The Afrodescendant Nation Self-Determination Summit 2022 took place virtually on Oct. 8, featuring such activists as Dr. Akilah Mukarram, Pastor Victoria Carol Brady, Sillis Muhammad, Queen Misshaki Muhammad, Dr. Brooks Robison, Dr. Raymond Winbush, Prince Yusef Asiel, Ida Hakim, attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, Rep Charles Barron, Brother Shaka Barak.
The summit was organized by the Honorable Silis Muhammad, the CEO of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam and publisher of Muhammad Speaks. He played a major role in the Nation of Islam before Lost-Found. Among his continued efforts is the push for reparations for the descendants of the American slavery system. Silis Muhammad was born in 1938 in Rocky Hill, a rural area north of Marlin, Texas. In 1960 he moved from Texas to Los Angeles There, he first heard the message of the Nation of Islam.
The Afrodescendant Nation was established to “obtain our right to self determination, reparations, and United Nations Human Rights protection. We offer to you African Americans, Black people, and just people, the global identity ‘ ‘Afro Descendant,” according to the group’s Facebook page. Akilah Mukarram is the president of the Afrodescendant Nation organization.
During the summit, the panelists discussed what self determination meant to each of them. Most agreed that there is an urgent need for “external” self determination, meaning a movement that involves Black people working toward their own empowerment without interference from the government.
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There were some disagreements as to whether this self determination should have a pan-African overview.
Some thought Black Americans should focus on themselves and themselves alone. But Dr. Raymond Winbush took offense at that. “ADODS is a name I detest,” said Raymond Arnold Winbush (a.k.a. Tikari Bioko), a scholar and activist known for his “systems-thinking approaches to understanding the impact of racism/white supremacy on the global African community,” according to Academic Influence. He continued, “There seems to be a detest for pan-Africanism. We seem to be saying ‘let’s take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.’ This goes against the Honorable Marcus Garvey and his beliefs.” Winbush stressed that self determination must be achieved with Black people worldwide.
The panelists were also asked about what efforts they have made to encourage self determination.
Dr. Brooks B. Robinson, the founder and primary contributor to the BlackEconomics.org website, stressed that there needs to be a “long-term strategic plan for Black Americans.”
He said his group has the goal to “write down the plan to make that happen” by the beginning of the year.
“The first thing as part of that long-term strategic plan is that we want to help build a national Black council or congress…who can convene to actually implement the long-term strategic plan.”
He added there also needs to be a “clearinghouse of correspondence” that will help keep people aware of the progress of the plan. And, there needs to be a 24/7 communication platform that promotes self determination. But most of all, he said, what needs to happen is “more unity and trust is needed” among Black people on a global scale.
“The Self-Determination Summit is not the first and won’t be the last. We will continue to connect and collaborate with our people,” wrote Dr. Tauheedah Bronner, Ambassador Leadership Committee, Chair of the Afrodescendant Nation in a letter to Mogulom Nation.
The summit came about Dr. Bronner said over a number of years.
“Over the years, Mr. Silis Muhammad has been calling for a gathering of Afrodescendant’s leaders to unite around our legal right to self determination,” Bronner wrote. “The summit is one of many steps we’re taking to achieve self determination. Self determination is a journey, not a destination. We desire to create a space to connect and collaborate with other Afrodescendants around our legal right to self determination.”
The goal of the summit was to encourage the mission of self determination.
“The summit will help bring awareness to our position regarding self determination. We, as a people, already have the skills, talent, and ability to achieve our collective goals. We are beautiful and diverse people. The Reparation movement goes beyond the obtainment of funds. But, unfortunately, one area of the reparation movement that’s lost in the conversation is our legal right, as Afrodescendants, to self determination independently of the institutions responsible for our oppression for over 400 hundred years. Our crusade is to bring awareness of the endless possibilities for Afro Descendants by uniting under the protection of self determination,” Bronner explained.
The necessity of self determination is because, wrote Bronner, is that it is “the only way to have true freedom, justice, and equality is by self determination. Otherwise, someone else (or people) is deciding how your life should be.”
The summit can be viewed in full below: