Message to our Community on the Coronavirus Epidemic March 26, 2020
From Ona Zené Yeshitela, President, Black Power Blueprint
During this time when we are all facing grave health and economic threats from the coronavirus epidemic, we want you to know that the Black Power Blueprint and the Uhuru Movement are here for you.
As always the well-being of our community is first and foremost and we hope all of you are taking care of yourselves and your family as best as possible.
We will never stop upholding our commitment to organize to win political and economic power in the hands of the African working class.
We thank all of you who have made literally thousands of donations to the Black Power Blueprint and all our projects with contributions large and small.
Your continued support will put us a long way towards completing our planned projects this year.
You can donate right here at the red “support” button.
During these hard times we continue to fly the giant Red, Black and Green flag across the street from the Uhuru House here in St. Louis as a much-loved, unifying symbol of pride to our people and our struggle for liberation.
We will weather this storm, another bump on the road to African freedom and self-determination.
This is what the Black Power Blueprint and all the institutions and campaigns of the Uhuru Movement are all about.
Though we are now forced to postpone our May 2 date for the launch of our One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace in St. Louis, we will have a vibrant market at the soonest possible time, bringing vendors, culture, produce and economic life to the corner of W. Florissant and Alice Ave. in North St. Louis.
With your support we will be able to get back to work as quickly as possible to complete all planned projects of the Black Power Blueprint for 2020 and to reopen the many other black self-determination institutions that have been impacted by the epidemic.
We are excited to get rolling on our upcoming projects this year:
• Planting and landscaping at the Gary Brooks Community Garden
• Holding the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace in St. Louis
• Building the outdoor basketball court at W. Florissant and College Ave.
• Constructing our Uhuru Jiko Bakery and Cafe on Goodfellow Blvd.
• Launching the African Independence Workforce Program for those re-entering our community from the colonial prison system
Thanks to your support the Black Power Blueprint programs are already making a profound positive impact in St. Louis and around the world.
On this website you can watch powerful videos of several community members who talk about what the Black Power Blueprint means to them.
Our sister organization, the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), has laid out important information about how to take care of your family and yourself during this time.
AAPDEP is also building Project Black Ankh as our own emergency response system to go into our black communities during times of crisis.
Again, the Black Power Blueprint and all of our related projects will be back up and running as soon as possible, dedicated to transforming our community with your support!
Together we can win. We are winning!
Stage roof installed and planting begins March 18, 2020
Paradigm Builders completed installation of the roof on the stage at the outdoor event venue across the street from the St. Louis Uhuru House!
Cardinal Building Supplies delivered the top layer of roofing.
And here is a view with the top layer installed.
Gary Brooks (right) led the planting of the trees for the upcoming community garden.
This is uplifting our community in North St. Louis and it is all possible because of your support.
Outdoor event space ready for spring planting and events! February 26, 2020
Over the fall and winter, Black Power Blueprint rapidly transformed the outdoor venue space across the street from the Uhuru House
With the help of many skilled contractors, volunteers and your contributions, we:
- Formed and poured the beautiful curved concrete pathways and stage footings
- Installed permeable pavers
- Built the stage
- Installed the antique wrought iron fencing in the front, and wood fencing to line the back of the lot
It's still cold in St. Louis, but spring is just around the corner!
We're getting ready to plant, paint murals and for the first One Africa! One Nation! Market and Health Fair scheduled for May 2!
This is uplifting our community in North St. Louis and it is all possible because of your support.
St. Louis MLK Day of Service January 21, 2020
Black Power Blueprint held a dynamic program and volunteer day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are carrying the Civil Rights and Black Power struggles of the 60s to today!
We opened with a powerful presentation by Uhuru Movement leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela on the true radical history of Dr. King.
We heard from the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, the African National Women's Organization, and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement on their open volunteer positions.
We went across the street from the Uhuru House to hear updates on the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace venue which will be a hub of black economics. Then we proceeded into the workshops to discuss what we want to see at the marketplace and what kind of black businesses and products we want to emerge in North St Louis.
Watch: St. Louis TV station reports on Black Power Blueprint December 08, 2019
Permeable pavers installation complete! November 23, 2019
Side Lot Farms was contracted through a Missouri Sewer District grant and have been doing an amazing job with the permeable paving for the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace!
They excavated the areas surrounding the stage, filled that in with three different sizes of rock and then installed the beautiful red bricks for the patio where the community will be able to watch stage performances.
