From the day he ripped down the racist mural from the walls of City Hall in St Petersburg, Florida in 1966, Chairman Omali Yeshitela (then known as Joseph Waller) has never stopped fighting for freedom for African people everywhere. Mobilized in his youth by anti-colonial movements around the world and the struggle for black liberation inside the U.S., Yeshitela dedicated his life to uniting and liberating Africa and African people everywhere.In the heat of revolutionary struggle and during his early years as a political prisoner, Yeshitela was driven to discover the reasons why black people all over the world are impoverished and oppressed. Yeshitela developed the political theory of African Internationalism that understands the world through the eyes of the African working class.
In 1972, Yeshitela formed the African People’s Socialist Party which he chairs. He built the worldwide Uhuru Movement and the African Socialist International with branches now active in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and on the continent of Africa.Many of the most critical and legendary campaigns of the African community over the past 40 years have been led by Chairman Omali and the Uhuru Movement.The campaign to free Dessie Woods, an African woman sentenced to 22 years for killing a white attempted rapist with his own gun in the 1970s, reverberated throughout the world with its slogan, “Free Dessie Woods, Smash Colonial Violence!”The historic Measure O, the Community Control of Housing Initiative placed on the ballot in Oakland, CA as a land and housing reform measure in 1984, won 22,000 votes and raised forever the struggle for African community control of housing.In 1996, the Chairman united and mobilized the African community following the rebellions sparked by the police murder of 17-year-old TyRon Lewis just four blocks from the Uhuru House in St Petersburg, FL. The Chairman launched the demand for “economic development, not police containment,” forcing the U.S. government to send in the Civil Rights Commission for hearings.
In 1976 Chairman Omali formed the African People’s Solidarity Committee, the organization of white people under the leadership of the Party. Chairman Omali also founded several mass organizations including the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (INPDUM), which for more than 20 years has been in the forefront of defending the African community from police violence and other colonial attacks.
Other organizations created by Chairman Omali include the All-African People’s Development and Empowerment Program (AAPDEP), the African National Prison Organization (ANPO) and the Black is Back Coalition (BIB).
In 2012 the Africa People’s Socialist Party launched Black Star Industries bringing all of the economic institutions of the Party under one umbrella and creating partnerships with community members.
The Chairman and Party members organized on the ground in Ferguson, MO following the police murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The Chairman spoke to churches and to the national mobilization to Ferguson. His video commentaries summing up the situation in Ferguson went viral.
Today, Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks to his growing base of Party organizations, members and supporters around the world. He writes and actively leads the worldwide movement for the liberation of Africa and African people everywhere.