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Successful Philly Black is Back Conference sets stage for November 7 national March on Washington

Straight out of Ferguson, Missouri, Herdosia Bentum lets the crowd know that Black Power Matter!
PHILADELPHIA--Just about a quarter after 10:00am on Saturday, August 22, 2015, at the Uhuru Furniture store in Philadelphia, PA, the annual conference of the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations began.

Under the banner “Black Power Matters,” BIBC Vice Chair, Lisa Davis opened the conference. Karen Smith followed with high-spirited drumming.

The BIBC conference spanned two days and featured presentations by members of the coalition, supporters and guests.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela put forward the political overview and main resolution. Coalition member and Executive Director of the Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford, presented on “Black Power Matters” and “Black Community Control of the Police.”

The Women and State Violence panel discussion was led by Yejide Orunmila, President of the African National Women’s Organization, Pam Africa, MOVE organization and Sharonne Salaam, mother of Yusef Salaam, who was one of the wrongly convicted young men of the Central Park jogger case.

Through the help of Pam Africa, the world’s most well known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal was able to call in and address the attendees of the conference.

From the frontlines of Ferguson and St. Louis, MO., under renewed police attacks and martial law, Herdosia Bentum and Robert White III updated everyone on the state of the struggle there.

Fresh off the Million People’s March against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice and Economic Equality that was held in Newark, NJ, Chairman Lawrence Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress presented.

Chairman Hamm discussed the ongoing struggle of addressing violence in the black community.

The BIBC is comprised of working groups on healthcare, reparations, political prisoners and more.

Lisa Davis, Chair of the healthcare working group, along with her fellow working group member, Sister Tsigereda presented on their history and current work within the BIBC.

Secretary of the BIBC and also member of the reparations working group, Ayodele Kofie read a statement from Reparations Group Chair, Kamm Howard, on the exciting modern initiative to repair the damage that has been done to black people.

Day 1 of BIBC’s “Black Power Matters” conference was extremely enthralling and important but Day 2 was just as potent.

Besides getting into a deeper understanding and way forward for the coalition, the presentation made by New York State Assemblyman, Charles Barron shed light on a different front of black power.

Assemblyman Barron exemplified how black power can be fought for in electoral politics. He also clearly said electoral politics is not the ultimate weapon in advancing the victories in the war against black people in America. Albeit battles have and will continue to be won.

In 2009 in the United States, most of the black organizations and so-called progressives were ecstatic over the selection of Barack Hussein Obama as the first African U.S. president.

The BIB Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations was founded in 2009 in part on the premise that having a black president presiding over the U.S. colonialist State would not change the status of African and other oppressed people in the U.S.

The demand for Black Community Control of the Police (BCCP) is a demand for black power that has been adopted and pushed forward by the BIBC.

Everyday black people inside of their communities are signing the petition for BCCP. North Americans, or white people who want to see justice for African people are also uniting with the Black Community Control of the Police demand.

The progressive movement as far away as Russia also supports the demand for BCCP.

From its conception, the BIBC faced a lot of criticism and opposition not only from oppressed people who were in the democratic party, but also from longtime so-called revolutionaries and black nationalist figures for not uniting behind Obama.

Many of the aforementioned people thought that the newly selected Barack Obama should be given a chance. The current plight for black people has worsened and the opportunists who originally supported Barack Obama are attempting to save face, while the original principles of the BIBC ring true.  

At the end of the day it was quite clear that it is black power that really matters! That Black Community Control of the Police is a demand that is working toward that end.

The BIBC also called on the people to join in the annual March on Washington which is scheduled for November 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C.

Take the Black Community Control of the Police campaign into your community now!

Go to blackisbackcoalition.org to join and donate to the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations and to find out more information on the November 7 March on Washington.

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