Black August Omaha is an annual Edutainment (Education & Entertainment) event which features performances and presentations by local & national artivists (artists & activists) in various disciplines from drama to dance, from singing to instrumental music presentations. The purpose of this event is to highlight various topics including the Malcolm X birthplace and the development of the landmark, to celebrate & educate the community, particularly the youth about our history, to share our culture through various art forms with an emphasis on hip hop, to promote communalism and to introduce and observe various principles concerning the overall health and well being of the community. This committee will also conduct workshops throughout the year.
Sharif Liwaru has joined the Nebraska Humanities Council as a speaker on Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) .This presentation can be made possible by the Nebraska Humanities Council as part of the NHC Speakers Bureau.
What did Malcolm X stand for and what significance does he have to the radical politics and movements of his time? Liwaru will share his life as he describes it, as a “chronology of changes”, presenting a view of Malcolm’s life and the changes he underwent, as well as the relevance of his social, political, and even spiritual thought. The challenge is to take Malcolm X, all of him, and present this information in an accessible manner.
Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) is one of approximately 300 programs offered through the Nebraska Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. The more than 165 available speakers include acclaimed scholars, writers, musicians, storytellers and folklorists on topics ranging from pioneer heritage to ethics and law to international and multicultural issues, making it the largest humanities speakers bureau in the nation!
Most speakers are available to any non-profit organization in Nebraska at the cost of just $50 for each. Each program lasts 30 minutes to an hour, plus a question-and-answer period. The most frequent users of the NHC Speakers Bureau are primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums and historical societies, agencies for the elderly, rural organizations, churches, arts organizations and ethnic organizations. The Nebraska Humanities Council sponsors the largest Speakers Bureau program in the U.S. according to the
National Endowment for the Humanities.
For a information detailing the available speakers and guidelines for booking them, please access our website at www.nebraskahumanities.org (Speakers and Resources page) or contact the Nebraska Humanities Council at 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 330, Lincoln, NE 68508, phone (402) 474-2131, fax (402) 474-4852 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The community garden program will promote collective community effort and leadership in North Omaha. Participants will grow fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. This will help families save money on their food bills, and improve the aesthetics in the neighborhood. The program seeks to foster positive self esteem & youth peace (violence prevention) by promoting fellowship between youth and elders, entrepreneurialism, a healthy mental and physical state of being, cleaner air & environment, healthy eating habits & agricultural education for our community.
Our first program is an Entrepreneur program. We partner with Apple Education, Junior Achievement and Kid Biz to make this a reality. The JA Company Program allows students to practice business and entrepreneurship skills in a hands-on business environment. With the support and guidance of volunteer consultants from the local business community, the JA Company Program provides basic economic education for high school students. By organizing and operating an actual business enterprise, students not only learn how businesses function, they also learn about the structure of the U.S. free enterprise system and the benefits it provides. The program helps young people appreciate and better understand the role of business in our society. So, through hands-on activities, mentoring, presentations, and behind-the-scenes field trips, students will discover the world of business and financial management. The participants are then challenged to identify a community problem or business opportunity and design a financial solution. Students will present their solutions to their peers and community in a financial management and business fair.
The Entrepreneur program is in need of some technology support including a computer or two to hold the business records of the JA Company Program and run the program software of the Kid Biz piece, Financial record keeping software, a color printer, etc. Each youth involved in the program needs their own Kid Biz booklet and program. They are $10 each. They also need stationary (paper, printer ink, and so on), postage, and extras such as travel expenses. This is a relatively inexpensive program as it is lead by volunteers, but we are in need of a donor to cover these areas.
When Malcolm was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, at the age of thirty-nine on February 21, 1965, he had been a prominent public figure for less than a decade. He had formerly been the national spokesperson of the Nation of Islam, a conservative Muslim sect that had little impact on mainstream American life. His new protest group based in Harlem, the Organization of Afro-American Unity, existed barely a year and had only several hundred members and supporters at the time of his death. For these reasons, many prominent black leaders felt that Malcolm X’s influence would quickly and quietly disappear. Only days after the assassination, Bayard Rustin, the architect of the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., wrote: “Now that he is dead, we must resist the temptation to idealize Malcolm X, to elevate charisma to greatness. Malcolm X is not a hero of the movement, he is a tragic victim of the ghetto…. White America, not the Negro people, will determine Malcolm’s role in history.” Political journalist Henry Lee Moon, editor of the NAACP’s publication The Crisis, declared in April 1965, that “Malcolm was an anachronism… vivid and articulate but, nevertheless, divorced from the mainstream of Negro American thought.”
