are grown. We ain’t takin’ it no more. No more “yes sir, boss.” No more bowing and scraping. We are 25 million strong. Cut us in or cut it out. It is a new ball game. (cheers, applause) Now, there’s a balm in Gary today.
That balm lifts my Black family above the crucifixion by white racism to live in the splendor of love and the comfort of mercy. Now, here’s a balm, a balm that reaches down into the windows of my soul and assures me that one day, Black men will sit in seats of power and rule with a sense of compassionate love.
There is a balm in Gary today, in Newark, in Fayette, in Richmond, in Pontiac, in Jackson. From the ashes of race hate, from corruption and economic vassalage, there is a balm today. That balm is strong medicine, right down to the herbs, right down to the roots.
It will humanize white politics. There is a balm. It will radicalize Black politics. There is a balm. We are a mighty nation. There is a balm in the name of Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin King.
-What time is it? -Nationtime! When we come together, what time is it? Nationtime! When we respect each other, what time is it? Nationtime! When we get ourself confident, what time is it? Nationtime! When we form our own political party, -what time is it? -Nationtime! (cheers, applause, whistling) (uplifting music) For every murdered martyr, 500,000 have come to take their place, and our spirit remains unconquered.
(uplifting music) This is the nature of change, that is must seem jagged and convulsed but remain the smooth speed of universal wisdom. We will not weep for any weakness.
We will be stronger another way, which is the real one centuries ago, to see it develop like comfort on this coolish planet. We will not adjust; we will be just, to the adjust of speed, turn, and the like.
We will be like earth and stay where we are fertile for flowers or lovers or bright new Black children of the world. We love to be here which is why we don’t die.
(uplifting music) (cheers, applause) (gavel banging) Let me tell you, Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who seek temporary security…” -Oh, here they are. -“…rather than basic liberty deserve neither.
” Brothers have to understand that. That those who seek temporary security rather than basic liberty deserves neither. I’m demanding reparations. That’s all I can see now. That’s the answer for our people.
And this document tells you why the Man owes you reparations. Here, honey, you want reparations? Take it, this is reparations. This is– this is how you’ve been injured. This is how you’ve been destroyed.
You was changed from an African into a Negro. That’s–you’ve been damaged. Injured you, took your name, took your color. I don’t have my pretty black color no more. Thank you, grandmother. I want an Afro, I can’t even wear one.
The Man messed it up. (laughter) You understand? Or maybe you don’t. Maybe–I know your name is Jones or Johnson or Williams, huh? And you know darned well that you have no business with English names.
If you don’t think that’s an injury, that’s where your conscious– then he killed your consciousness. You gotta charge him for that too. (gavel banging) (banging) The convention will come to order. It is my great pleasure to introduce.
.. the co-chairman who will chair today’s session, Imamu Amiri Baraka, the Chairman of the Congress of African People. (cheering) Thank you, thank you. Can we get all the, uh, delegations in here, please? Can we get everybody in their seats and quiet down? We’d like today to move as quickly as we can because we had a lot of bad press yesterday, and the image that has gone out to our brothers and sisters is that we are unable to do anything correctly.
I think today we should try to correct that. (applause) I would like to, uh, add here that since my own acquaintanceship with organized traditional politics is rather recent, that the Robert’s Rules of Order might not be adhered to as strictly as it is in the halls of Congress.
(cheering) However, there was a thing called African consensus that dated back a couple of thousand years before there was a Congress, which meant that we had to agree before we moved. So, let us do that.
Today, we have a special guest just as we did yesterday. I would like… Congressman Walter Fauntroy, Washington D.C., to introduce the next dais guest. (cheering) Yeah, yeah. (cheering) Thank you. When the history of the 20th century is written, one name will be etched indelibly in its fabric as perhaps the single and a most important man with the most important message for this, the most violent century in the history of mankind.
That man is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we’re privileged to have on the dais with us this afternoon his devoted wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. (cheering) (solemn music) All right, Connecticut, Oregon, Michigan.
.. …National Welfare Rights Organization, and the Congress of Afrikan People, it was decided that in order to move this agenda today, that we take the following steps, which I have been commissioned to read to you so that we can get into the body of it.
