United African Movement: Going Strong

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In 1992, UAM would sponsor the candidacy of Rev. Al Sharpton for U.S. Senate. He would receive nearly 175,000 votes. On a shoestring budget, this was the highest vote total he would ever secure in New York. He received more votes than former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.

 
After the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Dr. Martin L. King Jr. could have written and enforced his own contracts. 

He could have made up for years of economic sacrifices. Instead, Dr. King subdued his own concerns and elevated the concerns of the poor, the despised and the oppressed.      

In the United States, everything is supposed to be for sale. This country is unable to adjust to persons who are able to successfully fend off greed. This is not the American way. Self-appointed leaders of the oppressed must be Judas goats to misdirect the masses and to keep them pacified. They are well paid and are well-connected to the media.      

Given Dr. King’s achievements in the voting rights struggle, one would assume that he may have embarked on a political career or, at the very least, use his political connections to extract some political concessions. He could have cashed in his political chips.       

Instead, Dr. King returned to the streets with no strings attached to his commitment to direct action. He led a strike for sanitation workers in Memphis and organized a Poor People’s Campaign for the nation’s capital.      

United African Movement was formed on August 17, 1988 at Friendship Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Bethany Baptist Church was the incubator for UAM. Glenda Brawley, the mother of Tawana Brawley, who had been raped by law enforcement officials, had to seek sanctuary at this historic church.      

The criminal justice system sought to punish Glenda because her daughter pursued a criminal complaint against the white law enforcement officials. (See the lynching of Mary Turner in Georgia who demanded justice after her husband had been murdered by white supremacists). UAM was formed to secure justice for the Brawley family.      

While the Brawley struggle was ongoing, UAM demanded justice for the Black teenager, Yusuf Hawkins, who had been murdered by a white mob in Bensonhurst after a rumor circulated that a Black youth was dating a white girl in Bensonhurst. In fact, Hawkins was responding to an ad for the sale of a used vehicle.      

Countless demonstrations in Bensonhurst caused the criminal justice system to mete out a semblance of justice. Joseph Fama received 33 years to life. Some of his confederates received slaps on the wrists. In addition, the marches aroused the Black electorate to allow for David N. Dinkins to upset the mayoral incumbency of Ed Koch.

When the NYPD falsely arrested Black and Latino youth for allegedly raping Patricia Meili in Central Park and the Manhattan district attorney’s office started to railroad them without any credible proof, UAM stepped into the fray. First, UAM organized a successful, community effort to secure their release pending trial. Second, UAM secured a dismissal of the indictment of Michael Briscoe.      

While this was occurring, New York indicted Rev. Al Sharpton, who was UAM’s president, on 70 counts. Its chairperson, yours truly, and its vice-chairperson, C. Vernon Mason would have to face disciplinary charges. Mason and Sharpton would leave UAM soon after Rev. Sharpton enjoyed an acquittal on 67 counts in Manhattan Supreme Court in July 1990.      

In 1992, UAM would sponsor the candidacy of Rev. Al Sharpton for U.S. Senate. He would receive nearly 175,000 votes. On a shoestring budget, this was the highest vote total he would ever secure in New York. He received more votes than former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.        

It led to the political demise of State Attorney General who was vying for the U.S. Senate in 1992. Two years later, Gov. Mario Cuomo would suffer a similar, political defeat. In 1994, UAM also engineered the formation of the Freedom Party.      

The Giuliani Administration would retaliate by seeking to convert the historic Slave Theater venue into the slave quarters. An attempt was made to openly revive the slave code which made it unlawful for Blacks to assemble without a white, plantation overseer observing the activities.        

This would have undermined UAM’s mission which was formed in commemoration of Hon. Marcus Garvey. UAM is probably the only organization in New York that openly violates the slave code. New York forbid Blacks from functioning without white overseers.      

Despite the legal attack, UAM would embark on a course of action to save Mumia Abu-Jamal who was facing execution on August 17 1995 in Pennsylvania. It would take more than a court hearing to save Mumia. Residents of Philadelphia and Black journalists were listless and indifferent to his plight. 

Throughout the summer of 1995, UAM had a massive presence in Philadelphia and at the court hearing. UAM also led massive protests and demonstrations. Judge Albert Sabo held the record for signing death warrants and he had refused, previously, to stay an execution. UAM’s efforts compelled Sabo to stay this execution.

Hurricane Floyd would hit Princeville, NC in 1999. It would be a precursor to Hurricane Katrina.  U.S. Army Corp of Engineers had built flawed levees. These levees broke causing massive destruction to the town. Caskets were uprooted and started to float. 

FEMA dragged its feet. UAM not only sponsored a massive relief effort for Princeville residents but also conducted a lobbying effort on Capital Hill. Princeville was the first all-Black town in the United States. It was represented by the last Black member of Congress after Reconstruction.      

The number of UAM victories over 20 years are countless. While these activities were occurring, UAM sponsored an unprecedented educational and informational weekly forum featuring leading activists, authors, lecturers and leaders from throughout the Black world. These forums had no peers and no one has been able to duplicate this effort anywhere throughout the Black world.


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Upcoming UAM Events:
Feb. 28 - Wed. - UAM Forum - Alton H. Maddox Jr. will discuss, “The Relationship Between New Generation Leaders, Indian History, Police Terrorism and Black Removal� at Elks Plaza, 1068 Fulton St., in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 1 – Thu: The trial of PWV Acquisition LLC v. Maddox will commence in Part A, Room 523 of the Manhattan Housing Court, 111 Centre Street in Manhattan at 9:30 a.m.
Apr 21-22 - Sat.-Sun. - Tour of Reginald Lewis Museum in downtown Baltimore on Saturday and an African-centered tour of Washington, D.C., conducted by Dr. Anthony Browder, and is designed in part to instill a sense of worth and pride about our rich, African heritage and ancient Egyptian contributions to the architecture of the nation’s Capitol.  This is a must for Black children and is an alternative to New York and New Jersey school tours of the District of Columbia.
May 25-28 - Fri.-Mon. - Gullah Festival - A celebration of African culture in Beaufort, South Carolina. $75 deposit required at time of registration.  Limited bus seating and premium hotel accommodations.
June 16 - Sat. - Dinner &  Dance in support of the 2007 Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls at the Cotton Club, 656 West 125th St. in Harlem.
 
For Further Information Contact: United African Movement 16 Court Street, Suite 1901 Brooklyn, NY 11241. (718) 834-9034

 


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