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1996 Uhuru Movement Rally Poster -- Oakland, California -- Omali Yeshitela and Mukassa Dada

This broadside poster, starkly contrasted in black and white, announces an "Organizing Conference for African Self-Determination," sponsored by the National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement.

The broadside is a graphic call to action and a stark reminder of the socio-political issues facing the African community in the United States. Dated Sunday, October 27, 1996, the event featured prominent speakers, namely Willie Mukassa Ricks and Omali Yeshitela, leading figures in African-American activism and the Black Power movement. The poster articulates grievances against the U.S. government's policies, accusing it of introducing drugs into the African community, severing welfare, and incarcerating a generation of African people.

The National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) is an organ of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP), which traces its origins Joe Waller, later known as Omali Yeshitela, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Yeshitela’s militant activism in the 1960s, which led to the founding of The Burning Spear, has evolved into a global movement for self-determination and reparations for the African community.

InPDUM, since its inception in 1991, has advocated for the "defeating the vicious counterinsurgency against the African community" and emphasizes the protection of democratic rights for Africans. The movement's extensive 14-point platform calls for sweeping changes and reparations from the United States and European nations for historical injustices. Their activism includes community organization, economic development through entities like the Uhuru Pies, and confrontations with institutional power structures, especially in the wake of incidents like the killing of TyRon Lewis by police in 1996.

The Uhuru Movement’s significance surged during the civil unrest following Lewis's death, as they mobilized the community through vigils, demonstrations, and demands for justice, often clashing with law enforcement and city officials. The Uhuru Movement, with its associated media outlets like The Burning Spear and Black Power 96 radio, has been a pivotal voice in St. Petersburg, Florida, and internationally for African empowerment and self-reliance, continuing the legacy of figures like Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X.

Omali Yeshitela

Omali Yeshitela, born Joseph Waller on October 9, 1941, in St. Petersburg, Florida, an important pivotal figure in the modern Black liberation movement. As the co-founder and chairman of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP), established in 1972, Yeshitela has been a vocal advocate for the rights and empowerment of African communities globally. His leadership extends to the Uhuru Movement, which is renowned for its focus on social justice and economic development for African people.

Yeshitela's early life in the racially segregated Gas Plant District of St. Petersburg marked the beginning of his lifelong commitment to fighting racial injustice. His experiences of racial discrimination, particularly the impactful lynching of Emmett Till in 1955, shaped his worldview and catalyzed his engagement with the Civil Rights Movement. After a stint in the US Army, Yeshitela's resolve strengthened, leading him to spearhead significant political activities in the 1960s and beyond.

Throughout his activism, Yeshitela has been a prominent proponent of reparations for African people, both in the U.S. and internationally. He played a significant role as the People's Advocate at the First International Tribunal on Reparations to Black People in the U.S., held in 1982 in Brooklyn, New York, where he helped articulate the legal and moral foundations for reparations.

Yeshitela's stance against systemic oppression is reflected in his numerous writings and public engagements, where he challenges colonial legacies and advocates for a revolutionary approach to achieving racial equality. His work has not only contributed to the discourse on Black empowerment but has also influenced various movements and organizations dedicated to the liberation of oppressed peoples worldwide.  

Willie Ricks aka Mukassa Dada

Ricks was a community organizer and prominent civil rights activist who first gained recognition for his work as a field secretary for SNCC with John Lewis. He planned sit-ins, demonstrations, and marches throughout the South. Eventually, he split ideologically from the SNCC and joined the Black Panther Party with Stokely Carmichael, where he instigated and spread the term “Black Power.”


As a historical artifact, this poster captures an important moment in the Uhuru Movement and the broader African liberation struggle. It is reflective of the intense socio-political climate of the mid-1990s, an era that saw a resurgence of civil rights activism in the form of organized calls for systemic reform and reparative justice.

Condition Description
Small holes top left.
National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement Biography

The Uhuru Movement is a socialist, Pan-Africanist movement founded in 1972 by the African People's Socialist Party (APSP), led by Omali Yeshitela. It operates on the theory of African internationalism, asserting a historical materialist view of African people's social and economic conditions globally. African internationalism posits that capitalism emerged parasitically through the exploitation of Africa and its people, challenging Lenin's theory by stating capitalism as imperialism's highest stage. It views Africans in imperialist centers like the U.S. and Europe as internal colonies.

Historically, the Movement has been critical of U.S. policing, advocating for the release of all African prisoners and withdrawal of police from African American communities. Tensions in the 1990s, especially in St. Petersburg, Florida, escalated after the police killing of a young black man in 1996, leading to protests and riots, though the Movement's activities have largely been peaceful.

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) promotes reparations and self-government for Africans worldwide, and The Burning Spear Newspaper serves as the voice of the African Revolution.

Controversies have involved the Movement's leader Yeshitela, including the tearing down of a Halloween display in 2004 and interrupting Barack Obama in 2008 on African community issues. Criticism has also come from the Anti-Defamation League for purported anti-Israel rallies in 2009, and the same year, a march in support of Lovelle Mixon, who killed four police officers in Oakland.

In Germany, the Uhuru Movement faced backlash for alleged antisemitism, leading to disavowal by the General Students' Committee at Johannes Gutenberg University.

In 2023, the Movement faced a federal indictment for collaborating with alleged Russian foreign agent Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov to destabilize U.S. democracy. The FBI raided the Uhuru House, and the Movement anticipated further indictments for acting on behalf of the Russian government, including influencing local elections and spreading pro-Russian propaganda.