To the poet, playwright, and leader, Imamu Amiri Baraka, fell a heavy responsibility of supervising and coordinating the work of this three-day convention. Point two was voted by that state body to bring back to caucus this morning– which is why you are caucusing until 12:00– and voted to accept the rules.
Although, as I stated, we will not adhere slavishly to so-called Robert’s Rules of Order. In his mind was carried the concerns, the problems, and resolutions of the various delegations. It was also voted that we then move to accept -resolutions– -In fact, he Imamu Amiri Baraka, was the servant of the various delegations.
-Alabama? -Alabama votes 13 votes no. (cheering) Arizona? Ladies and gentlemen, Arizona votes five yes. From him, came the sense of reason, patience, and leadership so crucial to the carrying out of the wishes of the 3,341 delegates.
-California? -California– votes 212 in favor of the adoption of what we here agreed upon last night. There was debate, and there were roll calls. Roll calls on matters related to the overall direction of the convention, and the future of Black people in America.
(solemn music) Connecticut… Connecticut? …votes 61 no. Working closely with the leadership of the various delegations, his spirit played a dominant role in the success of the convention.
But the most dominant role was played by the delegates themselves working always for unity. (upbeat music) We have had many Black conferences before, but a most important thing happened here in Gary, Indiana.
For the first time in Black political history, Black people were able to combine two distinctly different kinds of political power: the power of a ballot box, and the power of protest groups.
The mobilizing of these two forces here in Gary, in this spring of 1972, has greatly increased the political effectiveness of the Black community. (upbeat music) Because my mouth is wide with laughter, and my throat is deep with song, you do not think I suffer after I’ve held my pain so long.
Because my mouth is wide with laughter, you do not hear my inner cry. Because my feet are gay with dancing, you do not know… I die. (upbeat music) Our talented artists, our talented musicians, they all came, and through their art they gave their hearts.
Through their art, we touched more than once the spirit of this harambee. (upbeat music) We are beautiful people with African imaginations full of masks, and dances, and swelling chants, with African eyes, and noses, and arms.
Though we sprawl in gray chains in a place full of winters, when what we want is sun. How you doin’? (cheering) We have arrived. Of course, you all know that this is not, not my first time here in Gary, Indiana.
I go a long way from Gary. A long way to the magnificent, beautiful, powerful brotherhood that should be hatching. (applause) I tell you one thing, when this convention is over, the only thing I’ll be sorry of that the Democrats and the Republicans wasn’t here, so when they go back to get ready to run their convention this year, they could run it as well as we runnin’ ours, so it won’t end up being like the last one they had.
(cheering) Dig it, baby! We can bring more radical Black folks together in Gary than they can bring radical white folks together, and we don’t have to spend no $400 million for the police. (cheering) We talkin’ ’bout doin’ the thing now.
I’m so glad Nixon’s back home from China. Boy, they sure made a fool outta him over there, didn’t they? But, no, that ain’t funny. No, I don’t like to, I don’t like seein’ nobody do my president way they did him.
No, that ain’t, that ain’t funny! And I’m so glad he back. You might not be, but do you know any time Nixon leaves the country, Agnew becomes the number one boy in charge? And Agnew just reminds me of the type of cat that would make a crank call to the Russians on the hotline.
I can just see him now, “Hello, Kosygin, how’s your mama?” (applause) Don’t need me tryin’ tell you how much fun I’m havin’ just bein’ here. Man, I ain’t seen Black folks this happy since 1956, when a pickup truck ran over Governor Wallace’s hound dog.
(laughing) All at once– What baffles me is so many white folks in America keep wantin’ to know “What’s wrong with ’em? Niggas must be crazy.” No, baby, understand one thing, niggas got more sense today than ever before in the history of America.
(applause) And when niggas was basically crazy, that’s when he thought we had good sense. -Yeah! -Yeah, that’s right. When he runnin’ around goosin’ me in the rump, rubbin’ my head for luck, “Come here, Jabo!” “Yessa, boss.
