March 18, 2006 @ the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of VA 3pm
Presented by the Get Conscious Think Collective & The Open Your Third Eye Project
Omali Yeshitela, formerly known as Joseph Waller, was born in 1941 in St. Petersburg, Florida. In December 1966, as a SNCC organizer, Yeshitela led a group of young African people into the St. Petersburg City Hall and ripped down from the walls a demeaning racist mural that had hung for thirty years on the first landing. For removing the painting, Yeshitela was given a five-year prison sentence, of which he served two years.

While in prison in 1968 Yeshitela formed JOMO, the Junta of Militant Organizations. Four years later Yeshitela organized the African People’s Socialist Party, which built the Uhuru Movement. In 1976 the Party formed the African People’s Solidarity Committee, an organization of white people who work under the Party’s leadership.

The Chairman built the African National Prison Organization (ANPO) in 1980, and in 1982 the Party held the first World Tribunal on Reparations for African People in Brooklyn, NY.

Chairman Omali has waged countless campaigns to defend the interests of the African working class, edited The Burning Spear newspaper, published books and pamphlets and made groundbreaking advances in his political theory. Known as African Internationalism, the Chairman’s theory defines capitalism as a parasitic system that was born from the enslavement of African people and the oppression of colonized peoples worldwide.

Chairman Omali and the African People’s Socialist Party created successful and popular economic and political institutions including Uhuru Houses and Spear Graphics, as well as the Uhuru Bakery Café and the Uhuru Furniture Stores in Oakland, CA, Philadelphia, PA and St. Petersburg, FL.

In 1991 the Chairman founded the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, a mass organization with the specific purpose of stopping the U.S. government’s counterinsurgency against the African community.

On October 24, 1996, after the police killing an 18-year-old African motorist and subsequent rebellions, Chairman Omali emerged as the spokesman for the interests of the African working class community calling for genuine economic development as opposed to the brutal police containment policies.

Yeshitela ran for Mayor of St. Petersburg in 2001, winning every black and mixed precinct but one with his platform of “St. Petersburg united in shared prosperity.”

In recent years the Chairman travels and speaks tirelessly to fulfill his lifelong aim of building the African Socialist International (ASI), committed to the struggle to liberate Africa as the birthright of African people everywhere.