Washington, DC – Washington, D.C. based organizer Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, along with scholar and social justice activist Dr. Cornel West and others, are announcing the “10,000 Black Men’s Convention & March” set to take place in D.C. from April 18-22, 2018. Since Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan’s 2015 call for “10,000 Fearless Black Men” to secure black communities across America, several organizations and activists have attempted to replicate his idea.
One such organization is Black Lawyers for Justice founded and headed by Washington, D.C. based organizer Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz. On Oct. 5th he along with scholar and social justice activist Dr. Cornel West and others held a “Kick Off rally” announcing the “10,000 Black Men’s Convention & March” set to take place in D.C. from April 18-22, 2018.
According to BlackMensMovement.org – the upcoming event’s sponsoring group-its primary focus is on “Mobilizing & Organizing” the black community, the men in particular, who organizers say should be taking more of a lead role in the affairs of Black America.
Amidst racial profiling, self-genocide, police shootings, missing girls, and the Alt-Right Movement, etc. many observers have described Black America as currently being in a crisis state.
Attorney Shabazz who has been mass organizing since his days at Howard University in the late 80s made his reasons very clear for calling the march. Among these was President Donald J. Trump.
“We must have a black men’s movement. At a time when the President of the United Snakes of America, who has a long litany and train of abuses, out of his filthy and fowl mouth steps up and calls black men (our brothers) who are acting in a spirit of tradition and defiance and protest that we have had to engage in since we were first dragged to the Hells of America, ‘sons of bitches’, I say we must have a black men’s movement.”
Shabazz made very clear that April’s upcoming event wasn’t narrow. “Those who are here love the black man. This movement isn’t just for black men but it’s focused on black men . . . We need a movement that will rise up and crush the opponents of black people’s rise.”
He mentioned black women as also being a primary focus of a black men’s movement.
“Black women are looking for a man that will protect them and our future.”
This of course was addressing concerns voiced by many black women across the country regarding the issue of abuse at the hands of black men as well as finding suitable mates.
Shabazz concluded his opening statements by emphasizing unity. “We have to have a united front. We don’t care anything about religion.”
Co-Organizer of the April 2018 event, Dr. Cornel West addressed the gathering for a few minutes. He emphasized that the principle of love is the motivating factor behind the convention/march’s goals.
“I like to be wherever folks are loving black people . . . White Supremacy has become so ubiquitous that it’s time for folks to unify. Under White Supremacy Black love is a crime”, he said.
West mentioned the danger involved with loving the black community.
“If you love black people you get criminalized because you’re willing to do something. You’re willing to take a risk. You’re willing to pay a cost. You’re willing to be with folks who are unpopular.”
The former Princeton Professor mentioned past prominent black figures as an example.
“Nat Turner loved black people therefore they viewed him as a criminal. Martin Luther King Jr. loved black people. Malcolm loved black people. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad loved black people. Marcus Garvey internalized black love. That’s what we need in 2017 and 2018. This love has got to come from every religion, every nook and cranny, every city, every suburb, and techno borough. It has to be a global thing.”
He later gave a sharp critique of the current Black leadership.
“Black leaders are up for sale. Too many black people are willing to sell their souls for a mess of pottage.”
West concluded his remarks by telling his audience that the 10,000 Fearless Convention/March and every past similar event that was organized in America by black people focused on black youth.
“These marches are a love letter to the younger generation in the form of struggle. Let the ones coming after you know that you have memories of being loved.”
D.C. area based Attorney Dr. Amy Jenkins who helped organized the evening’s rally expressed support and confidence while simultaneously voicing concern.
“My curiosity is if whether or not the brothers are really sincere. I would like to know if they’re willing to put things aside such as ego and the power struggle to really come together in a united front. I often question this united front because we have let White Supremacy divide us in so many ways.”
Jenkins issued a challenge to black men.
“Are the brothers really ready to stand up and come together and make a strategic plan. Are they ready to educate? Are they ready to show economic power and what it means to make a living, and improve themselves in a business-like fashion?”
Rally speakers also included D.C. Recovery Act Founder John Cheeks, D.C. Activist James Shabazz, Straight Black Pride Movement Founder Irritated Genie, Alliance of Concerned Men Founder and Executive Director Tyrone Parker, Baltimore based “Success Scholar” Haki Shakur Ammi, Ministers for Defense Founder Pastor Ted Sutton, and Philadelphia Activist and Author Mitchell Chance.