” When I was basically crazy. Now we talkin’ ’bout gettin’ our thing together, and gettin’ our sanity together, baby. That’s what it’s all about. You know, when I was crazy, he loved me. I was in Hartford, Connecticut this mornin’, and a little kid summed up the whole convention.
He didn’t know I even heard him. One kid talkin’ to another. He said, “Man, when I grow up, I wanna belong to the Black Caucus.” Dig it, baby. I want you to remember that ’cause when I was a kid, niggas was talkin’ about growin’ up to be pimps.
Right on! -Yeah, yeah! -Dig it. What they’re talkin’ ’bout now. (applause) We need you, youngsters. Keep your body pure ’cause without a pure body, you’ll never have a pure mind. Once you get your mind together, baby, can’t nobody deal with you.
That’s what this convention is all about, gettin’ our minds together. -Right on! -And when we leave here, it’s gonna be a different day. And we gonna go here tomorrow. I’ve gone–next month, I will have gone one year without eatin’.
You ain’t seen no pain and no misery that floats through my body. And I keep saying, “Wow, man, I know I got to make it ’cause I ain’t gonna eat, but I just wish I could find me somethin’ that would make the hunger a little bit less, and make the hurt just a little bit weaker.
” I found it today here at this convention. Found it today. (applause) (whistling) Yeah! I tell you right now, I want that nigga in the White House. (cheering) (lively music) I can be the beautiful Black man because.
.. I am the beautiful Black man. And you, girl, child I love, you’re beautiful too. We’re something, the two of us. The people love us for being though then they call aside our name.
They love our strength in the midst of quiet, at the peak of violence. For the sake of the luster of pure life, we worship the sun. (lively music) We’re strange in a way because we know fear.
Black beings passing through a tortured passage of flesh. (lively music) (cheering) Calling together a tribe of tribes to be the tribe. The old, strong people nobody thought of messin’ with.
If we call ourselves together to be the strength of one kind, the Black fist will work out into an angel. (lively music) Yeah. (easygoing music) Listen, Isaac Hayes will speak to us of dedication.
(easygoing music) I… …stand accused of loving you, yeah, too much. (easygoing music) And I hope, I hope it’s not a crime ’cause if it is, I’m guilty.
(easygoing music) I… I hope to God that I… never have, I hope I never have to testify ’cause if I do, every, everyone is gonna cry. They gonna say oh, I was guilty of lovin’ a sweet girl like you Oh, I know I know you belong to another, oh yeah, and I, I may not stand, I may not stand a ghost of chance but I still talk about it.
Tryin’ to tell the world I love you. Oh, yes, I’ve been. You see, I just can’t, I just can’t help myself. I’m a victim of, of circumstance. (energetic music) In some real sense, we have an obligation to welcome all of our brothers and sisters, but especially those who have gone beyond– above and beyond– the call of duty, who have gone to the jails, who have really played tricks with death in order just to wake us up enough so when the big brothers call us, we can come back home.
Brothers and sisters, let us express our collective love of brother Bobby Seale. (energetic music) (inaudible) Right on with the revolutionary Black love. Right on time. Right on time with the peoples’ struggles.
There’s a struggle goin’ on today that most of y’all know about. Been knowin’ about it in our peoples, and our mothers, and brothers been knowin’ about it for 400 years. I can only come here to this convention– to this Black People’s Political Convention– to exemplify the necessity of all of us to unify around these programs.
If our brothers and sisters wanna vote, well then let’s vote. But let’s register our voting for potential power. Political potential is what Malcolm told you. Register it now. To have a registered vote means you’ve got your power, your people’s powers gun loaded, but you don’t have to shoot at nothin’ ’till you see a target that’s gonna benefit you.
It’s no different than huntin’ in the woods. It’s no different from huntin’ in the woods if you have to hunt down some meat to bring back home. So we have to realize that we will register to vote, but we’ll unify our votes around concrete real programs in the community! We’ll bring every Black politician home, and tell him this is what we want, and we don’t want just no words.
We want some action and support! Support each other, we got to pull together and unify, unify around concrete programs. Now, of course, you know the Black Panther Party’s revolutionaries, but all of you are revolutionaries! If all of you are participating in changing the system, in one way, fashion, form, or another, you are revolutionaries because you want your people to survive.
