New York City (JFK+50) Fifty-one years ago today, June 28, 1964, the founding rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity was held at the Audubon Ballroom here in New York City.
The OAAU was founded by Malcolm X, John Henrik Clark, Albert Cleage, Jessie Gray, Gloria Richardson and others in Harlem on June 24th for the purpose of reconnecting African-Americans with their African heritage as well as establishing economic independence, and promoting African American self-determination.
The organization was non-secular and sought to unify non-Muslim African Americans with the African people.
At the rally, Malcolm X said...
"we want equality by any means necessary."
A few days later, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote a memo in which he labeled the OAAU a national security threat. On July 17, 1964, Malcolm X was asked if white people could join. He answered, "Definitely not (but) if John Brown were still alive, we might accept him."
The OAAU dissolved after the assassination of Malcolm X, but, according to the organization's website, it endures today. The International Executive Director is Dr. Leonard Jeffries.
"A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself."
Organization of Afro-American Unity, www.organizationafroamericanunity.org/
"Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) 1965," www.blackpast.org/