The permeable pavers allow storm water to drain into the ground, reducing runoff and keeping surrounding waterways cleaner.
Permeable pavers delivered to site of One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace in St. Louis November 12, 2019
Nine palettes of red brick arrived to be laid for the areas surrounding the stage at the site of the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and outdoor event space, across the street from the St. Louis Uhuru House.
The permeable pavers will allow storm water to drain into the ground, reducing runoff and keeping surrounding waterways cleaner.
On November 8, Side Lot Farms began laying the brick, and it's looking beautiful!
Outdoor event space taking shape! November 06, 2019
Thanks to your support, we are making rapid progress on the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and outdoor venue space.
Follow Black Power Blueprint on Facebook and Instagram for more photos, videos and frequent updates on this project.
Concrete poured for stage footing
Paradigm Construction excavated trenches and poured the concrete footing for the outdoor event venue stage.
Forming and pouring the pathways
The skilled crew also excavated, formed and poured concrete for the pathways that were designed to follow ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.
Ground prepared for permeable pavers
Side Lot Farms excavated the areas surrounding the stage and then filled in ten inches of three different sizes of rock. That will be the foundation for a red brick patio where the community can watch stage performances. The permeable pavers will allow storm water to drain into the ground, reducing runoff and keeping surrounding waterways cleaner.
Antique wrought iron fence acquired
Power Blueprint organizers and volunteers picked up thousands of pounds
of antique wrought iron fencing from a seller-turned-supporter in St.
working together to load it in a rental van and a trailer lent by our
volunteer Mr. Gary Brooks, we transferred it to our partners at Paradigm
Builders in their warehouse in North St. Louis. Paradigm will be
fabricating the fencing and installing it around the lot for the One
Africa! One Nation! Marketplace!
Marketplace and garden pathway excavated before concrete pour October 21, 2019
This past week, Paradigm Construction continued excavating what will be the pathway that circles around the outdoor venue space and garden across from the St. Louis Uhuru House.
Confirming measurement of the trenches.
Measuring and cutting wood to line the pathway trenches. The wood perimeters help form the concrete when it is poured.
Gravel being delivered to fill all the pathway trenches and holes for the stage footings prior to pouring concrete.
Visit the Black Power Blueprint Facebook Page to see the full PHOTO ALBUM and LIVESTREAM of the concrete being poured.
Stay tuned for more updates. Your support makes this work possible!
The Musa Abantu Black Power Poetry and Open Mic event's lead organizer and emcee, Abdullah Alexander, enjoying the program. It featured an incredible lineup of local African working class talent, with original poems and songs to fit the theme "Celebrating the African Woman."
FoFeet on the mic.
Black Power Blueprint volunteer Enkosi operated the sound board.
Local artist, Coffee Wright
Breaking ground at site of One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and Gary Brooks Community Garden! October 09, 2019
On Monday, October 7, Paradigm Construction began excavating what will be the pathway that circles around the outdoor venue space and garden. And LaGrone Electric started digging trenches to lay the piping for the electricity.
Paradigm Construction owner Leon O'Hara led the day's work.
The Paradigm team reviewing the plans.
Excavating the pathway.
From one end of the lot ...
... to the other end ...
... all looked good ...
... to begin digging ...
... the trenches for the electrical piping!
Visit the Black Power Blueprint Facebook Page to see the full PHOTO ALBUM and LIVESTREAM.
Stay tuned! We are excited to share more updates with you as this space rapidly transforms in the coming weeks!
Your support makes all of this possible!
Two grants awarded! October 02, 2019
We are excited to share some good news with you!
Missouri Waste Management has awarded APEDF a rainscaping grant that will fund permeable pavers for the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and Gary Brooks Community Garden!
The pavers, which are part of the plan designed by dtls Landscape Architecture, allow rainwater to drain into the ground, easing the load on the sewer system.
APEDF has also received a grant from Brightside St. Louis, as part of their Neighbors Naturescaping project.
It will fund native plants, shrubs, trees, grasses and gardening tools to help turn Gary Brooks' beautiful vision for the marketplace and garden space into reality.
Help win more grants for Black Power Blueprint projects!
Join the Grants Committee! Use our online form to sign up to volunteer!