A generation after his assassination, Malcolm X’s image and historical reputation have been profoundly transformed. Most historians of the black experience now rank Malcolm X among the half dozen most influential personalities in African-American history, an elite group that includes Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But unlike these other historical personalities, Malcolm X alone has become a genuine cultural icon to millions of young African Americans since the early 1990s. In a 1992 opinion poll conducted by the Gallup Organization and published in Newsweek, 57 percent of all African Americans polled agreed with the statement that Malcolm X should be considered “a hero for black Americans today.” Another 82 percent responded that Malcolm X symbolized a “strong black male.” Dozens of prominent performance artists within contemporary urban, “hip hop culture”, began to draw upon the words and image of Malcolm X in their work. Spike Lee’s powerful film depicting the life of Malcolm X brought this charismatic historical figure to an international audience. By the late 1990s, almost three million copies of The Autobiography of Malcolm X had been sold worldwide. In 1999, Time magazine selected The Autobiography as one of the top ten nonfiction works of the twentieth century, placing it with classics such as The Diary of Anne Frank.
One can “construct” a wide variety of “Malcolm’s”: the frightened young Negro boy named Malcolm Little who was separated from his family and placed in foster homes in Michigan; the streetwise, zoot-suited hustler nicknamed “Detroit Red”; the angry incarcerated convict called “Satan” by fellow prisoners and prisons guards alike; the conservative, racial separatist Malcolm X, national spokesperson for the Nation of Islam; the Sunni Muslim named El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz; the revolutionary internationalist Malcolm X, speaking before the Organization of African Unity in 1964; and the loving husband and father figure. There is also the “life after death” of Malcolm X: the Malcolm of the Black Power movement and the Black Panther Party; the Malcolm represented by black playwrights, poets and novelists; Spike Lee’s Malcolm-as-Denzel Washington; and the hip hop culture’s expropriation of Malcolm. Part of the present difficulty in refocusing the actual political legacy and relevancy of Malcolm X to contemporary struggles is the confusion generated by much of the literature written about him since 1965.
Under the direction of Dr. Manning Marable and with the guidance of members of the Shabazz family, the Institute has launched the Malcolm X Project which principally includes the development of a multimedia version of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, providing interactive electronic visual presentations of Malcolm X’s writings, historical documents and speeches, media & film clippings of Malcolm X, and interviews with historians of the period; a Malcolm X – Dr. Betty Shabazz Oral History Project, which would record interviews with their surviving siblings and close relatives, prominent civil rights, labor, business and community leaders from Harlem and throughout black America; the Malcolm X Papers Project that would compile and organize the full range of Malcolm X’s correspondence, speeches, interviews, unpublished writings, and related materials, which would be published in several edited volumes, and a comprehensive biography of the subject; and an annual symposium at Columbia University on the thought and legacy of Malcolm X, bringing international scholars, writers and artists to celebrate and examine his life and contemporary legacy.
In response to the expressed interest of many community members, the foundation CommUNITY garden project is currently organizing. In doing so, we are dedicating several lots of property to the project.
We are looking for interested, dedicated community members to take voluntary positions in the gardening club to develop and manage the project.
This project will help empower our community by encouraging healthy eating, collective work and responsibility, aesthetic improvements of our surroundings, increasing self esteem, sharing of knowledge between elders & youth, etc.
We will begin garden design and layout in April. Volunteers are needed!
for more information please contact us at (800) 645-9287
In fall of 2007, the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation designated six 125’ x 50’ Lots to initiate a community garden. The mission of this project is to empower families, particularly the youth by educating them about protecting the environment, healthy living, healthy eating, responsibility in caring for the aesthetics of our community, learning from community elders, leadership & working together through a hands on activities.
