49th Anniversary Celebration
UJIMA YA UJAMAA SHULE, an independent nonprofit Afrikan community school, was founded and organized in 1968 by Dr. El Senzengakulu Zulu.
Dr El Senzengakulu Zulu was one of the organizers off the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). It was also during that time that Baba Zulu worked closely with leaders of Civil Rights Movement such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, James Forman, Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, Marion Barry, and Fannie Lou Hamer. He worked along side others throughout the south to help organize the Freedom Rides.
The Freedom Rides culminated in Jackson, Mississippi when Ross Barnett, the racist governor of Mississippi arrested Dr Zulu and other participants resulting in six months imprisonment in Parchman Prison in maximum security. Tennessee State University expelled Zulu and other Freedom Riders from the university but readmitted them after a lawsuit. After their release, Dr. Zulu and other SNCC members remained in Mississippi to further the struggles for freedom. During the 60's Dr. Zulu was arrested 69 times in the struggle for the liberation of Afrikan people.
Dr. Zulu was stationed at McComb, Jackson and Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Classes in direct actino and voter registration were held in McComb. As the brothers and sisters became more aware, politically and socially, they began to participate in direct action- boycotts, sit ins, and other demonstrations against racism. This resulted in 113 students being expelled from school. The responsibility for teaching these students fell to organizers. Thus, the Freedom Schools came to be. From this it was clear that there was a need for our people to create another educational system.
Years later, after Dr. Zulu attended Howard Law School, he began studying and thinking about new directions for another educational system. He left law school feeling his contribution to the liberation of Afrikan people was toward the development of the local Black community. He became the director of SNCC in Washington, after which he worked together with Marion Barry, Dr. Martin L. King Jr., Medgar Evers, H. Rap Brown, Ralph Featherstone and Kwame Toure. Dr. Zulu created the first Freedom School in Washington, D.C. It was called the SNCC Liberation Freedom School.
After the last days of SNCC, Dr. Zulu organized the Ujamaa Afrikan Shop as an economic base to support another school. Due to his sixties exposure to the inadequacies of this society, he saw the dire need for an educational institution which provide the Afrikan Community with the opportunity to educate its own. He realized that public schools were miseducating our people. It was from this focus and concern for our future generations that Ujamaa Shule grew.
UJIMA YA UJAMAA SHULE was founded to provide an institutional base that would ensure Afrikan children the development of a strong, positive self-image, a valid value system, and the achievement of academic excellence. Ujamaa's program provides for training in all facets of life. Character, independence, self-sufficiency and positive approaches to meeting life's challenges are built into the school's program. The overall program is geared to develop the total being, to help each child reach his or her ultimate goal and to develop to the highest potential. Based on Dr. Zulu's belief that we must do for self , in May 1968, U jamaa Shule was born. Ujamaa Shule was first established at 904 Florida Ave, NW, next door to the Ujamaa Bookstore, with only three watoto. Many committed and dedicated brothers and sisters such as Mama Rose Pringle (Ur Aua-t Muima Maat Enkamit), Akbar, Mwata and Nkechi, Namtambu, Hamidm Askia, Mama Khadijah, Baba Rasafik, Baba Ngoma and others came to help strengthen and build Ujamaa.
Over the many years, several other brothers and sisters came to contribute their time and energy to Ujamaa, such as Baba Abayomi, Baba Shangobumi, Mama Adowa, Dr. Wills, Nana Kwabena, Nana Nsia, Baba Imamu and Mama Akua Kuumba, Baba Carpenter, Baba Diop, Mama Sekilega and many others. Ujamaa has provided a variety of activities and services, food and clothing for those in need: health fairs, and films and other school activities; cultural education through a host of well-known historical speakers such as Minister Louis Farrakhan, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannon, Dr. John Henry Clarke, Dr. Maulana Karenga, Dr. Francis Cress- Wesling, Dr. Keith Ferdinand, Dr. Iyapo Rashied and many others. Ujamaa has provided adult education classes and outreach programs, but its greatest efforts has been in the education of our children.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Armour J. Blackburn Center