[News] NY Tribute to Herman & Iyaluua Ferguson - June 27
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jun 15 14:45:42 EDT 2009
THE MALCOLM X COMMEMORATION COMMITTEE
PO BOX 340084
JAMAICA STATION, JAMAICA NY 11434
718-949-5153 OR 212-928-5165
June 13, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE FERGUSONS 'RETURN TO THE LAND'!
MXCC, REVOLUTIONARY NY SEND OFF
LEGENDARY REVOLUTIONARY COUPLE
On Saturday, June 27th, the House of the Lord Church will be filled
to the rafters to send off one of the city's most revolutionary
couples, Baba Herman Ferguson and his Queen Iyaluua Ferguson as the
two prepare to leave New York after a life here of extraordinary
commitment in order to "return to the land," using the bold language
of the New Afrikan Independence Movement.
The sendoff will begin at 6pm.
The House of the Lord Church is located at 415 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
The Fergusons are relocating to North Carolina in July.
To the New Afrikan Independence Movement, of which the Fergusons are
pioneering founders, North Carolina is a part of the five state
territory where the majority of our ancestors worked to lay the
wealth foundation for the American nation as slaves.
"If our people truly pursued separation instead of integration, that
would be part of our national territory," explained Zayid Muhammad,
who was authored the oath of New Afrikan citizenship by Baba Ferguson
and the late Safiya Bukhari-Alston in 1996.
The other four states are South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.
In recent years, the Fergusons are best known for their role in
directing the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, which was founded in 1993.
Their commitment is much more extensive. Baba Ferguson, an incredibly
robust 88 years old, of course, is a founding member of both the
Muslim Mosque Inc. (MMI) and the Organization of AfroAmerican Unity
(OAAU), under the immortal Malcolm X.
After Malcolm's assassination in 1965, Ferguson, a principal in the
New York City school system with a clear independent agenda, was one
of the few survivors of the organizations to actually try to pick up
the work standing squarely on several of Malcolm's core principles.
In his beloved Jamaica Queens, he formed the Black Brotherhood
Improvement Association and the Jamaica Rifle And Pistol Club. The
latter became a true training ground for young Black revolutionaries
around the city at the time. It also made Ferguson a serious FBI
On March 31, 1968, in a bold assertion of national liberation,
Ferguson, along with many others who have since have gone in very
different directions, founded the Provisional Government of the
Republic of New Afrika. They came under armed fire at their
'Declaration of Independence' in Detroit for daring to do so. The
Black Legionnaires, the armed wing of the provisional government,
under the leadership of another New Afrikan legend, Imari Obadele,
returned fire and fought the police to a standstill!
In 1969, Ferguson, among the core who remained true to charge of New
Afrikan independence, was insanely charged with conspiracy to
assassinate civil rights leaders Whitney Young and Roy Wilkins in a
COINTELPRO frame up and convicted.
Defying that conviction, Ferguson fled the country and exiled himself
for 20 years in Guyana.
His young new wife, Iyaluua, also an educator in the New York City
school system in her prime years, left the country and joined her
husband as soon as she possibly could.
"Everybody knows what Herman went through. But we should not forget
what Sis. Iyaluua went through and sacrificed also. A stately and
elegant Black woman in her prime years, she walked away from a good
career and everything to join her husband in circumstances over which
they had no control," explained Dequi Sadiki, who now serves as
co-chair of the Committee with Mani Gilyard.
"That is class suicide," she emphasized, "and not too many sisters,
or brothers for that matter, would do that."
They were not idle exiles in Guyana. Herman, true to his military and
educational background, saw a real opportunity to commit to a nation
building process and seized the time.
He played a leading in role in the development of Guyana's national
civil defense, retiring as a full colonel in their armed forces. He
also played a leading role in the development of their national
curriculum for their schools.
In 1989, Ferguson, wanting to clear his name and to be able reunite
with his family, returned to the United States. He was arrested on
the plane headed back to America and immediately sent to prison to
serve the sentence for the '69 conviction. In the appeal process, the
late legendary judge, Bruce Wright, threw out the conviction in the
interests of justice and had him released.
In 1993, Ferguson, along with other comrades from the OAAU, including
the revered Yuri Kochiyama, the brilliant warrior Earl Grant, the
unflappable Jean Reynolds and the late neckbreaker 'Butch' Gladstone
Alexander, and other seasoned activists in the nationalist tradition,
formed the Malcolm X Commemoration out of concern that the state and
the media's efforts to co-opt Malcolm's legacy would keep it from
inspiring our youth to resist.
"I was working on a project of my own at the time out of the same
concern called the Malcolm X Ancestral Memory Project, where I had
people like former Malcolmites Dr. Clarke, Earl Grant and Alice
Windom, and revolutionary scholars who were truly upholding his
legacy in new scholarship like Zak Kondo, Guyanese giant Jan Carew,
Rosemari Mealy and Bill Sales, come into Newark and into Harlem. I
had Mama Iyaluua come and talk about Baba Herman, while he was still
inside." Recalled Bro. Zayid fondly. who still serves as press
officer in addition to now being a national leader in the New Black
"Then all of sudden, without me knowing about it, Herman got out. I
cussed out the nationalist elders who were around me at the time for
not telling me. Herman just grabbed me and said 'Thank you, son,' and
within weeks, I was his press officer for the newly founded Malcolm X
The Fergusons have made other underappreciated commitments during
these recent years that deserve attention as well.
They were absolutely important in the survival and the maintenance of
the Jericho Movement, forged by the late Safiya Bukhari-Alston and
others in 1997 to be a national support vehicle for political
prisoners in the United States. Even less appreciated was their
contribution on the propaganda front with their creation of the
incredible newspaper Nation Time, The Voice of The New Afrikan
Liberation Front. The paper, published by Herman and edited by
Iyaluua, ran seasonally for ten consistent years with no outside
resource support whatsoever. It provided the New Afrikan Independence
Movement with a vehicle to get out the word of their work. It is now
archived at the Schomburg Library.
The tribute will be held from 6-9pm. For more information, please
call 856-591-3623 or 917-627-9473.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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