Our Leadership


“You have the emergence in human society of
this thing called the State.
What is the State?
The State is organized bureaucracy.
It is the police department…the Army, the Navy
It is the prison system, the courts.
The State is a repressive organization.
The reality is
the State becomes necessary
only at that juncture in human society
where it is split between those who have and those who ain’t got!”

From “Police State,” on Let’s Get Free! by Dead Prez

Fiery, uncompromising and courageous, Omali Yeshitela is a revolutionary who has struggled and led the movement for African liberation over the past 40 years.

Leader of the Uhuru Movement, and Chairman and founder of the African People’s Socialist Party, Yeshitela continues to be on the frontlines of struggle. He is building African-worker controlled institutions, developing ground-breaking political theory, writing countless books and articles, speaking worldwide, fighting for reparations, galvanizing allies, influencing the popular culture and bringing African people together to liberate Africa and all its resources.

Omali Yeshitela has faced arrests, trials, imprisonment and personal sacrifice in his struggle to complete the Black Revolution of the Sixties. Chairman Omali never stopped building fighting organizations in the interests of the African working community. He survived the US government’s attack on the Black Power Movement of the 1960s that imprisoned, assassinated or silenced most black revolutionaries by driving them underground. For this he has been called “the last man standing.”

Omali Yeshitela

  • Built and chairs the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, a broad-based organization spanning the spectrum of African organizations in the US. The BIBC first exposed the neocolonial Obama administration in Nov. 2009 with the demands to stop US imperialist war around the world and against the African community inside this country.
  • Was honored by the University of South Florida at a major event in January 2010 unveiling the largest university collection of Yeshitela’s books and writings anywhere in the world.
  • Made reparations for African people a household word after he launched the first International Tribunal on Reparations for African People in New York in 1982. The Tribunal ruled that African people are owed $4.1 trillion in reparations for stolen labor alone.
  • Built the African Socialist International that held founding conferences in Sierra Leone and Kenya in 2009.

Accomplishments and Honors

1966 – Florida organizer for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

1967 – Sentenced to five years for tearing down racist mural that hung in St. Petersburg, FL city hall

1968 – Formed JOMO, the Junta of Militant Organizations; Launched The Burning Spear newspaper

1972 – Formed African People’s Socialist Party; On first African Liberation Day Coordinating Committee

1973 – Coordinated 45-mile “Great Long March to Starke,” in defense of Africans brutalized by guards at Starke prison in Florida

1975 – Wilbert Lee and Freddie Pitts, two innocent African men on death row, freed as a result of the mass campaign led by Omali Yeshitela

1976 – Formed African People’s Solidarity Committee; Launched successful campaign to Free Dessie Woods, sentenced to 22 years for defending herself against a white man who tried to rape her

1979 – Formed African National Prison Organization

1982 – First Tribunal on Reparations for African People in the US; Formed African National Reparations Organization

1983 – Launched campaigns taking over abandoned houses for homeless African families and building Tent City for the Homeless in Oakland, CA

1986 – Opened a front of the Uhuru Movement in Philadelphia, PA, following the 1985 city bombing of MOVE that murdered 11 African men, women and children

1991 – Founded International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement in Chicago, IL

1996 – Led the community fight-back after the police murder of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis and the police attack on the Uhuru House

2001 – Ran for mayor of St. Petersburg, winning all black and mixed precincts but one; Built Florida Alliance for Peace and Social Justice

2002 – Led statewide Florida anti-war march, only anti-war march led by African liberation forces in the US; Formed Citizens United for Shared Prosperity in St. Petersburg, FL

2004 – Consolidated the African Socialist International (ASI)

2006 – Founded the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP)

2007 – Founded the African Internationalist Student Organization (AISO); Keynote speaker, European Foundation for North-South Cooperation’s 1st International Congress, Huelva, Spain

2009 – Keynote speaker, founding conferences of the African Socialist International in Kenya and Sierra Leone; Built the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations which held the first black-led mobilization in Washington, DC challenging Obama’s wars around the world and inside the US; Keynote speaker, Conference on Racism and National Consciousness at the University of Toronto

