Contributions are urgently needed to fund the completion of renovations of the 4-Plex apartment building.
Located just blocks from the Uhuru House, this building is earmarked for the African Independence Workforce Program: housing and job training for our brothers and sisters coming out of the colonial prison system.
Renovations began September 8 and are scheduled to be completed in November, so funds are needed right now!
On September 8, the demo crew from Paradigm Builders began cleaning out debris, removing walls and old light and bathroom fixtures from the 4-plex apartment building. Eric LaGrone has installed the electricity and the Paradigm work crew finished tuckpointing the side of the building.
More Recent Updates
Catch up on all the project updates »
See the full story of the Black Power Blueprint, political and economic power in the hands of the African working class in St. Louis, when you scroll down. Donate and sign up to volunteer today!
Join the Uhuru N2U Volunteer Brigade! Learn about all the work of the Uhuru Movement and the Black Power Blueprint and how you can get involved!
BLACK POWER BLUEPRINT PROJECTS
Led by Ona Zené Yeshitela, President of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) and Black Star Industries (BSI), the Black Power Blueprint was launched in 2017 on the North Side of St. Louis, the most impoverished area of the city.
The Black Power Blueprint is buying abandoned, dilapidated buildings, initiating a rapid process of restoration or demolition and re-allocation of land to create community-generated, self-reliance programs that uplift the residents and engage them socially, politically and economically in the future of our community.
In less than two years APEDF and BSI have raised more than $300,000 in funds primarily from crowd-funding, webinars, Uhuru Pies and Uhuru Furniture sales, countless donors and in-kind services and contributions.
This outpouring of support has enabled the Black Power Blueprint to transform a community—not just with land and buildings, but with a sense of pride and a vision for a prosperous future once again.
One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace, Outdoor Event Space and Gary Brooks Community Garden - In Progress
4031-35 W. Florissant Avenue (across the street from the Uhuru House)
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Black Power Blueprint purchased and demolished two
city-owned condemned buildings, then secured architectural and
landscape plans to create a beautiful multi-purpose outdoor event space
with native plants and trees. A mural depicting the historic kindness
and generosity of the African community collectively taking care of
ourselves will be commissioned.
The One Africa! One Nation!
Marketplace will foster community commerce and economic opportunities.
The Gary Brooks Community Garden is collaborating with other black
growers to provide fresh vegetables and to hold gardening and cooking
Investment needed to complete: $45,000
Uhuru House Community Center - COMPLETED!
4101 W. Florissant Avenue
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Black Power Blueprint transformed the
once-condemned building into a state-of-the-art three-story community
event and program space in ten short months!
outpouring of support from donors and volunteers, the community can now
come together at the Uhuru House and Akwaaba Hall to solve problems,
organize programs, showcase talent and have family celebrations—building
culture, prosperity and political power.
Community Basketball Court
4368 College Avenue (at W. Florissant Avenue, four blocks from the Uhuru House)
We will create our own outdoor basketball court on newly purchased and cleared land where we demolished another abandoned city-owned building just blocks from the Uhuru House.
Only one in four St. Louis parks have a basketball court. In fact, the city of St. Louis removed courts in four parks in predominantly white communities, reinforcing the city’s racial divide.
Building the court will allow for spirited youth programs, adult pickup games and leagues, tournaments and more. This is another APEDF project that improves the well-being of our community and helps close the gap in overall health and life expectancy, including diabetes, obesity and hypertension rates that disproportionately affect African people.
Investment needed to complete: $75,000
Uhuru Jiko Community Commercial Kitchen, Bakery Café and African Independence Workforce Program
3723 Goodfellow Boulevard (at Natural Bridge Road)
Located in an art deco building that had once been
a boat dealership, the Uhuru Jiko is our most ambitious project yet, to
bring African economic and cultural life to this depressed commercial
area, stop gentrification and to build a critical program for our
Black Power Blueprint will build a bakery,
café and community commercial kitchen to serve as the headquarters for
Uhuru Foods & Pies, one of the many economic institutions of Black
Star Industries and the African People’s Education and Defense Fund
around the U.S.
The large plot of land behind the
building will be transformed into another outdoor venue for events and
culture, with seating and an herb garden to supply the café and to sell.
Power Blueprint is working on development and funding to make Uhuru
Jiko the home of the African Independence Workforce Program, providing
food business skills, work experience, housing and services for
previously incarcerated men and women from our community.