You’re not revolutionaries just ’cause you wanna kill somebody. You are revolutionaries because you want your people to survive! Now I’m showin’ you, and I’ve shown you. We’re not there to flaunt anything, flaunt guns.
Revolution is not about just a simple, stupid design to kill nobody! Revolution is about the right for humanity and Black people in this country here and across the world to survive! Revolution is about your humanity! You are Black and beautiful, and you are human beings! We are human beings, and that’s what we mean.
From history time, back, all the way back to the days of Nat Turner and Gabriel Prosser, and Denmark Vesey, up ’till now, this revolution’s been movin’. And this conference here, this convention here is significant to it.
It’s significant to the survival of Black humanity, and you, brothers and sisters, people, are the boss. You are the boss ’cause you tell us what you want, and what you need, and what you better have.
All power to the people, power to Black people! Thank you, very much. (cheering) Move to questions! Move to questions! (chanting continues) I heard from somewhere that we should move to questions. (cheering) We’re going to vote.
Only one more unreadiness which we’re gonna allow, and that is to hear what Michigan has to say because we’re gonna call this vote. (applause) (man speaking) All we’re asking is for a vote on the Illinois motion.
(indistinct), and the motion of the court is out. We’re requesting a call to order and the recognition of the facts, and therefore the motions before you. It was an amendment. The New York was an addition to that.
We move to defer, not to table for all time, and it was in the spirit of trying to meet and discuss exactly what the issues are. Now, can we clear those aisles, please? Can all the delegates return to their respective positions? A crucial test of our growing political maturity came in the middle of the final day of the convention.
The dissenting Michigan delegation strongly opposed the convention accepting the Black agenda as first presented to the delegates and championed by the New York delegation.
New York’s motion is on the floor. Will you, please, for the sake of clarity, state it again? Because Michigan seems uncompromising in its position, the delegates feverishly worked behind the scenes to forestall a Michigan walkout.
Their efforts were in vain. Michigan angrily walked out of the convention. (crowd roaring) (crowd chanting) Michigan, Michigan, (chanting) As it turned out, only part of the Michigan delegation had walked out.
Some remained behind to lend their energy to that historical force, which is destined to become the heartbeat of Afro-American thought in these last moments of the 20th century.
The force for unity so evident in the delegate’s call for nationtime. Nationtime! Nationtime! (chanting continues) Can we call for the question? Let’s move this! All in favor, all in favor of adopting National Black Agenda, as stipulated by the New York motion, please signify by raising your hand.
(cheering) All those opposed? (applause) I’d also like to point out, Mr. Chairman, that Michigan has not walked out. Only part of Michigan has walked out. (cheering) The problem with many of us is for too long, we have been used to dealing in Western politics.
So we feel that if we lose a vote, that we must be permanently enemies. African Consensus says that we have to stay until we agree, until we come to some kind of consensus. We have already moved on that motion, and it has passed and adopted by this convention.
But on the other hand, in the interest of the integrity of this body, we still would like to hear those minority positions, even though this has been adopted, and then move the rest of this agenda. Can’t we do that, please? Will please, everybody, will please, everybody, sit down, and calm down before we go on? Nothing will be solved by emotionalism without substance.
Let’s get back. Let’s get back to it. I’d like to yield to a point of personal privilege from the Chairman of the Agenda Committee, who wants a clarification, please. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, and members of the convention, may I, as Chairman of the Platform Committee, respectfully suggest to you that a very slight change in the rules of the convention would allow us to meet the desires of all here present? Under the rules of the convention, the Platform Committee has continuing life beyond this date until May 19th– the anniversary of the birthday of Malcolm X– at which time the rules call for our publishing the duly-ratified National Black Political Agenda.
Would be adequate enough a period for any delegation to review and report its findings to the Platform Committee for purposes of final action by the Steering Committee, which is representative of the views of every state and the District of Columbia on the National Black Agenda.