2010 – Honored by the University of South Florida at the unveiling of the university’s special collection of his books and other writings; Convened the historic Fifth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party, held in Washington, DC; Organized the first Marcus Garvey Legacy Cruise which sailed to Mexico and Jamaica, visiting the home where Garvey was born and where his relatives still live;

African Self-Sufficiency Institutions

1970s – Umoja restaurant, St. Petersburg, FL

1980s – Spear Graphics printing, Oakland, CA

1980 – African Connection Bookstore, Louisville, KY

1981 – Florida Black Voice newspaper, Gainesville, FL

1982 – Uhuru House community centers

1987 – Uhuru Bakery Café, Oakland, CA

1989 – Uhuru Furniture Stores in Oakland and Philly

1995 – TyRon Lewis Community Gym, St. Pete, FL

2006 – Uhuru Radio

2007 – UhuruNews.com


One People! One Party! One Destiny!

The Political Report to the Fifth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party by Chairman Omali Yeshitela
(September 2010, 257 pages)

“One People! One Party! One Destiny!” is the guide to African Revolution in the twenty-first century. It contains the visionary Political Report to the Fifth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party, as well as solidarity statements and Party-to-Party salutes from around the world.

Available from BurningSpearMarketplace.com

 One Africa! One Nation!

The African Socialist International and the movement
to unite and liberate Africa and African people worldwide
(July 2006, 382 pages)

A historic collection of presentations explaining why Africa and all its resources must be liberated and in the hands of African workers and peasants in Africa and everywhere. This book documents the process of building the African Socialist International which is rapidly growing in countries throughout Africa, and in the U.S., the Caribbean and elsewhere around the world.

 Available from BurningSpearMarketplace.com

 Omali Yeshitlea Speaks: 

African Internationalism, Political Theory for our Time
(June 2005, 380 pages)

In a down-to-earth, easily understood style Yeshitela lays out the most profound concepts of his ground breaking, revolutionary theory of African Internationalism which exposes why African people are impoverished and catching hell everywhere on the planet while the white world is powerful and prosperous. Yeshitela’s analysis from the point of view of the enslaved explains the nature of parasitic capitalism which is built on and maintained by slavery, genocide and colonial domination. With his vision for a positive future, the Chairman lays out his bold plan to liberate Africa and African people everywhere. With a foreword by Luwezi Kinshasa.

Available from BurningSpearMarketplace.com

 Social Justice and Economic Development for the African Community: 

Why I became a Revolutionary
(1997, 28 page pamphlet)

In this concise pamphlet Chairman Yeshitela gives an autobiographical account of how he came to the conclusion that he must dedicate his life to the struggle for African freedom. Written after the St. Petersburg, Florida police murder of an African teenager during a traffic stop and subsequent rebellions, Yeshitela presents concrete proposals for black community economic development as opposed to the failed policies of police containment and brutality which plagues African communities throughout the U.S. This piece appeared first as a lengthy article written by Yeshitela in the St. Petersburg Times.

 The Dialectics of Black Revolution: 

The Struggle to Defeat the Counterinsurgency in the U.S.
(1997, 39 page pamphlet)

This popular and very relevant pamphlet reveals the “dialectical relationship between our own [African] impoverishment and the wealth and well-being of white people.” The Chairman’s Dialectics challenges the old time-worn formula for the development of capitalism that has been put forward by the white left and exposes it as white nationalist, colonialist and incorrect. Chairman Yeshitela then documents how the African community today is the target of a U.S. government counterinsurgency war which is responsible for the police containment policies that justify the police murders and brutalization of black people.

Available from BurningSpearMarketplace.com

 More Publications:

  • Izwe Lethu I Afrika, 1992
  • The Politics of Black Revolution, first published 1989
  • The Road to Socialism is Painted Black, 1987
  • Not One Step Backwards, 1984
  • A New Beginning, 1984
  • Reparations Now!, 1983
  • Stolen Black Labor, 1982
  • The Struggle for Bread, Peace and Black Power, 1981
  • Tactics and Strategy for Black Liberation, 1978
  • The Burning Spear newspaper, 1968-present
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