2022 National Black Political Convention
50th Anniversary of the 

National Black Political

CONVENTION

August 4 - 7, 2022

NJIT Wellness + Events Center

Newark, New Jersey

City of Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras J. Baraka, City of Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and James Mtume convene the 50th Anniversary of the National Black Political Convention.

2022 National Black Political Convention_Mayor Ras J. Baraka
2022 National Black Political Convention_Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba
2022 National Black Political Convention_James Mtume
2022 NBPC
1972 NBPC Attendees_Chester Higgins

THE VISION FOR NBPC2022

Mayor Baraka states: “If history has taught us anything, then we have learned that good things happen when Black people organize. That is what we want to tap into with this gathering in 2022—the qualitative, life-affirming, substantive things that naturally occur when we are unified and organized. As the 2022 gathering approaches, we will gather in small groups to discuss and debate a variety of topics, including public policy, criminal justice, economic empowerment, mental and emotional wellness, religious and spiritual health, and the importance of the cultural arts in our daily lives. Equally important, we will include leaders from countries in Africa and the Caribbean, which wasn’t initially a focal point in 1972. Nearly 50 years later, we aim to fill in all the gaps and address our needs with the formation of a collective agenda as we work to evolve from those who came before us.” 

 
Collectively, the organizers state: “There is a significant need for Black people to come together, to discuss our circumstances, and to create action steps to move our community-at-large forward. This would be similar to the historical traditions of The Niagara Falls Conference (1905); the Congress of Afrikan People (1970); The National Black Political Convention (1972); National Black Feminist Organization’s (NBFO) regional conference in 1973, Combahee River Collective (1974-1980), National Black Student Unity Congress (1986); the Convention of the Oppressed (1993), the Black Radical Congress (1998). 

 
Historically, ideological differences have been an impediment to our progress as a people because of a collective inability to respect differences, seek points of agreement and commit to working together on the issues and matters on which we can agree. For instance, both W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington had visions for Black progress that held overlapping concerns, duplication of efforts and tremendous synergy; yet the substantive stylistic differences ultimately created a barrier to bridging the gap during their lifetimes. Time has proven that both were great visionaries who developed models still used to educate young people and move Black people forward. And, it is quite possible that Amiri Baraka’s call-to-action, “unity without uniformity,” can be actualized, if a working unity is developed with a strong focus on points of Commonality.” 

National Black Political Convention 50th Anniversary
 
1972 National Black Political Convention

NBPC BACKGROUND

The first National Black Political Convention (also known as the Gary Convention) was held March 10 to March 12, 1972, in Gary, Indiana. Approximately 10,000 African-Americans gathered to discuss, debate, and advocate for Black people in the United States. Part of the stated goal was to increase the number of Black elected officials, increase representation and create a Black agenda for fundamental change in the lives of Black people in the United States.

 

The 1972 historic gathering was primarily organized by Amiri Baraka, Representative Charles Diggs and one of the first Black mayors in the United States, Mayor Richard Hatcher of Gary. In attendance were high-profile celebrities, public figures, and entertainers of the day, including Dr. Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott-King, James Brown, Harry Belafonte, Richard Roundtree, and many others.

 

It is evident the organizers of the first National Black Political Convention understood some basic truths about the need for African Americans to come together when one considers these profound thoughts in the convention’s primary document: “The Black Agenda is designed primarily for those of African descent in America. It rises naturally out of the bloody decades and centuries of our people’s struggle on these shores. It flows from the most recent surging of our own cultural and political consciousness. It is our attempt to define some of the essential changes, which must take place in this land as we and our children move to self-determination and true independence. The Black Agenda assumes that no truly basic change for our benefit takes place in America unless we, as Black people, organize to initiate that change. It assumes that we must have some essential agreement on overall goals, even though we may differ on many specific strategies.”

 
2022 National Black Political Convention