The Institute of the Black World 21st Century hosted “It’s Nation Time,” a national symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Ind.

The convention saw 10,000 Black people gather to adopt a National Black Political Agenda and establish a process to hold candidates accountable to Black interests at the local, state and national level.

The forum, held March 23 at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., featured a screening of “It’s Nation Time,” the official documentary film about the Indiana convention.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion on the impact of the Gary Convention and its relevance to Black politics today, moderated by Verna Avery Brown of WPFW, Pacifica Network.

Also included was a tribute to the late Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.). The IBW Legacy Award was given to Richard G. Hatcher, the first black mayor of Gary, Ind.
Special guests included the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., and panelists included Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, George Curry, former editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and E. Faye Williams, president of the National Congress of Black Women.

“The 1972 National Black Political Convention was one of the most significant gatherings of African Americans in the history of this country,” Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, said in a statement.

“A new generation of activists, organizers and elected officials need to study the Gary Convention to assess its relevance and meaning for Black politics and the interests and aspirations of Black people today,” he said.