I would just have you to consider that as the Michigan delegation deliberates in this five-minute period. Resolution come, whereas Adam Clayton Powell was the only elected congressman from Harlem for over two decades, during which period he was the most dominant Black spokesman in the United States.
Moreover, he served the disenfranchised Blacks throughout the South and other areas of the United States. Whereas for a period of six years, he served as chairman of the Committee of Education and Labor, House of Reps, US Congress, and established a record of being the most productive chairman in the history of the US Congress.
During this time, legislation in the sum of several billions of dollars was introduced in his committee, and enacted into law the benefit of millions of Black people. Whereas he became the most powerful federal Black instrumentality to militant commitment.
To the interest of oppressed Black people, he was wrongfully, maliciously, violently and ignominiously destroyed by powerful white interests. Now therefore be resolved in Adam’s blatant power, we declare the honorary chairman of the covenent National Black Political Convention, be it therefore further resolved that this convention expresses firm and unshakable faith in the impact of the grit and courageous leadership he has given to Black people throughout the world.
(cheering) Can we move to the question, please? No unwillingness, move the question. All in favor adopting the resolution, moving it into the agenda, please signify raisin’ those signs, say aye. Aye! The motion on the floor of this body go on record vocally as supporting self-determination for the District of Columbia.
Self-determination, allowing the people of the District of Columbia to determine what will be their local government. No unwillingness, all in favor, please signify by raisin’ those signs and sayin’ aye.
Aye! Opposed? So moved. This means, this means we recognize no differences between the political powerlessness in the banter stands of South Africa and the banter stands of America. (cheering) Perhaps there is one difference, and it is the realization of the fact that because we are more materially comfortable in our style of enslavement that we have a greater, graver obligation to combat oppression in America for the benefit of all Black peoples everywhere.
(applause) We will not accept the timid rationalizations of American policy any longer. In short, America has had a fundamental role in making African peoples of the world into the footstool of white Western civilization.
(applause) It is time now to set the record straight. To say that Black people in America understand that our African past is intimately bound up with our African future. (cheering) It is time to say that the revolution which we seek in the nature of our relationship to Americans is ultimately reflected in the struggle between African and European peoples in the world.
(cheering) It is time now to sound the warning that no longer will the movement for justice and change in America stop at the water’s edge. It has taken us an increased length of time to understand the real meaning of our African heritage.
To teach us that the real harambee means that we began to reach across the waters and work together on areas of a common survival agenda. That umoja means that we intensify our knowledge of each other as family, organizations, and people.
And that uhuru implies… (vocalizing) …implies the discipline to seize every opportunity to struggle for the freedom and dignity of our race. (cheering) (vocalizing) I have made a vow.
I have made this vow that if I had my way, oh, I would stomp out pain, bring back peace, bring back joy. On May 19, 1972, the National Black Agenda was published.
According to the conveners, the document was “an attempt to define some of the essential changes which must take place in this land, as Black people move toward self-determination and true independence.
“ The resolutions submitted and endorsed by the convention’s delegates were many, for the grievances of our people are many. We are a summer people who have had to endure over 400 years of winter.
The Black Agenda assumes that no truly basic change for our benefit takes place in Black or white America, unless we Black people organize to initiate that change. It assumes that we must have some essential agreement on overall goals, even though we may differ on many specific strategies.
If we are serious, the Black politics of Gary must accept major responsibility for creating both the atmosphere and the program for fundamental, far-reaching change in America.
Such responsibility is ours because it is our people who are most deeply hurt and ravaged by the present systems of society. (vocalizing) The challenge is thrown to us, here in Gary.
The challenge is to transform ourselves from favor-seeking vassals, and to take up the role that the organized masses of our people have attempted to play ever since we came to these shores– that of harbingers of true justice and humanity leaders in the struggle for liberation.
(lively music) In the midst of chaos, and near injury, we survive because we’re still young, correct, and Black enough to be tough to kill, and even harder to keep still.
We have survived long past to now putting out deeper roots and broader, brighter blossoms. (lively music) Bring back peace and joy! Bring back peace and joy! Bring back peace and joy! Bring back peace and joy! (vocalizing) Bring back peace and joy! Bring back peace and joy! (lively music)