Nationalist Black Leadership Coalition
July 2008 (Revised November 2014)
Baba Amefika D. Geuka, National Co-Convener of the NBLC explains “practical” Black Nationalism in the following pertinent excerpt from his paper titled Understanding Where We Are.
“Practical Black Nationalism is the distinguishing feature of the NBLC’s approach to our ideology. We are determined to apply the theories and concepts underlying the ideology to the real-life circumstances of Black people. Our scholars, past and present, have done an exemplary job of developing theoretical bases on which to construct an organization capable of fulfilling the needs of our people; now it is up to us practitioners to accept the baton and carry it through the next leg of our journey toward reclaiming our humanity and restoring our greatness!
Black Nationalists are the Black ideologues who love and want the best for Black people, but loving our people is not sufficient of itself. We must demonstrate that we understand what Nation-hood means, and that we are capable of organizing ourselves into an effective force for needed and desired change. We can no longer allow ourselves to be viewed by our people as “rhetoricians,” people given to much-talk-and-little-do, or as Mwalimu Seyoum Lewis terms it, “rapolutionaries.”
For purposes of this paper the term “Nationalist” will refer to those of us among the Black collective who accept and use any of the following designations to refer to ourselves and others who share our ideological and philosophical point of view: Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, Garveyite, Diopean, Afrocentrist, Africentrist, African-centered, Conscious Black, Race Patriot, or Self-Determinist.
PHASE I – THINKING DEVELOPMENT
- Any interested Nationalist can develop a chapter in a city or geographic region where an NBLC chapter does not exist.
- A Nationalist who thinks having an NBLC chapter is a good idea should begin by reviewing all available NBLC, and Bring Back Black information.,
- He or she should next recruit 2-3 other Nationalist who share NBLC views and would be willing to assist with the initial organization tasks.
- Schedule a meeting with the 2-3 other Nationalists to share your knowledge of the history and philosophy of NBLC and discuss how you will proceed. You may obtain additional information about NBLC so that you can prepare yourself to discuss your ideas with others.
- At this point, you may wish to arrange for NBLC leadership from an existing chapter to speak to the small group and provide technical assistance for the next steps. If for some reason you are unable to reach someone in an existing chapter, you may contact someone at the National level.
- Identify Nationalists who you think are sensitive to the needs of the Nationalist community and who you think would support your efforts. Explain your plan. if their response is positive, ask for assistance with the following:
- a. Obtaining a list (names, addresses, e-mail addresse(s), telephone, etc.) of their Nationalist co-workers, neighbors, colleagues, fellow students, and members of other organization to which they belong.
- b. Identify a suitable meeting location.
- c. Schedule a meeting.
- d. Consider serving refreshments.
PHASE II – PLANNING
- Hold organizational meeting with small group (persons identified above).
- Decide on a date for a large meeting (Give yourself sufficient time to advertise and plan, approximately 2-3 weeks, to which you would invite Nationalist on the list developed from Phase 1(3.a). Give consideration to other organizations that might conflict with scheduling a meeting.
- An identified person should schedule meetings.
PHASE III – ADVERTISING
- Develop a flyer stating the important information about the meeting. Remember to state REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED (if available). This can be a strong incentive.
- Post notices where possible/send out notices in the mail to potential members.
- Advertise your upcoming meetings in Nationalist newsletters, bulletin boards, and other venues where Nationalist will see them.
- Talk to other Nationalist; word of mouth is a great motivator.
- Recruit potential members from fraternities, sororities, other organizations, etc. If you have handouts about NBLC and/or Nationalist organizations, this would be helpful. Continue advertising and recruiting efforts up to the actual time of the meeting. Be clear and specific on: WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW this will benefit Nationalist. Follow-up with a telephone reminder.
NOTE: Nationalist may not have heard about the NBLC. Organizers may have to become educators and teach Nationalist about the history and philosophy of the NBLC. Organizers may become frustrated because they don’t get the Nationalist turn out them expect. This phenomenon is typical and normal. A minimum of seven (7) members are necessary to constitute a chapter.
PHASE IV – CONVENING FIRST ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
- Have assigned roles for members of the organizing cadre.
- Begin on time and end on time.
- Have a prepared agenda and handouts.
- Explain the history and philosophy of NBLC.
- Talk about the benefits of joining NBLC.
- Bring refreshments if necessary.
- Give consideration to inviting the Nationalist Co-convener or liaison from a local chapter to speak with the group.
- Discuss the feasibility of going forward to develop a chapter.
- Get names and addresses of all persons interested in being involved.
- Get agreement on a date for follow-up meeting to begin the formal processes in chapter development.
- Announce next steps.
- Develop a list of officers with job descriptions. Disseminate the list of tasks to potential members and officers. Seek nominations for elected positions. Announce the date, time, and location of the meeting in which elections will be held.
PHASE V – FIRST CHAPTER MEETING
- Designate members to facilitate the election process.
- Hold elections; discuss job responsibilities and roles of each office before voting. Obtain commitment from candidates.
- Install new officers/appointees.
- Collect dues for National affiliation and forward along with membership applications to NBLC within seven (7) to ten (10) days. The National office will send a receipt and feedback/acknowledgement to congratulate and welcome the chapter for their membership.
PHASE VI – ON GOING ACTIVITIES
- Chapter leadership will begin receiving information regarding NBLC committee, task forces, and chapter activities and events.