We intend to teach culture through growing foods that are found in traditional African & African American dishes. We are building partnerships with local public schools whereby the youth will continue growing projects during the cold winter months in various school greenhouses. In addition, the youth will be able to participate in the harvest celebrations by bringing forth foods that they actually grew.
The youth will be involved with the construction & layout of the garden (building raised beds & determining where they will be located, composting, controlling pests with plants instead of pesticides, etc). They will grow vegetables, fruit trees, study trees that help combat urban pollution & soil erosion. We will work with the lead safe coalition to Educate on lead poisoning & restoring lead contaminated areas (North Omaha is a crisis area for lead contamination).
by Nannie Helen Burroughs
1. The Negro Must Learn To Put First Things First. The First Things Are: Education; Development of Character Traits; A Trade and Home Ownership.
• The Negro puts too much of his earning in clothes, in food, in show and in having what he calls “a good time.” The Dr. Kelly Miller said, “The Negro buys what he WANTS and begs for what he Needs.” Too true!
2. The Negro Must Stop Expecting God and White Folk To Do For Him What He Can Do For Himself.
• It is the “Divine Plan” that the strong shall help the weak, but even God does not do for man what man can do for himself. The Negro will have to do exactly what Jesus told the man (in John 5:8) to do–Carry his own load–“Take up your bed and walk.”
3. The Negro Must Keep Himself, His Children And His Home Clean And Make The Surroundings In Which He Lives Comfortable and Attractive.
• He must learn to “run his community up”–not down. We can segregate by law, we integrate only by living. Civilization is not a matter of race; it is a matter of standards.
4. The Negro Must Learn To Dress More Appropriately For Work And For Leisure.
• Knowing what to wear–how to wear it–when to wear it and where to wear it, are earmarks of common sense, culture and also an index to character.
5. The Negro Must Make His Religion An Everyday Practice And Not Just A Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Emotional Affair.
6. The Negro Must Highly Resolve To Wipe Out Mass Ignorance.
• The leaders of the race must teach and inspire the masses to become eager and determined to improve mentally, morally and spiritually, and to meet the basic requirements of good citizenship. We should initiate an intensive literacy campaign in America, as well as in Africa. Ignorance– satisfied ignorance –is a millstone about the neck of the race. It is democracy’s greatest burden.
7. The Negro Must Stop Charging His Failures Up To His “Color” And To White People’s Attitude.
• God never intended that a man’s color shall be anything other than a badge of distinction. It is high time that all races were learning that fact. The Negro must first QUALIFY for whatever position he wants. Purpose, initiative, ingenuity and industry are the keys that all men use to get what they want. The Negro will have to do the same. He must make himself a workman who is too skilled not to be wanted, and too DEPENDABLE not to be on the job, according to promise or plan.
8. The Negro Must Overcome His Bad Job Habits.
• He must make a brand new reputation for himself in the world of labor. His bad job habits are absenteeism, funerals to attend, or a little business to look after. The Negro runs an off and on business. He also has a bad reputation for conduct on the job–such as petty quarrelling with other help, incessant loud talking about nothing; loafing, carelessness, due to lack of job pride; insolence, gum chewing and–too often–liquor drinking. Just plain bad job habits!
9. He Must Improve His Conduct In Public Places.
10. The Negro must learn how to operate business for people–not for Negro people, only.
• To do business, he will have to remove all typical “earmarks,” business principles; measure up to accepted standards and meet stimulating competition, graciously–in fact, he must learn to welcome competition.
11. The Average So-Called Educated Negro Will Have To Come Down Out Of The Air.
• Otherwise, through indifference, as to the plight of the masses, the Negro, who thinks that he has escaped, will lose his own soul.
• A race transformation itself through its own leaders and its sensible “common people.” A race rises on its own wings, or is held down by its own weight. True leaders are never “things apart from the people.” They are the masses. They simply got to the front ahead of them. Their only business at the front is to inspire to masses by hard work and noble example and challenge them to “Come on!”
• There must arise within the Negro race a leadership that is not out hunting bargains for itself. A noble example is found in the men and women of the Negro race, who, in the early days, laid down their lives for the people. Their invaluable contributions have not been appraised by the “latter-day leaders.” In many cases, their names would never be recorded, among the unsung heroes of the world if not for their White friends.
