Organizational Models

The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party(GC), will be a mass revolutionary, Pan-African and socialist Party with hundreds of millions of members the length and breadth of Africa and the African Diaspora when it is fully developed, We need only look at our glorious history and tradition of mass and vanguard political parties, movements and organizations to know that this is organizationally possible, despite the tremendous obstacles, internal and external, that stand in our way. Permit us to briefly cite a few examples, out of hundreds, to prove this undeniable fact.

#1: The Universal Negro Improvement Association

After four years of work and study in Ecuador, Panama, England, and other countries where Africans lived, the Honorable Marcus Garvey returned to Kingston, Jamaica on July 15, 1914. Within five days of his return, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). He traveled to the United States in March 1916. After a year-long tour of the United States, he launched the New York Division of the UNIA with 13 members. Two months later, it had 2,000 members. Three months after that, the UNIA had 3,500 dues paying members in 30 branches in the United States, and several countries around the world.

By August 1, 1920, the Universal Negro Improvement Association had 6,000,000 members organized in 900 divisions in every corner of the world, including Azania / South Africa, Australia, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, England, Ghana, India, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Venezuela. More than 20,000 delegates from 25 countries in Africa and the African Diaspora attended the UNIA’s First International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World in Harlem, New York. It met for thirty continuous days. On August 13, 1920, the UNIA ratified The Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World, and elected its leadership.

[Note: A more detailed analysis of how the Universal Negro Improvement Association was organized, the campaign that was waged to co-opt, contain or crush it, and its impact today, will be posted on the A-APRP(GC)’s site soon. We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions. Please use the comment form below.]

#2: The Convention Peoples Party of Ghana

On June 12, 1949, the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) was founded, under the leadership of Osagefyo Kwame Nkrumah, at a mass rally in Accra with more than 20,000 People, mostly youth, in attendance. On the 9th of January, 1950 the CPP organized a nation-wide boycott and strike under the theme of a “Positive Action Campaign.” On January 21, 1950, Nkrumah and other leading CPP members were imprisoned on charges arising from this Campaign. In 1951, the Convention Peoples Party overwhelmingly won the elections, and Nkrumah was released from prison to head the new government. In June 1954, the CPP won 79 out of the 104 seats of the National Assembly. Ghana’s Independence was declared on the 6th of March, 1957.

In the 1960 Presidential election, Nkrumah, the Convention Peoples Party candidate, received 1,016,076 votes. Joseph Danquah, the candidate of the United Party, received 124,623 votes. By 1961, the CPP had more than 1,760,000 paid members, including more than 350,000 wage earners and self-employed workers, more than 10,000 members of the Workers Brigade, tens of thousands of members of the National Council of Ghana Women, more than 2,000 delegates to the general conference of the National African Socialist Students Organization, and more than 100,000 Young Pioneers, boys and girls, ages 5 to 25.

[Note: A more detailed analysis of how the Convention Peoples Party was organized, the campaign that was waged to co-opt, contain or crush it, and its impact today, will be posted on the A-APRP(GC)’s site soon. We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions. Please use the comment form below.]

#3: The Democratic Party of Guinea

In October 1947, the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG) was founded as a branch of the African Democratic Rally (Rassemblement Democratic Africain – RDA). At its outset, the PDG had to compete with four small, ethnically-based parties that were built and controlled by the Guinean neo-colonial elite and their French paymasters. Sekou Toure was elected Secretary-General in 1952. Four years later, in January 1956, the PDG emerged victorious from a bloody election campaign, winning two of three seats in the French National Assembly, and losing the third seat by a slim margin. Sekou Toure was sent to Paris to represent the PDG.

By 1958, the Democratic Party of Guinea’s membership had increased to several hundred thousand. In the constitutional referendum, 1,136,324 People, 95.8% of the voters, voted for independence from France. Only 56,981 People voted to remain under French colonialism and neo-colonialism. The PDG was organized in 4,123 village committees that included more than 40,000 counselors and 25 districts that included more than 526 counselors.

In 1962, the membership of the PDG included 30 to 40 percent of the adult population in Guinea, organized into 7,164 local committees, 168 sections, 1,652 headquarters and 30 federations, guided by its National Political Bureau. Party members democratically elected 180,000 responsibles, including at least 80,000 women, to Party positions. By 1983, on the eve of its 12th National Congress, the Democratic Party of Guinea had streamlined its organizational apparatus to include 2,500 local revolutionary authorities, 320 sections and 325 federations, guided by its National Political Bureau.

[Note: A more detailed analysis of how the Democratic Party of Guinea was organized, the campaign that was waged to co-opt, contain or crush it, and its impact today, will be posted on the A-APRP (GC)’s site soon. We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions. Please use the comment form below.]

