The New Afrikan Independence Movement has lost a very important, dedicated, and tireless freedom fighter. He happened to be one of my oldest friends in the struggle. Very few individuals do you go to junior high and high school with in the same neighborhood, become friends, and join the same movement and become comrades, then pursue a career and become allies. My best friend, the one i got into all this trouble, and who i recruited into the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) in South Jamaica, Queens and he never looked back. i never had to be with him to keep him motivated, he embraced the ideology, and at that time the practicality, that We as a people must determine our own destiny like all other people on the planet, and struggle against oppression and for self respect. He believed We had to have a nation that contained land, so from 1967 he was our nation builder. This message can encompass the many joys, pains and campaigns that Sekou Owusu, myself, and many others shared in the battlefield. The visuals are comical in themselves – he was an upright, bespectacled, bureaucratic looking kosi, and more fit for a university or better yet an accountant’s office.
Deep in the back woods of Mount Bayou Mississippi, his glasses broke while he was driving the van, molotov cocktails lining the floor in preparation for defense against the Mississippi klan trying to run us out of town. With their promises of 6 feet under for us, We forged ahead to secure El-Malik, the first piece of land we had dedicated to the Republic of New Afrika as members of the New African Security Force. A true, true, freedom fighter committed to sacrificing it all, while at the same time complaining that We had it all wrong. He was not one to let criticism get in the way of his action (he could have left the criticism at home). We were a rag tag bunch, but We built a foundation where some doubted the practicality of the nation, but they could not doubt the dedication and love he had for our people. i could imagine what he thought of Chokwe becoming mayor of Jackson.
All during the 70’s he was responsible for establishing a political education class for all the victims of the drug plague that We treated at Lincoln Detox in the South Bronx. He integrated the principles of Nguzu Saba. He provided the political foundation to augment the treatment for the victims of the drug plague with his nerdy self. For 10 years he formed a special relationship with the bottom of despair. He was a kind of brother when you needed some small change he would do this unique zorro slash to his left back pocket, and pull out that damn wallet of his, the only one of our cadres that had one, and of course a long lecture!!! In the mid 70’s i received a phone call. Sekou needed some people to help him move. My first question was from where to where? i said give me the address and me and the brothers will come and help you. He gave me an address in the middle of the South Bronx drug market, on Hoe Ave. The building was abandoned, and on the the floor where he was moving 8 apartments were burned out. The whole community looked like Germany after the bombing. We had to post security on our cars. Sekou was helping a sister in trouble move into the apartment and he was going to move in there with her to provide protection, and she wasn’t even a girlfriend or a wife. But he loved his people, and boy did he try hard for over 5 decades to build a Black family. He called that nation building.
Last story. After the fbi military shoot-out on the Republic of New Afrika government center, Brother Alajo called in reinforcements from around the country. Sekou, who was the RNA counselor, and i as the Minister of Defense, organized a (5) man cadre to go and reinforce, except that Sekou left me in charge of New York and he took the cadre south. He tried to pull rank – political over military. In the 5 man unit there were a couple of nerdy college dudes from Queens, not familiar with cointelpro. As you can imagine, Jackson, Mississippi was an armed camp full of fbi, local police, and klan militias, all encasing our center. The stress was so intense that one of our cadres from Queens had a nervous breakdown and possible stroke trying to get in the middle of a road block. Sekou took responsibility of the cadre. He took him to the hospital and took care of him. He refused to let the fbi, Jackson pd or anyone else talk to or question him, and in those New Afrikan security force uniforms, We stood out like an invading army. He held his post for 2 days until Alajo sent in reinforcement – and then he fainted on the spot from exhaustion. That is our Sekou. i just want a lot of people to know he is a part of our foundation that built the RNA. After years of stress he seemed to be the last one standing, holding out for all his comrades of the past, and for that We love him and honor him. It is said that the reward is more rewarding than the test, surely he has been tested. I pray to Allah that he sees fit to grant him such reward when our government has realized We must honor him and his frugal nature.
I feel your loss Sister Ayisha and Brother Takarhara
Long live his example, praise his effort, and recognize his success.
Dr. Mutulu Shakur