Paradigm Builders begins work on site of One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and Gary Brooks Community Garden! September 25, 2019
Workers from Paradigm Builders review plans for the walkways within the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace, Outdoor Event Space and Gary Brooks Community Garden, just across from the St. Louis Uhuru House.
Laying out the stakes in preparation for pouring the concrete.
Leon O’Hara, owner of Paradigm Builders (in black shirt) with his team in front of the marketplace and garden space. Paradigm is coordinating the concrete, electrical and building the stage and shade cover. The space will be accessible according to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.
Contributions from supporters like you make all of this possible!
Black Power Blueprint meets with builders on next steps for marketplace and garden September 04, 2019
Left to Right: Jerome Logan, DERU Architects; Leon O'Hara, Owner of Paradigm Builders, LLC; Ticharwa Masimba, APEDF St. Louis Economic Development Director; Kitty Reilly of the Black Power Blueprint Projects Committee; and Mark from Paradigm Builders
Black Power Blueprint recently met with DERU Architects and Paradigm Builders to finalize plans for laying the concrete walkway and building the stage and stage covering for the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and Gary Brooks Community Garden.
This multi-purpose outdoor event space being developed across the street from the St. Louis Uhuru House will be a beautiful destination that fosters community commerce and economic opportunities.
Thanks to our supporters we are one step closer to this vision becoming a reality.
A tribute to Musa, our fallen warrior March 26, 2019
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing last week of our dear comrade Mustapha Musa Abantu (Malcolm Nathaniel Buries), age 19.
He has been featured many times in this Black Power Blueprint newsletter over the last year, contributing to the renovations of the St. Louis Uhuru House and the land across the street, and MC-ing the Uhuru Halloween Haunted Night.
As the coordinator of outreach for the Black Power Blueprint on the ground in St. Louis, Comrade Musa had a deep love for African people and was profoundly committed to liberation and self-determination for our nation.
Musa brought energy, youth and enthusiasm to the work of the Uhuru Movement.
He led the color guard that raises our 25-foot Red, Black and Green African flag, played the drums with the Freedom Mass Choir and Band, got the word out and sold The Burning Spear newspaper on the streets of St. Louis' north side.
Musa was also Chair of the Black Power Poetry Night at the St. Louis Uhuru House that was held on Friday, March 22nd (photos below). The house was filled with people who knew Musa and those who wanted to come out to this amazing event to honor his legacy.
Tribute to Mustapha Musa Abantu / Black Power Poetry Night
Abdullah Muhammad, member of the Black Power Blueprint National Steering Committee, served as MC of the Black Power Poetry and Open Mic Night on March 22nd. He introduced a moving video tribute to Musa Abantu.
Ticharwa Masimba, APEDF St. Louis Economic Development Director, who worked closely with Musa, spoke about his tremendous contributions to the work of the Black Power Blueprint and the community.
Uhuru Movement leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela gave a keynote presentation that paid tribute to Musa and addressed the role of culture in forwarding African people's struggle for liberation.
Talented St. Louis area artists, including vocalists, spoken word artists and a painter, and also the group GBT Babies (who traveled to St. Louis from St. Petersburg, FL) shared their work, as well as their memories and tributes to Musa, with a packed audience at Akwaaba Hall.
We will always remember Musa. He inspires us every day to continue the fight to build political and economic power in the hands of the African working class until victory is won.
Long Live Musa Abantu! Forward his legacy!
View the Black Power Poetry Night album » | Watch the video »
Thanks to your support, the St. Louis Uhuru House continues developing November 18, 2018
This past week, tradesmen brought supplies to the third floor to begin insulating.
Skilled roofers who had worked on the Uhuru House renovations earlier in the year, returned to sheetrock additional space for offices on the third floor.
Musa, who works in the APSP Office of the Deputy Chair, installed lighting to enhance the beauty of Akwaaba Hall for upcoming wedding receptions and special events.
Mr. Gary Brooks stands next to the apple tree planted at the site of the Gary Brooks Black Power Community Garden and future home of the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace, across the street from the Uhuru House.
Plum and pear trees were also planted, and a cherry tree will go in next!
Photos from Halloween at the St. Louis Uhuru House November 04, 2018
On Wednesday, October 31st, the African People's Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) hosted Uhuru Halloween Haunted Night at the St. Louis Uhuru House. It was fun for the whole family with treats, activities for kids, music and a costume contest.
APEDF has sponsored this popular community event for many years at the St. Petersburg, Florida Uhuru House and has now brought the tradition to St. Louis.