#4: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

In 1961, Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, a twenty year old student at Howard University, and more than 300 other students were arrested in Mississippi during the Freedom Rides. They were imprisoned for 40 days in Parchment Penitentiary. Kwame returned to Mississippi every summer to work with SNCC’s voter registration drive, which was lead by Bob Moses. Kwame moved to Mississippi in 1964, after his graduation from Howard, in order to organize full-time. By the summer of 1963, 50 percent of the white population in Mississippi was registered to vote, but only 5 percent of the African population, 26,800 Africans out of 400,000 eligible African voters, was registered. In November 1963, SNCC, under the umbrella of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), organized a symbolic Freedom Vote. More than 73,000 Africans, who were not allowed to register or vote in the State of Mississippi, at the threat of eviction, imprisonment and death, voted.

In April 1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was founded, under the leadership of COFO and SNCC More than 2,000 volunteers, African (Black), European (White), Indigenous and others, participated in the Mississippi Summer Project, a mass positive action campaign which included the establishment of a network of Freedom Schools, voter registration drives, demonstrations and protests in 4 of Mississippi’s 5 Congressional Districts. SNCC organized and coordinated a nationwide and worldwide drive to solicit support—moral, political, legal and financial for the Mississippi Freedom Summer. Millions of dollars, tons of food and used clothing, school and medical supplies was collected and shipped to Mississippi; along with cars, buses, walkie-talkies, and other equipment and supplies.

Kwame Ture played a sterling role as director of the 2nd Congressional District voter registration drive. The 2nd District was the bloodiest in the history of Mississippi, and the base of the Klu Klux Klan’s (KKK) and Democratic Party’s power. It was also the base of MFDP and SNCC. Kwame was arrested 27 times for his civil rights work, between June 1961, during the Freedom Rides, and June 1966, when he re-echoed African People’s centuries-long cry for “Black Power” during the Mississippi “March against Fear.” By 1968, through the shedding of rivers and oceans of sweat, blood and tears, more than 240,000 Africans were registered in the State of Mississippi, 40% of the state’s registered voters.

[Note: A more detailed analysis of how the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was organized, the campaign that was waged to co-opt, contain or crush it, and its impact today, will be posted on the A-APRP(GC)’s site soon. We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions. Please use the comment form below.]

#5: The Lowndes County Freedom Organization

In 1963, the Dallas County Voters League and SNCC launched a voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama, and the surrounding Black Belt counties. On March 7, 1965, 525 to 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma-to-Montgomery March. They were attacked by Alabama State troopers and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized, leading to the naming of the day “Bloody Sunday.” On March 21, more than 8,000 People assembled at Brown Chapel, determined to complete their march to Montgomery. This five-day, four-night march, covering 54-miles (87 km), was “protected” by 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under Federal command, and hundreds of FBI agents and Federal Marshals. Two European (White) civil rights workers were murdered in Lowndes County during this campaign, Rev. James Reeb and Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, despite this massive governmental “presence.”

On March 22 and 23, 1965, 300 protesters marched through chilling rain across Lowndes County, camping at three sites in muddy fields. Kwame Ture and a handful of SNCC organizers participated in this march, slept in those camps, and collected names. The population of Lowndes County was 81% black, but no more than 30 Africans were registered to vote. Some 86 white families owned 90% of the land, and Africans worked this land, under slave-like conditions. There were 2,240 Europeans (Whites) registered to vote in Lowndes County, 118% of the adult European (White) population. The county was called “Bloody Lowndes” in recognition of the 135-year reign of terror that had been waged against African People. A few days after the March, Kwame and this small circle of SNCC organizers returned to Lowndes County. Between March and August, about fifty to sixty Africans were successfully registered, despite tremendous governmental and non-governmental opposition. In December of 1965, newspaper articles, nationwide, announced the existence of a plan by SNCC to build a “black panther party” in Lowndes County.

In late March 1966, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) was born, with a black panther as its symbol. Between April 4 and August 6, 13 newspaper and magazine articles, nationwide, announced that the “black panther party” had been founded. Efforts were made by SNCC organizers to build Freedom Organizations, under the Black Panther symbol, in 9 neighboring counties. None however took root. The LCFO held a Convention in May, to select candidates for the November election. By November 8th election, more than 1,700 Africans had been registered. There was a sign on Highway 80, at the busiest intersection in Lowndes County. It had a picture of a Black Panther on it and the words: “Pull The Lever For The Black Panther And Go On Home.” The New York Times published a picture of this sign, and catapulted the “black panther Party” to every corner of the world. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization received 1,668 votes for its candidate for sheriff, out of 1,700 registered African voters. The Democratic Party candidate received 2,320 votes, 90 votes more than the total registered white voters. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization “lost” because the Klu Klux Klan, the Democratic and Republican Parties—county, state and national, and the governments of Lowndes County, the State of Alabama, and the United States threw everything they had into Lowndes Country in order to contain, crush or co-opt this first “black panther Party, and maintain control over Lowndes County.

