Stop the spread of misinformation concerning the black power movement.
This was the call of Khafra Kambon, during the panel discussion “The Many Shades of Resistance” at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine yesterday.
The event, which was held at the Alma Jordan Library, also served to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the movement in this country.
Kambon, who was one of the leaders of the movement in the 1970s, took offence to claims that the movement was not initially about black empowerment.
“The first time in my life that I heard that the movement was not about Black power, was twenty years after at a conference on campus here, when Makandaal Daaga whom I respect greatly, shocked me by announcing that it is Ken Gordon of the Express who had labelled the movement black power,’ said Kambon, “I hear it repeated again by my brother here there this morning. And normally I don’t engage always in controversy but yuh see on this one I want to make it clear that there is absolutely no truth in that. There is no foundation for that notion. Because we in NJAC adopted that as our ideological foundation. And we preached it. It was publicly out there.”
Kambon said further that had that not been the intention of the National Joint Action Movement then, there would have been a push back from the group.
“Given the spirit that we had, if Ken Gordon had put that label, we would have challenged it.”
Kambon also addressed another misbelief concerning the movement as he pointed out the East Indian community were also a part of the movement.
“The thing is the outreach to the Indians was from the start, and there was Indian participation even in the leadership of the organisation from the start. Josanne ‘s father Winston Leonard was one of the founding members of NJAC as well,” said Kambon, making reference to panelist Josanne Leonard, who also spoke during the event.
“I want to get it out of the public mind and I want to ask the younger people of NJAC to stop promoting that misrepresentation of something I almost gave my life for and feel very strongly about,” said Kambon, who gave the impassioned speech shortly before leaving the event alongside his son Shabaka Kambo, and grandson Gabre Kambon.