Investment needed to complete purchase, kitchen, café and outdoor venue: $585,000
African Independence Workforce Program Housing
4358 College Avenue
We are renovating a 4-plex apartment building, earmarked for housing for the African Independence Workforce Program, creating jobs for those re-entering our community from the prison system.
Investment need to complete: $30,000
Future Program Space
4007-09 W. Florissant Avenue
In 2019, APEDF acquired two more properties through the St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). The buildings were condemned and needed to be demolished. Black Power Blueprint is planning for how the sites will be used to expand the programs for African community self-reliance and self-determination.
Investment needed to complete purchase and demolition: $20,000
Video: Black Power Blueprint - From Day One to Now
The Story of the Black Power Blueprint
The vision of the Black Power Blueprint is to return the majority-black North Side of St. Louis to its former economic, political and cultural vibrancy through self-sustaining economic development. The Black Power Blueprint is transforming St. Louis north of the infamous Delmar Boulevard divide, where the population is 94 percent black and 35 percent of the residents live below the poverty line. Through purchasing properties and renovating or demolishing abandoned buildings, the Black Power Blueprint is creating beautiful, usable cultural and political hubs, economic incubators and community spaces. Our model is already inspiring others to rejuvenate the neighborhood. Young families are moving in and there are increasing social, cultural and economic activities. Black Power Blueprint projects include:
Black Power Blueprint is coordinated by African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) President Ona Zené Yeshitela along with APEDF Economic Development Coordinator Ticharwa Masimba and Projects Coordinator Kitty Reilly.
How to add google maps to your website tutorialPowered by flickr embed.Systemic Injustice
Although the North Side continues to be a strong and resilient community, the conditions today are quite different than they were a hundred, or even 40, years ago.
Today the St. Louis African population is a majority in the city, with 88,000 African residents on the North Side. The North Side now has more than 7,000 vacant, crumbling buildings and thousands of empty, overgrown lots on streets dotted with potholes, far from commerce and access to schools, grocery stores and other conveniences.In St. Louis, only 33 percent of black families own their homes, versus 71 percent for white families, according to a 2017 article in the Riverfront Times. Black residents of North St. Louis face rapidly encroaching gentrification, with higher rents and property taxes, that is forcing thousands further out into the county and beyond.Sixty percent of the St. Louis African community lives at the poverty line, with 30 percent in deep poverty. The city of St Louis now has the 7th highest disparity in household income between black and white people, according to an East-West Gateway Council of Governments report from 2017. The St. Louis American newspaper states that “One-fifth of African American families have a net worth of $0 or below; 75 percent have less than $10,000 for retirement.” This is versus median white assets of $134,000. According to St. Louis County Public Health, there is an 18-year gap in life expectancy between North St. Louis zip codes and the predominantly white Clayton area, separated by less than 10 miles.We are clear that this reality is the result of an ongoing legacy of deeply ingrained systemic injustice and not the fault of our struggling people.
Bringing North St. Louis Back to Life
Located just a few miles from Ferguson, where five years ago 18-year-old Mike Brown was killed by the police, sparking a massive outcry, the Uhuru House at 4101 W. Florissant Avenue in North St. Louis stands as a beacon to our past and our future.Since its opening, the Uhuru House has hosted:
The red, black and green flag that flies across the street from the Uhuru House is an inspiring symbol that represents a future of justice, prosperity and liberation for African people in St. Louis and around the world. The Black Power Blueprint has demonstrated our commitment to the leadership, genius and future of the long-oppressed black working class and poor community.
With your support, our program is bringing the North Side back to life!
More About the Goals and Mission of the Black Power BlueprintThe
conditions faced by black people in America today demand that we seize
the future for our children. The African community in St. Louis, like
others around the country, faces poverty, joblessness, poor schools and
substandard housing.We see wealth, opportunity and prosperity on one side of town, contrasted by deep poverty and despair on the other.The
Black Power Blueprint will impact on our city through genuine social
and economic rebirth for our community. Empowering our community with
sustainable job creation and commerce, attracting and supporting black
culture and arts.Black Star Industries, partnering with the
African People’s Education and Defense Fund has created black-community
owned and operated institutions for economic development and
self-determination for over 35 years.From Oakland, CA to
Philadelphia, PA to St. Petersburg, FL and Huntsville, AL, we have
sustained community-funded commercial kitchens, a wellness center,
furniture and consignment shops, event spaces and other community based
initiatives and programs.Now we need your support to realize this visionary project in St. Louis, MO. Donate today! Follow us on facebook.com/BlackPowerBlueprint and help us spread the word!