[Note: A more detailed analysis of how the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was organized, the campaign that was waged to co-opt, contain or crush it, and its impact today, will be posted on the A-APRP(GC)’s site soon. We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions. Please use the comment form below.]

#6: The Black Panther Party

In July 1966, a chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded in Harlem, New York, under the leadership of Muhammad Ahmed (Max Stanford), the field marshal of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), a semi-underground black nationalist organization. On August 29, 1966, RAM organized a fundraising rally for SNCC at Mount Morris Presbyterian Church in Harlem. The New York Times, Amsterdam News, the Ellensburg Daily Record and other newspapers, nationwide, reported that 250 People were in attendance. Kwame Ture was the keynote speaker, surrounded by 6 members of the New York Black Panther Party who served as his body guards. “It’s only natural,” he declared, “that a Black Panther Party be established here.” New York was the first BPP chapter to be founded outside of Alabama.

Meetings were held after this rally, and RAM made a decision, with Kwame’s approval, to build Black Panther Party chapters in all of the cities where RAM had chapters or cadre. It was agreed that SNCC and RAM would work together wherever they co-existed. One of RAM’s chapters was based at Merritt Jr. College in Oakland, California. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton were former members. In September 1966, members of this RAM chapter organized the Black Panther Party for Northern California, the first chapter in California. On October 15, 1966, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD). A careful examination of the massive archival record—governmental and non-governmental, most of which has only recently be release, reveals the timeline of when, where and how the first wave of Panther chapters were founded, and by whom.

In his annual testimony before the House Appropriations sub-committee on February 16, 1967, J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), reported on this rally and the alliance between Kwame and Muhammad, between SNCC and RAM. Hoover requested that the FBI’s budget and staff be increased in order to counter this new “threat.” This first wave includes the Black Panther Party for Southern California, which was founded by SNCC organizers, and the first chapter of the Black Panther Party in Chicago, which was founded by RAM organizers, and whose existence was publicly announced by the Chicago Tribune in October 1967. These chapters had little or nothing to do with the BPP in Oakland. Unfortunately, they did not take root, or last too long!

On June 29, 1967, Huey Newton issued Executive Mandate Number 2, appointing Kwame Ture the first Field Marshal of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, an honorary position, with the responsibility to build Panther chapters from the Continental Divide (Colorado) to the Atlantic Ocean, where more than 90 percent of African People lived in the United States. Kwame had already left on a six-month world tour that took him to London, Havana, Moscow, Peking, Havana, Paris, Algiers, Conakry, Dar es Salaam, and other cities. On August 27, 1967, Cointelpro Black Nationalist was launched by the FBI, with SNCC and RAM as its targets. Within months, RAM split, under the weight of FBI infiltration and sabotage, and ideological, organizational and strategic disagreements, and was dissolved, leaving hundreds of its cadre directionless and without an organizational home. RAM abandoned it efforts to help build the Black Panther Party. A plethora of organizations were founded in the wake of RAM’s demise.

Kwame returned to the United States in December 1968. Eldridge Cleaver and Bobby Seale visited him and asked him to help build the Free Huey Campaign, and be the keynote speaker at a Free Huey Birthday Party in Oakland. Kwame agreed. More than 10,000 People packed the Oakland Auditorium and more than 5,000 People packed the Auditorium in Los Angeles. A who’s who of the movement was present and spoke. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense announced, to standing and pro-longed applause, the appointment of Kwame Ture as Prime Minister and Jamil al-Amin, formerly known as Rap Brown, as Minister of Justice. Eldridge also announced, without prior discussion or agreement, a merger between SNCC and the BPPS-D. By December 1968, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the Free Huey Movement had 5,000 members in 45 chapters across the United States, and hundreds of thousands of supporters in every corner of the world. A host of other Panther Parties, unconnected to the Party in Oakland, had been founded throughout Africa, the African Diaspora and the world. The trajectory of the BPPS-D’s growth can be plotted day-by-day from March 1965 to December 1968, and the massive amount of archival records, governmental and non-governmental, that have only recently been released, document Kwame’s and SNCC’s, Muhammad’s and RAM’s role in helping build the Black Panther movement and parties.

[Note: A more detailed analysis of how the Black Panther Party was organized, the campaign that was waged to co-opt, contain or crush it, and its impact today, will be posted on the A-APRP(GC)’s site soon. We welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions. Please use the comment form below.]

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