By Margaret Hicks

Eagle Staff Writer

mhicks@theoklahomaeagle.net

Baba James Small, Keynote Speaker
Baba James Small, Keynote Speaker

 

On May 27th and 28th, the 20th Annual Black Wall Street Memorial March will honor the legacy of Tulsa Oklahoma’s Greenwood Community, also known as Black Wall Street, and remember the tragedy that destroyed the most prosperous black community in American history.

The Black Wall Street Memorial March was founded by the Tulsa Ancestral Society (Society), also known as Egbe Egun Fe Wa. The Society is based on the ancestral societies dating back 400 years in Nigeria, West Africa. The goal of the Society is “to uplift the memory, legacy, and traditions of our African ancestors individually and collectively.”

 

The Weekend Schedule

On Saturday, May 27, there will be a reparations panel discussion with keynote speaker Baba James Small. This event will be at Rudisill Library, 1520 N. Hartford Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The discussion’s theme is “Justice Restoration & Reparations for Black Wall Street.”

At 7 p.m. on Saturday there will be an African Village Night at Church of the Restoration, 1314 N. Greenwood Avenue, with DJ Shabazz and special guests.

The weekend activities will culminate with the Black Wall Street Memorial March on Sunday. Activities will start with refreshments and other in-house activities at 2 p.m. at Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Avenue. Small, again, will be the keynote speaker. At that time participants will be given details for the March.

Baba James Small

Professor James Small is respectfully and affectionately referred to as “Baba; a term in Yoruba, a language spoken by the Yoruba culture in the south-western part of Nigeria. Baba is an honorific for father, wise man or, simply, elderly man. Small, born in 1945, is all of that, He and his wife Carol Tondu-Small, M.D, of 40 years have six children. The Oklahoma Eagle caught up with Small recently for a telephone interview and after conversing for 25 minutes, about mental slavery, concur that Small’s wisdom is beyond his age. Small has been an activist since his teenage years. His in-depth knowledge, thought-provoking and calm delivery are influential elements to break the programming of miseducation.

Small is currently conducting educational and cultural tours throughout Africa and the United States and is working on two books, one a collection of his lectures on Malcolm X and the other on the topic of “Post Slavery Trauma Syndrome.”

Small has worked and studied with Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Yosef A. A. ben Jochannan, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Dr. Asa Hilliard, Dr. Wade Nobles, Dr. Amos Wilson and Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, just to name a few.

For eleven years Small served as principal bodyguard to the late Ella L. Collins, the sister of Malcolm X, the then President of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU)

Between the years of 1966 and 1980, Small held membership in the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Uhuru fighters and OAAU. During this period, Small had the opportunity to interact with such historical giants as Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Kwame Ture, H. Rap Brown of SNCC, Eldridge Cleaver, Zaid Shakur, and Lumumba Shakur of the Black Panther Party (BPP) in which he served as a liaison between the BPP and the OAAU.

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