The National Black United Front, a grassroots, Pan-African organization working and organizing towards the advancement of all people of African descent, will hold its 43rd National Convention in Houston this weekend, July 9-10.
NBUF’s national chairman and longtime Houston resident/activist, Kofi Taharka, spoke with the Defender about the convention’s focus and goals.
DEFENDER: What’s the focus of NBUF’s 43rd National Convention?
KOFI TAHARKA: Our theme this year is called “The Sankofa Flex: Building Blocks for the Black Nation.” Sankofa is a west African concept sometimes symbolized in the Adinkra symbols. Our brother, Haile Gerima many years ago made the movie Sankofa to help popularize this concept, which means “go back to your past, retrieve what you have lost and bring forward to today past values that are needed,” or put simply, “go back and fetch it.” So, we’re flexing on our history, our culture, our spirituality, all of who we are as persons of African ancestry.
DEFENDER: What do you expect to be the highlights of the convention?
TAHARKA: We will consider the convention a success when the brothers and sisters who are part of NBUF and the sisters and brothers who attend, leave there with applicable tools in order to address various issues, concerns, concepts, challenges or opportunities that exist within our community. We also want people to be fired up. This will be our first national convention that will be in person for the most part of two years. This is important that we will be able to be in the same space with each other, feeling each other’s energy.
DEFENDER: What about workshops?
TAHARKA: We’ll have several. One of the workshops is called Food Security. We have been fortunate over the past 10 years to have a three raised bed garden at NBUF (2428 Southmore Blvd, 77004); the Sundiata Acoli-Shaka Sankofa Self-Determination Community Garden. And with the many challenges that we face, everybody should have a way to feed themselves. Self-defense. Look at the times we’re living in. There are basic tenants to self-defense, whether it be personal, home or community. We have a panel of local specialists who will be sharing information like that. Also, institution building. But, as opposed to somebody giving a lecture on institutions, convention attendees will tour SHAPE. And of course, they’ll be at NBUF, then at the Shrine. So, we’ll be seeing real world examples.
DEFENDER: Any special guests or happenings?
TAHARKA: We will have some special guests, some of our members from different chapters from throughout the country, as well as on Saturday night we’ll be having our brother, historian/scholar and Howard University professor, Dr. Greg Carr. Many people know him from some of the social media platforms. He’ll be bringing the main message at our national reception, which will be at the Shrine of the Black Madonna. And, some of the workshops will be at NBUF headquarters. Then, the big reception at the Shrine. And we’ll be having a spiritual closeout on Sunday with sister Osunbunmi Fagbenro.
DEFENDER: Will these activities be open to the public?
TAHARKA: When people go to NBUFConvention2022.Eventbrite.com, the public portion of the convention on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, the entire schedule is there. It is open to the public. There are some fees associated with various events
DEFENDER: Any final words?
TAHARKA: The convention is this weekend. And then in October will be the 25th Annual Sankofa Caravan to the Ancestors. We’ve got something really big planned. So, this convention is the jump off. This is the flex. And then we’re going to have that silver and white experience in October.
Conference Registration: NBUFConvention2022.Eventbrite.com.
Facebook: NBUF Houston