Baraka Announces ‘New Black Agenda’ Conference for Next Year in Newark

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

Joined by Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, Mississippi, Jazz and R&B icon James Mtume, New Jersey Institute of Technology President Dr. Joel Bloom, and numerous other African-American educators, activists, and community leaders, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka this morning formally announced that the Third National Black Political Convention will be held in Newark from Thursday, April 28, 2022 to Sunday, May 1, 2022, at NJIT.

The theme of the convention: “Many roads, one destiny. Unity without uniformity.”

The mayor made the announcement in the Agile Strategy Lab of NJIT’s Central King Building.

“It will be a critical space to create a new black agenda,” Baraka said. “It is timely to have a real discussion about some of the issues we have been grappling with – and real debate. This conference will humbly try to launch that. Whether people believe it, understand it, feel like it or not, we are also a part of this country. It is just as much ours as anyone else’s.

“If you didn’t want us here, you never should have brought us here,” the mayor added.

The coming convention will occur on the 50th anniversary of the first Black Political Convention.

The first National Black Political Convention (also known as the Gary Convention) was held March 10 to March 12, 1972, in Gary, Indiana. Approximately 10,000 African-Americans gathered to discuss, debate, and advocate for Black people in the United States. Part of the stated goal was to increase the number of Black elected officials, increase representation and create a Black agenda for fundamental change in the lives of Black people in the United States.

The 1972 historic gathering was primarily organized by Amiri Baraka, Sr., father of Mayor Baraka, Representative Charles Diggs, and one of the first Black mayors in the United States, Mayor Richard Hatcher of Gary, Indiana. In attendance were high-profile celebrities, public figures, and entertainers of the day, including Dr. Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott-King, James Brown, Harry Belafonte, Richard Roundtree, and many others.

“Hopefully, my father is very happy we are doing the convention here,” Baraka said.

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