12. The Negro Must Stop Forgetting His Friends. “Remember.”
The Negro must make his heart warm with gratitude, his lips sweet with thanks and his heart and mind resolute with purpose to justify the sacrifices and stand on his feet and go forward– “God is no respecter of persons. In every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is” sure to win out. Get to work! That’s the answer to everything that hurts us. We talk too much about nothing!
To all who worked so hard to bring Black August to Omaha,
I wish to give you my sincere thank you for your hard work and dedication to make this event happen.
You were very successful on many things:
1. You came together and planned this event with good content and use of local talent.
2. The event happen.
3. The entertainment was great and positive.
4. You learned from the things that did not go well. Food vendors, audience, set up, and I am sure other thing you will discuss among yourselves.
Success can be measured on many different planes and trust me you were very successful in pulling off this event.
I am convince that young Blacks like you who understand our history, culture and struggle are best qualified to lead your and future generations out of mental slavery. But I encourage you to get with the elders of the community to listen and learn from them as a part your continuing growth.
I personally have done this with Marshall Taylor, Vickie Parks, Rev. Menyweather-Woods, Idu Maduli and others. I chose to do this after my attempt for a community wide Kwanzaa program last year which had success on the same level as your Black August event. So I have learned the following:
1. Bring the right people to the table to plan future event and stay open minded. We need to get Idu Maduli, Roy Davenport, Reggie Clark, Lizabet, Nebraska, Last Few, Kenny Walker and other talents to the table to create a united front for several reasons which I will get to in a moment.
2. We need to build a war chest, bring in money so we can stop begging others to invest in something they do not understand or do not care to understand. We can do this by doing local shows together as a group and building a following. We also need to get out of the capitalist mind set of making money for a few and start making money to meet our objective.
3. We need to build our own communication network and learn from corporate advertisers. Repeated messages, repeated messages, repeated messages. We can accomplish this in several ways, pooling our resources and using our email list to support each other’s events, Blog talk radio, and development a show which can be aired on channel 22 in a very professional format which includes,education, entertainment, community news, and National Black news. Working with OPS to get access to the middle and high schools to do educational work shops, performances and development of young minds and talents. One way of doing this is to get involved in the Greeters program with the Empowerment Network. Create a street network similar to the drug network, and bootleg DVDs, and CDS but for your music and poems. Create the network with like minded individuals, sell cheap until the idea catches on. Mean while we are doing local performances, teaching in OPS, developing our communication network and doing the major holidays Juneteenth, Kwanzaa, Black History Month, Native Omaha Days and others events. I strongly suggest we that advantage of Versatile Entertainment to do all recording and CD’s. This will help us create the volume to produce CDs and drive down the cost. The goal being to build a empire of our own but not to get rich but to serve the educational, and cultural development of our youth. Trust me if we meet the need the money will come.
4. Develop a covenant or contract with all involved so can we make some money and build our funds for our communications network. WE can work that out once we get everyone to the table. A deal like 50% of revenue goes to the entertainers and 50 % to build our communications network would be ideal. If we are constantly doing local shows and programs you will be surprise how the funds for both you and organization will start to build up. We have to take over our young peoples minds with the music, poems and development/control of our own local media. I suggest the format Roy Davenport is doing but let’s help him build it to a higher level of success.
5. Maintain your current employment as you need to feed your families and when you can not it will change your way of thinking. Volunteerism at first is the way to go until this thing builds up.
Please everyone consider this and give me a call do not respond with an email I need to hear your voice. Contact me directly at 572-5274 home or 312-8515 cell both phone has voice mail. I will respond back when I get your message.
All praise to the most high
Carlos Carr Sr
Black August: A celebration of Hip Hop and our Freedom Fighters is a project of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (www.mxgm.org), which strives to support the global development of Hip Hop culture by facilitating exchanges between international communities where Hip Hop is a vital part of youth culture, and by promoting awareness about the social and political issues that affect these youth communities. Our goal is to bring culture and political awareness together and to allow them to naturally evolve into a unique Hip Hop consciousness that informs our collective struggle for a more just, equitable and humane world.