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58th International Convention Chicago, IL
August 19, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - August 23, 2015 @ 8:00 pm
In Chicago the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA‐ACL) to hold its 58th International Convention from August 19 – 23, 2015 at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University located 700 E. Oakwood Boulevard Chicago, IL 60653. The activities include, presentations by great scholars and thinkers like Dr. Marimba Ani, and Dr. Runoko Rashidi, and mass meetings addressing the subjects of “Youth”, “Solutions In The Next 100 Years”, “Global African Presence”, and there will also be a “Moving Forward in the 21s”Century Banquet on August 22”.
The UNIA‐ACL is a historical organization founded on July 20, 1914 by the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey in Jamaica, West Indies. Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica, and was only 28 years old when he founded the UNIA & ACL. He later set up the headquarters in America in 1918 and in 2 ½ years the UNIA grew from 13 members to over 3 million Africans and people of African Descent. This made it the race’s first and largest international mass movement in U.S. history. Garvey’s philosophy was based on nationalism, self‐reliance, and self‐government, and while headquartered in Harlem, New York alone, the UNIA produced three grocery stores, two restaurants, a publishing house, a clothing manufacturing company, a hotel, a school, a modern laundry, a 6000 seat meeting place called Liberty Hall, a black baby doll and toy manufacturing company, two 2 story office buildings, lots and two large trucks. Garvey’s “Negro World” newspaper was a pro‐Black and anti‐colonialism paper, which was excellently edited, with French, Spanish and women’s sections and was distributed throughout the African Diaspora. Garvey launched the Black Star Line Steamship Corporation in 1919 which purchased three ships, including the 1400 ton cargo ship, which he rechristened the S.S. Frederick Douglass after the great abolitionist of the 1800’s, that sailed to several ports throughout the Caribbean, including Cuba.
Garvey called for and chaired 7 International Conventions, and at the first convention in 1920 over 25,000 delegates from 40 countries assembled opening day, and for 31 days in the months of August they deliberated on issues confronting the entire race estimated to be 400 million at that time. The 1st convention elected Marcus Garvey as its first President General, and those delegates created, ratified and signed the document, called “The Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World”, which among its 54 demands, claimed Garvey’s red, black and green flag to be the colors of the “Negro race”; that Black history should be taught to Black children and that Africans had a right to govern Africa. The UNIA was not only a hierarchy of leaders, established to organize Blacks of every region on earth, but it had something for everybody, including a youth organization, two women organizations, called Universal Black Cross Nurses, and the Universal African Motor Corps, and an emergency readiness organization of men, called the Universal African Legions.
Garvey’s success led him to become the most admired black leader of his time as well as the most persecuted. He was shot, framed by his political enemies, denied justice and fair treatment in American courts, indicted, imprisoned and deported after serving 2 ½ years in prison. Undaunted he went and laid the foundations for Jamaica’s independence, and from there he moved to London England where he sent African students back to liberate Africa from colonialism. He died June 10, 1940 but not before teaching his “School of African Philosophy, for future leaders which, along with the publishing of his writing by his second wife and mother of his two sons, Amy Jacques Garvey, which are the major reasons the UNIA & ACL has been around now for 101 years.
Today’s UNIA President General is Senghor Baye from Washington, DC, who will be here to chair the
convention. For those interested in attending the convention or need more information please call Clyde
Banks, local UNIA Division #429 President at 630‐842‐8918 or Donald Linder local Division #401 President at 312‐545‐379