Local volunteers and supporters around the country make this and other programs of APEDF and Black Power Blueprint happen! Thank you!
Exercising for candy!
Mustapha Musa Abantu (left) who works in the APSP Office of the Deputy Chair leads a round of musical chairs.
One of the event organizers, Brandi Arrington (farthest right), with the winners of the contest where daughters got to fix their mother's hair.
Brandi pictured again with Mummy Wrap contestants.
Many from the community came out to enjoy this fun, family event.
Latest photos from St. Louis projects October 21, 2018
Mr. Gary Brooks has planted three fruit trees at the site of the Gary Brooks Black Power Community Garden. One of these baby trees is seen here with the African flag and the Uhuru House in the background.
Pictured L to R: Luwezi Kinshasa, Secretary General of the African Socialist International, who came from London and three representatives of the Black Star Industries institution, Uhuru Foods and Pies in Oakland, CA - Sealli Moyenda, Su-Tchas and Bakari Olatunji. They all toured the site of the Uhuru Jiko Community Kitchen and Cafe.
From October 8-12, the St. Louis Akwaaba Hall hosted the last five days of the African People's Socialist Party's (APSP) Seventh Congress. Here APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks to a packed house of people who came from around the world to particpate and witness the historic event in which the Party gives reports on work from the past period, elects its leadership and sets the course for the next five-year period and beyond.
Each day, the APSP Honor Guard raised the African flag before the Congress convened.
In addition to political analysis and reports on the work from many different projects of the African People's Socialist Party, the Congress featured moving performances by the Freedom Mass Choir and Band, led by Director Elikya Ngoma (at the mic).
The APSP Congress also included a culture night, showcasing brilliant music, poetry and dance. Here local St. Louis talent Makeda (aka Sarah B. Tonin) sings for the audience.
Flag raising ceremony and community garden sign installed September 30, 2018
On Saturday, Sep. 29, the community came out to participate in a ceremony to raise the red, black and green flag at the site of the future One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and community garden. The 25 foot African flag, flying high on a 50 foot tall flag pole, symbolizes a future of justice, prosperity and liberation for African people here and around the world.
The event featured a keynote presentation by Uhuru Movement leader Omali Yeshitela, speeches by other leaders in the African community, as well as poetry, African drumming, and a marching band.
Also, a sign was installed at the future site of the marketplace and community garden, letting the community know that's coming next spring.
All of this was made possible because of your support!
APEDF St. Louis Economic Development Coordinator Ticharwa Masimba and InPDUM President Kalambayi Andenet welcomed the crowd at the Black Power Blueprint flag raising ceremony at the site of the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and Gary Brooks Community Garden.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African People's Socialist Party and leader of the worldwide Uhuru Movement gave the keynote address, speaking on the significance of the African flag.
Ngoma in Motion performed at the flag raising ceremony.
The St. Louis Cobras Marching Band also gave a dynamic performance.
The 25' x 15' red, black and green flag is shown here flying 50 feet high on the grounds of the future One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and community garden, with the Uhuru House across the street.
(L to R: Black Power 96 Radio Station Manager Diakiesse Lungisani, The Burning Spear newspaper Managing Editor Olofin Ikemba, African People's Socialist Party (APSP) Director of Agit-Prop Akilé Anai, Mustapha Musa Abantu who works in the APSP Office of the Deputy Chair, APEDF St. Louis Economic Development Coordinator Ticharwa Masimba and Mr. Gary Brooks stand in front of the sign announcing the coming of One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace and the Gary Brooks Community Garden in Spring of 2019!
Latest photos from St. Louis September 23, 2018
Check out these latest photos from community events held at Akwaaba Hall, organized by the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) and showing work at the future site of the Uhuru Jiko community kitchen and café.
Contributions from supporters like you make this possible. The Black Power Blueprint projects are moving forward, building a positive future for the African community every single day.
Zyon Farmer, age 9, leads the reading of the African Pledge at weekly InPDUM community meetings which are held at Akwaaba Hall.
Wanda Carson leads the monthly InPDUM Spiritual Rally held in Akwaaba Hall, mobilizing the church community around InPDUM's Keep 28 Campaign, organizing for black power and fighting back against the effort to reduce the number of St. Louis aldermanic wards from 28 to 14.
A spiritual song moves the audience.
