By Tashi McQueen, AFRO Political Writer,
Report For America Corps Member
On Sep. 29 Nicole Austin-Hillery, CEO and president of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), and CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) opened a discussion on the “Black agenda.”
The gathering was a national town hall held at CBCF’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
“Fifty years ago, after crucial leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were slaughtered, thousands of Black leaders gathered in Gary, Ind. to unify and enable our modern-day political system,” said Austin-Hillery.
A host of notable panelists, including actress Jennifer Lewis discussed “Black political progress, lessons learned, and strategic partnerships to advance Black liberation.”
“I have moved into activism because I do not want my great nephews to grow up and be hunted as men,” said Lewis. “I want these kids to pursue happiness– there is too much depression, mania and violence.”
The group created a preamble during the session.
The preamble reads:
“We, the people, are committed to building Black power and transforming power as it operates right now. We, the people, must be committed to telling stories that don’t just lead us to charitable solutions and structural problems but build power to change the rules. We, the people, must not be afraid. We must stand, we must fight and never grow weary. We, the people, must vote, organize and elect those that have our best interests at heart. We the people shall overcome.”
Chairwoman Terri Sewell of CBCF’s board of directors (D-AL-07) was clear about how to acheive the stated goals.
“We need to kick out mayors and representatives that are not acting on behalf of the Black community and our needs,” she said.
Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, agreed that it is time to take action.
“Our country has to grow up,” said Robinson. “We have to confront its refusal to acknowledge what has been done, and what our country continues to do. America has become monstrous in so many ways.”
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