On Saturday, Oct. 13, about 100 New Black Panther Party members from all over the country gathered at a Holiday Inn in downtown Atlanta for the National Black Power Summit, co-billed as “The Attack on Black America.”
Malik Zulu Shabazz, the NBPP national chairman, gave a scalding keynote address in which he noted defiantly “our rise is co-dependent on the white man’s demise.”
“Who do I mean when I say, ‘the white man’?” asked Shabazz, pacing back and forth in a small ballroom. “Well, I mean the goddamn white man.”
Shabazz assembled with his black-bereted and –booted soldiers to strategize ways for his black separatist group to capitalize on the highly publicized Jena 6 case and subsequent rash of racially charged incidents involving hangman’s nooses. Such overt signs of white racism are just cause for black Americans to become militant, Shabazz said. He discouraged the idea of black people “waiting” for racial tensions to ease, saying “that sounds like faggot talk, and I hate faggot talk.”
The NBPP discussed plans to hold a Nov. 3 rally in Charleston, West Virginia, to protest the rape and torture of Megan Williams, a black woman who was brutalized by six whites. Shabazz heralded the presence of the NBPP in Jena, Louisiana, at the massive Sept. 20 protest march, despite reports that NBPP speakers were booed when they advocated violence.
Black Power Summits have been held intermittently since the 1970s, including one bizarrely featuring KKK and neo-Nazi leader Tom Metzger. No white supremacist leaders spoke at this year’s event, where Shabazz’s speech was partially drowned out by the music from an African-American family’s wedding reception in the ballroom next door.