Volunteers KC Mackey and Mustapha Musa Abantu returning to the Uhuru House after a work project at the site of the future Uhuru Jiko community kitchen and café (right)
Latest News from St. Louis September 16, 2018
Thanks to contributions from supporters like you, the Black Power Blueprint projects are making an impact on the community.
Aquandria Brown from St. Louis Youth Jobs completes her first week as the African People's Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) receptionist at the St. Louis Uhuru House.
Spotlight on InPDUM's Keep 28 Campaign, organizing for black power! September 09, 2018
On September 2, 2018, Akwaaba Hall hosted a fashion show organized by the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), led by its dynamic President, Kalambayi Andenet.
InPDUM is leading the Keep 28 Campaign, organizing for black power and
fighting back against the effort to reduce the number of St. Louis
aldermanic wards from 28 to 14.
One of InPDUM's economic development initiatives, UZI Custom Clothing,
produced the fashion show titled: Keep 28 Cultural Fusion Black Power
The Black Power Blueprint newsletter will continue to shine a spotlight
on InPDUM and its tremendous work in the struggle for black power in St.
Louis and around the country.
Below we share with you again some photos from the fashion show and other Black Power Blueprint project work from the past week.
The "Keep 28 Cultural Fusion Black Power Sunday Rally" featured the Re-Vamp'd African Collection by St. Louis designer Jordan Flyy.
The fashion show also featured a DJ and performances by local talent.
InPDUM President Kalambayi Andenet (in the "Black is Beautiful" shirt) stands with community members who came out to participate in the cultural evening.
This past week, work also continued on other Black Power Blueprint properties, part of the project's mission to feed, clothe and house African people. Here, Zion with On Call Heating and Cooling installs a new furnace in one of the buildings.
Replacing glass, new signage, Black is Back conference and community marketplace rendering August 19, 2018
This past week, maintenance was done on the future home of the Uhuru Jiko Community Kitchen. Also, on August 11-12, the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations was able to use the beautiful Akwaaba Hall to hold its annual conference. People came from across the country to participate. And work continues to develop the community marketplace and garden space across the street from the Uhuru House.
Your contributions make this possible!
Glass was replaced at the future home of the Uhuru Jiko Kitchen.
Donovan, an artist and sign painter, creates the new Uhuru House sign.
The Black is Back Coalition annual conference opened with a dynamic performance by the drumming group, Ngoma.
Black is Back Coalition Steering Committee members Lisa Davis, Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Glen Ford listen to Jihad Abdulmumit during a presentation by the BIBC Political Prisoners Working Group.
The African People's Education and Defense Fund included this rendering in a grant application submitted to help fund lighting, fencing and paving for the community marketplace and garden across the street from the Uhuru House.
Flag pole arrives and work continues to renovate 4-plex August 05, 2018
This past week the flag pole arrived! And work continued to renovate the 4-plex building purchased by Black Star Industries as part of Black Power Blueprint's mission to feed, clothe and house African people and in preparation for the creation of the African Independence Workforce Program.
St. Louis Akwaaba Hall hosts first wedding reception July 29, 2018
Thanks to the contributions from supporters like you that have funded the Black Power Blueprint's renovation of the St. Louis Uhuru House, the African community in St. Louis now has a beautiful and affordable space available to rent for events and celebrations.
This past week, Akwaaba Hall prepared for hosting its first wedding reception (see photos below).
Preparing for the flag pole July 22, 2018
Work this past week included preparations for installing a 50' flag pole on the site of the outdoor event space that will be home to the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace, across the street from the Uhuru House. The flag pole is estimated to arrive this coming week!
Check out the highlights below, made possible through contributions from supporters like you!
A huge auger drills into the earth and brings out the soil to make room for installation of the metal sleeve that will hold the flag pole.
Stone and rock challenged the flag pole installers as they drilled. APEDF St. Louis Economic Development Director Ticharwa Masimba jumped in and brought out a large stone that was preventing the auger from digging deeper.
The sleeve was installed five feet into the ground and the surrounding hole filled with cement to support 4000 lbs of pressure.
Community member and Uhuru Movement supporter, Geraldine, with the cement truck operator.
Ticharwa and the students working on the Black Power Blueprint projects this summer, stand in front of the Uhuru House after taking measurements for improvements to the facade and signage.
Photos from the July 13th Black Power Poetry night at the St. Louis Akwaaba Hall: Some of the artists who performed (above) and a packed house (below).