Mukasa Dada PanAfrikan Soldier For Afrika
by, 10-06-2008 at 12:50 PM (6755 Views)
Uhuru, I want to thank the many of you who took the time to support Baba Mukasa Dada during his recent bout with cancer, I'm happy to share its been in remission for a while mow and he is in the best of spirits due in part to YOUR SUPPORT.
My little history with Baba Mukasa, I first met Mukasa in NJ around 1980 when he and Kwame Ture came to NJ on a speaking tour that we who were in work study (AAPRP) organized, this covered three cities in NJ Trenton, New Brunswick and Newark, these 2 organizers fired up the students and community so much, that we were able to create work study in two additional locations New Brunswick and Trenton for at the time the only work study that existed in NJ was Newark.
I lost contact with many of my Party Comrades over the years, when I relocated to Atlanta in the early 90s. During this period I created http://www.thetalkingdrum.com in an attempt to continue organizing.
I ran into Mukasa and met Im The Truth and Sister Chaos at Afrikan Liberation Day in Atlanta, Mukasa and I re-acquainted ourselves with each other, Truth and Chaos I had met for the very first time, as some of you know to Mukasa everyone is Brother Afrika or Sister Afrika, his son is known throughout the community as lil Afrika, anyway I was shocked when he shared where he lived, for I lived about 2 miles from him, so we were able to solidify our relationship.
Unknown to either one of us, our Children had been interacting with each other via school and parties.long before I re-connected with Mukasa.
Mukasa In Hospital
When I got the news of him suffering from cancer I was devastated and we C.H.A.D., Truth and myself immediately rushed to see him. on 12/25/07 RebelAfrika, Mamazen and MsLioness spoke with him on the phone, while he was in the hospital.
Ms.Lioness, Mamazen, RebelAfrika, Ak, Im The Truth, Fenix ,R. Walker, C.H.A.D. and the many others who supported him during this time of need was simply awesome.
Mamazen's Wonderful Blanket and the money AK sent
It really did make a difference. for that I want to say Asante Sana to each and everyone of you.
Sister Fenix's Outstanding interview :
A Conversation with Mukasa Dada
January 31, 2008
It was during a Stokely Carmichael speech at a rally in 1966 when Willie Ricks hopped on stage and called to the crowd: “What do you want?!” to which the crowd responded: “BLACK POWER!” Formerly known as Willie Ricks, Mukasa Dada has served the cause of Black people for decades. Referred to as “the fiery orator of the SNCC” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mukasa has traveled the country and the globe, dedicating himself to equality, freedom and dignity for all Africans of the Diaspora.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to one of the unsung heroes of our history.
When did you decide to dedicate your life to the cause?
There was no specific moment. I guess I really got started when I was about 17 years old, in high school, when the sit-in movement started about 1960. I was involved from the first day it started. We started with about fifty people it grew to about three or four hundred people and then it went to nine or ten people and then just to four or five who were really dedicated and there every day. I was one of those four or five. Then we organized SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). I went to more demonstrations, was jailed, beat and everything. My 65th birthday is on February 18th and I’ve been in the movement since I was 17.
You mentioned the sit-in movement. Could you describe what was going through your head during the Chattanooga sit-in when you were 17? Did you know what you were getting yourself into?
There were segregations, lynchings and beatings going on. People were being terrorized; they were terrorizing us just to keep Blacks in their place. We just wanted to break this terrorism, to stop them from terrorizing us; we didn’t care about the consequences. Once I got involved, they started going after my family, my family was getting attacked. The more terrorism they used, the more committed I became. Some of my friends, like Dr. King and Medgar Evers, died on the front lines. There were times when I thought I’d die in the movement but it didn’t matter because I was fighting to make the world a better place.
What would you say are the keys to organizing people? How can we get people moved the way they were in the 60s and 70s?
People mobilized then after what happened at A&T (Greensboro sit-ins). That’s what started the student movement. A woman by the name of Ella Baker and Dr. King called the youth together. That led to the formation of the SNCC. Easter Sunday morning on the campus of Shaw University in 1960 SNCC was formed; it was 99% college students, a few high school students, but mostly college kids. SNCC was declared not just a mobilizing organization like the SCLC, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Dr. King and his group of ministers; but SNCC was an organizing organization. Wherever SNCC traveled, we formed organizations in the community whether it was Selma, Montgomery or Lowdes County where we formed the Black Panther Party. SNCC brought together people, created local leadership, and in that way, we were technical advisors. We also formed freedom schools which were just free conversations where we got together and had free discussions about oppression and how to fight the oppression we were facing and how to change the oppression.
What we need to day is an organization like SNCC that is built around the youth; and that can scatter members to form more organizations and coordinate and try to understand what happened to us. And these organizations need educational components to teach us about ourselves. Like rap today, it’s just kids crying out as slaves because that’s what they’ve been taught as, slaves. But if you educate the youth, they will rap and dance to a new tune.
I looked up a definition of “Black Power” and I want to read it to you and I want you to tell me what you think of this definition. “Black Power encompasses a political belief in self-determination, anti-racism, and racial consciousness among African-Americans”. Is this the conception of Black Power that you and Brother Kwame Ture envisioned for this slogan in 1966? What do you think of this definition?
It’s narrow. When we first talked about Black Power, we were talking about the power to feed ourselves, the power to clothe ourselves, the power to stop the terrorism in our communities; we were talking about a better life as a whole. After we put Black Power out there, there were mass rebellions all across the country; people were calling for Black Power. And then it stretched to Africa and started pointing towards our history, to Malcolm X. Even though he died in 1965, Malcolm X became the educator for the Black Power movement. We read him and he told us that we are Africans, and that to understand our history, we had to understand Africa. That’s when we linked to the movements in South Africa and Mozambique. We began to realize the oneness of Blacks all around the globe when we looked at Marcus Garvey, and DuBois, and Kwame Nkrumah. Black Power became Pan-Africanism which is the idea that all Blacks must unite around Africa. We began to look at the greatness of Africa and began to ask who is exploiting Africa? We began to look at the oppressors who came to Africa, the European invaders who were now living in the richest parts of Africa, for the diamonds, the gold and the silver. We began to look at the slave trade and how they gave us their culture, not just in America but everywhere in the world, we began to look at the names and everything else that they’d taken from us. Black power began to grow into Pan-Africanism. We realized that until Africa is free, no Blacks in the world are free. We realized that the resources of Africa should be used to take care of Africans, to solve the problems of Blacks all over. The same way Europeans use Europe to take care of themselves, and the Chinese use the resources of China, Africans need the resources of Africa. Black Power united with African liberation movements, we began to identify with Africa, not the US. And we started demonstrating at white schools like Duke, Harvard, Yale, wherever there were Black students, we began to organize them to demand Black Studies departments and Black Student Unions, we began to demand to be taught about ourselves.
What advice do you have for those of us who aspire to follow the path you and other organizers and activists have laid out?
Love your people more than you love yourselves. Make whatever sacrifices are necessary for your people. Get organized, every individual should belong to an organization, and within those organizations, get educated. Study liberation movements, not just African liberation movements but study movements in China, Guinea, Cuba. Study these movements to see that all liberation movements have one common enemy: imperialism. And that there is one solution: poor people all over must unite to whoop imperialism; we have to take their resources and use them to uplift people all over. Students have to serve working class people. Not just study history, but get out there and make history to make a strong contribution towards our liberation.
The love and support that was given to Baba Mukasa Dada contributed to his full recovery, this is living proof that support really makes a difference.
Forward To Pan Afrikanism!!!
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