In August, following its internationally televised protest at a Barack Obama rally, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) invited all U.S. presidential candidates to participate in its annual Convention to address the question raised to Obama, "What About the Black Community?"
The Green Party presidential ticket of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente accepted that invitation and will be represented by Clemente at the September 27-28 Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Prior to entering this year's U.S. presidential race, Clemente has worked as a community organizer, journalist and Hip-Hop activist. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Rosa is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. Her academic work has been dedicated to researching national liberation struggles inside the United States, with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party and the Black Liberation Army.
While a student at SUNY Albany, she was President of the Albany State University Black Alliance (ASUBA) and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Student Association. At Cornell she was a founding member of La Voz Boriken, a social/political organization dedicated to supporting Puerto Rican political prisoners and the independence of Puerto Rico.
On MyAfricanDiaspora.com, Clemente writes, "I am so tired of having to prove to others that I am Black, that my people are from the Motherland, that Puerto Rico, along with Cuba, Panama and the Dominican Republic are part of the African Diaspora. Do we forget that the slave ships dispersed our people all over the world, hence the word Diaspora?
"The Atlantic slave trade brought Africans to Puerto Rico in the early 1500s. Some of the first slave rebellions took place on the island of Puerto Rico. Until 1846, Africanos on the island had to carry a libreta to move around the island, like the passbook system in apartheid South Africa. In Puerto Rico, you will find large communities of descendants of the Yoruba, Bambara, Wolof and Mandingo people. Puerto Rican culture is inherently African culture."
In 1995, Clemente developed Know Thy Self Productions (KTSP), a full service speakers bureau, production company and media consulting service, which has produced three major Hip Hop activism tours, "Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win" with M1 of dead prez and Fred Hampton Jr.; "The ACLU College Freedom Tour" with dead prez, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Mystic and comedian Dave Chapelle; and the "Speak Truth to Power" Tour, a collaborative tour of award-winning youth activists.
In 2001, she was a youth representative at the United Nations World Conference against Xenophobia, Racism and Related Intolerance in South Africa.
In 2003, Rosa helped formed and coordinate the first ever National Hip Hop Political Convention that drew over 3000 activists who came together to create and implement a national political agenda for the Hip-Hop generation.
10 days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged parts of the south, Rosa traveled to the areas as an independent journalist and her on the ground reports were reported on independent radio stations all over the world, including Air America, NPR, Pacifica Radio, Democracy Now, Indy media, Hard Knock Radio and other independent and mainstream media outlets.
To see Clemente's presentation to the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement Convention on September 27-28 in St. Petersburg, Florida, go to inpdum.org and register today. If you can't attend the Convention, you can listen to both days live on UhuruRadio.com.