In this episode, Step Up For Students president Doug Tuthill speaks with Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party (also known as the Uhuru Movement), and Chimurenga Waller, national director of organization and education expert for the party. The three discuss education and self-determination as bedrock principles to achieving sovereignty for African people – the defining goal of the Uhuru Movement.
Yeshitela was responsible in 1966 for a famous act in Florida Civil Rights history when he tore down a racist mural in St. Petersburg’s City Hall. He spent two-and-a-half years in prison and lost his voting rights until then Gov. Jeb Bush restored them in 2000. After a lifetime of advocacy, Yeshitela reflects on the present moment, a period he refers to as “pregnant with revolution.”
“Educating African children has nothing to do with how many white people are in the room … You have to have power. Power over who is being hired, what is being taught. Africans have to control every facet of our lives … That means our education as well.”
· Background of the African People’s Socialist Party and its theories of colonial oppression
· The party’s stance that involvement in education by organizations like the NAACP moves away from the goal of African sovereignty
· How envisioning students as “empty vessels” is particularly dangerous for “whitewashing” African children’s history and culture
· The political power behind who controls education
· How the party envisions an education system that truly serves the African community