“African women must lead!” This commanding phrase, acknowledging the role of African women as leaders on the front lines of the struggle, was printed in bold letters across the back of a jacket.
We asked the sister where she got the jacket from and she said “UZI Custom Clothing. Do you want one? What’s your size?”
It was the first time we’d seen African woman described not as some helpless “queen” awaiting rescue by a black “king”—but as a soldier, side by side with African men, and an equal contributor to the liberation of Africa and African people.
UZI has made a name for itself as the African community’s go-to brand for hip, stylish, militant clothing which instills in us a sense of black pride and an urge to be free with the empowering phrases which decorate much of UZI’s clothing.
However, UZI is not just any clothing brand. UZI has a mission much greater than supplying the black community with the latest, most unique fashions (though it does that very well); UZI is an instrument of black community self determination.
It is a means by which we engage in genuine economic development – a process described by Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party as building dual and contending power to combat the current social system of white power imperialism.
Interview with Fofeet Alkebulan, Chair of UZI
We were able to get an interview with FoFeet Alkebulan who, in addition to being the Chair of UZI custom clothing, serves as the International Economic Development Coordinator for the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM).
African Resistance Now (ARN): Can you tell us a little about UZI and why it’s important for African people?
FoFeet: UZI Custom Clothing shows that the economic and the political are one and the same. It’s an economic development institution of InPDUM that brings political education to the African working class.
We place revolutionary slogans on our clothing such as “African women must lead,” “Black Power” and, one of our most popular, “Bad and working class.”
These slogans boost the morale of African people and inspire us to get organized and fight and every time an item is sold, it helps to educate the poor and working class on political affairs going on around the world.
See, that is one thing we have not been taught. The African poor and working class has always been denied this education because we can never rely on the system that enslaved us to give us the education we need to free ourselves. UZI bridges this gap.
ARN: We understand. UZI serves as a form of propaganda itself like any flyer or article and politically educates our people while keeping them stylin’. How else does UZI stand out?
FoFeet: What also makes UZI different is that, as a revolutionary clothing line, we revolutionize the clothing itself – we take gently used clothing and turn them into fresh, fired up one of a kind items.
We can even take your items – your jackets, jeans, dresses, skirts and tops and customize them with new cuts, trims and designs of your choice.
We revitalize clothing and reveal a new beauty in them. This is the essence of UZI. This is what we’re about.
ARN: That’s amazing. We appreciate UZI’s commitment to politically educate African people while also encouraging the creativity of African people by allowing us to custom design the clothing we purchase. We have never heard of any clothing line that does this.
FoFeet: Yes and what’s most important about UZI is that it’s not just some “black business” and it’s not owned by any big corporation. It’s not owned by me or any individual person.
UZI is an institution of the people.
The resources brought in by UZI go right back to the community. It goes right back to the young man on the corner who can’t find a job or the sister who’s struggling to care for her children.
You see, UZI Custom Clothing is a strategy of InPDUM to build genuine economic development in the African community and all resources are used to improve the living conditions of our people, by supporting the political work of InPDUM.
We understand that the political and the economic are one and that building economic power is the only way we will build political power.
It’s the only we’ll build true Black Power. Uhuru!
Create for Black Power today
UZI wants you!
UZI is calling on all African and colonized creatives to give your talents to Black Power.
We are looking for designers to create new looks for our clothing and other merchandise.
We need models to strut down the runway in our latest fashions and photographers to capture it all.
Our talents, gifts and ability to create have historically been stolen from us by white power.
Even today, the genius of Africans is only celebrated by this system when our genius serves the interests and agenda of white power.
Africans who’ve used their abilities to promote an anti-colonial agenda are, naturally, shunned and condemned.
At UZI, the genius of our people is put on full display.
Beyond that, our genius becomes a shield over our community and weapon against our oppressors.
Our genius becomes a tool in our people’s arsenal to liberate ourselves and our nation.
This is why UZI exists—to give Africans and colonized peoples of the world a place to channel their creative genius into a revolutionary project and show the status quo that we are bad and working class.
Join UZI today!
Join InPDUM today!
Overturn white power imperialism,
And look good while you do it!